Factors Affecting Employee Acceptance of Electronic Shelf Labels In a Mandatory Business Environment : -A Study Applying the UTAUT-Model in a Swedish Organization
Abstract: Background: The retail industry is one of the most competitive industries today as the emergence of the e-commerce has put significant pressure on traditional retailers. As price change frequencies have doubled, physical retailers struggle to adapt to online retailers; and as a result, new technologies for price automation such as Electronic Shelf Labels has emerged. However, as new technologies emerge managers and decision-makers need to understand the challenges with introducing novel technologies in workplaces; and what factors affect acceptance of said technology. This is an issue that is of interest as technologies are becoming mandatory in use in contrast to previous decades where they have been voluntary in use. Purpose: To understand what factors affect employee acceptance of Electronic Shelf Labels in a mandatory environment, and thus shed light on where managers and decision-makers need to put focus when introducing new technologies in business environments. Method: A descriptive and explanatory research design was chosen for this thesis, combined with a quantitative approach for data collection as well as data analysis. The chosen conceptual model for the thesis was the UTAUT-model upon which the questions of a self-administrated web-survey with close-ended questions was based upon. The survey was answered by employees of a market-leading Scandinavian retailer who today have Electronic Shelf Labels implemented in their stores. A total of 100 respondents answered the survey, and the results were analysed quantitatively through utilizing software such as SPSS Statistics for descriptive statistics and SmartPLS 3 for Structural Equation Modeling. Results: The results of the SEM-analysis unveiled that the main factors impacting technology acceptance of Electronic Shelf Labels in a mandated environment are facilitating conditions and attitude towards usage. The conceptual model explained 46,4% of the variance of the model which tested the constructs of the original UTAUT-model, with slight modifications. Moreover, the results unveiled that there was a high acceptance of ESL amongst employees, and that there is positive view on the technology and its benefits. Conclusion: Theoretical, this study contributes in a new conceptual model that explains technology acceptance in mandatory business environments where facilitating conditions and attitude towards usage are the main predictors of technology acceptance. Practically, it suggests that decision-makers and managers need to put effort in ensuring a working infrastructure around a new technology and enough resources so that employees can use the technology properly. Moreover, encouragement of a positive attitude towards a new technology is also of importance – meaning that effort should be put in highlighting the benefits of new technologies pre-implementation and having responsible available that can demonstrate this in the introductory phase of the technology. Delimitations: The limitations of this study are mainly tied to geographical location, time and sample size. The study only considers the Swedish stores of the Scandinavian retailer that was studied, and the study is restricted in time as it takes into account the technology acceptance of Electronic Shelf Labels under a certain time frame; as a result, it is not longitudinal. Lastly, the sample size of the survey is rather small, even though satisfactory for its intended use.
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