ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1711-1723.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.01711

• Conceptual Framework •     Next Articles

The impact of trust in technology and trust in leadership on the adoption of new technology from employee's perspective

XU Yi(), LIU Yixuan   

  1. USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2020-09-30 Online:2021-10-15 Published:2021-08-23
  • Contact: XU Yi


In today's knowledge-based economy, new technology adoption is crucial for companies to increase their core competitiveness. The success of new technology diffusion in enterprises depends on employees' trust in new technologies to overcome risks and uncertainties surrounding new technology. Although many scholars recognize the positive role of trust in the adoption of new technology, the extant literature lacks empirical evidence and theoretical underpinning. To fill the gap, we aim to explore how trust in technology and leadership affects employees' decision to adopt new technology through four different studies. Further, we introduce perceived risk and technology self-efficacy as mediators to explore the underlying mechanisms.

In study 1, we validate the measurement of trust in technology with functionality, reliability, and helpfulness as three antecedent factors. The positive effects of trust in technology and trust in leadership on employees' new technology adoption are examined through an experiment. In study 2, we collect employees' data within organizations. Perceived risk and technology usefulness are added into the model to explain the relationship between trust in technology, trust in leadership, and new technology adoption from the employees' perspective. In study 3, we first refine the measurement of technology self-efficacy. Then, through an experiment, we manipulate the trust in technology (High, Low, Control) and measure employees' technology self-efficacy and new technology adoption. We propose that trust in technology can increase technological self-efficacy and further facilitate employees' new technology adoption. In study 4, we examine the contextual effects of industries' backgrounds and organizational cultures. We suggest that in high-tech industries, trust in technology could have a greater effect on employees' adoption of new technology. In addition, organizational culture could moderate the effects of trust. In particular, collectivistic organizational culture could moderate the effects of trust in leadership, while individualistic organizational culture could moderate the effects of trust in technology.

Overall, the current research constructs a theoretical model and extends our understanding of employees' adoption of new technology. First, it investigates factors that affect new technology adoption from the employees' perspective with consideration of both individual and contextual factors. We propose employees' technological self-efficacy as individual differences and organizational culture and industry background as contextual factors that equally matters. Second, the current study clearly identifies trust in new technological adoption processes in organizations, as both trust in technology and trust in leadership. We further analyze the effects of the two types of trust and the underlying mechanisms. This enriches the literature of the influence of trust and its mechanism in new technology adoption. Third, we suggest that technological self-efficacy can explain the mechanism of trust in technology, which could lay the foundation for future research of trust in technology. Lastly, this study has managerial implications. Based on our findings, effective management strategies can be implemented to support new technologies integration.

Key words: new technology adoption, technology diffusion, trust in technology, trust in leadership, technological self-efficacy

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