Examining the antecedents of the Technology Acceptance Model within e-procurement

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Purpose: Despite the widespread organisational adoption of e-procurement systems, we continue to witness disappointing performance outcomes from their implementation. This can be explained largely by the failure of many organisations to translate the initial adoption decision, made at an organisational level, into individual-level acceptance of e-procurement by an organisation’s employees. The purpose of this paper is to examine the key antecedents of the technology acceptance model (TAM) for employees expected to use e-procurement systems in their day-to-day activities. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, the authors apply and extend the TAM to examine the factors that influence the acceptance of e-procurement by individual employees. The authors’ focus is on the potential role of user-perceived e-procurement quality dimensions as the antecedents to the TAM’s cognitive mechanisms of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. The structural equation model uses the survey data collected from 139 e-procurement users at a university in the Netherlands. Findings: The results confirm the core TAM relationships within an e-procurement context. Extending the TAM model to explore the antecedents, the authors find that the e-procurement quality dimensions of processing, usability, and professionalism impact the levels of individual employee e-procurement acceptance. Interestingly, the system-level dimensions (processing and usability) appear to play a greater role than the support dimensions (professionalism) in these cognitive mechanisms. Practical implications: The findings indicate that the need for e-procurement training and on-going support may be lessened by initial effective design covering system navigation and system usability and by ensuring that an e-procurement system has expedient information and product flows between the buyer and supplier. Originality/value: To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to explore the TAM and, more critically, its antecedents within an e-procurement context. It is also the first to empirically validate this extended model. Finally, by shifting the focus from the more typical organisational-level adoption to an individual employee acceptance unit of analysis, the authors provide a better understanding of how organisations can gain the most from investments in e-procurement and other similar e-supply chain management technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22 - 42
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Acceptance and adoption
  • e-business
  • e-procurement
  • e-procurement quality
  • Survey
  • Technology acceptance model (TAM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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