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[column]I am continually amazed at how easily I can apply my classes from University of Phoenix.  My doctoral studies have taught me to search for what is known as a seminal work — to find the person who had the original idea.

With my Salesforce project I worked during the day consulting with offices across the county.  I spent my evenings digging deeper and deeper into a rich vein of research on something known as the technology acceptance model (TAM).  I found a seminal work published way back in 1943.[/column]

[column last=”last”]For the uninitiated, technology doesn’t have to do with electronic gadgets or the newest app for your phone.  In the classic sense the term “technology” is concerned with anything that you need to do to get things done in a business.  Every step involved in turning a sales order into a finished good could be considered technology.  The same can be said for the process needed to pay an invoice from a vendor.

Ryan (1943) was a grad student back in the early 40’s when he and his mentor published their seminal work on technology adoption. Their paper dealt with the reluctance of local farmers to plant what would seem like a slam dunk — corn that would increase yield by 20%.  It seemed like a wondercrop.  Greater yield and it was reportedly better in mechanized harvesting equipment than corn of the day.  Yet, farmers didn’t go for it for another 6 or 7 years.[/column]

Davis (1989) brought two additional considerations to the table when he applied Ryan’s work in the information technology field.  New technology must answer two questions if it is to have a chance of being used:

  1. What can this do for me?
  2. How easy is it to use?

I applied these two articles to my field work on the Salesforce project, and you will see these two articles come up again and again as constant themes in the remainder of my writings here.

References

Davis, F. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319–340.

Ryan, B. R., & Gross, N. C. (1943). The Diffusion of Hybrid Seed Corn in Two Iowa Communities. Rural Sociology (8th ed. Vol. March, pp. 15–24).