Technology Acceptance in the Manufacturing Environment
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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Employee technology acceptance is an important consideration for any manufacturing organization interested in implementing new technology in the workplace. Industry 4.0 introduces new technologies that can significantly impact manufacturing, but methods to ensure employees are prepared for implementation are lacking. Both individual and organizational-level acceptance are essential to consider. An organization can play a valuable role in preparing its employees for new technology before implementation, increasing the chances of a successful launch. This dissertation proposes a new tool for gauging employee technology acceptance in a pre-implementation decision context: the Technology Acceptance in a Manufacturing Environment (TAME) survey. TAME was developed by combining individual acceptance constructs from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) (Venkatesh et al., 2003) with an organizational readiness construct adapted from the Organizational Readiness to Implement Change (ORIC) model (Shea et al., 2014). The validity of TAME was established through pilot testing in an academic environment and a broad experimental distribution among employees of a large automotive manufacturer with locations in both the Southeastern United States and Mexico. Content validity was confirmed via internal consistency measures and both expert panel and pilot participant feedback. Construct validity testing via confirmatory factor analysis for the UTAUT model as well as TAME was also supported using data collected from the employees of the automotive manufacturer. Lastly, non-parametric testing and structural equation models were developed using the manufacturer data to evaluate differences between groups and potential moderating variables. Results indicate that TAME is appropriate for assessing readiness for technology acceptance among manufacturing workers with little to no training or knowledge of the technology being considered for implementation.