Interpretative perspectives on the acceptance of an optional information system

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Understanding the factors that contribute to the acceptance and use of information systems is a central concern in the field of information systems. Especially in cases where users are relatively free to use an information system (a so called optional information system) it is important for implementers to understand which factors determine acceptance in order to develop an effective design and implementation plan. In order to identify factors that determine acceptance, this report describes and analyses the implementation of a therapy expert system for general practitioners (GPs) in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Ministry of Health decided to implement this system with the objective to promote cost effectiveness, consistency and quality of therapies and drug prescriptions of general practitioners. This paper uses an interpretive perspective to analyze the limited acceptance of the system. While the promotion campaign focused on the system, GPs based their decision on wider contextual factors. The case demonstrates pitfalls, which come up during the implementation of such a system, and shows which factors may play a role in the decision of possible users to accept or reject such an optional information system. Different issues arise from this case. One is that users seem to differ from non-users and that perceptions about the system itself but also about non-system features affect the decision to accept. The paper uses the evidence of the case by suggesting to extend the technology acceptance model (TAM) with relevant contextual factors. It concludes by outlining its implications for implementers of optional information systems in general.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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