Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Raza, S. A. & Standing, C. (2008). Systemic Problems in Information Technology Adoption and Use: A Systems Thinking Perspective. Proceedings of the 14th ANZSYS Conference, Perth: School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University. Available here


Understanding and creating the conditions under which information systems will be embraced by human organizations (thinking systems) remain a high-priority research issue. Despite numerous benefits associated with Information Technology (IT), there exist some intervening factors (systemic problems or issues) that impede technology’s widespread adoption and use in organisations. Established information technology adoption models like TAM, TRA etc. view technology adoption from the users’ perspective without taking a strategic perspective into account. As an alternative focus we suggest that addressing systemic problems can be a method of reducing fundamental barriers to organizational progress. This paper presents some real life examples of IT projects in organizations which experienced failures or barriers related to IT adoption processes. The issues are framed as systemic problems and are analysed from a ‘systems thinking’ perspective. The paper argues that some of the issues contributing to the failure/barrier cannot be easily explained by traditional user acceptance models like TAM or TAM2. The paper presents a number of systems thinking principles that can be used to analyse organizational contexts. It also provides some recommendations and suggests a new research direction based on the marriage of ‘Systems Thinking’ approaches and ‘Adoption Model Theories’. This research will help in identifying the relationships between the determinant factors of the technology acceptance models and the concepts involved in systems thinking approaches. We believe the integration of the two approaches will facilitate improved technology adoption, organizational learning and change.

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