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Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering & Technology (PICMET)

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Older people -- United States, Older people -- Services for -- Technological innovations, Technology -- Management -- Research


Elderly woman strives to have a streamlined life surrounded by ease and familiarity. As she is aging, her desire for simplicity grows, her self-efficacy weakens, her prudency intensifies and her overall inclination toward status quo strengthens. As a result, she delays, or refuses, making any decision that might bring complexity and disrupt the continuity in her life, particularly new and unfamiliar technologies (which often bring complexity, before providing ease). Consequently, her technology adoption has a much lower rate than that of other demographics. To open the black box of elderly woman technology adoption process, this study focuses on the role of the most significant population of "gatekeeping" group, children, to examine how this potential influence plays out in the elderly women adoption process of technology. Using grounded theory approach and case study, it investigates how the process of technology adoption by elderly woman develops and what is the role of the "gatekeeping" children in the adoption. This qualitative research using ethnographic interview and fuzzy cognitive mapping in addition to the traditional qualitative analysis coding. It validates the current technology adoption theories, particularly Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), in the context of elderly technology adoption. However, it shows the importance of expanding such theories and unpacking the abstract constructs in the context studied to facilitate the emergence of empirical insight that can lead to implementable strategies. There are two key findings emerged from this research: 1) Domestication is a key process in the successful adoption as it allows the elderly woman to try and become familiar and hence find the technology easy to use and then useful. 2) Caregiving children play a critical role in influencing the elderly woman technology adoption. This critical role is materialized in suggesting, modeling, providing facilitating condition and Intervening in the adoption.


This is the publisher's final pdf. Copyright 2016 by PICMET. Paper delivered at Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), 2016.

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