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PROJECT TOPIC – EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TOWARDS ATTRIBUTES OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AS A DETERMINANT OF ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIAN COMMERCIAL BANKS

EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TOWARDS ATTRIBUTES OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AS A DETERMINANT OF ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIAN
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ABSTRACT

This study aimed at measuring employee attitude towards technological change as a determinant of organizational performance in Nigerian Commercial Banks. The study utilized descriptive survey design and was based on the Technology Acceptance Model 2. A simple random sampling method was used to select three hundred and sixty six participants from seventeen commercial banks in Lagos State, Nigeria. Five hypotheses were posed to guide the study and a structured questionnaire was employed to collect data. Demographic data were presented using frequency tables, and cross-tabulations while the five hypotheses were analyzed using inter-item correlations, Pearson moment correlation, partial correlation, standard multiple regression, hierarchical multiple regression and one-way ANOVA.

Major findings showed that attributes of Technological Change (Technical Complexity – TC and Systemic Shift – SS) significantly contributed to Subjective Norms (SN) surrounding bank employees’ use of new IT and two measures of employees’ Attitude Determinants (Perceived Usefulness – PC and  Perceived Ease of Use – PEU). In addition, Subjective Norms (SN) of employees and two measures of employees’ Attitude Determinants (Perceived
Usefulness – PU and Perceived Ease of Use – PEU) significantly contributed to Employees’ Behaviour (EB) to use new IT. Finally, employee behaviour to use new IT significantly contributed to the prediction of four measures of Organizational Performance (Innovative Performance, Market Performance, Service Rendering Performance, and Financial Performance).

The result of this study implies that the independent variables that have been found to have significant contributions should be taken into consideration when commercial banks management team desire to improve organizational performance of the banks. On the premise of these findings, it is therefore, recommended that management team in commercial banks in Nigeria should ensure that employees’ are involved in the procurement and adoption of new IT in banks and also provide enabling environment for employees to have positive attitude towards the attributes of technological change which will culminate into employees positive behaviour and excellent performance of commercial banks in Nigeria.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Organizations work better by deploying technology, which may be classified as rudimentary, intermediate, or advanced. The level of technology in any organization has an important influence on its activities. Simpler technologies are often less expensive to deploy than sophisticated technologies. This is why the nature of technology present in an organization can have implications on operating costs, quality of output, as well as the quantity and the time needed to accomplish organizational tasks. Firms in Nigeria operate in a business environment that is constantly changing in response to the vagaries of consumer taste, needs, wants and general lifestyle shift. Therefore, technology in use by organizations will need maintenance, modification and/or total change from lower to higher state of finesse to respond to the changing environment. The implication of technological change due to the changing business
environment, differs from one organization to another. Anjula and Arabinda (2000) posited that technological system is more than the sum of its techniques. Apart from the attributes and technical features noticeable in a new technology, its success is also determined by how well it is adapted or adopted in the organization.

Studying the works of several authors in the area of technological change, significant effects are prompted in organizational processes. Areas where technological changes have had significant effects are work tasks (Thompson, 1967); job design (Wall, Corbett, Clegg and Jackson, 1990); organizational structure (Woodward, 1965; Rasthogi, 1995); knowledge and skills required (Adler, 1990); attitudes and behaviours of employees (Huczynski and Buchannan, 1991; Mcloughlin and Clark, 1988). The major effects of technological change on the areas stated above can result to job displacement, job insecurity and redefining of authority relationships (Dawson, 1994; Power, Meyeraan, and Aldag, 1994). These effects threaten the psychological and
social status of an employee, triggering off resistance to technological change (Anjula and Arabinda, 2000).

The practice of embarking on technological change in Nigeria banks has been a mixed one. Technologies like Automated Cheque Sorter (ACS), Bankers Automated Clearing Services (BACS), Clearing House Automated Payments (CHAPs), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and GSM (Mobile) Banking have increased the cost of administration in Nigerian banks rather than streamlining the system or improving productivity (Dutta, 1990). The extent to which technological change will succeed in an organization depends on the employee readiness to adapt to the new technology (Dayal and Aggarwal, 1995). According to Woodward, 1958; Evenson and Westphal, 1994, when employees perceive threats to their job status, capabilities, skills and expertise, they
develop an attitude of resistance to the technological change. Venkatesh and Davis (2000) proposed a Technology Acceptance Model 2 (TAM 2) that
provided an explanation of the determinants of new technology acceptance that is, in general, capable of explaining user attitude and behavior across a broad range of enduser computing technologies and user populations.

The model identified external variables, Subjective Norms (SN) or social influences; attitude i.e. Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of Use (PEU); and behavior i.e. Behavior Intention (BI) and Usage Behavior (UB) of employees as important attributes for determining a successful implementation of technological change. The variables stated above are what happens in and around an employee in an organizational setting.
Subjective norms (SN) are social influences that affect an employee’s attitude towards the use of a new technology. Perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEU) are what makes up the actual attitude that an employee has towards technological change in an organization. The behavioral intention (BI) and usage behavior (UB) is what makes up the behavior of the employee in the actual use of the new technology in an organization. The TAM2 model was strongly supported by four organizations at three points of measurement, accounting for 40% to 60% of the variance in attitude and
34% to 52% of the variance in behavior. Both social influence processes (subjective norm, voluntariness, and image) and cognitive instrumental processes (job relevance, output quality, result demonstrability, and perceived ease of use) significantly influenced user acceptance (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000).
Anjula and Arabinda (2000) posited that several researchers have proposed that it may not be technological change per se which influences attitude and behavior of employees. Tyre and Hauptman (1992) identified two variables, which are technical complexity (TC) and systemic shift (SS) that distinctly affect organizational processes.

Technical complexity (TC) refers to new technologies that require new practices, new kinds of knowledge, or new relationships among skill sets (Abernathy and Clark 1985; Tushman and Anderson 1986; Kazanjian and Drazin 1987), while systemic shift (SS) refers to new technologies that completely deviate from the usual processes of work. According to Graham and Rosenthal (1986) and Gerwin (1988) Systemic shifts can make existing technologies and systems obsolete. These variables according to Tyre and Hauptman (1992) are attributes of technological change, which affect the attitudes and behaviours of employees and the entire processes in an organization. The interplay of organizational variables and their perception by employees would lead to the development of a certain attitude (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). Therefore, the attributes of technological change will interact with the attitudes and behaviours of employees as it affects the performance of the entire organization. Nigerian organizations try to be competitive, effective, efficient and profitable, by ensuring that employees at various levels are exposed to modern technologies and technology enhancing tools relevant to their operations. How leaders and managers of organizations direct the operations and processes in their organizations can have implications for the attitude and potential for contributions of their employees.

New technologies in complex organizations like banks can create positive effects as well as unintended negative effects on members of such  organizations. Because employee attitude is a key variable that must be considered to explain and predict the degree of relationship between the successes of technological change and performance of an organization, it is imperative to study how employee attitude interact with attributes of technological changes as it affects the time, cost and quality of goals and objectives of the organizational system, thereby affecting the overall performance of the organization. The performance of an organization is made up of innovative performance (IP), production performance (PP), market performance (MP) and financial performance (FP) according to Gunday, Ulusoy, Kilic and Alpkan (2011). It is one thing to introduce a new technology and another thing for employees to accept the technology. Therefore, this study aims at exploring employee attitude to technological change as it affects organizational performance in Nigerian commercial banks.

 

EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TOWARDS ATTRIBUTES OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AS A DETERMINANT OF ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIAN
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1.2 Statement of Research Problem

The interest in employee attitude towards attributes of technological change as it affects banks’ performance in the Nigerian banking sector was definitely a reflection of what was going on in the Nigerian banking sector. Based on observation, the Nigerian banks that took the step to adopt new technology in their operations did not make much impression on their customers. Customers still spend a lot of time on queues to carry out transactions in the Nigerian banks, customers’ complaints of ATM malfunctions, monies missing in transit and other issues pertaining to the use of new technology in Nigerian banks. This major problem is what lead to this study. In order to solve this pertinent issue other problems that may cause the above mentioned problem is
discussed below. There are indications that organizations in Nigeria are currently investing a lot in technology. There is a strong motivation for organizations’ management to drive technological change in operations. Subramanian (2006) observed that over the years, banks have embarked on technology driven programmes in the face of competition and the need for effective and efficient service delivery. In Nigeria, the change in the regulatory framework, merger and acquisition of banks have made technology an integral part of the banks’ business strategy and a tool for creating value and customer
satisfaction.

However, based on observation, while technological changes in organizations have increased significantly over the past decade, acceptance of
technology continues to lag. Empirical evidences from Ehikhamenor, 2003; Agboola, 2003; Osabuohien, 2008; Opara, Olotu and Maclayton, 2010; Dauda and Akingbade, 2011, suggested that a significant impediment in the acceptance of technological changes in work processes continue to depend on what employee attitude hold about the technology innovations and technological changes. Employees face social pressures on the use of technology with respect to attributes of technological change such as Technical Complexity (TC) and Systemic Shift (SS). Attributes of technological change (ATC) can affect the uncertainty of the technology introduction and mode of problem solving required (Munson and Pelz 1982; Rogers 1983). The perception against technology is its inappropriateness, which often are the novelty of technology in terms of the technical features. This involves changes in products and processes, the relevance of users’ previous experience, and the compatibility of new technology with existing organizational practices (Zaltman

Duncan and Holbeck 1973; Kimberly and Evanisko 1981; Graham and Leonard-Barton 1984). These attributes of technological change (ATC) affect employee performance,especially in the use of new technology. Consequently, employees are apt to discourage each other through interaction in the use of new technology because of social beliefs and learning processes, and in turn affect the overall performance of an organization. This is called Subjective Norm (SN), which refers to the motivating influence of our perceptions of what we think significant others want us to do (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). It is therefore important to note that employee Subjective Norm (SN) influences the employee behaviour, implying that employees are faced with social pressures to either perform or not to perform the use of technology. Literature reviewed shows that there is little research on how attributes of technological change (ATC) in Nigerian commercial banks relate to subjective norms (SN), that is, how social pressures influence employees towards the attributes of technological change.

Performance outcomes, that is, technical complexity (TC) and systemic shift (SS) are expected to relate with attributes of technological change (ATC). According to Tyre and Hauptman (1992), the characteristics of technological change are expected to increase the uncertainty or difficulty of the introduction task and, consequently, the degree of disruption experienced. Both technical features of technology and its systemic shift impacts are organizationally significant but the problems they pose are different. Process equipment which are highly sophisticated in relationship with existing technologies are likely to be unpredictable in effect (Rogers, 1983), difficult to communicate to users (Zaltman, Duncan and Holbeck, 1973), and complex to use and understand (Rogers, 1983; Gerwin, 1988). This, in turn, will determine an employee’s attitude, which are “perceived ease of use” (PEU) of the new technology and “perceived usefulness” (PU) of the new technology. Multiple new features can interact in complex ways, and this complexity is compounded when the technology is unproven or evolving, or when both products and processes are changing simultaneously (Abernathy 1978; Campbell 1988; Leonard-Barton 1988). Following this premise, it is appropriate to use the term attributes of technological change (ATC), that is “technical complexity” and “Systemic Shifts” to examine the extent to which an employee’s attitude determinants (AD) in the use of technology in Nigerian Commercial Banks are affected.

EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TOWARDS ATTRIBUTES OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AS A DETERMINANT OF ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIAN
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