Adapted technology acceptance model for mobile policing

Purpose – In light of a growing trend towards mobile information management and a UK governmental drive for police forces to implement mobile technologies and realise significant benefits, it is important to examine the factors affecting officer acceptance. There appears to be little understanding of the key factors, yet this is critical to the success of the initiative. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the main factors that influence the usage of mobile technologies amongst police officers. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, partially ethnographic design was followed to allow an in-depth exploration of this issue. The study was based on a mixed-methods longitudinal evaluation study of the implementation of mobile technologies within a UK police force over a nine-month period. The technology acceptance model (TAM) and the subsequent TAM2 and TAM3, were then reengineered to provide a suitable theoretical model for a mobile policing context. Findings – In total, four main categories of officer acceptance factors were identified: officer performance, security/reliability, management style and cognitive acceptance. Evidence from the study showed a key shortfall in all three versions of the TAM in that they focus on the user perspective and did not confirm the broader organisational factors within the implementation and social contexts of mobile policing. Originality/value – Consequently, an adapted mobile-TAM(m-TAM) was produced that incorporated these factors into the existing TAM elements. The high-level nature of the adapted model for mobile policing means it could be applied by other police forces and potentially other organisations, regardless of the type of mobile device implemented, to address the barriers to acceptance. The m-TAM addresses the need for a more relevant and robust model to the mobile policing paradigm, which goes beyond the static technology environment in which the TAM2 and TAM3 were built.