individualism/collectivism; masculinity/femininity; uncertainty avoidance;
and long-term orientation. Other research found that national cultural
values strongly affect an individual’s
In order to understand how millennials perceive benefits and risks
associated with IT consumerization
across different cultures, we identified uncertainty avoidance (UA) and
individualism/collectivism (IC) as
the most relevant dimensions. Power
distance, masculinity/femininity, and
long-term orientation are important
in the more general context of technology adoption but less relevant in
understanding the effect of perceived
risks and benefits in the context of our
“Uncertainty avoidance” refers
to “the extent to which individuals
feel vulnerable to unpredictable and
9 People with
strong UA values fear uncertainty. In
the context of work-related technology, they need the predictability often
provided by rules, policies, and structure in organizations that IT consumerization contradicts or dilutes. UA
can thus help understand how millennials perceive the risks associated
with IT consumerization.
one of the most widely studied cultural values in cross-cultural research,
referring to “an individual’s preference for a social framework where individuals take care of themselves (
individualism), as opposed to how they
expect the group to take care of them
in exchange for their loyalty (
9 Individuals with individualistic values have a more complex and
more frequently sampled private self.
Consequently, their own goals, beliefs, and values are more salient. Considering technology use at work, they
are more concerned with the benefits
they might achieve than the disadvantages that could arise for others. IC is
thus useful in understanding how millennials perceive benefits associated
with IT consumerization, especially
when there could be conflict between
themselves and their employers.
Based on NVMs, it is assumed an in-
dividual’s behavioral intention to use
privately owned devices on the job is
determined by the outcome of weigh-
ing perceived benefits vs. perceived
risks/associated costs, as in Figure 1.
Perceived benefits. Perceived benefits “include all benefits which the
customer perceives as having been
18 In the context of IT use,
they reflect the overall positive utility
individuals expect when using a particular technology.
12 Prior research
demonstrated that perceived benefits
significantly affect behavioral intention regarding the use of IT.
We define perceived benefits as
individuals’ assessment of the functional benefits they associate with using a privately owned device for work
purposes. Building on the premises of
technology acceptance and use models,
22, 29, 33 we propose that the benefits
of using a privately owned device for
work purposes are related to the characteristics of the technology and the
functional advances it provides.
thus assume perceived benefits as a
multidimensional construct comprising three facets of employment behavior: performance expectancy; effort
expectancy; and compatibility.
Employees may realize productivity gains when allowed to select devices on their own.
performance expectancy reflects the
extent individuals perceive that using
privately owned devices supports their
ability to perform better at work.
Moreover, devices selected by individual employees are usually perceived as
easier to use and more intuitive than
those provided by an IT department.
We thus define effort expectancy as
the degree of ease an individual associates with using a privately owned
device as compared to using a device
provided by an IT department. Overall
benefit perceptions are also formed
by an individual’s work style and associated needs and values. To capture
these influential factors, Moore and
Benbasat22 proposed the construct
“compatibility” as the degree to which
using a privately owned device for
work purposes fits the individual’s
work style. Employees who agree to
be available for work responsibilities
(such as to respond to email messages) after work hours are more likely to
see the use of their devices for business purposes as beneficial.
challenges from this trend. Anecdotal
evidence indicates corporate IT departments are under pressure to give
in to user demands to be allowed to
use privately owned IT for work purposes. However, granting myriad different consumer devices access to the
corporate network is a nightmare for
anyone concerned about IT security.
Consumerization of IT seems to
be a key characteristic of millennials, as their desire to be always on is
not limited only to the workplace. In
the same vein, they are accustomed to
always using state-of-the-art technology, something not every work environment is able to provide, especially
because the definition of “state of the
art” is subjective.
Our study focused on mobile devices as an exemplary technology to
explain millennials’ behavioral intentions when it comes to the use of technology. This area is of great concern
to practitioners, including CIOs and
senior IT managers.
To understand the role of such contradictory factors in individual decision making, social psychology provides net-valence models (NVMs) that
assume individuals intend to perform
an action only if the perceived benefits
outweigh the associated costs.
7, 26 Prior
research found NVMs help explain the
adoption of technology-related services.
17 Other prominent theories on
technology adoption (such as Unified
Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology33) do not capture the risks associated with technology use and is why
we chose NVMs as our theoretical lens
(see Figure 1).
Cultural values and IT use behavior. Millennials’ use of corporate IT
involves multiple challenges for IT
executives worldwide. However, the
literature suggests behavioral models do not apply universally across all
30 Research by Srite and Karahanna30 showed the significance of
factors determining technology use
are notably dependent on espoused
cultural values, particularly those reflecting national culture. National culture refers to “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes
the members of one group or category
of people from another.”
and Bond10 proposed five dimensions
of national culture: power distance;