Original Research

Gender differences in technology acceptance in selected South African companies: Implications for electronic learning

Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Gert J. Louw
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a204 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v8i1.204 | © 2010 Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Gert J. Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2009 | Published: 30 November 2010

About the author(s)

Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Gert J. Louw, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


Orientation: Technology enhanced training is becoming popular as a means for the training of soft skills, especially in work-related environments. Men and women who use this type of training encounter some challenges with regard to their usage.

Research: The objective of this study was to investigate trainees’ acceptance of electronic coursework as an instruction and learning technique in various industries in the South African context.

Motivation for the study: A persistent gender imbalance in the South African work-place has been noted to exist chiefly in the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) sectors, areas that have an important bearing on South Africa’s global competitiveness. This study explores how gender imbalance manifests in terms of trainee acceptance of electronic coursework.

Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional survey design was used. A survey was conducted amongst 191 employees in the SET sector. The measuring instrument used was the Technology Acceptance Instrument (TAI) and included measures of Computer Self-Efficacy (CSE), Perceived Ease of Use (PEU), Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Behavioural Intention to Use (BI).

Main findings: Women ratings of the TAI to use the electronic coursework were slightly higher than men’s ratings. Multiple regression analyses were also carried out to measure the variation in the level of influence with gender as a predictor variable. The results showed that compared to women, men had a lower salient effect of elements of the TAI, notably, CSE–PU; PU–BI and BI–PEU. However, compared to men, women had a higher salient effect in terms of the relationship between CSE–PU and PU–PEU.

Practical implications: The implication of the results is that interventions that focus on the human resources development of employees using electronic coursework (namely, CSE, PEU, PU and BI) are worth considering as they influence the acceptance of the interventions.

Contribution/value-add: The study contributes to existing knowledge about the conditions that precede employee acceptance of an electronic coursework intervention within the South African context. The study shows the important role dimensions of the Technology Acceptance Instrument (TAI).


electronic learning; gender; human resources development; science engineering and technology sector; technology acceptance model


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