• A study into user acceptance of new technology: British Airways ground transport department Heathrow Terminal 5

      McCool, Clare K. (University of Chester, 2009-05)
      This project was conducted with the help and encouragement of British Airways (BA) management. It was carried out at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 (T5) where a new Resource Management System (RMS) that is based upon Internet Protocol (IP) has been implemented. RMS has replaced traditional pen and paper and radio systems for allocating work tasks to 4,000 airport operational staff. This research project studied one application of the RMS system; the allocation of tasks to the coach drivers in the Ground Transport Services (GTS) department. The user acceptance of the RMS system by the drivers was evaluated. In the previous 20 years, user acceptance theories have been developed which have shown that increased user acceptance of new Information Technology (IT) projects significantly reduces costs and improves efficiency (Davis, 1980). The most comprehensive theory is that of Sun and Zhang (2006) who identify critical factors regarding individual user acceptance (gender, age, experience, cultural background and intellectual capability). This research project used a case study methodology: three days were spent airside at T5 observing and interviewing a sample of drivers. The project research question was: 'Can the degree of RMS acceptance by the GTS end-users be determined by factors identified in user acceptance theories?' Essentially, it was not possible to answer this question because of two reasons. First there was little difference in level of user acceptance; it was very high for all users. Second there was also very little difference in the sample and population. The drivers were all male, over 90% between 42 and 65 years of age, with similar levels of experience regarding the RMS technology and computers in general. In addition, it was not possible to measure any difference between the intellectual capabilities of the participants. A difference in the cultural background was identified; there were two ethnic groups, Asian and Caucasian. However, detailed analysis of the responses to the questionnaire demonstrated that there was no evidence of different levels of user acceptance of these groups. Recommendations to improve the testing of user acceptance theories are included in this report.