The Creativity Model of Age and Innovation with IT: How to Counteract the Effects of Age Stereotyping on User Innovation

AbstractOlder users shy away from the post-adoptive use of information technologies much more often than their younger counterparts. This situation is alarming given that the workforce is aging rapidly and that organizational technologies are proliferating at the same time. Yet there is no clear explanation for older users’ lower post-adoptive use, which limits practitioners’ understanding of what can be done to assist them. This lack of understanding is especially problematic vis-à-vis user innovation. Successful firms like Microsoft, 3M, or Nike encourage their employees to innovate with IT in order to realize the full potential of their existing IT infrastructure. Thus the present paper advances the creativity model of age and innovation with IT. This model indicates that age differences in user innovation are accounted for by negative age stereotypes and their impacts on creative IT self-efficacy. The model further proposes that the indirect effect of age through creative IT self-efficacy on user innovation can be lessened by contextual factors, namely job control, IT support, and user enjoyment. The paper offers much-needed implications both for managers and for systems designers.

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