Choosing between the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the technology acceptance model (TAM)

  • Eddie W. L. ChengEmail author
Research Article


Conflicting perspectives exist regarding the application of the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to the study of technology acceptance behavior. The present study addressed the controversy by evaluating and comparing the predictive power of the two theories in a specific context, which was to measure students’ intentions to use a wiki for group work and their behaviors in doing so. A total of 174 students from a university in Hong Kong participated in the study. Three hypothesized models were examined using factor-based partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), which can account for measurement errors and is thus more robust than regression-based PLS-SEM. The results likely rebut the view that the TPB is inferior to the TAM. Moreover, this research highlighted the importance of social influences on collaborative e-learning.


Theory of planned behavior Technology acceptance model Factor-based PLS-SEM Consistent PLS-SEM Social influences 



This study was funded by The Education University of Hong Kong (Grant Number: T0148). The author would like to thank the five anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier drafts of the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong

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