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Acceptance of Technology by Texas Museums: An Application of Learning Curve

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There are over 3100 museums in the United States. Of these, around 320 are in Texas. These museums represent a cross section of American cultural values and contribute a great deal to attract visitors internationally and domestically. They are also used as a tool of educating the public through various activities. Since 1994 an increasing number of Texas museums have been connected to the Internet and are becoming members of the global marketplace. However, there are many museums that lack the tools and expertise to participate in the digital revolution. The objective of this exploratory research is to investigate the speed of acceptance of new technology, specifically the Internet, by Texas museums. The theoretical framework is related to the application of a learning curve. As in many industrial and service organizations, learning facilitates the acceptance of new techniques. According to the proponents of a learning curve, learning rapidly increases in the first period but the later periods typically show a leveling of the speed of acceptance. In order to achieve the objective of this research a random stratified sample of Texas museums was taken and a questionnaire was sent to test several hypotheses related to the acceptance of new technology, including barriers to enter the global market. The results indicate that acceptance of new technology by Texas museums is in line with a typical learning curve. However, many obstacles, including resource availability and lack of a niche in the marketplace, hinder further development. There are also two important factors that affect the acceptance. One of them is the unparalleled population growth in or around the large metropolitan areas like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. The second is related to the dramatic change in the cultural fabric of Texas due to immigration, mainly from Mexico. Future research on technological acceptance should take into account these structural changes and wider use of the Spanish language in Texas.
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Keywords: Internet; Key words: Texas museums; Learning curve

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2261 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2261

Publication date: 01 February 2001

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