Self-efficacy theory

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Self-efficacy theory



Alternate name(s)

Computer self-efficacy (CSE)

Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)

Outcome expectations, Computer performance, Performance

Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)

Computer anxiety, personal innovativeness in IT, trait anxiety, task characteristics, prior performance, perceived effort

Concise description of theory

Self efficacy is people’s perception of their ability to plan and take action to reach a particular goal.

Computer self-efficacy (CSE) refers to individuals' judgment of their capabilities to use computers in diverse situations (Compeau and Higgins 1995; Marakas et al. 1998)


Diagram/schematic of theory


Source: The Multilevel and Multifaceted Character of Computer Self-Efficacy: Toward Clarification of the Construct and an Integrative Framework for Research. By: Marakas, George M.; Yi, Mun Y.; Johnson, Richard D.. Information Systems Research, Jun98, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p126-163

Originating author(s)

Bandura (1977) In IS: Compeau and Higgins (1995)

Seminal articles

Bandura, A. 1977. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.

Bandura, A. 1978. Reflections on self-efficacy. Advances in Behavioral Research and Therapy, 1: 237-269.

Bandura, A. 1982. Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency American Psychologist: 122-147.

Bandura, A. 1986. Social foundations of thought and action Prentice-Hall. Englewood Cliffs.

Bandura, A. 1997. Self-efficacy: The exercise of control W. H. Freeman, New York.

Compeau, D. R., & Higgins, C. A. 1995. Application of social cognitive theory to training for computer skills. Information Systems Research, 6(2): 118-143.

Compeau, D. R., & Higgins, C. A. 1995. Computer self-efficacy: Development of a measure and initial test. MIS Quarterly, 19(2): 189-211.

Originating area

Cognitive psychology

Level of analysis


IS articles that use the theory

Ahuja, Manju K., & Thatcher, Jason B. Sep2005. Moving beyond intentions and toward the theory of trying: effects of work environment and gender on post-adoption information technology use. MIS Quarterly, 29(3): 427-459.

Bloom, Hautaluoma,. 1990. Anxiety management training as a strategy for enhancing computer use performance. Computers in human behavior, 6: 337.

Bolt, Melesa A., Killough, Larry N., & Koh, Wan C. 2001. Testing the interaction effects of task complexity in computer training using the social cognitive model. Decision Sciences, 32(1): 1-20.

Brown, Susan A., & Venkatesh, Viswanath. 2005. Model of adoption of technology in households: a baseline model test and extension incorporating household life cycle. MIS Quarterly, 29(3): 399-426.

Burkhardt, M. E., & Brass, D. J. 1990. Changing patterns or patterns of change: The effects of a change in technology on social network structure and power. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35: 104-127.

Busch, . 1995. Gender differences in self-efficacy and attitudes toward computers. Journal Educational Computing Res., 12(2): 147.

Carlson, Grabowski,. 1992. The effects of computer self-efficacy on direction-following behaviour in computer assisted instruction. Journal of computer-based instruction, 19: 6.

Compeau, D., Higgins, C. A., & and Huff, S. 1999. Social cognitive theory and individual reactions to computing technology: A longitudinal study. MIS Quarterly, 23(2): 145-158.

Davis, Fred D. 1989. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3): 318-340.

Delcourt, M-B, Kinzie. 1993. Computer technologies in teacher education: The measurement of attitudes and self-efficacy. J. Res. and Development in Education, 27(1): 35.

Ertmer, P. A., Evenbeck , E., Cennamo, K. S., & Lehman, J. D. 1994. Enhancing self-efficacy for computer technologies through the use of positive classroom experiences; Educational Technology Res. and Development, 42(3): 45-62.

Gallivan, Michael J., Spitler, Valerie K., & Koufaris, Marios. 2005. Does information technology training really matter? A social information processing analysis of coworkers' influence on IT usage in the workplace. Journal of Management Information Systems, 22(1): 153-192.

Gist, Marilyn E., Schwoerer, Catherine, & Rosen, Benson. 1989. Effects of alternative training methods on self-efficacy and performance in computer software training. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(6): 884-891.

Glass, Knight,. 1988. Cognitive factors in computer anxiety. Cognitive therapy and research, 12: 351.

Harris, R. W. 1999. Attitudes toward end-user computing: A structural equation model. Behavior and Information Technology, 18(2): 109-125.

Harrison, A. W., & Rainer, R. K. 1992. An examination of the factor structures and concurrent validities for the computer attitude scale, the computer anxiety rating scale, and the computer-self-efficacy scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52(3): 735-745.

Hasan, Bassam, & Ali, Jafar M. H. 2004. An empirical examination of a model of computer learning performance. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 44(4): 27-33.

Henry, . 1995. Computer self-efficacy and outcome expectancy: The effects on the end-user's job satisfaction. Computer personnel: 15.

Hill, T., Smith, N. D., & Mann, M. F. 1987. Role of efficacy expectations in predicting the decision to use advanced technologies: The case of computers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 72(2): 307-313.

Hsu, Meng H., Ghiu, Ghao M., & Ju, Teresa L. 2004. Determinants of continued use of the WWW: An integration of two theoretical models. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 104(9): 766-775.

Hunton, J. E., & Beeler, J. D. 1997. Effects of user participation in systems development: A longitudinal field experiment. MIS Quarterly, 21(4): 359-388.

Igbaria, M., & Iivari, J. 1995. The effects of self-efficacy on computer usage. Omega, 23(6): 587-605.

Jorde-Bloom, P. 1988. Self-efficacy expectations as a predictor of computer use: A look at early childhood administrators. Computers in the Schools, 5: 45-63.

Jungwoo Lee. 2004. Discriminant analysis of technology adoption behavior: A case of internet technologies in small businesses. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 44(4): 57-66.

Kinzie, M. B., Delcourt, M. A. B., & Powers, S. M. 1994. Computer technologies: Attitudes and self-efficacy across undergraduate disciplines. Research on Higher Education, 35(6): 745-768.

Kuo, Feng-Yang, Chu, Tsai-Hsin, Hsu, Meng-Hsiang, & Hsieh, Hong-Ssu. 2004. An investigation of effort—accuracy trade-off and the impact of self-efficiency on web searching behaviors. Decision Support Systems, 37(3): 331-342.

Marakas, George M., Yi, Mun Y., & Johnson, Richard D. 1998. The multilevel and multifaceted character of computer self-efficacy: Toward clarification of the construct and an integrative framework for research. Information Systems Research, 9(2): 126-163.

Martocchio, J. J., & Dulebohn, J. 1994. Performance feedback effects in training: The role of perceived controllability. Personnel Psychology, 47(2): 357-373.

Martocchio, JJ. 1994. Effects of conception of ability on anxiety, self-efficacy, and learning in training. Journal of applied psychology, 79: 819.

Martocchio, Joseph J. 1992. Microcomputer usage as an opportunity: The influence of context in employee training. Personnel Psychology, 45(3): 529-552.

Martocchio, Joseph J., & Webster, Jane. 1992. Effects of feedback and cognitive playfulness on performance in microcomputer software training. Personnel Psychology, 45(3): 553-578.

Martocchio. J. J., & Webster, J. 1992. The effects of feedback and microcomputer playfulness on performance in microcomputer software training. Personnel Psychology, 45(3): 553-578.

Meier, . 1985. Computer aversion. Computers in human behavior, 1(1): 171.

Meng-Hsiang Hsu, & Chao-Min Chiu. 2004. Internet self-efficacy and electronic service acceptance. Decision Support Systems, 38(3): 369-381.

Meng-Hsiang Hsu, & Chao-Min Chiu. 2004. Predicting electronic service continuance with a decomposed theory of planned behaviour. Behaviour & Information Technology, 23(5): 359-373.

Murphy, C., Coover, D., & Owen, S. 1989. Development and validation of the computer self-efficacy scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 49: 893-899.

Oliver, TA S. 1993. Self-efficacy and computers. Journal of Computer-Based Interactions, 20(1): 81.

Potosky, Denise. May 2002. A field study of computer efficacy beliefs as an outcome of training: The role of computer playfulness, computer knowledge, and performance during training. Computers in Human Behavior, 18(3): 241-255.

Taylor, S., & Todd, P. A. 1995. Understanding information technology usage: A test of competing models. Information Systems Research, 6(2): 144-176.

Thatcher, Jason B., & Perrewe, Pamela L. Dec2002. An empirical examination of individual traits as antecedents to computer anxiety and computer self-efficacy. MIS Quarterly, 26(4): 381-386.

Thong, James Y. L., Weiyin Hong, & Kar Yan Tam. 2004. What leads to user acceptance of digital libraries? Communications of the ACM, 47(11): 79-83.

Venkatesh, V., & Davis, F. D. 1996. A model of the antecedents of perceived ease of use: Development and test. Decision Sciences, 27(3): 451-482.

Webster, J., & Martocchio, J. J. 1995. The differential effects of software training previews on training outcomes. Journal of Management, 21(4): 757-787.

Webster, J., & Martocchio, J. J. 1992. [ Microcomputer playfulness: The development of a measure with workplace implications. MIS Quarterly, 16(2): 201-226.

Webster, Jane, & Martocchio, Joseph J. 1993. Turning work into play: Implications for microcomputer software training. Journal of Management, 19(1): 127-146.

Weiyin Hong, Thong, James Y. L., Wai-Man Wong, & Kar-Yan Tam. Winter 2001/2002. Determinants of user acceptance of digital libraries: An empirical examination of individual differences and system characteristics. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(3): 97-124.

Links from this theory to other theories

Social cognitive theory, Illusion of control, Social learning theory

External links, Wikipedia entry on Self-efficacy theory

Original Contributor(s)

Hamid Akbari

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