University of Oulu

Nikou, S., De Reuver, M. and Mahboob Kanafi, M. (2022), "Workplace literacy skills—how information and digital literacy affect adoption of digital technology", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 78 No. 7, pp. 371-391.

Workplace literacy skills : how information and digital literacy affect adoption of digital technology

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Author: Nikou, Shahrokh1,2; De Reuver, Mark3; Mahboob Kanafi, Matin4
Organizations: 1Department of Information Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Business, and Economics, Åbo Akademi, Åbo, Finland
2Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
3Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
4INTERACT Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-13


Purpose: Information and digital literacy have recently received much interest, and they are being viewed as critical strategic organisational resources and skills that employees need to obtain in order to function at their workplaces. Yet, the role of employees’ literacy seems to be neglected in current literature. This paper aims to explore the roles that information and digital literacy play on the employees’ perception in relation to usefulness and ease of use of digital technologies and consequently their intention to use technology in the practices they perform at the workplace.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper builds a conceptual model with key constructs (information literacy and digital literacy) as new antecedents to the technology acceptance model and aims to establish that information literacy and digital literacy are indirect determinants of employees’ intention to use digital technologies at the workplace. The data set used in this paper comprises of 121 respondents and structural equation modelling was used.

Findings: The findings reveal that both information literacy and digital literacy have a direct impact on perceived ease of use of technology but not on the perceive usefulness. The findings also show that both literacies have an indirect impact on the intention to use digital technology at work via attitude towards use.

Practical implications: Managers and decision-makers should pay close attention to the literacy levels of their staff. Because literacies are such an important skillset in the digital age, managers and chief information officers may want to start by identifying which work groups or individuals require literacy training and instruction, and then provide specific and relevant training or literacy interventions to help those who lack sufficient literacy.

Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to consider information literacy and digital literacy as new antecedents of the technology acceptance model at the workplace environment.

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Series: Journal of documentation
ISSN: 0022-0418
ISSN-E: 1758-7379
ISSN-L: 0022-0418
Volume: 78
Issue: 7
Pages: 371 - 391
DOI: 10.1108/JD-12-2021-0241
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: Copyright © 2022, Shahrokh Nikou, Mark De Reuver and Matin Mahboob Kanafi. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at