Understanding the Intention to Use the Metaverse in IT Companies Using a Hybrid SEM-ANN Approach.

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The British University in Dubai
While embracing the metaverse within Information Technology (IT) companies could present unique opportunities, it also brings about challenges in adoption behavior. However, research on the factors influencing intentional behavior to use the metaverse in IT companies is scarce. To bridge this gap, this study develops a research model that integrates elements from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT2), Task-Technology Fit (TTF), and awareness studies, and hypothesizes key variables such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and social influence. Through a comprehensive survey of 234 participants, the research model is evaluated employing a unique combination of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN), which serve as advanced modeling techniques. The SEM and ANN analyses elucidate intricate relationships and make predictions about adoption behavior, while uncovering patterns and insights into metaverse adoption in IT companies. Although the primary focus is on SEM and ANN, this study also utilizes Partial Least Squares (PLS) in the research design. It identifies and discusses key findings from descriptive analysis, measurement model assessments, and structural model assessments. Furthermore, the ANN results and sensitivity analysis paint a more nuanced picture of metaverse adoption behavior in the IT sector, providing valuable predictions and insights. In addition to the theoretical contributions, the findings offer practical implications for IT companies and suggest future research directions to help them make informed decisions related to the implementation and use of the metaverse. Overall, this study contributes to the growing body of literature on the metaverse and its application in the business landscape, with specific emphasis on IT companies.
metaverse, IT companies, hybrid SEM-ANN approach, UTAUT2, Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Task-Technology Fit (TTF), Partial Least Squares (PLS), IT sector