Psychological Safety and Social Support in Groupware Adoption: A Multi-level Assessment in Education

Jeroen Schepers*, Ad de Jong, Martin Wetzels, Ko de Ruyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, the authors propose that psychological safety, a sense of interpersonal trust and being valued in a work team, is an important determinant of groupware technology adoption in an educational setting. They develop and test a model of antecedents and consequences of psychological safety. Data were collected from 361 university students, organized in 36 teams. Results of multi-level regression analysis reveal positive individual-level effects of perceived tutor support and perceived peer support on psychological safety. Furthermore, our findings show a positive unique group-level effect of perceived tutor support on psychological safety, where an individual's level of self-consciousness strengthens this positive impact. In addition, findings of structural equation modeling demonstrate that both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use partially mediate the positive effect of psychological safety on groupware usage. Psychological safety also shows a positive direct effect on groupware usage. Finally, a student's offline communication frequency with his tutor and peers appears to strengthen the impact of psychological safety on perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and groupware usage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)757-775
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Multimedia/hypermedia systems

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