Is Benefit For Individuals: Expanded Conceptualization And Comprehensive Construct Development
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Information systems benefits for individuals (ISBI) has been a key construct for the IS success model, which has evolved over the years to strengthen the theoretical foundation for the IS field. However, relatively little research has been done to explore, develop and validate the underlying theoretical dimensions for this crucial construct. Moreover, extant research related to this construct in particular, and to the IS success model in general, has been conducted in the context of individual IS application instead of the overall IS in the organization. This study fulfills four research objectives: (1) Develop a theory-based extended conceptualization of IS Benefits for Individuals (ISBI) in the context of overall use of various types of IT/IS by individuals in an organization (2) Develop a comprehensive theory-based conceptualization for the overall IT/IS use (ISU) (3) Develop and Validate the ISBI and the ISU constructs (4) Apply the two constructs in examining IS success. This study draws from the ERG theory (ERG stands for Existence, Relatedness, Growth; Alderfer, 1972), Job Characteristic Theory (JCT; Hackman and Oldham, 1975, 1976) and other theoretical perspectives. A theory-based WJT framework was developed which consists of three levels: Work enrichment, Job interaction, and Task performance, corresponding to the three levels of the ERG theory. The ISBI construct is developed as a formative construct that consists of these three sub-constructs, and each of which, in turn, consists of three sub-constructs based on JCT and other relevant theories. With a sample of 231 responses from business professionals, the validities of the ISBI construct were established. A partial test of the IS success model was conducted with the ISBI measure and a measure of the overall IS Use. The results indicate that ISBI mediates the relationship between IS Use and satisfaction. This finding attests to the robustness of the scale in its ability to explain why people are satisfied when using IS. In addition, the study results reveal that overall IS Use has roughly equal impacts on the three types of benefits, but the job interaction benefit has the highest impact on satisfaction, while the task performance benefits has no impact on satisfaction. Further, DSS (Decision Support Systems) Use is found to be the most important type of IS in increasing employees' job benefit perception, while GSS (Group Support Systems) most greatly contributes to employees' increased overall IS satisfaction. These results provide a more granulated picture of the relationship among IS Use, ISBI, and Satisfaction, in the context of the emerging IS environment which has evolved far beyond the traditional IRS (Information Reporting Systems) and gravitated toward modern DSS and GSS.In conclusion, this study has succeeded in developing and validating theory-based multidimensional measures for ISBI, and applying it to test a part of the IS success model. Further, this study expended the context of the IS success model to the overall IS and the different types of IS it includes, rather than a single system as in previous studies. The theoretical and empirical work of this study has thus contributed significantly to the cumulated research on IS success, a critical foundation for the IS field.