Wednesday, 28 March 2012

From recreational applications to workplace technologies: …

an empirical study of cross-context IS continuance in the case of virtual worlds

 an article by Saggi Nevo (University at Albany) and Dorit Nevo and Henry Kim (York University’s Schulich School of Business, Toronto) published in Journal of Information Technology Volume 27 Issue 1 (March 2012)


Although three-dimensional, immersive virtual worlds, such as Active Worlds, Second Life, and Teleplace have been in existence for several years, their organizational use is rather limited. This paper posits, perhaps counter intuitively, that the diffusion of virtual worlds within organizations could be enhanced by their recreational usage.

This argument is motivated by the notion developed in this paper that the use of technologies need not remain within a single context, but instead can cross-contexts, for example from recreational to vocational. We term such shift cross-context IS continuance.

This paper proposes that workers using virtual worlds for recreational (i.e. hedonic and social) use are suitably positioned to discover those technologies’ workplace applicability, thereby assisting in their diffusion within the organization. Building on the supporting results of an empirical study, this paper recommends that managers consider allowing for ‘playtime’ with virtual worlds as a mechanism for enhancing their adoption and subsequent diffusion in the workplace.

From an information systems (IS)-research perspective, this paper makes several important contributions.
First, it contributes to the IS continuance literature by arguing for, and providing evidence in support of, the existence of cross-context continuance. To date, this literature stream has examined only one aspect of continuance – for example, within-context.
Second, this paper identifies recreational and work as distinct dimensions of technology usage, and hedonic and social usage as sub-dimensions of the former, thereby contributing to the contextualization of this core IS construct.
Third, it is one of the early field studies dedicated to the empirical examination of virtual worlds.

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