Social media platforms enable like-minded users to form online groups, interact and thereby contribute to ideological polarisation. However, online groups also polarise along a continuum of liking or affect for their group compared to other groups. We explore affective polarisation on social media and its implications for online intergroup interaction. Using social identity theory, we investigate the effects of group identification, passion, and affective polarisation on social media users' intergroup approach and avoidance tendencies. We test the research model in the context of political groups on social media. We find group identification contributes to affective polarisation by strengthening favouritism for the ingroup rather than hostility for the outgroup. Although those with greater group identification prefer to confront (approach) the opposition group on social media, the behaviour is a function of inflated feelings for the ingroup more so than animus for the outgroup. Interestingly, users with greater affective polarisation tend to shut out (avoid) the rival group on social media. Our findings imply affective polarisation contributes to group isolation that may exacerbate ideological polarisation.
As physical products are increasingly augmented with digital technology, manufacturing firms have become part of the development of so-called smart products and smart services. As such, manufacturing firms are challenged by new market participants and ecosystem partners, particularly from the software development industry, and by the dynamic nature of business relationships. While the academic literature on the distinctive characteristics of ecosystems, particularly digital ecosystems, is rich, the effect of smart service ecosystems' emergence on the foundation of smart products remains uncertain. This study reports on case study research based on 47 semi-structured interviews with four companies that participate in an industrial smart service ecosystem. Taking an affordance-theoretic perspective, we uncover the antecedents of and the process of emergent smart service ecosystems. We find that smart service ecosystems have three socio-technical antecedents: a shared worldview, structural flexibility and integrity, and architecture of participation. We explain the emergence of smart service ecosystems as the result of specialisation in shared affordances and integration of idiosyncratic affordances into collective affordances. We derive seven propositions regarding the emergence of smart services, outline opportunities for further research, and present practical guidelines for manufacturing firms.
Drawing on theorising on digital technologies as external enablers of entrepreneurial activities and an interactionist perspective on corporate entrepreneurship, this article examines the relationship between digital technology support and employee intrapreneurial behaviour. We propose that management support for innovation as an organisational characteristic and intrapreneurial self-efficacy as an individual characteristic moderate this relationship. Findings from a metric conjoint experiment with 1360 decisions nested within 85 employees showed that support by social media, support by collaborative technologies, and support by intelligent decision support systems were significant predictors of employee intrapreneurial behaviour. However, the relative impact of support by these digital technologies varied with different levels of management support for innovation and intrapreneurial self-efficacy.
Trust is paramount to developing and maintaining long-term relationships in all stages of the customer lifecycle, including the repurchase stage. This research goes beyond the simple finding documented in the extant trust literature that the effect of trust will diminish. It sheds light on the role of institutional contexts and develops a nuanced understanding of the boundary conditions under which trust operates in the repurchase stage, where knowledge-based trust becomes more predominant. Drawing on a different theoretical tenet, prospect theory, we find that customers exhibit distinctively different transaction intentions in the two perceptual conditions of high and low trust in institutional contexts. Specifically, the nonlinear relationship between trust and repeat online transaction intention is inverted U-shaped curvilinear when trust in institutional contexts is high, but is U-shaped when trust in institutional contexts is low. With data collected from both e-commerce and mobile banking contexts using two different measures of institutional contexts, we employed a new and advanced latent moderated structural (LMS) equations approach for analysis and provided robust results. Our findings largely confirm the hypotheses and offer theoretical, methodological, and practical implications.
This study offers fresh ontological insights by examining generative causality through the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) counterfactual lens, in conjunction with Critical Realism and the practice of retroduction. Specifically, it claims that Information Systems (IS) researchers could retroduce generative mechanisms by leveraging the QCA counterfactual approach to causation because retroduction is about conjecturing hypothetical mechanisms that would generate the outcome of interest in a counterfactual fashion. Drawing on an example of typological theorising, this study calls for a renewed effort in the use of retroduction in the study of IS phenomena. In addition, this study sheds new light on the overarching approach for conducting Critical Realist (case study) research. A number of theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.
Existing information systems (IS) research on platform control has largely focused on examining how input control (i.e., the mechanisms used to control platform access) affects complementors' intentions and behaviours after their decision to join a digital platform. Yet, our understanding of how input control is perceived before this decision and how such perceptions influence prospective complementors' intention to join a platform is still nascent. In this regard, our study views input control as a salient signal that shapes prospective complementors' expected benefits and costs (i.e., their performance and effort expectancy), and ultimately their decision to join a digital platform. Drawing on signalling theory and the antecedent-benefit-cost (ABC) framework, we conducted a randomized online experiment in the context of donation-based crowdfunding. The experiment results offer empirical support for this view by showing that input control has distinct and complex signalling effects for prospective complementors. In particular, our findings reveal curvilinear and competing signalling effects, with perceived input control increasing both performance expectancy (at a decreasing rate) and effort expectancy (at an increasing rate). Also, we find that performance expectancy linearly increases prospective complementors' intention to join a platform, whereas effort expectancy linearly decreases their intention to do so. These findings imply that the overall relationship between perceived input control and intention to join follows an inverted U-shape curve, which means that neither a low nor a high, but a moderate degree of perceived input control maximizes prospective complementors' intention to join. In sum, the results of our study provide novel and important insights into the signalling role that perceived input control plays in shaping prospective complementors' decision to join a digital platform.
A common assumption in prior research on social networking sites (SNS) has been that users' orientations toward SNS use are positioned somewhere along a bipolar, univalent continuum, stretching from negative to positive orientation. However, considering recent findings unfolding the intricacy and variety of SNS use patterns, such a linear conceptualization of users' orientations is too simplistic with limited ability to explain the intricate patterns of SNS use. To alleviate this deficiency in this paper, we draw on the ambivalence literature and explain that users can simultaneously experience both positive and negative orientations toward SNS use based on the positive and negative aspects of their SNS use experience. Focusing on post- adoptive SNS use context, we theorise archetypes of SNS users' attitudinal responses to ambivalence, and their associated behavioural outcomes in terms of SNS use patterns. We first follow a typological perspective and develop typologies of attitudinal and behavioural responses to ambivalence toward SNS use. Then, we offer six hypotheses that explain the relations between the archetypes of attitudinal responses to ambivalence toward SNS use and users' SNS use patterns. Lastly, we empirically test our hypotheses using latent profile analysis and ANCOVA applied to two-wave data collected from 370 ambivalent SNS users. The findings support the hypotheses and validate our typologies. The findings ultimately point to likely choices from a range of post-adoption SNS use patterns as plausible outcomes of SNS users' attitudinal responses to ambivalence.
Digital ecosystem governance entails the management of complex, dynamic power relationships. As entrant platform providers seek to cultivate an ecosystem, they must carefully navigate these power relationships when dealing with governance tensions. Providers generally seek to leverage the ecosystem's generative potential by facilitating a variety of interactions and distributing design rights. Simultaneously, they need to ensure stability and order by imposing rules that resolve contentious matters and restrict ecosystem participants' degrees of freedom. This study explores how and why providers can induce ecosystem actors to engage in collaborative negotiation regarding such governance tensions through a case study of the introduction of an open data platform in the Swedish public transport sector. Our analysis offers three main contributions. First, it provides an empirical demonstration that entrepreneurial threats, as well as opportunities, can trigger platform launches and drive collaborative negotiation of digital ecosystem governance. Second, it extends conceptualizations of boundary resources beyond the current focus on transactional elements by demonstrating the role of interactive boundary resources in the negotiation of governance grounded in both social and systemic power relationships. Third, it shows how positive reinforcement can complement punitive measures to increase acceptance of design rules.
The emergence of Fintech platforms has revolutionized the way financial services are provided. And yet, in spite of their growing prominence in the global financial sector, there remains a lack of understanding of the competitive strategies that are appropriate for these platform-based businesses, and the implications of those strategies for their performance. Examining four case studies of some of the most successful Fintech platforms in China from the theoretical perspective of the core logics of strategy, we develop a theoretical framework that suggests that the nature of the competitive strategies deployed by a Fintech platform should be contingent on (1) the extent to which their services can be differentiated, as well as (2) the tangibility and physical presence of the platform’s service offerings. More specifically, our framework presents four different combinations of competitive strategies that Fintech platforms can adopt contingent on the nature of their services along these two dimensions. In addition, beyond the two dimensions, our framework suggests that all Fintech platforms should be underpinned by a common strategic core consisting of strategies that align the platform with social pressures. These pressures include those exerted by the government, the market, and society in general. With its findings, it is hoped that our study will provide specific guidance for Fintech practitioners on the appropriate competitive strategies to adopt in order to set their platforms on the path of commercial success.
NeuroIS—the methods and knowledge of neuroscience applied to the information systems (IS) domain—has become an established research field within the IS discipline. A key advantage of NeuroIS is its ability to provide insights into human cognition beyond those obtained using behavioural techniques alone. Nevertheless, in neuroscience, there is renewed interest in examining behaviour together with neurophysiological methods to better inform our understanding of neural processes. In this research opinion article, we argue that in the field of NeuroIS, there is an opportunity for hybrid programs of study that combine neurophysiological and behavioural methods in a complementary manner. We outline four strategies for designing complementary neurophysiological and behavioural experiments in a research program: (1) observe the relationship between neural processes and behavioural change; (2) combine neurophysiological and behavioural methods to enhance internal, external, and ecological validity; (3) extend, rather than replicate, experiments based on theory; and (4) use neurophysiological and behavioural experiments together to evaluate IT artefact design. By applying these strategies, researchers can more effectively design programs using complementary neurophysiological and behavioural methods, which, in turn, can help to provide richer insights into the phenomena under study as well as accelerate the advancement of IS knowledge.
While there have been increasing studies on the impact of financial technology (FinTech), limited research has explored how FinTech supports economic empowerment for informal businesses. Drawing on institutional logics and a case study of mobile money—a FinTech innovation—this study develops a model of mobile money-driven economic empowerment. We argue that this model is important to explain how those at the bottom of the economic pyramid, who are often neglected, use FinTech innovations to create and run informal businesses. Our findings and model explain the dynamics between logics, actors, and mobile money at three levels: regulatory, payments infrastructure, and informal economy. We identify three corresponding effects as outcomes of economic empowerment for informal businesses: greater access to start-up capital, new employment opportunities, and improved financial management. By illustrating these effects, our study contributes to a better understanding of how FinTech innovations offer a possible pathway to economic empowerment for informal businesses.
Healthcare information technologies (HIT) have shown great potential for improving the effectiveness and quality of healthcare services. However, the inequal ability of older adults to use HIT may limit their exploitation of these benefits. To narrow the age-based “digital divide”, this research further develops the concept of digital capability and emphasises the link between older adults and their social context. Based on a qualitative inductive study of 33 participants, who included Chinese patients and their family members, we generate a novel theoretical model for understanding the process by which social activities may shape older adults' digital capabilities. Based on the model, we suggest two strategies that might encourage older adults to engage with HIT. This research contributes to the information systems (IS) literature by strengthening digital capability as a conceptual lens to investigate individuals' engagement with information communication technologies (ICTs). It also extends research on the social context for ICT use by revealing how social processes at multiple levels influence digital capability development. Finally, this study offers practical implications for governments and private sectors to encourage and promote ICT use by older adults.
Theories used in the Information Systems (IS) field come in large majority from authors based in Western countries, a bias that holds for critical theories as well. Such a bias is made more problematic by the mandate of critical theory, which is meant exactly to illuminate the oppressive conditions of the status quo. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the subalternity theory approach – developed by the Subaltern Studies collective from the early 1980s – as an indigenous theory that, proposing a socially and geographically connotated narration of ‘history from below’, can play a major role in the effort to decolonise critical IS research. By positioning subaltern theory in the IS field, the paper offers an alternative to the Western hegemony of critical theories, exploring the potential of such an alternative to voice systematically silenced and marginalised perspectives.
The sharing economy, enabled by digital platforms, which connect providers and consumers for peer-to-peer exchanges, experienced rapid growth in recent years. Although researchers attempted to explore the societal or business impact of the sharing economy market, little is known about how individual providers operate their businesses, given that providers are capacity-constrained, self-scheduled and unprofessional. In this study, we are interested in the relationship between experience and providers' order selection behaviours. Leveraging a rich and proprietary dataset from a large sharing economy platform—which facilitates the exchanges of home-cooked meals in China—and employing multiple identification strategies and estimation methods, we find that the number of orders declined by a provider first increases with their experience, but later decreases. However, their sales revenue keeps increasing with experience. Our investigation further reveals that this happens because providers adjust their order selection strategies at different experience levels to achieve higher revenue in the sharing economy. Our study is among the pioneering studies to empirically understand providers' market behaviours in the sharing economy and offers important practical implications.
Crowdsourcing platform owners and operators constantly search for ways to improve contestant performance. One novel proposal for improving performance is the introduction of an online community to the crowdsourcing contest platform. However, research regarding the potential benefits of an online community on such platforms is unclear. Furthermore, prior research often assumes the single dimensionality of prior experience, whose impacts on crowdsourcing performance are also inconclusive. Building on knowledge collaboration and cognitive diversity research, we model the direct effects of introducing an online community on contestant performance and the moderating effects of the amount of experience and experience diversity. Leveraging a natural quasi-experiment in a large crowdsourcing contest platform, we collected 24 months of contestant data to test our hypotheses. Our propensity score matching and difference in differences analysis demonstrated that contestants' performance (winning contests and crowdsourcing income) increases significantly with the presence of an online community. Additionally, the positive effect of an online community on performance is more pronounced for contestants with less experience and those with more diverse experience. Our findings provide insights into the causality of incorporating an online community and inform community investment decisions for crowdsourcing contest platforms.
Leveraging digital technologies is a major concern for companies and has significant implications for their information technology (IT) functions. In many cases, a bi-modal IT function is established: a ‘traditional IT’ mode focusing on the stability and exploitation of existing IT resources and an ‘agile IT’ mode focusing on exploring new technologies. Whereas previous research has predominantly taken an organisational-level view of bi-modal IT by treating it as a single, aggregated entity, we provide a micro-foundations perspective on the intricate and paradoxical interrelationships between the two IT modes. Based on a multi-case study with companies from different industries and of varying sizes, we uncover nine core tensions between traditional IT and agile IT as manifestations of five underlying paradoxes. We also identify corresponding management practices to address these tensions and paradoxes. Our study contributes to Information Systems research by disaggregating bi-modal IT and capturing the tensions and their underlying paradoxes at the organisational and individual levels that bi-modal IT entails. By highlighting the intricate interdependencies between the traditional and agile IT modes, we show that bi-modal IT can be messier and more contested than previously anticipated. For practitioners, our study offers an overview of paradoxes and tensions that may arise in bi-modal IT settings and provides suggestions on how to manage them.
In algorithmic work, algorithms execute operational and management tasks such as work allocation, task tracking and performance evaluation. Humans and algorithms interact with one another to accomplish work so that the algorithm takes on the role of a co-worker. Human–algorithm interactions are characterised by problematic issues such as absence of mutually co-constructed dialogue, lack of transparency regarding how algorithmic outputs are generated, and difficulty of over-riding algorithmic directive – conditions that create lack of clarity for the human worker. This article examines human–algorithm role interactions in algorithmic work. Drawing on the theoretical framing of organisational roles, we theorise on the algorithm as role sender and the human as the role taker. We explain how the algorithm is a multi-role sender with entangled roles, while the human as role taker experiences algorithm-driven role conflict and role ambiguity. Further, while the algorithm records all of the human's task actions, it is ignorant of the human's cognitive reactions – it undergoes what we conceptualise as ‘broken loop learning’. The empirical context of our study is algorithm-driven taxi driving (in the United States) exemplified by companies such as Uber. We draw from data that include interviews with 15 Uber drivers, a netnographic study of 1700 discussion threads among Uber drivers from two popular online forums, and analysis of Uber's web pages. Implications for IS scholarship, practice and policy are discussed.