Toward a stage theory of adaptive social media use : explaining change in facebook use
Existing research on information technology (IT) use has shown that post- adoptive technology use is not a stable but a dynamic phenomenon in which users apply various adaptation behaviors. Users reshape the technology (IT adaptation), adjust their work routines (task adaptation), and change their own behavior (user adaptation) according to the changes induced by IT. Today, people use increasingly social media and other IT for personal purposes. Facebook (FB) is a good example of personal IT that people voluntarily use for years and has become an integral part of people’s everyday lives. Despite extensive research on IT use and IT/user adaptation, we know little about the dynamics of post-adoptive use behavior, especially in volitional use contexts— that is, contexts in which the end user is the one who decides whether, how, and how much to use IT. The overall objective of this doctoral dissertation is to understand changes in individuals’ post-adoptive behaviors and the underlying mechanisms by focusing on user adaptation in the context of FB use. Uncovering the dynamics of individual-level adaptation behaviors is important because FB use is a highly social phenomenon and thus provides new insights into IT use. To further examine the dynamics of IT post-adoption, I conducted a pre-study and a longitudinal diary study on FB use. Informed by the hermeneutic phenomenological research approach, I was able to discover individuals’ experiences of their FB use and user adaptation over time. Utilizing self-regulation theory as a sensitizing device during iterative data analysis enabled identifying the underlying mechanisms of user adaptation. Furthermore, a stage theory approach provided richer understanding of the process of user adaptation. This dissertation contributes to both theory and practice. First, the main theoretical contribution constitutes the introduction of a stage theory of user adaptation. This proposed theory extends our knowledge by illustrating and explaining FB users’ adaptive behaviors and the underlying reasons for these changes. Second, the practical implications consist of important, novel insights into user adaptation processes for system designers, developers, and individual users. ...
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- Väitöskirjat