The Impact of System Use on Task Performance
Study: Revisiting the impact of system use on task performance: An exploitative-explorative system use framework
It is widely accepted that information systems have an influence on performance. However, literature is still in disagreement about the strength and direction of the influence. Does system use affects users’ task performance positively, negatively, or insignificantly? This knowledge gap makes it difficult for us to understand the deeper interrelations between system use and task performance.
How it was studied:
The unresolved situation makes it hard for practitioners to justify IT investments by expected improvement of task performance. Furthermore, it is not clear how systems should ideally be used in order to maximize task performance and consequently create most value through system use.
The authors conducted two empirical studies. In the first study, 274 experienced MS Office users were surveyed regarding their usage behaviors. In the second study, 372 unexperienced participants completed a video creation task by using a video-editing system that they were unfamiliar with.
The study has several implications for IT practitioners, especially IT managers and system developers:
1. Managers should encourage their employees in adaptive systems use (ASU) behavior. It means, the employees should be engaged in substituting, combining, or repurposing known system features and in trying new ones. This leads to task innovation, as employees will discover novel possibilities to use a system and thus fulfil their tasks more efficiently.
2. Developers should incorporate enough functions within their systems to enable ASU and the discovery of innovative work methods.
3. ASU behavior is most effective, when routines of system use are not formed yet, e.g. during the implementation of a new system or during the training of a new employee, who has been unfamiliar with a system.