• Posted Nov. 5, 2019

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.

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.

How it was studied:

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.

Take away:

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.

Jason Bennett Thatcher

Jason Bennett Thatcher studies technology use in organizations. He publishes papers examining cybersecurity, individual decision-making, strategic alignment and workforce issues as they relate to the effective application of information technologies in organizations. His work appears in journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the AIS, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Behavior of Human Decision Processes. He has published in Financial Times 50 journals 15 times (roughly once a year) since earning his Ph.D.

Heshan Sun

Ryan T. Wright

Publication Details

  • Authors:Jason Bennett Thatcher
  •  Heshan Sun
  •  Ryan T. Wright
  • Categories: Information Systems
  • Link: https://aisel.ais...

Journal of the Association for Information Systems
  • Year: 2019
  • Volume: 20
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 398-433

  • 3573