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Towards a Theory of IS Support-Related Activity

Xuefei (Nancy) Deng
Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Information systems (IS) support department has become one major source of knowledge for organizational end-users (employees) as organizations increasingly adopt complex and integrated information technologies. Despite its significance to IS post-adoptive use, IS support-related activity remains under-studied. This study aims at developing an integrative conceptualization of IS support-related activity by drawing on IS use and adaptation theory. We conducted an in-depth qualitative study in the organizational support of a new procurement system and analyzed 591 service interactions between IS support personnel and end-users. Our data analysis suggests that IS support-related activity is a multifaceted phenomenon that comprises a set of increasingly complex behaviors, including technology-oriented behaviors, user-oriented behaviors, and activities that IS personnel undertake to adapt to the technology-user-business context. In particular, IS support personnel were found performing three major types of IS support activity -- informating, diagnosing, and boundary-spanning – which were associated with IS use behavior and required different types of knowledge in IS support context. This study contributes to IS literature by developing a comprehensive view of IS support-related activity, extending existing conceptualizations that exclusively focuses on technology or on human agency. The findings highlight the complexity and dynamics in IS post-implementation era, and present an urgent need to evaluate the challenges in and competence required for IS support work.

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Reference:Deng, X. (2012). "Towards a Theory of IS Support-Related Activity," Proceedings > Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 12(12). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/12-12
Keywords:service adaptability, information system support, procurement, theory development
Item Type:Article - Volume 12 Article 12 (2012)
Email: Xuefei (Nancy) Deng (xuefei@hawaii.edu)

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