A Framework and Guidelines for Context-Specific Theorizing in Information Systems Research

Information Systems Research, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2014), pp. 111-136

37 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2015 Last revised: 12 Oct 2021

See all articles by Weiyin Hong

Weiyin Hong

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Frank K. Y. Chan

ESSEC Business School

James Y.L. Thong

HKUST Business School

Lewis C. Chasalow

University of Findlay

Gurpreet Dhillon

Virginia Commonwealth University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

This paper discusses the value of context in theory development in information systems (IS) research. We examine how prior research has incorporated context in theorizing and develop a framework to classify existing approaches to contextualization. In addition, we expound on a decomposition approach to contextualization and put forth a set of guidelines for developing context-specific models. We illustrate the application of the guidelines by constructing and comparing various context-specific variations of the technology acceptance model (TAM) — i.e., the decomposed TAM that incorporates interaction effects between context-specific factors, the extended TAM with context-specific antecedents, and the integrated TAM that incorporates mediated moderation and moderated mediation effects of context-specific factors. We tested the models on 972 individuals in two technology usage contexts: a digital library and an agile Web portal. The results show that the decomposed TAM provides a better understanding of the contexts by revealing the direct and interaction effects of context-specific factors on behavioral intention that are not mediated by the TAM constructs of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. This work contributes to the ongoing discussion about the importance of context in theory development and provides guidance for context-specific theorizing in IS research.

Keywords: theory development; contextualization, context-specific model; general model; technology adoption; technology acceptance model

Suggested Citation

Hong, Weiyin and Chan, Frank K. Y. and Thong, James Y.L. and Chasalow, Lewis C. and Dhillon, Gurpreet, A Framework and Guidelines for Context-Specific Theorizing in Information Systems Research (2014). Information Systems Research, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2014), pp. 111-136, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546643

Weiyin Hong

University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( email )

4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Frank K. Y. Chan

ESSEC Business School ( email )

3 Avenue Bernard Hirsch
CS 50105 CERGY
CERGY, CERGY PONTOISE CEDEX 95021
France

James Y.L. Thong (Contact Author)

HKUST Business School ( email )

Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://jthong.people.ust.hk/

Lewis C. Chasalow

University of Findlay ( email )

Hancock County, OH
United States

Gurpreet Dhillon

Virginia Commonwealth University ( email )

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dhillon.us.com

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