Beyond Service Quality: Understanding IT User Satisfaction from a Social Capital Perspective

Project: Research

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Information systems (IS) departments have long been viewed as service providers to business functions, and service quality is seen as a key performance indicator for predicting user satisfaction. Yet, in today’s organizations, the changing nature of IS services has increasingly positioned the IS department as a strategic collaboration partner who serves business users by joining their value creation activities. This value co-creation process, however, requires significant time and effort from not only IS professionals but also from business users, which could, in turn, compromise user satisfaction. Drawing from the equity theory and social capital literature, we propose that social capital, as a resource embedded in the relationship between the IS department and business users, can play an important role in improving user satisfaction by (1) alleviating time and efforts required of business users during the IS service delivery process, and (2) strengthening the effect of service quality. We specify three dimensions of social capital (structural capital, cognitive capital, and relational capital) and examine their respective impacts on user satisfaction. To test the proposed research model, we plan to conduct a field survey across several hundred business users receiving IS services in several financial institutions in China.


Project number9041608
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/11/105/03/14