Engaging in Technology Extra-Role Behavior in a Human-IT Relationship: A Psychological Ownership Perspective


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date11 Jun 2018


In the online world, it is not uncommon to see users engaging in voluntary contributions. User voluntary contributions benefit IT development and improvement. Therefore, the topic of user voluntary contribution has received abundance of attention in extant IS studies. This research aims to study two broad questions in relation to user voluntary contribution.

Study 1: What is user voluntary contribution? Recent IS literature is paying increasing attention to involve ordinary users in crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and advocacy activities whereas the majority of literature still focuses on knowledge sharing behaviors of core users. In response to the call of a comprehensive understanding, study 1 draws on extra-role behavior
literature and re-examines the definition and scope of user voluntary contributions. A conceptual typology of technology extra-role behavior (TERB) is derived to denote user voluntary contributions, on the basis of literature review in management and marketing. The typology has been adapted to and assessed in a context of general IT service.

Study 2: How to encourage voluntary contribution? Study 2 looks into an emerging consumer IT service context where users have little sense of ownership and little chance to interact with other users. A psychological ownership (PO) perspective is thus proposed to engage user contributions in interactions with the IT artifact. Drawing on PO literature, a research model was constructed to establish a new linkage between PO and voluntary contributions and to discuss how to design an IT service to incubate such ownership perception through user-artifact interactions. The model was tested using a longitudinal survey with 200 music streaming service users. Hypotheses were largely supported. Implications were offered to both research and practice.

    Research areas

  • voluntary contribution, exra-role behavior, human-IT relationship, crowdsourcing, co-creation