The Impact of Individual's Identities on the Infusion of Information Systems Within an Organisation

Hassandoust, Farkhondeh
Techatassanasoontorn, Angsana
Tan, Felix
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

Organisations invest substantially in enterprise systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems with the planned expectation that employees will utilise these systems to enhance organisational efficiency. An underutilisation of information systems (IS) by employees often impedes organisations from gaining the full expected benefits from theirtechnology investments. While different reasons may explain why IS investments do not bring about the expected result, a recurrent theme is the fact that these systems are rarely infused into employees’ work practices. Although much research effort has focused on identifying the influencing factors of IS infusion behaviours, most of the investigated factors are related to rational behaviours, which are more appropriate to explain IS use in the early stages of IS implementation. In order to examine political behaviours like IS infusion behaviours, psychological factors, particularly those related to identities, need to be examined.

Thus, this study aims to provide a better understanding of IS infusion behaviours by: i) examining IS infusion behaviour as well as extended use, integrative use and emergent use behaviours within an organisation.; ii) investigating the influence of individuals’ IT identity as person identity and IS infusion role identity, on individuals’ IS infusion behaviours within an organisation. IT identity as person identity refers to the extent to which a person views the use of IT as integral to her/his sense of self. IS infusion role identity refers to the extent to which employees personally view that using an information system to its fullest potential is an important part of their sense of self as employees.

Drawing on identity theories, two research models are developed to identify and evaluate the key psychological and sociological driving factors (i.e., identities) influencing IS infusion behaviours. Three identity theoretical lenses – Stryker’s identity theory, Burke’s identity theory, McCall and Simmons’ identity theory – are adopted to explain the effects of IT identity and IS infusion role identity on employees’ IS infusion behaviours within an organisation.

The integrated research models are empirically validated using a dataset of 413 cloud CRM users. The partial least squares – structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) technique is used to analyse the data. The results reveal that IT identity and IS infusion role identity positively influence employees’ IS infusion behaviour as well as their extended use, integrative use and emergent use behaviours. IS infusion role identity mediates the relationship between IT identity and IS infusion behaviours. In addition, organisational valuing of IS infusion moderates the relationship between employees’ IS infusion role identity and their IS infusion behaviour within an organisation.

This study has theoretical and practical contributions. Drawing on identity theories, this study provides an integrated theoretical model for understanding individual IS infusion behaviour and its three sub-dimensions in organisations. In addition, this study extends current identity theories by making a linkage between individuals’ person identity and role identity. The findings provide managers with insights into factors that explain IS infusion behaviours. This study provides a framework for managers to develop guidelines to encourage employees to fully utilise IS in organisations. Moreover, managers may find it useful to prepare ongoing socialisation programs to reinforce and reward the desired identity-related behaviours of employees.

IT identity , IS infusion role identity , IS infusion , Identity theory , Person identity
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