An Empirical Study on User Satisfaction with Mobile Business Applications Use and Hedonism

Article excerpt


Numerous recent information systems (IS), such as instant messaging and mobile applications, are first developed within an individual context and then widely used in both individual and organizational contexts. The present study examines a recent IS, mobile business (m-business) applications, used within organizations and reports the impact of the users' pleasurable emotions or feelings on users' satisfaction with IS. The result from the sample survey and an existential phenomenology indicates that hedonism is a significant determinant of satisfaction with m-business applications. By providing insight into how and why individuals are satisfied or dissatisfied with m-business applications in addition to what leads to this, the authors hope the findings of this study will assist researchers and practitioners in finding major barriers to the mobile business application use in order to design better applications for improved user satisfaction.


The measurement of satisfaction has had a long history within the information systems (IS) discipline and has been widely used as an indicator of user perception of the effectiveness of an IS (Bhattacherjee 2001; DeLone and McLean 2003; Thong and Yap 1996). User satisfaction has consistently been one of the top IS research agendas and frequently measured constructs, but the foundation of user satisfaction, including the antecedents of the construct, has been changed in order to respond to the emergence of new forms of IS (Heijden 2004; Khalifa and Liu 2004). For example, the emergence of e commerce changes the foundation of IS satisfaction models by blurring the distinction between user and customer satisfaction (Khalifa and Liu 2002; Kim, Chan, Chan, and Gupta 2004) .

Mobile business (m-business) applications have grown rapidly even though they have been slow to catch on implementing mobile applications for consumers, and are still waiting for larger-scale usage. M-business applications have created tremendous business opportunities and provided benefits such as improved productivity, lowered operational costs, increased customer satisfaction, and improved decision making within companies (Gebauer and Shaw 2004). One of the noticeable features of m-business application use within organizations is that users are familiar with the applications due to the wide usage of mobile device and applications in an individual context. Thus, unlike traditional IS which is only used in an organizational context, the user's satisfaction is determined by utilitarian benefits. Thus, the satisfaction of m business application use cannot be explained effectively without the factors predicting user satisfaction with IS in an individual context, such as hedonism, which represents the fun aspect of using IS (Heijden 2004).

The importance of the users' pleasurable emotions or feelings toward IS is getting more attention from IS acceptance research. More studies posit that having a pleasurable experience is a major motivation to use IS. Also, a construct representing the user's feeling or emotion, such as pe rceived enjoyment and perceived affective quality, is often much more important than the utilitarian benefits in predicting IS use (Heijden 2004; Zhang and Li 2004). Consequently, many recent IS employ hedonic content, animated images, colors, sounds, and aesthetically appealing visual layouts which appeal to the user's emotion further encouraging prolonged use (Heijden 2004).

The purpose of this paper is to find determinants of user satisfaction with m business applications. To accomplish the research objective, this study proposes a satisfaction model based on the theories in marketing and IS. The combination of the marketing and IS approach provides insight into how and why individuals are satisfied or dissatisfied with mobile business applications, in addition to what leads to user satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Some important research questions include:

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