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How does material adaptivity of smart objects shape infusion use? The pivot role of social embeddedness

Qian Hu (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Zhao Pan (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Yaobin Lu (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Sumeet Gupta (Department of Information Technology and Systems, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Raipur, India)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 3 July 2023

305

Abstract

Purpose

Advances in material agency driven by artificial intelligence (AI) have facilitated breakthroughs in material adaptivity enabling smart objects to autonomously provide individualized smart services, which makes smart objects act as social actors embedded in the real world. However, little is known about how material adaptivity fosters the infusion use of smart objects to maximize the value of smart services in customers' lives. This study examines the underlying mechanism of material adaptivity (task and social adaptivity) on AI infusion use, drawing on the theoretical lens of social embeddedness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), mediating tests, path comparison tests and polynomial modeling to analyze the proposed research model and hypotheses.

Findings

The results supported the proposed research model and hypotheses, except for the hypothesis of the comparative effects on infusion use. Besides, the results of mediating tests suggested the different roles of social embeddedness in the impacts of task and social adaptivity on infusion use. The post hoc analysis based on polynomial modeling provided a possible explanation for the unsupported hypothesis, suggesting the nonlinear differences in the underlying influencing mechanisms of instrumental and relational embeddedness on infusion use.

Practical implications

The formation mechanisms of AI infusion use based on material adaptivity and social embeddedness help to develop the business strategies that enable smart objects as social actors to exert a key role in users' daily lives, in turn realizing the social and economic value of AI.

Originality/value

This study advances the theoretical research on material adaptivity, updates the information system (IS) research on infusion use and identifies the bridging role of social embeddedness of smart objects as agentic social actors in the AI context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Project No. 72171095 and 71810107003) and the National Social Science Foundation of China (Project No. 22VRC153, 18ZDA109 and 21BGL132).

Qian Hu is supported by the School of Management of Wuhan Textile University.

Citation

Hu, Q., Pan, Z., Lu, Y. and Gupta, S. (2023), "How does material adaptivity of smart objects shape infusion use? The pivot role of social embeddedness", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-04-2022-0253

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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