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Examining explorative and exploitative uses of smartphones: a user competence perspective

Chulmo Koo (College of Hotel & Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Namho Chung (College of Hotel & Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Hee-Woong Kim (Graduate School of Information, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of user competence on two different usage variables related to information systems (IS) infusion: explorative use and exploitative use.


Structural equation modeling is used to construct a predictive model of user competence toward IS infusion. Individuals’ responses to questions about attitude and intention to use smartphone were collected and analyzed.


The results showed that all first-order factors of user competence were significantly linked to the second-order factor. User competence is then significantly related to IS infusion, both explorative use and exploitative use.

Research limitations/implications

This study discusses individual usage behavior related to IS infusion usage. The authors conceptualized that exploitative use is different from explorative use. The findings in this study suggest that user competence must be included in IS usage models, especially IS infusion model.

Practical implications

The results associated with exploitation are more certain and closer in time, while those associated with exploration are more variable. That is, users are likely to innovate through their smart devices related to IS infusion. Smartphone developers and the relevant service providers should decide which factors are more important along the stages of the information technology implementation process. As indicated in this study, knowledge-based user competence together with perceived usefulness influences the usage behavior of smartphone users. Industry players need to consider user competence when they promote their smartphone services.


The proposed model brings together extant research on IS use and technology acceptance.



The authors would like to thank the Associate Editor and all the reviewers for their very helpful comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A3A2043345).


Koo, C., Chung, N. and Kim, H.-W. (2015), "Examining explorative and exploitative uses of smartphones: a user competence perspective", Information Technology & People, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 133-162.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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