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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2022

Laszlo Sajtos, Joanne T. Cao, Wen Zhang, Gabrielle Peko and David Sundaram

Despite the significance of online communication and interactions, previous research has not systematically compared all features on a single platform from the users'…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the significance of online communication and interactions, previous research has not systematically compared all features on a single platform from the users' perspective. This study aims to fill this gap by extensively reviewing the current literature on social media affordances and proposes and tests a feature-centric and affordance-based conceptualization of social media platforms (SMPs) between users, features, the audience and content.

Design/methodology/approach

This research surveys users on Facebook, one of the largest SMPs, and asks them to assess 20 features of Facebook on six relational affordances between users, features, audience and content. The data in this study were collected on Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) with participants from the US Correspondence analysis was employed to examine the relationship between affordances and the ties among affordances, features and outcomes.

Findings

Results of the study indicate that users perceive features differently, and employing features as the unit of analysis captures users' interactions effectively. The findings support the presence of user-oriented affordances, such as presentation flexibility, association and content association. These three affordances can be summarized in two higher-level ones: self-expression and connection (SEC) and persona-linked content (PLC). Our findings of the two dimensions, SEC and PLC, highlight the importance of targets and their connections in understanding social media interactions' dynamic nature.

Practical implications

By proposing to shift the focus from platforms to features, this study suggests that companies should focus on understanding the features they use for their users to interact with their brand, rather than merely ensuring that their company is omnipresent on all platforms. This study underlines the need to focus on features that will help managers influence interpersonal and user-brand communications and interactions on social media.

Originality/value

This research is the first to put features at the center of its investigation and quantitatively examine the relationship between social media features and affordances in a social media context. In all, this research provides a new unit of analysis that is more suitable for researchers to build a robust conceptual foundation for affordances. We believe that conceptualizing audience and content as outcomes, distinguishing it from features and creating connections between them as affordances is the unique aspect of our conceptualization.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2022

Ummaha Hazra and Asad Karim Khan Priyo

While online classes have enabled many universities to carry out their regular academic activities, they have also given rise to new and unanticipated ethical concerns. We…

Abstract

Purpose

While online classes have enabled many universities to carry out their regular academic activities, they have also given rise to new and unanticipated ethical concerns. We focus on the “dark side” of online class settings and attempt to illuminate the ethical problems associated with them. The purpose of this study is to investigate the affordances stemming from the technology-user interaction that can result in negative outcomes. We also attempt to understand the context in which these deleterious affordances are actualized.

Design/methodology/approach

We obtain the data from narratives written by students at a top private university in Bangladesh about their experiences of online classes and exams and from focus group discussions with them. We use the lens of affordance theory to identify the abilities that goal-oriented actors – primarily students – obtain from the technology-user interactions, which result in negative outcomes. We also attempt to understand the contextual actualization of those affordances through the lens of Routine Activity Theory (RAT).

Findings

We find three deleterious affordances and three associated deviant outcomes. Non-monitorability which results in academic dishonesty, disguiseability which results in cyber-truancy, and intrudeability which results in embarrassment and harassment. Our findings reveal a deeper underlying problem with the existing educational approach in the universities of Bangladesh and suggest that there is a need to introduce more modern teaching techniques focused on issues such as student engagement and interactive learning.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that combines affordance theory with RAT to identify unethical practices observed in online class settings in the context of a least developed country like Bangladesh and to examine the environmental components that give rise to the pre-conditions for the unethical practices to surface.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2022

Robyn King, April L. Wright, David Smith, Alex Chaudhuri and Leah Thompson

We bring together the institutional theory literature on institutional logics and the information systems (IS) literature that conceptualizes a relational view of…

Abstract

We bring together the institutional theory literature on institutional logics and the information systems (IS) literature that conceptualizes a relational view of affordances to explore the digital changes unfolding in the delivery of professional services. Through a qualitative inductive study of the development of an app led by a clinician manager in an Australian hospital, we investigate how multiple institutional logics shape the design of affordances when an organization develops new digital technologies for frontline professional work. Our findings show how a billing function was designed into the app by the development team over four episodes to afford potential physician users with billing usability, billing acceptability, billing authority and billing discretion. These affordances emerged as different elements of professional, state, managerial and market logics became activated, interpreted, evaluated, negotiated and designed into the digital technology through the team’s interactions with the clinician manager, a hybrid professional, during the app development process. Our findings contribute new insight to the affordance-based logics perspective by deepening understanding of the process through which multiple institutional logics play out in the design of affordances of digital technology. We also highlight the role of hybrid professionals in this digital transformation of frontline professional work.

Details

Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-222-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2020

Katherine Quinnell

University spaces are being created without a clear understanding of what students want and how they use informal learning spaces. This research study was designed to…

Abstract

University spaces are being created without a clear understanding of what students want and how they use informal learning spaces. This research study was designed to examine the students’ study environments to determine what aspects of those spaces are important to students. It also discovered aspects that the students did not notice but were important if they were missing. This study’s design was a visual ethnography using participant-generated photographs and text. The theoretical framework for this study was Gibson’s Theory of Affordances, which assisted in identifying the perceived and ignored affordances of the space and environment.

Details

Designing Effective Library Learning Spaces in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-782-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 3 August 2017

Matt Bower

This chapter provides an overview of two generally applicable frameworks relating to the use of technology-enhanced learning – ‘affordances’ and multimedia learning…

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of two generally applicable frameworks relating to the use of technology-enhanced learning – ‘affordances’ and multimedia learning effects. First, the concept of ‘affordances’ as action potentials of technologies is identified as a way to think through technology-enhanced learning design possibilities, so as to help make technology selection decisions. Second, multimedia learning effects including the multimedia effect, the modality effect, the redundancy effect, the split-attention effect, and the personalization effect are presented as a scientific basis for understanding how to create cognitively effective learning experiences using text, images, sound, and video. Both affordances and multimedia learning effects are characterized as ongoing areas of research that are somewhat related, with the successful utilization of each depending on critical application by the designer.

Details

Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-183-4

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2022

Ahlam Ammar Sharif

This study aims at unpacking the multiplicity of the sitting activity in public spaces through the lens of actor-network theory. In line with previous urban research…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at unpacking the multiplicity of the sitting activity in public spaces through the lens of actor-network theory. In line with previous urban research focussing on outdoor activities, such empirical investigation aims to show the importance of the physical aspects of spaces, including seating, in supporting sitting activities as a way of encouraging the use of public space.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts the overlap between actor–network theory and affordances. It utilises ethnographic research involving frequent users in Dahiyat Al Hussein Park in Amman-Jordan. Data were gathered on the different seat–user relations and the translated sitting activity networks.

Findings

Analysis demonstrates different cases of alignment, misalignment and realignment between what is intended and experienced, and where these relations are maintained, disrupted or changed. These findings reveal the multiplicity of sitting activities; this is significant for understanding how they are maintained.

Originality/value

The research suggests a new way of conceptualising the relationship between the physical environment and users and an approach for examining sitting activities. Some studies have applied actor–network theory and/or the concept of “affordance” by highlighting relations between the object and its user and how they create sitting activities. However, only few studies have problematised the multiplicity of sitting when considering seating uses.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Daojun Sun, Limin Deng and Wenchi Ying

This study investigates into how organizations enable the compatibility between intermediary role of conventional systems with disintermediary potentials of blockchain…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates into how organizations enable the compatibility between intermediary role of conventional systems with disintermediary potentials of blockchain toward the coordination of multiple actors in operations management.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from 31 interviewees of the case organizations. We conduct an in-depth case study of successful BC implementation in operations management, by using affordance-actualization (A-A) theory as the theoretical lens.

Findings

This study identifies the incompatibility between the affordances of conventional systems and blockchain in coordination/operations management and offers a process model in which a fusion phase enables the affordances to be compatible and then to be actualized. The fusion phase extends A-A theory by transposing and connecting in the context of operations management. The result also shows that blockchain technology has decentralized potentials to address the issues caused by centralized organizations or information systems, while not to replace the intermediary roles of centralized organizations or information systems.

Originality/value

This study makes important theoretical contributions to the literature on blockchain used in operations management, the roles of blockchain enablement and affordance-actualization theory. The findings can also help IT practitioners to implement BC-based applications effectively.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 December 2021

Stephen McCarthy, Wendy Rowan, Nina Kahma, Laura Lynch and Titiana Petra Ertiö

The dropout rates of open e-learning platforms are often cited as high as 97%, with many users discontinuing their use after initial acceptance. This study aims to explore…

Abstract

Purpose

The dropout rates of open e-learning platforms are often cited as high as 97%, with many users discontinuing their use after initial acceptance. This study aims to explore this anomaly through the lens of affordances theory, revealing design–reality gaps between users' diverse goals and the possibilities for action provided by an open IT artefact.

Design/methodology/approach

A six-month case study was undertaken to investigate the design implications of user-perceived affordances in an EU sustainability project which developed an open e-learning platform for citizens to improve their household energy efficiency. Thematic analysis was used to reveal the challenges of user continuance behaviour based on how an open IT artefact supports users in achieving individual goals (e.g. reducing energy consumption in the home) and collective goals (lessening the carbon footprint of society).

Findings

Based on the findings, the authors inductively reveal seven affordances related to open e-learning platforms: informing, assessment, synthesis, emphasis, clarity, learning pathway and goal-planning. The findings centre on users' perception of these affordances, and the extent to which the open IT artefact catered to the goals and constraints of diverse user groups. Open IT platform development is further discussed from an iterative and collaborative perspective in order to explore different possibilities for action.

Originality/value

The study contributes towards research on open IT artefact design by presenting key learnings on how the designers of e-learning platforms can bridge design–reality gaps through exploring affordance personalisation for diverse user groups. This can inform the design of open IT artefacts to help ensure that system features match the expectations and contextual constraints of users through clear action-oriented possibilities.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 December 2021

Mehran Gholizadeh, Saeed Akhlaghpour, Pedro Isaias and Morteza Namvar

Through a data-driven theory development approach, this study builds on affordance theory and demonstrates how online mobile app reviews can be analyzed to understand the…

Abstract

Purpose

Through a data-driven theory development approach, this study builds on affordance theory and demonstrates how online mobile app reviews can be analyzed to understand the drivers of informal mobile learning success.

Design/methodology/approach

Textual big data provide a wealth of information regarding user–app relationships and various facets of user engagement. Adopting structural topic modeling and sentiment analysis, the authors extract latent topics from reviews of two educational apps: Duolingo and Photomath.

Findings

The findings suggest that the quality of the relationship between users and mobile learning apps is significantly reliant on how underlying affordances have been actualized. While affordances can leverage satisfaction, they may also be a source of frustration in case of any failure in their design or integration. The analysis reveals eight emergent affordances: practicality, affordability, information reliability, instruction integrity, hedonic experience, user-friendliness, interactive input and iterative upgrading.

Research limitations/implications

Since affordances of a technology entail both enablement and constraint and are best studied as a bundle of connected elements influencing each other reciprocally, the authors discuss how to address potential challenges from technical aspects to the added value of using mobile learning apps.

Originality/value

The results demonstrate that qualitative information in online reviews about mobile learning app experiences is of significant value. The approach demonstrates how advanced analytics can provide business value by addressing the evolving nature of customer needs and expectations. It proves the value of online reviews in discovering underlying technology affordances and their potential boundaries and challenges.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 April 2022

Robert Ciuchita, Gustav Medberg, Valeria Penttinen, Christoph Lutz and Kristina Heinonen

Digital platform users not only consume but also produce communication related to their experiences. Although service research has explored users' motivations to…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital platform users not only consume but also produce communication related to their experiences. Although service research has explored users' motivations to communicate and focused on outcomes such as electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), it remains largely unexplored how users iteratively interact with communication artifacts and potentially create value for themselves, other users and service providers. The purpose of this paper is, thus, to introduce communicative affordances as a framework to advance user-created communication (UCC) in service.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from the literature in communication, service research and interactive marketing, an affordance perspective on UCC in service is introduced.

Findings

Three UCC affordances for the service context are presented – interactivity, visibility and anonymity – opportunities and challenges for service providers associated with these affordances are discussed and, finally, affordance-specific research questions and general recommendations for future research are offered.

Research limitations/implications

By conceptualizing UCC in service from an affordances perspective, this paper moves beyond the traditional sender–receiver communication framework and emphasizes opportunities and challenges for service research and practice.

Practical implications

Instead of focusing separately on specific technologies or user behaviors, it is recommended that service managers adopt a holistic perspective of user goals and motivations, use experiences and platform design.

Originality/value

By conceptualizing UCC as an augmenting, dialogical process concerning users’ experiences, and by introducing communicative affordances as a framework to advance UCC in service, an in-depth understanding of the diverse and ever-evolving landscape of communication in service is offered.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 3000