Scheepers et al. (2006) Contextual Influences on User Satisfaction With Mobile Computing


Contextual Influences on User Satisfaction With Mobile Computing: Findings From Two Healthcare Organizations

Mobile information technologies (IT) are transforming individual work practices and organizations. These devices are extending not only the boundaries of the 'office' in space and time, but also the social context within which use occurs. In this paper, we investigate how extra-organizational influences can impact user satisfaction with mobile systems. The findings from our longitudinal study highlight the interrelatedness of different use contexts and their importance in perceptions of user satisfaction. The data indicate that varying social contexts of individual use (individual as employee, as professional, as private user, and as member of society) result in different social influences that affect the individual's perceptions of user satisfaction with the mobile technology. While existing theories explain user satisfaction with IT within the organizational context, our findings suggest that future studies of mobile IT in organizations should accommodate such extra-organizational contextual influences.

Citation Rens Scheepers, Helana Scheepers, Ojelanki K. Ngwenyama (2006). Contextual Influences on User Satisfaction With Mobile Computing: Findings From Two Healthcare Organizations. European Journal of Information Systems, vol. 15 no. 3, pp. 261–268. URL

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

author = {Scheepers, Rens and Scheepers, Helana and Ngwenyama, Ojelanki K.},
doi = {10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000615},
issn = {0960-085X},
journal = {European Journal of Information Systems},
number = {3},
pages = {261--268},
title = {{Contextual Influences on User Satisfaction With Mobile Computing: Findings From Two Healthcare Organizations}},
url = {},
volume = {15},
year = {2006}

Key ideas

In a longitudinal study of the implementation of mobile technologies in two healthcare organizations, we found that private, professional, organizational, and societal contexts all influenced individual user satisfaction with mobile technology. Based on these findings, we argue, the conceptualization of user satisfaction should be extended in the case of mobile technology use in an organizational environment.



A contemporary challenge is to understand and explain users’ satisfaction with mobile computing technologies, nomadic work practices enabled by these devices and their impact on organizations. p.1

Mobile technologies challenge our current theories of user satisfaction due to their usability within multiple contexts. Historically, we have based our understanding of user satisfaction on fixed computing devices situated within a single context: the organization. The mobility of these devices and their multiple contexts of use add several dimensions to the user satisfaction and organizational adoption problem. p.1

User satisfaction in organizational contexts

The last few decades have seen the emergence of two dominant streams of research in the area of individual adoption of IS within the organization: p.2

  • user satisfaction
  • and technology acceptance

In mandatory use situations, users often have no choice but to use the system; hence, actual use behaviour may not be a good reflection of their perceptions of the system. p.2

Question: How do extra-organizational contextual influences contribute to users' satisfaction with mobile computing? p.2

Research methodology

Our longitudinal case study research method included interviews, participant observation and standard case study techniques. This research method is especially appropriate to new topic areas as it allows for an in depth description of the relationships in a particular situation. p.2

We adhered to the basic criteria of (a) triangulation; (b) systematic gathering; and © reliable recording and transcription of data to ensure the validity of the empirical observations. p.2

In addition to formal interviews, we used participant observation to obtain anecdotal data about the adoption process. p.2

Brief informal follow-up interviews were also conducted in 2003. From these informal modes of data collection, a diary of field notes was maintained in which the various interactions with the case organizations were detailed. p.3

Interview procedures

The interviews were semi-structured and comprised of open-ended questions derived from the implementation literature, user satisfaction literature, prior research studies, and the unique technological aspects related to mobile technology. For this purpose, we developed pilot pre- and post-implementation interview scripts. p.3

In most instances, interviews were transcribed and shared with the interviewees to correct possible errors and omissions. p.3

Data analysis

The data analyses consisted of a thematic analysis, followed by a detailed content analysis of the interview data. p.3

We used qualitative data analysis software (Atlas.ti) for the content analysis. Various features of the analysis software, including the so-called 'word cruncher' (which ranks the frequency of words in the text), 'search swarms' (to locate text patterns) and queries (to analyse code combinations in the data set) assisted our systematic analysis of the data. p.3


Results of the thematic analysis

During the thematic analysis, we found themes (content, accuracy, format, ease of use, and timeliness) consistent with user satisfaction constructs pertaining to use of mobile technology in the organizational context. p.4

For both cases, we also identified broad societal influences on the adoption and assimilation processes in order to 'keep up with the technological age' and to follow suit with other organizations that use technology to improve service delivery. p.4

Results of the content analysis

Using the content analysis software, we analysed why, despite the large number of negative statements about the system (especially in the NurseCo case – see Table 3), the majority of users stated they were mostly satisfied with the system. p.5

.. perceptions about their satisfaction with the technology within the organizational context were conflated with those pertaining to extra-organizational contextual influences. Hence, even if some were critical of their organizational experience with the technology, their expectations and desires were influenced by extra-organizational contexts. p.5

Discussion and conclusion

As mobile technologies continue to pervade the organizational computing landscape, it will become necessary to conceptualize user satisfaction more broadly. Compared to traditional business computing, specific consideration should be given to all the relevant individual use contexts that are pertinent to mobile technology. This is because the physical mobility of the technology and the new contexts of individual use, by way of mobility, demand a more dynamic conceptualization. These additional contexts of use shape users' conceptualization of the technology itself (and also of their use experiences). p.6

Table and figures

Table 1: Data collected in the cases Table 1 ~ p.3

Table 2: Examples of statements attributable to private, professional and societal contexts Table 2 ~ p.5

Table 3: Summary of content analysis of interview data Table 3 ~ p.5

Figure 1: Interrelated contextual influences on individuals' overall evaluation of mobile computing Figure 1 ~ p.6


INF6001W, Ojelanki, content analysis, inductive, longitudinal study, mobile technology, social context, thematic analysis, traditional qualitative research, user satisfaction