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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Information Systems Science | 2014
Thesis number: 13823
The roles of social and network effects in consumer´s mobile service platform switching
Author: Piispanen, Jouni
Title: The roles of social and network effects in consumer´s mobile service platform switching
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; matkapuhelimet; cellular phones; päätöksenteko; decision making; elämäntapa; way of life; asenteet; attitudes
Pages: 106
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13823.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (2078014)
Key terms: consumer; consumer behavior; switching behavior; mobile phone; feature phone; smartphone; mobile service platform; social effects; social norms; peer pressure; network effects; operating system; application; PPM framework; push factor; pull factor; mooring factor; quantitative; qualitative; data
Objectives of the Study:

Mobile phones have become a commodity and simultaneously the modern touchscreen smartphones penetrate the market. Consumers switch their phones increasingly often, so the reasons behind the switching behavior matter. The academic research of the mobile phone switching factors is limited. Earlier related research findings suggest that the social effects have a role in mobile phone switching. What is this role like, and furthermore, what is the underlying dynamics behind it. This thesis is attempting to fill a gap in the academic research, and add in knowledge of the roles of social environment influences for a consumer´s behavior.

Academic background and methodology:

This is a longitudinal, partly inductive analysis, combining quantitative and qualitative elements. The theoretical grounding is built on an academic literature review. An empirical survey data collected in Finland by Professor Virpi Tuunainen, at the Aalto University, School of Business during 2012-2014, is used for the analysis. A modified framework for mobile service platform switching is built on the theoretical grounding, and is used to organize the questionnaire data. The recognized survey data constructs are organized for relevant switch variables, and the primary and the supporting analysis are made. Qualitative and quantitative data are compared in respect with each others, and analyzed separately as well.

Findings and conclusions:

Obvious positive impacts of social norms on the consumer´s switching behavior were discovered, and their role has become more important. The consumers recognize the role of social impact in their past behavior rather well, but don´t see this role in their future decisions, which indicates it is partly hidden. Weaker signals of peer pressure were found, though also their role is increasing. Deliberate, compelling peer influencing in one´s mobile service platform switching decisions is still rare. Network effects and social factors are manifesting positive interdependence hence a mobile service platform with proper design can exploit the role of social effects in the mobile service consumers´ switching behavior.
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