University of Oulu

Assessing the usage of personalized web information systems

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Author: Pahnila, Seppo1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2006
Publish Date: 2006-05-23
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Auditorium IT115, Linnanmaa, on June 1st, 2006, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Helen Ashman
Professor Hock-Hai Teo


The focus of this thesis is to assess factors which have an influence on the acceptance of personalized Web information systems (WIS). This study is primarily based on the widely used and accepted Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

The qualitative part of the study presents an approach for developing dynamic Web information systems. The development process was based on the work done in the OWLA (Open Web/Wireless Adaptive Hypermedia Applications) research project in 2000–2002.

The quantitative part of the study, which includes the main objective of the study, is related to assessment of user acceptance of the given system. The researcher performed a field study in 2003 in which data was collected using a web questionnaire. The field study resulted in a sample size of 209 responses. Moreover we carried out a comparison with the 2002/2003 field study aiming to study possible differences in respondents’ attitude toward personalization. The previous field study was carried out during the OWLA research project. The responses were analyzed using SPSS and AMOS.

Results of the quantitative part of the study show that the respondents accept personalization but they like to and want to adapt and personalize the content themselves. This was one of the most important findings of the study. Respondents do not want the system to provide content automatically; they want to control the content themselves. The results of the 2003 field study indicate that respondents do not consider layout adaptation, whether automatic or manual, to be important or desirable.

The formulated model reveals that perceived relevance is one of the most important aspects that have an effect on attitude toward using and intention to use the given IS. Perceived expectancy and intention to use the given WIS are significant antecedents of actual use. Perceived behavioral control and normative beliefs also have a significant effect on intention to use portal. Enjoyment has a significant effect on attitude.

Overall, we have identified in this study some significant factors which will provide useful information to IS practitioners studying the voluntary adoption of specific personalized systems. The results will also provide useful information for systems designers and will contribute towards assessing possible individual barriers to the use of personalized information systems. The study includes several proposals for future research including developing deeper understanding activities related to presented development approach, creating a more detailed view of factors which have an influence on the user’s decision to use or not to use personalized information system, studying several systems.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-8112-8
ISBN Print: 951-42-8111-X
Issue: 462
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2006. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.