This dissertation aims to facilitate comprehensive understanding of the use contexts of information technology (IT) devices and digital services, and is composed of two parts: 1) Use context changes of computing devices; 2) Use contexts of digital services with measurement instrument development and validation.
Part 1 investigates the use contexts of personal computing devices through three research steps and conducts in-depth analysis of smartphone use context. In addition, the determinants of use context changes for smartphones are investigated using the technology-to-performance chain model. In Steps 1 and 2, a diary study method and Korean Media Panel research data for 2014-2015 (provided by the Korea Information Society Development Institute) are used. To analyze these data, correspondence analysis, chi-square independence tests, and standardized residual analyses are conducted. In Step 3, a research framework to investigate use context changes is developed and validated using both a survey method and structural equation modeling. Hence, it is found that the use contexts for personal computing devices differ depending on the device, with clear distinctions being apparent. In addition, the rapid increase in the number of smartphone users and their multiple different usage patterns have caused significant changes in smartphone use context. From the research model, it is found that awareness of device performance improvements for regular tasks motivates users to expand their smartphone usage scope and frequency. In addition, users feel that there is scope for improvement in smartphone content and functions to support regular tasks. Overall, Part 1 of this dissertation reports novel early-stage research findings and empirical evidence. Exploratory and confirmatory suggestions are also presented.
Part 2 of this dissertation explores the use context of digital services for instrument development and validation and verifies the effects of use context on user intentions to use game services (some of the most widely use context-related digital services). First, a new general use context categorization is proposed and a research framework is developed based on a literature review and the relevant theoretical background. Second, the actual manifestation of use context in the context of digital services is explored using correspondence analyses (CA) and the diary study method. Third, instruments to measure the perceived use contexts of game services are developed and validated using statistical methods. Fourth, the effects of four perceived use contexts (time, location, social, and technological context) on the technology acceptance model are verified. It is found that the perceived use context can be measured by time of day, day of the week, physical distractions, location characteristics, social place, occurrence of social relations, connected device, and network connectivity. As a result, the perceived use contexts affect the manner in which users engage with diverse digital services. This part of the dissertation is the first empirical study to verify perceived use context of digital services and constitutes early-stage research for development of use context instruments.
The findings of this dissertation will enable researchers to empirically verify use contexts in relation to various IT research topics. The main contribution of this dissertation is the provision of guidelines for other empirical studies on device or IT-service use contexts, along with its general implications for the associated research fields and industries.