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Relying on user satisfaction surveys alone will not provide a complete picture of the end user environment in an organization. It is necessary to look beyond the end user satisfaction surveys to tease out hidden areas of dissatisfaction. Service-quality gap analysis can be used to identify specific support areas that need attention, as well as identify which particular support areas influence overall end user satisfaction. In addition, practitioners should be aware that the end user population is not a homogeneous population that can be served with a one-size-fits-all support strategy. This confirms earlier research as noted in Powell & Moore (2002) and Jurison (2000).
For researchers, this study extends previous work in two areas: end user satisfaction and technological frame of reference. This study demonstrates the utility of the service-quality measure as a tool adding deeper understanding of user views and needs. The inclusion of a user satisfaction measure shows that service gaps alone only partially account for user views and attitudes.
The identification of technological frames of reference and their effect on end user satisfaction is crucial to a deeper understanding of satisfaction. This sociocognitive thread has not been fully explored as it applies to technology, or MIS in general.
In addition, the findings of different relationships between support factors and user satisfaction in different studies (see Table 1) suggest that the relationships are contextual in nature and not constant for all situations. Researchers building theory in this area may be better served by examining additional environmental variables that could affect these relationships.
This research effort occurred at one research site. The empirical data collected reflects the specific organizational context and events at Otis Elevator in Singapore. The technological frames that were elicited during this research were salient to the respondents under study, in an environment where the support function had recently undergone some organizational realignment, and where new technology was being introduced on a continual basis. Two support personnel had recently been assigned as full time support to the PAO-HQ staff, with the other personnel supporting the regions, replacing an earlier shared strategy where all personnel supported both PAO-HQ and the regions. It is possible that different frames of reference could be elicited from respondents that operate in a more stable environment.
The effect of gender and culture were not explored in this study. Both of these factors could contribute to the formation of technological frames of reference. While the satisfied and dissatisfied user groups were mixed in terms of gender and culture, the user population as a whole showed a distinct alignment along functional lines. All but one of the management personnel at Otis were male, non-Singaporean. All the non-managers were female Singaporeans.
The discovery that technological frames of reference can impact satisfaction is only relevant if those frames of reference can be altered. Tyre & Orlikowski (1994) posit that there are "windows of opportunity" that exist where adaptation of a particular technology can be affected. The relationship among the three components (technological frame of reference, satisfaction with EUC support and overall EUC satisfaction) does not have to remain static. The introduction of a trigger or the exploitation of an existing one can open a window of opportunity, altering the frames of reference and thereby creating a cyclical relationship.
Future research that concentrates on identifying specific triggers that could change the alignment of technological frames of reference is needed. Ideally, any subsequent research would first assess the technological frames of reference and their effect on satisfaction, introduce a trigger mechanism to alter the frames, and then re-assess the frames and the level of satisfaction at a later date in order to measure any changes. In this way, the effect of technological frames of reference on satisfaction would be more fully explored.
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