Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Weidong Xia

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Monica Chiarini Tremblay

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Manjul Gupta

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

George Marakas

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

William Newburry

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Business Analytics, Management Information Systems

Date of Defense



Never had consumers been empowered by information technologies such as social media-enabled portals that permit them to access and conduct all aspects of life and work activities through a mobile phone at any time from anywhere. WeChat, with over 963 million active monthly users, represents such a revolutionary platform. In healthcare, patients can use WeChat to make doctor appointments, access health and lab results, consult with doctors, and check on the queuing status and parking conditions in the health clinics and hospitals. Such social-media-enabled systems have transformed the relationships between consumers and businesses into a new paradigm in which the supply-side is driven by the demand-side. As a result, the new technology is fundamentally changing; not only the context in which business is conducted but also the business itself.

The extant literature on technology acceptance, however, has mostly focused on technical functionalities and user characteristics without adequately considering the specific context in which the technology is used. Although these affordance concepts have advanced our knowledge about the interactions between technology and users, the specific contexts in which such interactions occur have been largely ignored. There is a critical literature gap that hinders our ability to understand and provide guidelines to help organizations deal with the complex challenges they face in managing social mediaenabled technologies in today’s changing environment.

Our research attempts to bridge this critical literature gap by conceptualizing the concept of contextual affordance, and by examining its determinants and consequences in healthcare services. We use a combination of qualitative method and quantitative method. Research sites are in China across multiple healthcare facilities. The anticipated findings include validated dimensions of contextual affordance and relationships between contextual affordance and its determinants and impacts on clinical process changes and health service outcomes. Theoretically, this study extends the current understanding of affordance by considering contextual dimensions of affordance, and by examining the relationships between contextual affordance and its determinants and consequences. Practically, this study sheds new lights on how organizations should go beyond the out-of-context interactions between technologies and users by considering users’ perceived affordance of technology within the specific contexts of use.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).