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Abstract

Unlike technology users in business organizations, users of personal information technologies are usually not bound to specific products and have the freedom to switch from one product to a substitute. As a unique and widespread product level post-adoption behavior, IT user switching has not garnered sufficient attention in the current literature. Prior research has suggested that a consumer’s decision to switch follows careful reasoning on three distinct groups of factors: push, pull, and mooring. Given the highly routinized nature of post-adoption IT use, we draw from research on habit in social psychology and post-adoption user behavior literatures, and argue that users’ habit plays a critical role in post-adoption IT switching. Specifically, we posit that the habit of using the incumbent product both contributes to the mooring effects during the formation of intention to switch, and moderates the relationship between intention and switching. We tested our hypotheses on a sample of 414 users presented with a choice of switching their Web browsers. Our findings confirm the direct influence of potential switchers’ habit on switching intention, and the interaction between habit and switching intention on switching. Our overall model explains 55 percent of total variance in users’ intention to switch and 23 percent of total variance in user switching. This study advances the theoretical and empirical understanding of post-adoption technology switching, valuable to both researchers and practitioners.

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