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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to contribute to a deeper understanding of system usage in organizations by examining its multilevel nature. Past research on system usage has suffered from a levels bias, with researchers studying system usage at single levels of analysis only (e.g., the individual, group, or organizational level). Although single-level research can be useful, we suggest that studying organizations one level at a time will ultimately lead to an unnatural, incomplete, and very disjointed view of how information systems are used in practice. To redress this situation, we draw on recent advances in multilevel theory to present system usage as a multilevel construct and provide an illustration for what it takes for researchers to study it as such. The multilevel perspective advanced in this article offers rich opportunities for theoretical and empirical insights and suggests a new foundation for in-depth research on the nature of system usage, its emergence and change, and its antecedents and consequences.

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