Communications of the Association for Information Systems


IS researchers may wonder why computing advances often confound expectations. The leisure society, the paperless office, and programmer decline are just a few predictions that didn't happen. If current expectations are to be any more accurate, we must learn from experience. As we create e-systems to rival ourselves, and networks to match society, the problem may be a limited view of system performance. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) sees performance as functionality plus usability. The Web Of System Performance (WOSP) model presented in this paper extends TAM to include other requirements common in performance research literature. WOSP is a theoretical framework for the balanced design and evaluation of advanced information systems, as now being created on the Internet and elsewhere. It analyses performance via four fundamental system elements: boundary, internal structure, effectors and receptors. Each can be designed for opportunity or risk, giving eight performance goals, whose design tension comprises a "web" of performance. It explains why advances sometimes "bite back", and need creative system requirements integration. The theory applies to hardware, software, cognitive, or social system levels, but as each level is a different "world", it cannot be instantiated across levels. The WOSP model should interest those designing or evaluating advanced software systems.