The Impact of Goal-Congruent Feature Additions on Core IS Feature Use: When More Is Less and Less Is More
This research investigates the impact of feature additions on the use of an information system’s (IS) existing core features. Based on prior work in marketing and IS, we hypothesize conflicting effects on the usage of the system as a whole and the IS core due to the goal congruence of the two feature sets. In three consecutive empirical studies, we consider the example of a utilitarian consumer IS in the form of a mobile insurance app with additional weather-related functionality. The statistical results indicate that the goal-congruent feature addition exerts a positive influence on system use, whereas the impact on core IS use is negative. More specifically, we show that the latter effect can be explained by changes in the users’ perceptions of the usefulness and ease of use of the core features. From a theoretical perspective, our work goes beyond the predominant system view of technology acceptance and use by employing a more fine-grained, feature-oriented level of investigation, which opens several avenues for further research regarding the relationships between information systems and the features they comprise. From a managerial perspective, the results help to characterize the detrimental effects that feature additions may have on IS usage. These consequences become particularly relevant when revenue, cost savings, or other benefits on the part of IS operators are linked only to a subset of the entire IS functionality, as in the case of certain web portals or mobile apps.