Affordance Perceptions under Malleable Information Technology: A Social Cognitive Theory Perspective

Tim Lehrig, Oliver Krancher, Jens Dibbern

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Organizations benefit from malleable IT only if users perceive the affordances that malleable IT provides for their work. However, theoretical explanations and empirical evidence related to affordance perception are scarce. In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework based on Social Cognitive Theory to explain two different types of affordance perceptions: vicarious and autonomous. Data from a survey of 154 users supports the framework. We find that vicarious affordance perceptions depend on social information and on basic knowledge about the malleable IT. In contrast, autonomous affordance perceptions, which rely on uncertain and cognitively complex search activities, depend on self-efficacy gained through prolonged use and on the knowledge acquired through a learning process that starts with system use and observation of other people’s use, followed by vicarious affordance perceptions. The key contribution of our paper lies in developing and testing explanations for affordance perceptions under malleable IT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fortieth International Conference on Information Systems
Number of pages17
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication date2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9966831-9-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Malleable IT
  • Affordance Perception
  • Vicarious Affordance Perception
  • Autonomous Affordance Perception
  • Affordances
  • Social Cognitive Theory
  • Self-efficacy
  • Adaptive Featur Use
  • Learning


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