User participation and user satisfaction in information systems development
Information Systems (IS) are being developed and used in organizations to achieve their business goals and to enhance organizational effectiveness. The rate of systems success is questionable. One of the causes of IS failures might be user dissatisfaction with the systems. The success of an Information System is difficult to measure directly, so user satisfaction and system usage are frequently used as surrogate measures of system success. User participation in IS development has been advocated to achieve user satisfaction with the system and consequently system success. Past research findings about the effect of user participation on user satisfaction leading to system success are mixed and inconclusive. Past research has not been successful in showing whether user participation in IS development is necessary or not. So further research in this respect is justifiable. This thesis investigated the effect of user participation/involvement on user satisfaction. The effect of user expectations, and user-developer effective communications on user satisfaction has also been explored. A research model was proposed to proceed with this research. Meta-Analysis was carried out to investigate the relationship between user participation, user expectations and user-developer effective communication each with user satisfaction respectively. This thesis found some relationship of these factors with user satisfaction. The strength of the relationship (i. e. correlation 'r') was found to be 'medium' but not large'. The results also show that user involvement has a larger correlation with user satisfaction as opposed to user participation. The findings not only lead to the conclusions that user participation/involvement, user expectations, and user-developer effective communication have positive relationship with user satisfaction, but also contribute to the existing alternative views among IS researchers. The relationship between system usage and user satisfaction was found to be positive and of 'medium' strength and contrasts with the prevailing view that no correlation exists between them. So research findings are not only useful to resolve controversies that exists in past research but also lead to conclusions that user participation may contribute towards successful IS development and consequently user satisfaction with IS. Further, the causes of the emergence of unrealistic user expectations are explored and suggestions for future research are made.