Understanding Continuance of Using VoIP Applications to Improve Intercultural Communication: Information and System Quality Perspectives

Understanding Continuance of Using VoIP Applications to Improve Intercultural Communication: Information and System Quality Perspectives

Charlie C. Chen (Appalachian State University, USA), Alanah Mitchell (Appalachian State University, USA) and Scott Hunsinger (Appalachian State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsodit.2012010101
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Abstract

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a cost-effective medium to help learners improve their intercultural communication competency. However, the proliferation of VoIP applications has not accelerated the mass adoption of VoIP technology by users for the purposes of intercultural communication training. This study investigates the possibility of using VoIP technology as a learning tool to educate and train individuals to improve their intercultural communication. The perspectives of information and system qualities are adopted to investigate how to enhance users’ satisfaction and intention to reuse a VoIP technology for intercultural communication competencies. Information quality, system quality, and perceived task technology fit are important predictors of satisfaction. Satisfied users are more likely to continue using a VoIP technology. To test the authors’ expectations, 93 American and 45 Taiwanese subjects participated in a four-week experiment to virtually converse with each other via a VoIP technology (i.e., Skype). After working together one-on-one to communicate, participants completed a survey, resulting in 116 valid data points for analysis. The authors’ findings provide grounds for theoretical and practical implications concerning the adoption of VoIP technology by users as an e-learning tool.
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Introduction

Due to reduced system costs, the number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications is growing (e.g., Skype, Vonage, Lingo, and many others). This increase in VoIP applications presents an opportunity to find new and useful ways to take advantage of the technology. Because intercultural communication is best improved through practice with dialog, one particular area of interest for VoIP use is related to intercultural communication. However, in order to encourage the adoption of VoIP technologies in the area of intercultural communication we need to first understand what factors influence VoIP use. Previous research has asserted that improving users’ experiences with an information technology can enhance their satisfaction and intention to continue using the technology (i.e., intention to reuse) (Bhattacherjee, 2001). From the perspective of the expectation-confirmation model (ECM) theory, users’ prior experiences with a product or service can significantly influence their intentions to repurchase it (Anderson & Sullivan, 1993). The primary objectives of this study are to explore the factors influencing the satisfaction of online learners with a VoIP application and their intentions to continue using VoIP to enhance intercultural communication competencies. One important question to examine is whether or not information quality and system quality factors are important to the widespread adoption of VoIP for intercultural communication purposes.

In order to create the positive causality for users of VoIP applications, we assess the relationships between information quality, system quality, perceived task-technology fit, user satisfaction and intention to reuse VoIP. Information quality and system quality of VoIP applications can potentially affect the satisfaction level of users. Perceived task-technology fit can also influence a user’s satisfaction using VoIP technology to enhance intercultural communication competence. A learner’s intention to reuse VoIP technology is impacted by his or her satisfactory experiences. Whether a learner would like to stay longer for each learning session and continue using VoIP technology to enhance intercultural communication competence is a continuance usage issue.

This paper is organized as follows. First, we provide a background about VoIP and how information and system quality along with perceived task-technology fit can lead to satisfaction and continued intention to use VoIP. We then present our research methodology, followed by our data analysis. The paper concludes with a discussion of our findings, implications, limitations, and conclusions.

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