Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 36 Number 3 2019 pp. 680-682

Special Issue: Immersive Systems

Cavusoglu, Huseyin, Dennis, Alan R, and Parsons, Jeffrey

HUSEYIN CAVUSOGLU ([email protected]) is a Professor of Information Systems in Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas at Dallas. His research interest lies at the intersection of economics and information systems, exploring the economic implications of emerging information technologies and technology artifacts. He has organized IS conferences and workshops and served as an associate editor on a number of special issues. His research papers received several best paper awards and nominations in prestigious IS conferences.

ALAN R. DENNIS ([email protected]) is Professor of Information Systems and holds the John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.. Professor Dennis has written more than 150 research papers and has won numerous awards for his theoretical and applied research. His research focuses on three main themes: team collaboration; fake news on social media; and information security. He is a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems and has founded AIS SIGGAME (Special Interest Group on Game Design and Research). He has served the editorial board of Journal of Management Information Systems for two decades.

JEFFREY PARSONS ([email protected]) is University Research Professor and Professor of Information Systems in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests include the role game mechanisms can play in improving data quality in user-generated content, as well as the design and evaluation of augmented reality applications. He serves as a Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly and has been a Senior Editor for Journal of the Association for Information Systems and an Associate Editor for Information Systems Research.

Immersive systems purposefully change or enhance the user’s perception of reality. They include such categories as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (VR/AR), gamified applications, and serious games. For example, the recent introduction of inexpensive consumer-grade VR headsets from a variety of manufacturers has generated new interest as a way for companies to enhance existing systems and create new opportunities to engage employees and customers [e.g., 1, 4, 9, 10]. Gamification is the addition of game design elements to non-game systems, which might encompass the addition of: game mechanics (e.g., points), dynamics (e.g., challenging interactions), aesthetics (e.g., video), or narratives (e.g., fantasy) to work-related systems [e.g., 2, 7, 8]. Serious games are digital games that aim to leverage the engaging and entertaining aspect of interactive games to achieve at least one work-related goal other than entertainment [e.g., 3, 5, 6].

This Special Issue focuses on business-related immersive systems: that is, the addition of immersive elements to information systems that support organizational goals. Such systems may be internally-focused (e.g., systems that support employees in their work) or externally-focused (e.g., systems that engage consumers to generate new product ideas or solve problems). In either case, the systems are instrumental, but with immersive elements added.

The first article, by Steffen et al, presents a framework of affordances for virtually assisted activities compared to the affordances of physical reality. This framework enables the direct comparison of virtualized activities to non-virtualized activities, comparison of similar activities across VR and AR, and delineates areas of inquiry for future research. The article validates the framework through two quantitative studies and one qualitative study. The key contribution of this article is that it presents a general theory-based framework for developing and testing VR and AR applications that can be used across a variety of different settings.

Fang et al. examine the effects of social influence on willingness to pay in freemium social games. Based on the cohesion effect, they hypothesize that a game player’s willingness to pay is positively related to that of his/her friends, and that there will be differences in willingness to pay depending on whether the friends are pure friends or Simmelian-tie friends. Using data from a social game, they find that the cohesion affect positively affects willingness to pay and that the effect is stronger for pure friends than for Simmelian-tie friends. Implications for freemium social games are discussed.

Peukert et al. examine the role of immersion on intent to reuse an online shopping environment. They propose a theoretical model based on utilitarian and hedonic factors to explain how the level of immersion affects adoption and test this model in a laboratory experiment. Results show that immersion positively affects the hedonic pathway to adoption via telepresence and negatively affects the utilitarian pathway to adoption via product diagnosticity. Implications of the findings in the face of rapidly changing immersive technology are discussed.

Yang and Xiong study the virtual fitting room (VFR) technology and its impact on sales and post-sales outcomes. They conduct two large-scale field experiments to test the causal effects of different VFR designs, and a lab experiment to uncover the underlying theoretical mechanisms. They find that, although VFR can have a sizeable positive effect on sales, it can be counterproductive when used improperly. Specifically, personalized VFR may not increase sales if used in combination with conventional product visualizations because self-discrepancy becomes salient under this condition. Moreover, VFR significantly influences post-sales outcomes by enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing the product return rate. Implications of VFR for practitioners are discussed.

Liu et al. investigate how gesture-based interaction modes affect consumers’ virtual product experiences (VPE) by eliciting mental imagery (i.e., haptic imagery and spatial imagery). Furthermore, they explore how visual product presentation can be designed to facilitate different types of interaction modes. Through a lab experiment, they find that touchscreen gesture outperforms mid-air gesture and mouse-based interaction in terms of eliciting haptic imagery, and this effect is mitigated when 3D presentation is used. They also find that mid-air gesture outperforms touchscreen gesture and mouse-based interaction in terms of eliciting spatial imagery when 3D presentation is used. Implications for retailers, marketers, and designers are discussed.

The papers in this Special Issue show that research on immersive systems creates opportunities to bring together diverse perspectives from behavioral, design science, and economics research traditions to develop cumulative knowledge in this growing area. We hope these papers will trigger new explorations and significant breakthroughs in our understanding of the development, adoption, use, and impacts of immersive systems. This research is also relevant to subject matter experts, such as marketers and managers who wish to effectively create, understand, and use immersive systems. Thus, we encourage intra- and inter-disciplinary research on immersive systems.


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9.Wang, Y.; and Haggerty, N. Individual virtual world competence and its influence on work outcomes. Journal of Management Information Systems, 27, 4 (2011), 299–334.

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