• For nearly two decades, the user-satisfaction construct has occupied a central role in behavioral research in Information Systems IS. In industry, the construct has often been used as a surrogate for IS effectiveness. Given its widespread use by both academics and practitioners, it is surprising that no comprehensive theoretical assessment of this construct has been performed. This paper provides such a review. It begins by examining conceptual and theoretical limitations of the construct's use as a measure of IS effectiveness. Attention is then focused on the evolution of the construct in the literature and the theoretical problems associated with its broader use. The fundamental similarity between user satisfaction and the social and cognitive psychologists' notion of an attitude is suggested. The next sections focus on a discussion of attitude structures and function. First, alternative theoretical views on attitude structure are presented. While one of these structures, the family of expectancy-value models, is reflected in current research on user satisfaction, the second, the family of cognitive approaches, is not. The two attitude structures are considered from the perspective of possible refinements to future work in IS. Next, an examination is made of the ways in which these structures have been integrated in terms of understanding the relationship of users' affective responses to other responses i.e., behavior or cognition. This leads to a discussion of the function attitudes might serve for the user other than the evaluation of an information system or IS staff. Finally, the question of how behavior influences attitude is considered. The paper concludes with suggestions for future work. ()
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