Essays on IT-Mediated Phenomena: IT Knowledge Management, Mobile Telecommunication, and E-Commerce

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

This dissertation is intended to widen our understanding of three issues among IT-mediated phenomena observed after the revolution of social structure accompanied by the “paradigm shift”: (1) learning behavior of IT knowledge workers, (2) users’ consumption behavior of wireless communication services, and (3) consumer’s online shopping behavior, from the standpoint of research domain. For the perspective of research methodology, all four essays constituting the dissertation are developed based on an economic and econometric analysis. While the essays seem to be loosely tied together in either research methodology or research domains, they all aim to better understand the human intentional or adapted behaviors in everyday IT-driven socio-economic environment.

The first essay is entitled “The Learning Curve of IT Knowledge Workers in A Computing Call Center.” In the essay, by examining the basic nature of the learning curve in IT technical support services, I introduce two concrete concepts and measure the effects; new knowledge classification and IT problem types. I empirically examine the learning curve of the causal relationship between problem-solving experience and performance enhancement in a computing call center relying on both the econometric model based on traditional learning equation and a duration model.

The second essay entitled “Empirical Analysis of Mobile Voice and SMS service: A Structural Model” empirically examines the pricing effects on wireless telecommunication service demand based on an individual level. I, first, develop an analytical model to address consumers’ plan choices and optimal consumption under one-way and ‘step’ nonlinear pricing. Second, I utilize maximum simulated likelihood method to estimate the parameters specified in the model.

The third essay of “On Product-level Uncertainty and Online Purchase Behavior: An Empirical Analysis” is basically motivated by the fact that there are two kinds of uncertainty embedded in online shopping: (1) uncertainty relating to virtual retailers and (2) product-level uncertainty indispensably generated due to the omission of experiential information. Given that, I examine a product-level uncertainty reduction process in two dimensions: (1) product attribute (intangibility level) and (2) price.

The fourth essay is entitled “Trajectory-based Consumer Segmentation and Product Positioning in the Online Markets.” This essay again addresses online consumers’ shopping behavior. I identify the distinctive longitudinal shopping patterns (online consumer segmentation) on hypothesized consumer types and further suggest a practical framework for an optimal product positioning on an individual level using the trajectory based-segmented consumer groups.