Structuring virtuality: A user-based example for E-Commerce

Michael S. Nilan, Anuradha Mundkur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of an empirical procedure for generating user-based cognitive and social cognitive models of tasks/problems/contexts that can be employed to create readily navigable link structures for virtuality-mediated communication and collaboration purposes. Employing a natural language, user-based method, this study describes patterns found across 128 interviews where respondents were describing their cognitive movement in the form of steps taken during an interactive E-Commerce situation. Employing these patterns, we analytically develop a model of E-Commerce as a series of logically necessary steps over time. The resulting model illustrates the utility of individual cognitive and social cognitive patterns to structure virtuality as a series of interactive links associated with particular tasks/problems/contexts. Logical structures derived in this manner have the additional strength of requiring no "training" of users because they already recognize the inherent linguistic, temporal and functional relationships. As an added benefit, the model of E-Commerce generated in this study has concrete practical implications for web site design and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVirtuality and Virtualization
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Federation of Information Processing Working Groups 8.2 on Information Systems and Organizations and 9.5 on Virtuality and Society
EditorsKevin Crowston, Sandra Sieber, Eleanor Wynn
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameIFIP International Federation for Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1571-5736

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management


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