Just Enough Information? The Contingent Curvilinear Effect of Information Volume on Decision Performance in IS-Enabled Teams

In stock

Publication History

Received: December 9, 2020
Revised: June 21, 2021; February 8, 2022
Accepted: March 10, 2022
Published Online as Articles in Advance: November 23, 2022
Published in Issue: Forthcoming


Downloadable File

Information, which is the critical resource provided by information systems (IS), is available in increasing volumes due to rapid technological progress. This causes a tension between the cognitive limitations of individuals and their access to large volumes of information. This tension is important not only for individuals but also for teams, which are increasingly making important organizational decisions. Recognizing this tension, this paper investigates the relationship between information volume and decision performance in IS-enabled teams. We use information processing and schema theories to develop a contextualized theoretical model, wherein information volume has a curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) effect on decision performance, and this effect is moderated by three context-relevant attributes of the team members: computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, and learning goal orientation. We conducted two complementary studies, with similar experimental contexts and procedures but different types of participants and different tasks. In these studies, 236 individuals in 118 dyads (Study 1) and 200 individuals in 60 small teams (Study 2) made decisions over time using an enterprise resource planning system for a competitive virtual firm in a business simulation. We used objective data on system use and decision outcomes, along with survey data, to test the theoretical model. The two complementary studies find consistent results supporting the curvilinear relationship between information volume and decision performance and find that this relationship is flattened by high computer self-efficacy. Study 1 also supports the hypothesized steepening effects of high computer anxiety and learning goal orientation on the curvilinear relationship. Study 2 does not support these effects of computer anxiety and learning goal orientation but highlights some boundary conditions for them. Together, the studies provide insights into how information volume affects decision performance in IS-enabled teams, and how context-relevant team member attributes moderate this relationship and themselves affect decision performance.

Additional Details
Author Jeffrey K. Mullins and Rajiv Sabherwal
Year 2022
Volume 46
Issue 4
Keywords Information overload, cognitive load, schema, computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, learning goal orientation, enterprise resource planning system, curvilinear relationship, team composition, small teams
Page Numbers 2197-2228
Copyright © 2023 MISQ. All rights reserved.