Determining the Factors Discriminating Between Users and Non-Users of Virtual Assistants: An Analysis of the Consumption Values Driving the Siri Consumption Choice

Christian Hauggaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to understand the reasons for the allegedly low use of virtual assistant technologies. The low use of virtual assistant technologies runs contrary to general expectations regarding the temporal diffusion and the overall impact of the innovation. The low use of virtual assistants is a problem for developers and marketers of such technologies. These actors can therefore benefit from insights into the perceived value of such technologies from a consumer’s perspective. Furthermore, the paper fills a gap in virtual assistant literature, as the use and non-use of such technologies has been severely neglected by Information Systems scholars and Consumption Behaviour theorists.
The thesis applies Consumption Value and Innovation Diffusion theory, as well as Service Economics,to build a theoretical framework of constructs that may impact the consumer choice to use or not use virtual assistants. The study relies on quantitative analysis of survey results to analyse how perceptions on functional value, social value, emotional value, epistemic value, conditional value, as well as service convenience and compatibility impact the Siri consumption choice. The scope of this thesis is limited to the study of Siri, Apple's virtual assistant. The subjects under investigation are iPhone users, whom are treated as consumers throughout the study. The survey consists of a series of statements pertaining to each theoretical construct, in which a Likert scale is used in order for Siri users, and non-users, to indicate their level of agreement with each statement. The quantitative method utilised for analysing the survey results includes both rotational factor analysis, to uncover underlying relationships between the variables,and discriminant analysis, to measure the impact of the identified factors on determining group membership for users and non-users. The results indicate that consumer perceptions of the functional and epistemic value of Siri have the largest impact on the discrimination between Siri users and non-users. Therefore, the decision to use or not use virtual assistants, like Siri, is primarily based on the consumer’s perceptions of functional and epistemic value. The remaining constructs currently appear to have little impact on the consumer choice to use or not use Siri.Thus, it appears that virtual assistant providers should prioritise functional and epistemic value in order to heighten consumer use of such technologies.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages54
SupervisorsJonas Hedman