Mind the gap: Importance-performance gaps as determinants of user satisfaction with information systems

Bart Van Den Hooff, Tim Vermeulen, Frans Feldberg, Tibert Verhagen

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


This paper develops a new explanation for user satisfaction with IS. Combining insights from expectation (dis)confirmation theory (ECT) and importance-performance analysis (IPA), we focus on the gaps between the importance of particular IS attributes, and the performance of a system on those attributes, as an explanation for user satisfaction. We identify 12 relevant system attributes and theoretically argue how the gap between importance and performance with regard to these attributes may affect user satisfaction. Our empirical study is based on a survey (N=298) among student users of a newly implemented Student Information System (SIS). The results empirically support the relationship between importance-performance gaps and user satisfaction. For five out of 12 attributes, we find a significant negative influence of a negative gap (i.e., high importance, low performance) on user satisfaction. Our main contribution to the literature is that we provide an integrated perspective on ECT and IPA and empirically validate the relevance of importance-performance gaps for explaining IS user satisfaction. Our second contribution is that we make use of the difference score technique to measure the importance-performance gaps for user satisfaction. Thus, our contribution to the IS literature is both theoretical and methodological.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2013 - Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Information Systems
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event21st European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2013 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20138 Jun 2013


Conference21st European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2013


  • Expectation (dis)confirmation theory
  • Importance-performance analysis
  • Information systems
  • User satisfaction


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