Information Systems Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The purpose of this study is to fill a gap in evolutionary theorizing in the field of information systems. Evolutionary theorizing has recently been added as a useful tool to the research repertoire of information systems investigators. However, the literature on evolutionary theorizing and related empirical research lacks a clear framework that explicitly shows how information systems researchers can go, step-by-step, from a generic model of the evolution of traits in our ancestral past to a more specific model depicting the effects of technology facilitation of those traits among modern humans. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap through a framework composed of six stages.


To discuss and illustrate the framework, the authors develop an easy-to-understand generic path model explicitly depicting relationships among variables related to events that occurred in our evolutionary past. We then incrementally adapt this generic path model, eventually arriving at a focused path model depicting causal relationships among social networking site use, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and job performance. In doing so, the authors also develop a theoretical model about how social networking site use can affect job performance, where a positive total effect is predicted via positive intermediate effects on job satisfaction and organizational commitment.


To discuss the final stage in the framework, the authors present an illustrative example where the focused path model is tested based on a study of the effect of Facebook use on job performance among 178 working professionals across the USA. This illustrative example provides general support for the theoretical model.

Research limitations/implications

The counterintuitive hypothesis that Facebook use is associated with increased job performance is supported.

Practical implications

Social networking site use by organizational employees is likely to be associated with improved job performance.


This study provides a clear framework that shows how researchers can go from a generic evolutionary path model in our ancestral past to a more specific model comprising technology effects in modern humans.


Original published version available at

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Publication Title

Journal of Systems and Information Technology



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Business Commons



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