University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 9.12.2017 Ph. Lic.(Econ) Panu Moilanen (Faculty of Information Technology, Information Systems Science)

Start date: Dec 09, 2017 12:00 PM

End date: Dec 09, 2017 03:00 PM

Location: Mattilanniemi, Agora, Auditorium 2

Panu Moilanen picture: Ville Grahn
Ph. Lic.(Econ) Panu Moilanen defends his doctoral dissertation in Information Systems Science "Kannustin, koriste ja liikkujan kaveri - Tutkimus liikuntateknologian käyttäjyydestä". Opponent Professor Saara Taalas (Linnaeus University, Sweden) and custos Research Professor Lauri Frank (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


During the last couple of decades, information technology has become a ubiquitous part of almost all areas of everyday life; exercise and sports being no exception. Sports technology can be defined as digital entities, with which one can measure, record and analyse data on sports and physical activity, and refine it according to the needs of its users.

This kind of technology has already been researched quite extensively. The majority of this research has concentrated on the effects of sports technology on the level of physical activity of its users, and on the adherence of users to different kinds of physical activity recommendations. In addition to this, within this research, sports technology has been seen as a measurement tool: the interest has been either on the accuracy of the data produced by the technology or on the level of physical activity as measured by sports technology.

However, the relationships between sports technology and its users has hardly been researched. To address this identified gap, this thesis (based on phenomenographic approach) concentrates on this relationship: why is sports technology used, for which purposes it is used, what kind of meanings are assigned to it and what kind of feelings are connected to its use? As a result of this thesis, a theory on the agency of use of sports technology, and a model of the context of use of sports technology and its dimensions are presented.

This theory describes its core category – the agency of use of sports technology – through four different categories. These categories are exercise and sports, sociality, technology, information and service, which are further described by 17 subcategories. The agency of use is influenced by a Giddensian structure of being a decent exercising citizen, which is present in the Finnish society. The presented theory is situated on the continuum from utilitarian to hedonic motives of use.

Together these components form the value, which is the basic motive of a user to use sports technology and through which the continuous use is maintained so that the agency of use can take form. The context of use of sports technology consists of four dimensions: the real-world context of use, the individual self, sociality, and community and society.

This model of the context of use is broader than the concept of context commonly used within the research of information systems science. The results presented also widen the traditional way of explaining the adoption and use of technology within information systems science into the direction of understanding the relationship between technology and its users.

As practical implications, the developers of sports technology can utilise the results of this thesis to better understand the meanings and expectations connected to use of sports technology. This new understanding could be incorporated into the development processes of their products and services.

More information

KTL Panu Moilanen
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