Satisfaction to Stay, Regret to Switch: Understanding Post-Adoption Regret in Choosing Competing Technologies When Herding

Haiyun (Melody) Zou, Heshan Sun, Y. Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Faced with uncertainty when choosing among a wide range of similar competing technologies, users often take a herding in technology adoption (HTA) strategy to make heuristic adoption decisions. The HTA strategy brings users cost and time savings and casts doubt on user staying power. The extant adoption research has long focused on user satisfaction with the performance of the chosen technology (also known as the expectation-disconfirmation theory perspective) but does not sufficiently account for the consideration of the decision process across competing alternatives. To fill this void, this research uses a holistic post-adoptive evaluation by introducing a regret perspective in relation to competing technologies. Specifically, we theorize and operationalize a new multidimensional construct of post-adoption regret and construct a research model to examine how HTA leads to post-adoption regret and how such regret influences user staying power. The results suggest that post-adoption regret is formed primarily through two routes, outcome and process, and it is found to be more related to user switching, whereas satisfaction is related to user retention. The research model is supported by two longitudinal field studies of users in Asia and Europe who chose between competing technologies in both forms of free software and paid hardware. Findings from this research have significant implications for information systems research and industry practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Research
Early online date22 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 22 Nov 2022


  • regret
  • competing technologies
  • Post-adoption
  • herding in technology adoption
  • Switch
  • longitudinal study


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