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Mahnke, Rolf; Benlian, Alexander ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7294-3097 and Hess, Thomas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3969-7477 (2014): Flow Experience in Information Systems Research: Revisiting its Conceptualization, Conditions, and Effects. 35th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2014, Auckland, New Zealand, December 14-17, 2014. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems - Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2014,

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Despite strong interest in Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory to understand user behavior in information systems, existing literature shows significant inconsistencies on the conceptualization, conditions, and effect mechanisms of the flow construct. Reviewing extant literature in IS on the concept of flow, this paper discusses the most common theoretical and methodological shortcomings, drawing on current considerations of flow research in motivational psychology. We argue that widely proposed assumptions of IS flow research, such as the inclusion of intrinsic motivation and the exclusion of fluency to measure flow, the flow condition of balanced skills and demands, and the proposed direct effect of flow on continuance intention, should be revisited to fully account for the construct’s nature. Reconceptualizing and validating the flow construct for IS flow research, we show that flow does not substantially depend on balanced demands and skills and that the effect of flow on continuance intention is mediated by enjoyment.

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