Blessing or Curse: The Paradoxical Impact of Mobile Health Applications on the Consumer
This master thesis transfers the concept of paradoxes of technology, introduced by Mick and Fournier (1998), to the novel domain of mobile health apps (mHealth apps). The aim of this thesis is to explore the consequences of mHealth usage, more precisely it identifies paradoxical tensions and how they affect the consumer. The evaluation of relevant and current literature represents the theoretical foundation of this research. Moreover, the research question is answered based on insights from qualitative research in form of a diary study, the Sentence Completion Method and semi-structured interviews. The sample consists of thirteen interview respondents and five diary study participants. As a result, three different stages of mHealth use are identified, which consist of the users’ initial motivation for using these apps, the occurrence of paradoxes and tensions as well as coping strategies. First, respondents use mHealth apps to receive support and factual information in order to improve certain aspects in their lives. Second, five predominant paradoxes are identified in the collected data and three substantial tensions are detected. Finally, it is found that paradoxical tensions often elicit negative, conflicting emotions in the consumer. Thus, users apply five major coping strategies in order to manage these paradoxical tensions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen