Consumer Switching on Mobile Platforms

Jussi Ilmari Nykänen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The market for mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) has become larger than ever before. However, mobile ICT and consumer switching have remained somewhat under researched phenomena. The theoretical foundation for consumer switching can be described as scattered, not comprehensive and often lacking a process perspective. This has resulted in insufficient levels of explanation in consumer switching studies. The main objective of this doctoral dissertation is to unify and improve the theoretical foundation of consumer switching by focusing on both the switching process and reasons influencing consumer mobile phone switching. The dissertation consists of four essays applying mainly qualitative methods. These essays provide a literature review that exposes shortcomings in the extant switching studies, focus group and longitudinal survey studies to understand the influence of switching costs and network effects, and a cross-market analysis of consumers' internal reasoning processes. The key theoretical contributions of this dissertation are as follows: (1) an empirically and theoretically grounded three-stage process framework is presented. The framework unifies and complements the extant theoretical foundation for consumer switching. (2) Distinct differences are identified in consumer reasoning across different countries and switching process stages. These differences are explained through certain switching enabling influences, extant concepts from consumer behavior research and macro-level market structures. (3) Influences inhibiting mobile phone switching are associated with monetary switching costs and brand relationships costs. (4) Network effects play an important role in consumer switching and are often manifested through conditional situations. Some of the network effect-related findings also differ from traditional research knowledge in the mobile ICT context. Consequently, these contributions are expected to have particular theoretical relevance in relation to switching research in the information systems community, but also practical relevance regarding the influence of network effects on consumer mobile phone switching.
Translated title of the contributionConsumer Switching on Mobile Platforms
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Tuunainen, Virpi, Supervising Professor
  • Tuunanen, Tuure, Thesis Advisor, External person
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8391-9
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8392-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • consumer behavior
  • decision making
  • mobile phone
  • mobile platform
  • network effect
  • switching
  • switching cost
  • switching process

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