User Motivation in Application Abandonment: A Four-Drives Model

Brent Furneaux and Lars Rieser
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 26, Number 1, 2022, pp. 49-89.


Abandonment of software applications can result in significant loses of organizational resources while also undermining the continued success of application developers, vendors, and software support ecosystems. Relatively little attention, however, has been directed toward understanding application abandonment that occurs after applications have been successfully adopted, despite the potentially far-reaching implications of such abandonment and the growing economic and social importance of software applications. We therefore developed a framework based on the four-drives model of motivation to better understand postadoption abandonment decisions and conducted an archival study to test our proposed framework in a hedonically oriented personal-use context. Results of this study suggest that individual motivations to acquire status and experience, bond with others, comprehend and grow, and defend their efforts all have significant implications for the likelihood of application abandonment. Specifically, application-related use activity, in-application user interaction, application complexity, and application commitments were all found to significantly diminish the likelihood of application abandonment.