Input Control and Its Signalling Effects for Complementors’ Intention to Join Digital Platforms

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Existing information systems (IS) research on platform control has largely focused on examining how input control (i.e., the mechanisms used to control platform access) affects complementors' intentions and behaviours after their decision to join a digital platform. Yet, our understanding of how input control is perceived before this decision and how such perceptions influence prospective complementors' intention to join a platform is still nascent. In this regard, our study views input control as a salient signal that shapes prospective complementors' expected benefits and costs (i.e., their performance and effort expectancy), and ultimately their decision to join a digital platform. Drawing on signalling theory and the antecedent-benefit-cost (ABC) framework, we conducted a randomized online experiment in the context of donation-based crowdfunding. The experiment results offer empirical support for this view by showing that input control has distinct and complex signalling effects for prospective complementors. In particular, our findings reveal curvilinear and competing signalling effects, with perceived input control increasing both performance expectancy (at a decreasing rate) and effort expectancy (at an increasing rate). Also, we find that performance expectancy linearly increases prospective complementors' intention to join a platform, whereas effort expectancy linearly decreases their intention to do so. These findings imply that the overall relationship between perceived input control and intention to join follows an inverted U-shape curve, which means that neither a low nor a high, but a moderate degree of perceived input control maximizes prospective complementors' intention to join. In sum, the results of our study provide novel and important insights into the signalling role that perceived input control plays in shaping prospective complementors' decision to join a digital platform.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-466
Number of pages30
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85136877258
Mendeley 7f246a02-307e-38b3-9409-9c90ebaeaa9b
WOS 000842948100001
ORCID /0000-0001-6006-2594/work/142254410


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • digital platforms, effort expectancy, intention to join, perceived input control, performance expectancy, signalling, Intention to join, Digital platforms, Effort expectancy, Performance expectancy, Signalling, Perceived input control

Library keywords