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How Conversational Agents Relieve Teams from Innovation Blockages

Event: Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM), 09.08.2022

Alexandria

Innovation is one of the most important antecedents of a company's competitive advantage and long-term survival. Prior research has alluded to teamwork being a primary driver of a firm's innovation capacity. Still, many firms struggle with providing an environment that supports innovation teams in working efficiently together. Thereby, a team's failure can be attributed to several factors, such as inefficient working methods or a lack of internal communication that leads to so-called innovation blockages. There are a number of approaches that are targeted at supporting teams to overcome innovation blockages, but they mainly focus on the collaboration process and rarely consider the needs and potentials of individual team members. In this paper, we argue that Conversational Agents (CAs) can efficiently support teams in overcoming innovation blockages by enhancing collaborative work practices and, specifically, by facilitating the contribution of each individual team member. To that end, we design a CA as a team facilitator that provides nudges to reduce innovation blocking actions according to requirements we systematically derived from scientific literature and practice. Based on a rigorous evaluation, we demonstrate the potential of CAs to reduce the frequency of innovation blockages. The research implications for the development and deployment of CAs as team facilitators are explored.

Edona Elshan, Naim Zierau, Andreas Janson, Jan Marco Leimeister

9 Aug 2022

Publikationstyp
Konferenzbeitrag
Sprache
Englisch