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Dr. Andreas Janson

+41 71 224 2592


Online training to improve problem-solving skills has become increasingly important in management learning. In online environments, learners take a more active role which can lead to stressful situations and decreased motivation. Gamification can be applied to support learner motivation and emotionally boost engagement by using game-like elements in a non-game context. However, using gamification does not necessarily result in supporting positive learning outcomes. Our analysis sheds light on these aspects and evaluates the effects of points and badges on engagement and problem-solving outcomes. We used an experimental approach with a fully randomized pre-test/post-test design of a gamified online management training program with 68 participants. The results demonstrate that points and badges do not directly improve problem-solving skills but are mediated by emotional engagement to positively influence problem-solving skills. Additionally, satisfaction with the gamification learning process positively relates to emotional engagement. Thus, when creating online training programs, it is essential to consider how to engage students and to think about the design of the learning environment. By identifying the limitations of gamification elements, the study’s results can provide educators with information about the design implications of online training programs for management learning.

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.

Voice assistants’ (VAs) increasingly nuanced and natural communication opens up new opportunities for the experience of users, providing task assistance and automation possibilities, and also offer an easy interface to digital services and ecosystems. However, VAs face various problems, such as low adoption and satisfaction rates as well as other negative reactions from users. Companies, therefore, need to consider how individuals utilize VAs and what contributes to user satisfaction. Key for the design of VAs are their unique affordances and their agentic nature that distinguish these IT artifacts from non-agentic IS. A configurative and dynamic approach enables to shed light on the complex causalities underlying user outcomes with these novel systems. Consequently, we examine in this study how individuals actualize the affordances of VAs during the initial adoption stage. For this purpose, we draw on a diary study research design that examines affordance actualization processes with new VA users. We examine with a configurational approach, how the actualization of VA affordances contributes to the outcomes of VAs, i.e., in our case user satisfaction. The results of our diary study show distinct patterns of functional affordance configurations. In addition, we show that affordances unfold and evolve over time. The derived implications provide a configurative theoretical understanding for the role of VAs affordances for user satisfaction that provides practitioners useful guidance to actualize the potential of VAs.

Designing for system trustworthiness promises to address challenges of opaqueness and uncertainty introduced through Machine Learning (ML)-based systems by allowing users to understand and interpret systems’ underlying working mechanisms. However, empirical exploration of trustworthiness measures and their effectiveness is scarce and inconclusive. We investigated how varying model confidence (70% versus 90%) and making confidence levels transparent to the user (explanatory statement versus no explanatory statement) may influence perceptions of trust and performance in an information retrieval task assisted by a conversational system. In a field experiment with 104 users, our findings indicate that neither model confidence nor transparency seem to impact trust in the conversational system. However, users’ task performance is positively influenced by both transparency and trust in the system. While this study considers the complex interplay of system trustworthiness, trust, and subsequent behavioral outcomes, our results call into question the relation between system trustworthiness and user trust.

In-company training is facing new challenges in preparing employees for the demands of digitalized and automated manufacturing. New training concepts like microlearning are necessary to support work-process-related learning. To handle the limitations of microlearning, we develop a 360-degree learning system to demonstrate a realistic work environment. Nonetheless, there is a lack of design knowledge supporting the motivation and performance of employees using the system. Based on a systematic literature review and semi-structured interviews, we have developed design requirements for interactive 360-degree learning environments. We used a workshop-based mixed-method approach with interviews, concept maps, and video analysis to evaluate the motivation and performance of precision mechanics within a prototypical work-process-oriented learning environment in an inter-company vocational training center. The results show a positive effect on learning outcomes and motivation. In addition, the ease of use and sense of presence while using the learning environment are rated as high. We contribute to theory by shedding new light on learners' motivation and performance within work-process-oriented interactive 360-degree learning environments. Furthermore, we offer guidelines for developing such interactive 360-degree learning environments.

Driven by circumstances like the global pandemic many learners and educators realize the importance and value of self-regulated digital learning. To better support self-regulated learning, conversational agents have become more relevant. Conversational agents can act as tutor or as learning mate for learners. Although conversational agents have potential to better support self-regulated learning processes, challenges exist requiring implications about how to make these interactions more engaging and supportive. This study discusses the value of gamified conversational learning chatbots that use game elements to engage learners to guide researchers and practitioners to design conversational agents that effectively motivate learners and provide self-regulated learning at the same time. Therefore, we propose a systematically developed framework for gamifying educational conversational agents and contribute to theory by consolidating several theories about games, digital learning, and conversational agents and support practitioners by providing implications about what to care about when gamifying conversational agents

Today’s servitized and digitalized society has significant implications for the economic system as value creation increasingly shifts towards digital services. Organizations are increasingly relying of artificial intelligence, which enables them to operate with novel technological artifacts like conversational agents (CA). These human-like AI-driven artifacts open new possibilities and channels for service providers to scale up their business even further and to create a business value or even to make processes more efficient. While we witness the results of that each day, we do not fully understand how such CAs can contribute to scaling up a business. Therefore, we conduct an analysis of service research and popular CAs to determine the status quo and highlight opportunities for scaling services with CAs. We contribute to theory by clarifying the meaning of scalability in combination with CAs and support practitioners by providing an overview about how organizations successfully scale their CAs.

The increasing digitalization and automatization in the manufacturing industry as well as the need to learn on the job has reinforced the need for much more granular learning, which has not yet impacted the design of learning materials. In this regard, granular learning concepts require situated learning materials to support self-directed learning in the workplace in a targeted manner. Co-creation approaches offer promising opportunities to support employees in the independent design of such situated learning materials. Using an action-design research (ADR) approach, we derived requirements from co-creation concepts and practice by conducting focus group workshops in manufacturing and vocational training schools to develop design principles for a co-creation system that supports employees through the creation process of work-process-related learning material. Consequently, we formulate four design principles for the design of a collaborative learning and qualification system for manufacturing. Using an innovative mixed methods approach, we validate these design principles and design features to demonstrate the success of the developed artifact. The results provide insights regarding the design of a co-creation system to support learners in the co-creation of learning material with the consideration of cognitive load (CL). Our study contributes to research and practice by proposing novel design principles for supporting employees in peer creation processes. Furthermore, our study reveals how co-creation systems can support the collaborative development of learning materials in the work process.

Design science projects are of great interest in information systems (IS) research. Typically, design-oriented projects generate valuable design knowledge through the design and possible instantiation of artifacts. Although designing novel artifacts and accumulating design knowledge is common practice in IS, there is still limited shared knowledge about the distinctive characteristics of design knowledge to facilitate its accumulation. To address this issue, we develop a design knowledge taxonomy and contribute to a deeper understanding of design knowledge properties. The taxonomy is grounded on a systematic literature review, followed by a combination of empirical-to-conceptual and conceptual-to-empirical iterations. We evaluate the taxonomy by interviewing six domain experts and demonstrate its practical application and utility. Thus, the taxonomy consists of key dimensions and characteristics of design knowledge and contributes to a better scientific understanding of its characteristics. Practitioners can use the taxonomy as an instrument to further understand, design, and accumulate design knowledge.

To ensure that an intended target group accepts and uses an information system (IS) is a major challenge for service systems engineering and a key interest in IS research. On the one hand, individuals’ cultural values affect their willingness to use an IS; on the other hand, information technology (IT) is neither value-neutral and, thus, also affects IT acceptance and usage. Therefore, the adaptation of IS should consider both sources of value. Thus, in this paper, we present the theory-driven design of a method for culture-sensitive IS adaptation that draws on IT-culture conflict theory. Our two-fold evaluation approach results show that the method enables to create feasible results for developing culture-sensitive design solutions for IS. As a theoretical contribution, we contribute to the exploration of culture in IS development; as a practical contribution, we provide guidance in how to adapt IS for specific target groups.



Academy of Management (AOM), OCIS und MED Division
Association for Information Systems (AIS)
Association for Computing Machinery – Special Interest Group Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI)
Bundesnetzwerk Verbraucherforschung des des Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz
Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft (VHB)