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Persuasive mobile advisory services


Comes, Tino. Persuasive mobile advisory services. 2017, University of Zurich, Faculty of Economics.

Abstract

Persuasion is a powerful tool. It can change the personal attitudes, intentions and behavior of people (Fogg 2002; Verbeek 2009). As a matter of fact, persuasion is so important to advice-giving that researchers who examine advice-giving list it as a key competence of advisors (Handler 2007). The importance of persuasion is additionally emphasized by the communication sciences, whereby they recommend training advisors to become persuasive conversation partners (Ross 1986). The reason for this is that advisees accept and implement the advice of advisors only when they are persuaded, regardless of whether or not the advice would be helpful to them in the future (Soll und Mannes 2011; Tzioti 2010). However, advisors are rarely trained in the ability to argue persuasively. In most cases, advice-giving jobs are occupied by people who have gained a good reputation through their expertise, but who cannot necessarily pass on this knowledge. In such circumstances, it is often the case that advisees overestimate their own judgment and discount the advice of advisors. The advice literature defines this deviating attitude of advisees as "advice discounting" (Tzioti 2010). Moreover, if the advisory service encounters take place on-site at advisees’ known locations and run in a mobile environment because of distributed locations, then the obstructive effect of "advice discounting" is intensified. This is because, in a familiar environment, advisees are more confident than the advisors, which in turn reinforces their ego and thus their own overestimations. On the other hand, advisors are restricted in a mobile environment when using tools. They are often left with only their communication skills as means of persuasion.

This dissertation proposes a new, design-oriented approach to increase the persuasiveness of advisors in mobile advice-giving situations. This new approach is based primarily on the ideas and concepts of persuasive technology and the behavioral model of Fogg (2009), which is widely accepted in the field. Information technology serves here as a support to persuade people, without pressure, to accept given advice (Fogg 2002). The advisors are supported with the help of a newly developed mobile, persuasive-support-system, which empowers and motivates the advisees to implement the given advice.

Persuasion support is achieved by more transparent information and processes, optimized data processing, as well as an emotional influence on advisees. These support approaches were derived either from the literature or field analysis. They were transferred into design principles, which in turn formed the basic framework for a new mobile persuasive-support-system. The system itself has been developed and iteratively improved within several design science studies. The studies therefore followed a rigorous approach, inspired by the design science research framework (Hevner et al. 2004). By means of several evaluations in the application domain of home security advice-giving, this dissertation shows that advisors in home security advice-giving can significantly increase their persuasiveness when supported by the newly developed mobile persuasive-support-system. The feedback of the advisees who participated in evaluation tests confirm that the advisors were more persuasive, and that the digitally generated advisory report was better in quality and more useful in the subsequent implementation than conventional advice-giving.

This dissertation contributes to the existing knowledge base of persuasive technology and advisory research through the demonstrated use of a persuasive-support-system for mobile advice-giving and a nascent design theory. In addition, the work is helpful for the practice of advice-giving, by providing insights to design mobile advisory services.

Abstract

Persuasion is a powerful tool. It can change the personal attitudes, intentions and behavior of people (Fogg 2002; Verbeek 2009). As a matter of fact, persuasion is so important to advice-giving that researchers who examine advice-giving list it as a key competence of advisors (Handler 2007). The importance of persuasion is additionally emphasized by the communication sciences, whereby they recommend training advisors to become persuasive conversation partners (Ross 1986). The reason for this is that advisees accept and implement the advice of advisors only when they are persuaded, regardless of whether or not the advice would be helpful to them in the future (Soll und Mannes 2011; Tzioti 2010). However, advisors are rarely trained in the ability to argue persuasively. In most cases, advice-giving jobs are occupied by people who have gained a good reputation through their expertise, but who cannot necessarily pass on this knowledge. In such circumstances, it is often the case that advisees overestimate their own judgment and discount the advice of advisors. The advice literature defines this deviating attitude of advisees as "advice discounting" (Tzioti 2010). Moreover, if the advisory service encounters take place on-site at advisees’ known locations and run in a mobile environment because of distributed locations, then the obstructive effect of "advice discounting" is intensified. This is because, in a familiar environment, advisees are more confident than the advisors, which in turn reinforces their ego and thus their own overestimations. On the other hand, advisors are restricted in a mobile environment when using tools. They are often left with only their communication skills as means of persuasion.

This dissertation proposes a new, design-oriented approach to increase the persuasiveness of advisors in mobile advice-giving situations. This new approach is based primarily on the ideas and concepts of persuasive technology and the behavioral model of Fogg (2009), which is widely accepted in the field. Information technology serves here as a support to persuade people, without pressure, to accept given advice (Fogg 2002). The advisors are supported with the help of a newly developed mobile, persuasive-support-system, which empowers and motivates the advisees to implement the given advice.

Persuasion support is achieved by more transparent information and processes, optimized data processing, as well as an emotional influence on advisees. These support approaches were derived either from the literature or field analysis. They were transferred into design principles, which in turn formed the basic framework for a new mobile persuasive-support-system. The system itself has been developed and iteratively improved within several design science studies. The studies therefore followed a rigorous approach, inspired by the design science research framework (Hevner et al. 2004). By means of several evaluations in the application domain of home security advice-giving, this dissertation shows that advisors in home security advice-giving can significantly increase their persuasiveness when supported by the newly developed mobile persuasive-support-system. The feedback of the advisees who participated in evaluation tests confirm that the advisors were more persuasive, and that the digitally generated advisory report was better in quality and more useful in the subsequent implementation than conventional advice-giving.

This dissertation contributes to the existing knowledge base of persuasive technology and advisory research through the demonstrated use of a persuasive-support-system for mobile advice-giving and a nascent design theory. In addition, the work is helpful for the practice of advice-giving, by providing insights to design mobile advisory services.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Schwabe Gerhard, Böhmann Tilo
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:08 Jan 2018 18:57
Last Modified:30 Jul 2018 04:54
Number of Pages:259
OA Status:Closed
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:15634

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