Looking Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg: The Two-Sided Nature of Chatbots and Their Roles for Digital Feedback Exchange

Abstract

Enterprises are forecasted to spend more on chatbots than on mobile app development by 2021. Up to today little is known on the roles chatbots play in facilitating feedback exchange. However, digitization and automation put pressure on companies to setup digital work environments that enable reskilling of employees. Therefore, a structured analysis of feedback-related chatbots for Slack was conducted. Our results propose six archetypes that reveal the roles of chatbots in facilitating feedback exchange on performance, culture and ideas. We show that chatbots do not only consist of conversational agents integrated into instant messenger but are tightly linked to complementary front- end systems such as mobile and web apps. Like the upper part of an iceberg, the conversational agent is above water and visible within the chat, whereas many user interactions of feedback-related chatbots are only possible outside of the instant messenger. Further, we extract six design principles for chatbots as digital feedback systems. We do this by analyzing chatbots and linking empirically observed design features to (meta-)requirements derived from explanatory theory on feedback, self- determination and persuasive systems. The results suggest that chatbots benefit the social environment of conversation agents and the richness of the graphical user interface of external applications.

Publication
ECIS 2019 Proceedings (forthcoming)
Date