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2021 | Book

Digital Transformation and Human Behavior

Innovation for People and Organisations

Editors: Prof. Concetta Metallo, Prof. Maria Ferrara, Prof. Alessandra Lazazzara, Prof. Stefano Za

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation


About this book

The digital transformation is impacting various aspects of how we live and work. Due to the pervasive effects of the digital revolution on firms and societies, both scholars and practitioners are interested in better understanding the key mechanisms behind the related challenges. This book presents a collection of research papers focusing on the relationships between technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, social media, and the Internet of Things) and behaviours (e.g. social learning, knowledge sharing, and decision-making). Moreover, it provides insights into how the digital transformation may improve quality of personal life and work life within public and private organisations. The plurality of views offered makes this book particularly relevant for practitioners, companies, scientists, and governments. It gathers a selection of the best papers - original double-blind peer-reviewed contributions - presented at the annual conference of the Italian chapter of the AIS which was held in Naples, Italy, in September 2019.

Table of Contents

Digital Transformation and Human Behavior: An Introduction
Digital transformation is impacting all aspects of life, the way we live and the way we work. The aim of this book is to introduce the current debate on the relationship between digital transformation and human behavior. This volume proposes a revised version of some interesting and relevant contributions presented at the XVI Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS (ItAIS2019) entitled “Digital Transformation and Social Innovation”, which was held at the University of Naples “Parthenope” on September 27–28, 2019. The book contains 24 chapters evaluated through a double-blind review process and provides a plurality of views that makes this book particularly relevant for scholars but also for practitioners, managers, and policy makers.
Concetta Metallo, Maria Ferrara, Alessandra Lazazzara, Stefano Za

Digital Skills and New Forms of Learning

The Evolution of (Digital) Learning Models and Methods: What Will Organizations and Their Employees Adopt in 2025?
Today learning within organizations is the most important driver of people attraction, retention and engagement. While “why” we should learn is out of questions and “how” (in terms of options) we could do it is relatively well known, we know little about how individuals learn and especially how they would like to learn in the future. In this paper, we compare how much employees currently use different learning models (traditional or face to face, online and blended) and learning methods and how much they would like to use them in the future. We surveyed online 245 Italian employees and we discovered that respondents predominantly use face to face learning while aiming for more online learning and relatively more blended learning in the future. With regard to learning methods, our data highlight that there is the expectation to use less instructor-led lectures in favor of other more engaging learning methods. These results offer interesting insights for the HR function and the Business Schools that have to design up to date learning programs.
Leonardo Caporarello, Beatrice Manzoni, Beatrice Panariello
Bedazzled by Technology
This paper is about the socio-technical findings of a project that was carried out for an organisation in the educational sector. The main aim of the project was to explore the possibilities of developing a mobile Augmented Reality authoring tool that educators would use to create AR experiences in attempt to improve their teaching methods. A novel ‘solution’ was designed and prototyped, which initially seemed to have great potential, but as the project progressed it gradually became evident that although the solution was possible, it was not necessarily a good solution. The project ended up being a prime example of the nowadays common phenomenon of designing efficacious but ineffective solutions for ill-defined problems. This paper analyses the project in retrospective from a soft systems thinking point of view, reflecting on the problems and limitations of attempting to solve problems with ill-defined boundaries and requirements using hard systems thinking.
Ivanin Ivanov, Peter Bednar, Athanasios Paraskelidis
Socio-Technical Interplay in a Two-Sided Market: The Case of Learning Platforms
The rise of the platform era changes the way interactions are structured and enables transactions at a distance. The platform phenomena also enables co-creation of content, shifting the way services are delivered across diverse boundaries. This is especially apparent in workplaces, where the developments change roles, relationships and conditions for teaching and learning, creating the possibility of a two-sided market. From a socio-technical and socio-cultural learning perspective, this study primarily aims for a better understanding of platforms in higher educational settings. Using a learning platform as an illustrative case, we argue for platform context transactions that are not monetary transactions. The main contribution of the paper is to offer a discussion where we problematize the transactional concept in two-sided markets. The findings shed new light on emerging challenges and tensions in the interplay between the constant change of technology and what it means to work in such change. This has implications for both teaching and learning and offers insights that can be valuable for understanding the shift to online learning during the recent pandemic of covid-19.
Anna Sigridur Islind, Livia Norström, Helena Vallo Hult, Suzana Ramadani Olsson
The Preferred Learning Styles of Generation Z: Do They Differ from the Ones of Previous Generations?
A new generation, named Generation Z (born after 1996), is currently in education and it will soon approach the job market. Knowing how they engage in learning is critical to design effective learning experiences both in academia and at work. However, being the newest generation, it is also the least studied one, especially in academic research. With this paper we aim to explore Gen Zers’ preferred learning styles and to compare them with the ones of previous generations. We collected data from 870 Italian MSc students and Executive Education participants to assess their learning styles using Kolb’s learning style inventory. We found that Gen Zers have higher preferences towards the assimilating learning style (combining abstract conceptualization and reflective observation), while Baby Boomers and Gen X prefer the accommodating style (combining active experimentation and concrete experience). There results conflict with the common stereotypes—mainly based on qualitative evidence—about the youngest generation, which see them as a generation that needs to engage in a highly informal, interactive and experience-based learning. Implications for theory and practice follow.
Beatrice Manzoni, Leonardo Caporarello, Federica Cirulli, Federico Magni
Is This What You Want? Looking for the Appropriate Digital Skills Set
Digital technology is the heart of the modern economy. Digital skills are then the reference point for many firms and workers. This means that employees should have skills to face change and at the same time have excellent technical preparation. Innovation and competitiveness of organizations are guided by today’s skills, the so-called twenty-first century digital skills (DS). In this paper we analyze the DS related to the digital transformation in an Italian firm operating in the manufacturing sector, observing that DS are not adequately distributed among the firm departments. In particular, the desiderata (job descriptions) seem often not aligned with the expectations of the managers (interviews).
Gianluca Prezioso, Federica Ceci, Stefano Za
The Role of Digital Competencies and Creativity for Job Crafting in Public Administration
Over recent years, the way public workers perform and interpret the own work has radically changed. Among these changes, what seems to have had a decisive impact is the advent of information and communication technologies. The informatization, digitalization, and computerization of procedures and jobs has made learning and the use of digital competencies necessary to face constant change and to take advantage of it. Digital competencies consist in knowing how to use the information society technologies for work, leisure, and communication with confidence and a critical spirit. So, those who manage to develop basic skills in information and communication technologies can juggle in this changing scenario. In this ongoing study, we hypothesize a relationship between digital competencies and job crafting. We hypothesize that civil servants developing this type of competencies can act proactively on their work by modifying its contents, relationships, and cognitive perception if they are creative. Implications are discussed.
Filomena Buonocore, Rocco Agrifoglio, Davide de Gennaro
Competence Development for Teachers Within a Digital Inter-professional Community
Competence development for teachers is of increasing importance as the use of digital tools poses a challenge to the pedagogical approach within the teaching context in schools. Schools are responsible for ensuring that students are able to use modern technology as tools for searching for knowledge and for communication, as well as for creation and learning. Hence, teachers need to develop their competence in integrating digital technologies into their pedagogical practices. Digital tools function as resources for interaction and collaboration across space and time, and also considerably facilitate inter-professional work and communication. This paper is based on an action-based qualitative study of a Nordic education project that focused on competence development among teachers, and where inter-professional collaboration and the use of digital tools was of great importance. The aim of this paper is to analyze how teachers’ competence development with regard to innovative pedagogical skills can be supported in an inter-professional community of practice, using digital technologies. Different pedagogical approaches, curricular contents, digital resources and organizational conditions were produced in the virtual collaboration within this community of practice.
Ann Svensson

Digital Technology and Individual Behaviour

Exploring the Effects of Social Value on Social Network Dependence
In a world where around 3.5 billions of the entire population are active social media users, the individual usage behavior of social network sites and related aspects should require further investigation. Specifically, this paper focuses on the social network dependence, considering the utilitarian and goal-oriented facet rather than the psychological one, usually referred as addiction. It combines an analysis of personal cultural values with Media System Dependency theory, investigating the role of social axioms in affecting the social network dependence. Using a large dataset composed by 622 observations, we developed and validated a research model to shed new light on the investigation of dependence phenomena in the context of social network sites, exploring the role of individual beliefs.
Stefano Za, Federica Ceci, Francesca Masciarelli, Lea Iaia
Motives Behind DDoS Attacks
Behind everything we do in our daily lives there is a reason for doing it. This paper looks into the motives behind DDoS attacks as a form of cyberattack along with attacker personas. This paper also investigates DDoS attacks technically and it is suggested that there is a need for a socio-technical approach to these attacks to investigate why they occur and the reasoning the attacker(s) could have for launching these attacks. This paper finds several motives behind DDoS attacks and discusses the profiles that attackers can be sorted into. Also discussed are the motives that attacker profiles can have for launching DDoS attacks. Although mitigation techniques are in place to control the damage a DDoS attack can cause to a company, if the motives can be addressed first, these attacks could be prevented. With the use of case studies, visualisations and tables, the motives behind DDoS attacks and attacker personas are presented.
Scott Traer, Peter Bednar
How Do Employees Learn Security Behavior? An Integrated Perspective on Social Learning and Rational Decision Making
The information security has become one of the most important topics in the modern information technology of companies. It influences the way companies work and the exchange of information between them. Information security policies are one of the most important instruments for compliance with information security (ISC). It is particularly important that the defined rules are adhered to. In order to explain human behaviour with regard to ISC, this paper uses the established theory of Social Learning Theory (SLT) and Rational Choice Theory (RCT). However, they are rarely used to explain the ISC. This article aims to combine behavioral and IS research to better understand ISC. We provide an overview and description of the effects of SLT and RCT on ISC through a PLS analysis. The results of this study show that SLT has an influence on RCT and therefore the ISC can be explained by the two theories used.
Adriana Niechoy, Kristin Masuch, Simon Trang
Digital Emancipation: Are We Becoming Prisoners of Our Own Device?
Contemporary information systems in combination with high-speed internet, liberate individuals as they set them free from time, place and device restrictions of their everyday life. As a result, they blur the boundaries between work, social and personal life contexts. In this paper we introduce the concept of digital emancipation to refer to the notion of freedom experienced by individuals due the wide use of contemporary information systems. We argue that digital emancipation may have both a positive and a negative impact in each context as the individual may be at the same time be digitally emancipated, but also bound to the technology and its capabilities or limitations. We draw on existing literature to provide indications that digital emancipation is associated to both positive and negative experiences within each context and highlight that tensions between these mixed experiences exists. Building on this analysis, we then set the ground and motivates the need for an integrated theoretical framework for understanding the balancing effort of the digitally emancipated individual.
Ariana Polyviou, Nancy Pouloudi, Katerina Pramatari, Gurpreet Dhillon
Customer Experience Formation in Online Shopping: Investigating the Causes of Positive and Negative Emotions During a Visit to an Online Store
This study explores customer experience formation in an online shopping context by investigating the causes of customers’ positive and negative emotions during their visit to an online store. Survey data collected from 1786 Finnish online customers was used to identify individuals who experienced strong positive (N = 138) or negative emotions (N = 215) during their visit. The causes of negative and positive emotions were studied by analyzing customers’ open-ended, written explanations attributed to their emotions. Attribution theory is utilized to explain how individuals make sense of their emotions. The findings show that customers offer various explanations for the emotions evoked during a visit to an online store. Three main themes were identified with respect to the causes of such emotions and related to: (1) the online store, (2) the socio-material environment, and, (3) the customer her/himself. Customers generally blame the online store for negative emotions, whereas positive emotions are mostly associated with oneself and one’s success as a consumer. Both negative and positive emotions are to some extent explained by the sociomaterial environment. The findings demonstrate the complexity of customer experience formation. Further investigation of the topic is therefore warranted.
Tiina Kemppainen, Markus Makkonen, Lauri Frank
What Foster People to Purchase Further Smart Devices? A Research Proposal
Drawing on the assemblage theory and the concept of personal digital ecosystem, this study aims to propose a model for investigating the willingness to buy a further smart device in order to increase the number of devices shaping the personal digital ecosystem. This research in progress paper describes the main theoretical underpinnings on which the proposed model is built. The model considers continuance intention (CI) to use smart devices and smart device dependence (SD) as antecedents of the purchase intention (PI). Moreover, it considers the moderating effect of users’ satisfaction and the number of smart devices already owned on the relationships between CI and PI, and SD and PI respectively. Finally, the model proposed could further allow to investigate the consequences of technological possession by exploring the motivations leading people to own more smart devices.
Stefano Za, Alessandra Lazazzara, Jessie Pallud, Daniele Agostini
Human or Machine? A Study of Anthropomorphism Through an Affordance Lens
Anthropomorphism—the tendency of humans to apply human-like attributes to non-human objects—has received growing attention by scholars across multiple disciplines. With increasing popularity of service and personal robotics and conversational agents, scholars of information systems have begun to shed light on some of the technology features and processes related to anthropomorphism. This study applies a socio-technical approach using affordance theory to examine the relationship between technology and anthropomorphic perceptions among users. Evidence is gathered from an empirical study involving the introduction of interactive voice response (IVR) with savings clients of a savings and loans company in Ghana. The findings highlight four main ways that the IVR technology exhibited human-like qualities within the user-technology interaction (as perceived by users). This paper illustrates how a study on the relationship between technology and anthropomorphism might be conducted through an affordance perspective. It also offers implications for technology development.
Dana Lunberry, Jonathan Liebenau
How Perceptions of Work-Life Balance and Technology Use Impact upon Creativity in Collaborative Spaces
This paper unpacks creative processes in collaborative spaces (CS). We focus on how the positive resources related to wellbeing and work-life balance derived from working in CS interplay with the use of collaborative technology in affecting individual creativity. We conducted a survey study with individuals working in 27 different CS in Italy. We propose and find a positive relationship between the perceived level of work-life balance satisfaction and individual creativity. Instead we do not find a significant relationship between the frequency of technology mediated interactions with external actors and individual creativity. Furthermore, the relationship between work-life balance and creativity is negatively moderated by technology mediated interactions with external actors. In other words, an intense use of collaborative technology with actors external to the CS can generate perceptions of overload thus making the impact of work-life balance on creativity not significant. We conclude with theoretical and practical implications.
Carlotta Cochis, Elisa Mattarelli, Fabiola Bertolotti, Anna Chiara Scapolan, Fabrizio Montanari, Paula Ungureanu
Interaction-Context Schema: A Proposed Model to Support Interaction Analysis in Small and Medium Enterprises
Information Systems Interactions are a pivotal point in developing an understanding of a socio-technical system. From this perspective, Information Systems could be defined as the cooperation, coexistence and integration of a socio-technical approach with the social aspect. This research investigates how people communicate in a business and how this is likely to support knowledge sharing practices. Given this, the real-work practices that drive a business emphasise the interactions. This paper proposes an “Interaction-Context” schema, which factors in the interactions sparked by several stakeholders that occurs in different areas of interest of a business. Therefore, a multi-proposal expanded analysis of interactions which seek to attends diverse purposes in different contexts. The schema envisages three categories to classify the interaction. Similarly, there are three contexts which distinguish the orientation. Hence, the interplay between interactions, technology and ICT competencies, which support or develop a business, underpin the Proposed Model “Interaction-Context” schema.
Michele Cipriano, Peter Bednar
Systemic Sustainability Analysis in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Sustainability is rarely implemented in employee work practices in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The authors note that SMEs should implement sustainability practices as integrated part of work activities to ensure long term success. This paper describes an empirical study of SMEs sustainability on employee real work practices. A relevant perspective is offered by the triple bottom line approach (TBL) combined with sociotechnical theory. The attention to creating value for the future could lead to fewer sustainability issues. Furthermore, the analysis highlights the importance of the best use an employee knowledge and skills to ensure his satisfaction. The main issue that hinders the improvement of sustainability could be a lack of management attention to systemic integration of employee work practices. The authors argue to integrate technology and systemic perspective in TBL approach to achieve sustainability from sociotechnical perspective. The analysis aims to support enterprises to remain competitive in evolving contexts.
Lucia Pascarella, Peter Bednar
New Technologies for Preventing and Reducing Verbal and Non-verbal Assaults Against Healthcare Professionals Within Hospitals: The State of Art
This study investigates the main implications of new technologies within healthcare setting, specifically hospitals, in preventing and reducing verbal and non-verbal assaults, sometimes concrete violence, against healthcare professionals. New technologies significantly affect the way to work of healthcare professionals especially within hospitals taking into account, on one side, the need to strongly reduce the costs (spending review policy), and, on the other side, to provide effective services to citizens for making them to live in good health. Also, new technologies provide further innovative solutions for facing some specific challenges, such as the continuous and numerous episodes of violence and aggressions received by healthcare professionals during their work. This phenomenon is very spread, mostly within public hospitals in the world, above all in Italy. This study aims to analyse this phenomenon through a review of the main contributions of the literature on the topic and in the practice for building a clear and complete picture and give some useful suggestions.
Paola Briganti, Stefania Mele, Luisa Varriale

Digital Social Innovation

Technology Mediated Interaction for Users with Learning Disabilities: A Scoping Review
Developers of computer systems and interfaces compete to produce tools that are usable and useful in the sense of assisting potential users to achieve the desired result. This usefulness angle of the discussion is what prompts us to look at existing knowledge on the potential of technology for improving social interaction and inclusion of people with learning disability (LD). We investigate how the extant literature guides conversation around premises of assistive devices and information technologies, in the context of improving interaction with people with LD for an inclusive value co-creation in our digital society of today. Through the lens of the DART framework, the four pillars of interaction of (Dialogue, Access, Risk, and Transparency), our approach seeks to explore how the current literature treats this contemporary topic.
Nabil Georges Badr, Michele Kosremelli Asmar
Social and Ethical Shifts in the Digital Age: Digital Technologies for Governing or Digital Technologies that Govern?
Organizational efficiency and economic development has benefited significantly from the ubiquitous nature of information technology in today’s governmental machinery and in society, but what of its serious implications at the macro and micro level? The argument of the paper is that technology-driven social changes require—and facilitate—a policy response. Exploring the wider implications of ICT used by governments through the lenses of two analytical frameworks (i.e., the ‘tools of government approach’ and the ‘data-driven agency approach’) elaborated in two seminal books allows us to formulate a number of information policy recommendations for contemporary decision makers seeking viable solutions to ethical concerns. The conceptual discussion aims to spur an early and pro-active engagement with the social impacts of technology.
Paolo Depaoli, Maddalena Sorrentino, Marco De Marco
Power Relationships in the Co-production of Smart City Initiatives
Participatory smart cities promote urban development and transformation by involving citizens and communities in participation and co-production exercises. However, to take advantage of the citizens’ contribution to the success of smart city initiatives, interaction-defined and participation-based governance infrastructures should be implemented that return power to the people. An exploratory study shows that how the smart city collaborative/participatory governance questions the traditional power relationships between city governments and citizens is a still underexplored topic. The paper aims to help bridge this theoretical gap by discussing citizens’ co-production in smart city initiatives from the point of view of the power relationships. The main point of the paper is that to leverage the citizens’ smartness to develop a smart city, the power relationships between the city government and the citizens should be rebalanced, which entails a shift from a power-over domination-based logic to a power-with interactive and collaboration-based logic.
Walter Castelnovo, Mauro Romanelli
Strategic Issues of the Current Context of Smart Cities and the Industry 4.0. Case Study: Trends on the Romanian Market
The industry 4.0 has become one of the main strategic issues globally in terms of automation and interconnectivity of several sectors, being considered the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 factors, such as cloud computing, internet of things as smart metering or smart traffic lights, but also cyber physical systems have emerged in different regions of the world sustaining more efficient business, infrastructure, city and cost management, but also interconnected systems to make decentralized decisions regarding these matters. Such elements support numerous parties involved, including users, companies, institutions and municipalities, in managing waste reduction, more effective cost, energy consumption and information transparency, leading to a dynamic environment of adaptation to contextual and environmental situations, that otherwise could be difficult to manage. While there is a trend of automating and interconnecting systems in all sectors of activities, there are still challenges and limitations in regard to the implementation of these industry 4.0 factors, especially in terms of smart cities. Through the Delphi method based on interviews and questionnaires we inquired the implementation degree, needs and costs of some of the most important Smart City and Industry 4.0 tools in the Romanian market, as well as expected trends for the coming years. While there is still a significant gap between the needs of the population, infrastructure and city and the current implementation level of these tools, significant progress has been made though. The relevance of the study lies in the novelty of the practical approach for the Romanian market referring to the industry 4.0 and smart city tools, that have not been inquired previously.
Alina Mihaela Dima, Maria Alexandra Maassen
Smart GOALA: An Alternative Marketing Channel for Connecting the Peri-urban Marginal Dairy Farmers with the Urban Consumers in Bangladesh
The objective of this paper is to present a mobile-based conceptual model of marketing channel for connecting the peri-urban marginal dairy farmers with the urban milk consumers in developing countries, particularly in Bangladesh. It reports the results of one quantitative survey and four qualitative focus group discussions. The survey reveals that the farmers are deprived of getting fair prices of their product due to inefficient marketing channel. The study also explores that a technology-based marketing channel might help the farmers to overcome the problems. Based on these findings, the study proposes a mobile-based channel—‘Smart GOALA’—for connecting the peri-urban farmers with the urban consumers which will ensure them to get a better and fair price.
S. M. Mokaddes Ahmed Dipu, Tunazzina Sultana
Digital Transformation and Human Behavior
Prof. Concetta Metallo
Prof. Maria Ferrara
Prof. Alessandra Lazazzara
Prof. Stefano Za
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