Digital Communication and Transformation (digicat)
Institution: University of Duisburg-Essen
About the lab
The research group of Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz investigates the digital transformation and its effects on enterprises and organizations as well as on society and individuals. Based on interdisciplinary research and advanced methods of data analytics we perform excellent research to improve theory and practice. The research group cooperates with selected partners from industry as well as outstanding national and international academic institutions.
Featured projects (1)
RISE_SMA forms an interdisciplinary, international network combining excellent scholars and practitioners to enable vigorous knowledge sharing and to develop solutions for contemporary challenges for Social Media Analytics (SMA). Advanced theoretical approaches and methods of analyzing social media data are especially relevant for two domains addressed in RISE_SMA: society and crisis communication. Recently, social media communication gained immense impact on society and decision-making at all levels. It offers the potential for new forms of public discourses but also challenges societal cohesion phenomena like fake news and vicious social bots. During uncertain events such as natural disasters or human-made crises, social media communication plays an increasingly important role for citizens and emergency service agencies. RISE_SMA attempts to uncover communication patterns and suggest best practices to seek and share information in precarious situations.
Featured research (25)
One drastic change that has been established in many organizations is the possibility of location-independent work. However, working remotely also creates distinct challenges that organizations must face. Thus, remote work could lead to a decrease in social interactions and therefore less implicit knowledge exchange in teams. However, informal conversations are crucial for building and maintaining team cohesion as well as experience transfer among employees. To address this problem, we apply a design science research approach to examine how a virtual world as a work environment could help to overcome those challenges within our research group. We designed a prototype of a virtual world that is based on knowledge gained from three design thinking workshops and tested it over four weeks in a real-world work case. Furthermore, we conducted 16 interviews with employees and present our initial findings of the effects on group awareness, social identity, IT identity, trust, and acceptance.
Widespread mis- and disinformation during the COVID-19 social media “infodemic” challenge the effective response of Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs). Conversational Agents (CAs) have the potential to amplify and distribute trustworthy information from EMAs to the general public in times of uncertainty. However, the structure and responsibilities of such EMAs are different in comparison to traditional commercial organizations. Consequently, Information Systems (IS) design approaches for CAs are not directly transferable to this different type of organization. Based on semi-structured interviews with practitioners from EMAs in Germany and Australia, twelve meta-requirements and five design principles for CAs for EMAs were developed. In contrast to the traditional view of CA design, social cues should be minimized. The study provides a basis to design robust CAs for EMAs.
As organizations drive the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies, their commitment to ethical and humanistic values is critical to minimizing potential risks. Here, we investigate talent attraction as an economic incentive for organizations to commit to ethical AI. Based on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) literature and signaling theory, we present a mixed-methods research design to investigate the effect of ethical AI commitment on organizational attractiveness. Specifically, we i) identify signals of ethical AI commitment based on a review of corporate websites and expert interviews and ii) examine the effect of selected signals on organizational attractiveness in an online experiment. This short paper presents first results on ethical AI signals and details the next steps. Our research will contribute to the theoretical conceptualization of ethical AI as a part of CSR and support managers of digital transformation processes when weighing investments in ethical AI initiatives.
Virtual collaboration is an increasing part of daily life for many employees. Despite many advantages, however, virtual collaborative work can lead to a lack of trust among virtual team members, e.g., due to spatial separation and little social interaction. Previous findings indicated that emotional support provided by a conversational agent (CA) can impact human-agent trust and the perceived social presence. We developed an emotional support agent called ELSA and conducted a between-subject online experiment to examine how CAs can provide emotional support in order to increase the level of trust among colleagues in virtual teams. We found that human-agent trust positively influences the level of calculus-based trust among team members and increases team cohesion, whereas perceived anthropomorphism and social presence towards a CA seems to be less important for trust among team members.
Social media have become major platforms of commerce and changed the way we communicate and consume. Phenomena such as social bots add new dynamics to discussions and the spreading of information with the possible aim to influence or shape opinions and decisions. This study examines the requirements under which organizations would use social bots for commercial purposes. Interviews with 12 experts yielded a collection of requirements, including limitations, ethical considerations, and potentials for possible uses in marketing, social commerce, and customer service. It can be concluded that using social bots can be beneficial for commercial organizations, but that there is still a need for clarification of legalities.