Towards a Soft Paternalism to Manage Information Systems in Organisations
Companies and other organisations are often faced with the challenge of information systems not being used effectively and efficiently. The reasons for this behaviour, which can lead to problems for both the company and the individual employee, are manifold, ranging from a lack of knowledge about the consequences of such usage and overstraining through constant changes, to trained workarounds and heuristics that make the individual process easier. Although the research discipline dealing with information systems and the interaction of user, system and organisational context has examined, from different perspectives, the reasons for a lack of acceptance of new technologies and the inefficient use of systems and has developed explanatory models, such challenges often remain. In this dissertation, a paternalistic perspective, which is more commonly used in other disciplines, such as behavioural economics, is applied to problematic behaviours in information systems usage. Based on the nudge theory, paternalistic intervention strategies are examined that aim to avert or improve individual users’ decisions that are considered problematic. The principles of ‘soft’ or ‘libertarian’ paternalism that prohibit omitting options or acting against the explicit preferences of the individual user are considered. The paternalistic perspective on interventions in decision-making processes is minimally addressed in previous research on information systems or has not been classified as such. This dissertation brings together related fields of research and explains how a soft paternalistic and user-centred perspective can help to investigate and improve information technology acceptance and usage problems in organisations by using a digital nudging theory. To this end, conditions for use in companies were investigated, a methodological construction kit for application was developed and applications in real and experimental environments were evaluated.