Using Technology to Persuade : Visual Representation Technologies and Consensus Seeking in Virtual Teams

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948–962
Journal / PublicationInformation Systems Research
Volume30
Issue number3
Online published29 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Although Fogg’s ideas of persuasive technologies are widely accepted, few attempts have been made to test his ideas, particularly in a team context. In this article, we (1) theoretically extend Fogg’s ideas by identifying contexts in which virtual teams are more likely to use persuasive technologies; (2) empirically measure technology visualness, a factor that likely makes technologies more or less persuasive; and (3) assess the association between the use of persuasive technologies, judgment shifts, and forecast performance in a real-world virtual team context. We identify visual representation technologies (VRTs) as a class of technologies used by virtual teams to select, transform, and present data in a rich visual format. We propose that such technologies play a persuasive, as well as diagnostic, role in virtual team decisions. Over a three-year period, we examine the daily chat room discussions and decisions of a virtual team that makes smog forecasts with large economic and health consequences. We supplement regression models of field data with an experiment, interviews with team members, and analyses of imagery processing and group cohesion in team language use. Experiment results show that, relative to non-VRTs, the use of a VRT in a forecasting task increases imagery processing. Field data results show that team members increase their use of VRTs during chat room discussions when initial team consensus is low and the environment is more exacting. Greater use of VRTs in team discussions relates to greater shifts in the initial to final consensus forecasts of the team and greater odds of the team shifting its forecast policy to issue a smog alert. Increased use of VRTs is associated with lower forecast bias but is not significantly associated with forecast accuracy. VRT use is also associated with greater imagery processing and increased group cohesion, as shown through language use.