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Collaborating with Virtual Assistants in Organizations: Analyzing Social Loafing Tendencies and Responsibility Attribution

Stefan Stieglitz (), Milad Mirbabaie (), Nicholas R. J. Möllmann () and Jannik Rzyski ()
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Stefan Stieglitz: University of Duisburg-Essen
Milad Mirbabaie: Paderborn University
Nicholas R. J. Möllmann: University of Duisburg-Essen
Jannik Rzyski: University of Duisburg-Essen

Information Systems Frontiers, 2022, vol. 24, issue 3, No 4, 745-770

Abstract: Abstract Organizations increasingly introduce collaborative technologies in form of virtual assistants (VAs) to save valuable resources, especially when employees are assisted with work-related tasks. However, the effect of VAs on virtual teams and collaboration remains uncertain, particularly whether employees show social loafing (SL) tendencies, i.e., applying less effort for collective tasks compared to working alone. While extant research indicates that VAs collaboratively working in teams exert greater results, less is known about SL in virtual collaboration and how responsibility attribution alters. An online experiment with N = 102 was conducted in which participants were assisted by a VA in solving a task. The results indicate SL tendencies in virtual collaboration with VAs and that participants tend to cede responsibility to the VA. This study makes a first foray and extends the information systems (IS) literature by analyzing SL and responsibility attribution thus updates our knowledge on virtual collaboration with VAs.

Keywords: Virtual collaboration; Virtual assistants; Social loafing; Responsibility attribution; Organizations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10796-021-10201-0

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