Employees' perceptions of chatbots in B2B marketing: Affordances vs. disaffordances
Industrial Marketing Management
School of Business and Law
West Texas A & M University
We investigate the impacts of chatbots' technical features on employees' perceptions (namely, chatbot effectiveness and discomfort with using chatbots) in the context of B2B marketing. In particular, to capture the technical features of chatbots, we identify three types of chatbot affordances (i.e., automatability, personalization, and availability) and three types of chatbot disaffordances (i.e., limited understanding, lack of emotion, and null decision-making). We show that these types of chatbot affordances and disaffordances are related to chatbot effectiveness and discomfort with using chatbots, which in turn can affect employees' attitudes toward chatbots. We conducted an empirical study via an online survey and collected data from 228 B2B marketing employees. While automatability and personalization enhance chatbot effectiveness, null decision-making increases discomfort with using chatbots. Further, chatbot effectiveness and discomfort with using chatbots both influence employees' attitudes toward chatbots. Theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed.