Conditions of Use and Adoption of Digital Tools: Results from a Field Study on Airport Reception Agents
The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has spread widely in our personal life as well as in the workplace. The design of these tools can contribute to increased business productivity. In a service relationship context, the challenge is not only to deliver a service but also to improve customer satisfaction. Becoming a relational brand implies an exemplary level of listening, service and responsiveness across all channels of interaction. In order to deal with these expectations, some airline companies have developed software on digital tablets. The aim of this tool is to allow sedentary workers, in charge of meeting customers at airports, to access all the data relating to them in real time, such as their journeys and their luggage for example. This situation raises several issues related to models of task definition and working organization. A study was carried out in order to explore these “digitized” environments and particularly to understand how this technology has been adopted by airport reception agents. The goal is to identify the factors that encourage, or hinder, their use. The method is based on a field observation of real work activity in order to analysis the user’s tasks by using this tool in a real life situation. The data collected has been combined with individual and collective feedback during interviews that were held. The key factors of use were also collected via an on-line survey. Results show how use of the tablet, in particular centralizing information contributed to helping airport agents to increase their responsiveness and performance for passengers. In addition, the agents claimed that the tool facilitates the accomplishment of their tasks and improves their ability to react. The development of digital tools also brings a positive image: one of a modern and reactive company. For the agents, it is essential, they felt that they gain in credibility and that they are valued. Nevertheless, although a majority of agents integrated the tablet into their daily practices, misappropriations of use were created. These adjustments led to a profound change in the work, which led to a re-consideration of the work of ground staff. The development of digital tools implies a real challenge to the job, knowledge and know-how. Regarding the speed at which technological developments are growing and the major changes that they bring, the question of the connections between work, health and use seems important.
KeywordsWork analysis Acceptance Technology
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