Conference proceedings article
Understanding and Enhancing the Effectiveness of Certifications (Doctoral Consortium Paper)

Publication Details
Lins, S.
South Korea
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Doctoral Consortium at the Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems


service providers frequently undergo independent third party assessments (i.e.,
IT certifications) to signal a high degree of service security and privacy. However,
the academic literature presents a pattern of inconsistent findings with regard
to certification effectiveness. As prior research only analyzes the impact of
certifications from a black box perspective (i.e., embedded vs. not embedded a certification
seal), we currently lack a deep understanding about what influences
certification effectiveness. Given prevalent research inconsistencies, my
dissertation focuses on deepen the understanding about certification
effectiveness to find evidence and explanation to prevalent research inconsistencies
by applying a mixed-method approach. First, I ground my dissertation on Signaling
Theory to open up the black box and explain what factors influence
certification effectiveness. As part of my ongoing work, I evaluate whether
these findings based on the Signaling Theory can be applied to certifications
by conducting interviews with consumers of digital services to derive a
detailed theoretical model about certification effectiveness. Then, I will
validate the model by conducting a comprehensive online experiment. In
addition, I focus on how to enhance certification effectiveness. In particular,
I am focusing on certification presentation as one of the important drivers of
certification effectiveness. By following a theory-driven design approach,
grounded on the Cognitive Load Theory and Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation, I formulate
and test universal guidelines for an effective design of certification
presentations. With my dissertation, I dissolve current research
inconsistencies and provide future researchers with the means to analyze under
what conditions a certification will have an impact on consumers. I also intend
to raise red flags regarding current simplification of certification
presentations to mere graphical seals that fail to reliably convey assurance
information, and provide universal guidelines for certification presentation
that enhance certification effectiveness.


Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 19:20

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