Thomas Wagenknecht

Consultant / Researcher

Kategorie: Publications

A Janus-faced matter—The role of user anonymity for communication persuasiveness in online discussions

Timm Teubner, Christof Weinhardt and I recently published a new article on the role of user anonymity for communication persuasiveness in the Information & Management journal. The paper is currently in press and already available online.

In the study, we investigate how persuasiveness of a message changes by a seemingly simple intervention – whether a picture and a name is provided or not. While we keep the message the same, we show that through the construct of social presence, both user credibility and involvement significantly change. Our research also sheds new light on the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion by showing some inherent contradictions.

If you’d like to learn more about this study in less than 10 minutes, have a look at my Science Slam at Lido from more than a year ago (German only).


Konkurrent und Komplementär – Neues Projekt für die Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

Unter dem Titel „Konkurrent und Komplementär“ haben wir am FZI, gemeinsam mit dem Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft (HIIG), ein neues zweijähriges Projekt im Forschungsverbund „Digitalisierung, Mitbestimmung, Gute Arbeit“ der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung gestartet.


Crowdsourcing in a Public Organization: Transformation and Culture

From August 10th to 12th, I was lucky enough to attend the 23rd Americas Conference on Information Systems. I presented our paper „Crowdsourcing in a Public Organization: Transformation and Culture,“ where we develop an IT artifact that enables employees to participate in the strategic decision-making processes at their organization. Working with an organization that had a quite hierarchical structure with fixed processes, we found an IT culture conflict as crowdsourcing requires an open and more transparent culture. Nonetheless, our study shows that crowdsourcing can help to transform organizations, if you mind the organizational culture.

I’m honored that my paper was nominated by SIGOSRA as one of the best papers at the conference and that I was named Best Reviewer by SIGEGOV.

Towards a design theory of computer-supported organizational participation

My article on a new approach towards a design theory for participation in organizations has been published in the Journal of Enterprise Information Management as part of a Special Issue on „Managing Enterprises in the 21st Century.“ Buidling on more than 20 expert interviews with managers of small and large firms in Germany, we develop a framework for computer-supported organizational participation. We show how employee competence and leadership commitment are as important as the workload and support as well as an option for anonymous communication.

You can access the paper at

The Impact of Anonymity on Communication Persuasiveness in Online Participation

In December, I had the chance to present my research at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in Dublin, Ireland. When it comes to organizational participation (e.g., internal crowdsourcing, open innovation), anonymity becomes increasingly important as it might encourage otherwise reticent employees to speak their (true) mind. However, providing an option for anonymous communication might also affect the way users perceive content. More specifically, in our paper, we ask whether anonymity decreases message persuasiveness. We design an experiment that is based on the intermediating factors perceived social presence, user credibility, and user involvement.

You can find out more and download the paper at

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