Prof. Kimmy Chan highlights service robots’ potential at comeback of HKBU Business Power Lunch
The HKBU School of Business hosted the HKBU Business Power Lunch for business leaders on 30 March 2023. The event gathered senior executives and entrepreneurs from banks, renowned start-ups and corporations.
Prof. Ed Snape, Dean of the School of Business, welcomed guests. “Our faculty are producing world-class research and generating business and social impact. The aim of the Business Power Lunch is to help us to connect with the business sector and generate new insights for both practice and research.”
Themed “Human-Technology Interaction – Next Frontier?”, the presentation by Prof. Kimmy Chan of the Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems, highlighted the findings from her ongoing research on the implications of service robots for customer service. Her findings suggest that a perceived lack of creativity was the major concern people have about service robots, but that pairing robots with a creative employee and at the same time using robots with human-like (“anthropomorphised”) characteristics would help resolve that concern.
Prof. Chan explained further that according to field studies and laboratory experiments, trait transference effects apply to any human-robot team when the robot is anthropomorphised, since people tend to use information about known group members to make inferences about unknown members. In other words, when a human-like service robot is paired up with an employee who is known for being creative, customers infer that the robot is also creative. The results of the field experiment with an online store showed that a product which is jointly designed by a human-robot team received more ‘likes’ (86%) than in the case of a similar team with a non-anthropomorphism robot (70%). Furthermore, customers served by the anthropomorphised robot-team spent more (US$12.99) in the store per month than with a non-anthropomorphised robot-team (US$7.33).
The HKBU Business Power Lunch provides an opportunity for HKBU School of Business scholars to share their latest research insights with senior leaders and business executives. Other research insights from the School of Business are available here.