Employee acceptability of wearable mental workload monitoring in Industry 4.0: a pilot study on motivational and contextual framing

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Van Acker, Bram B. (1,2); Conradie, Peter (1,2); Vlerick, Peter (1); Saldien, Jelle (1,2)
Series: ICED
Institution: Ghent University
Section: Industry 4.0
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.216
ISSN: 2220-4342


As Industry 4.0 will greatly challenge employee mental workload (MWL), research on objective wearable MWL-monitoring is in high demand. However, numerous research lines validating such technology might become redundant when employees eventually object to its implementation. In a pilot study, we manipulated two ways in which employees might perceive MWL-monitoring initiatives. We found that framing the technology in terms of serving intrinsic goals (e.g., improving health) together with an autonomy-supportive context (e.g., allowing discussion) yields higher user acceptability when compared to framing in terms of extrinsic goals (e.g., increasing productivity) together with a controlling context (e.g., mandating use). User acceptability still panned out neutral in case of the former, however - feeding into our own and suggested future work.

Keywords: Wearable mental workload monitoring, Industry 4.0, Organizational processes, Technology, User acceptability


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