The Effects of Industrial IoT on Organizations - A Case Study on Decision Making and Information Access
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effects of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) on organizations in terms of human behavior. More precisely, we investigate the influence of IIoT technology on information access and decision making among employees, two interconnected subjects which are important to the performance of an organization. Existing research has identified several effects of information technology (IT) on decision making, but to our knowledge, this is the first study that specifically addresses the effects of IIoT. We provide an extensive literature review of IIoT technology, information accessing, information overload, task switching and decision making. Through a case study on employees in large chemical company on the verge of IIoT-implementation, we conducted two rounds of interviews and a quasi-experiment on Industrial IoT usage. We have adapted earlier theory on the effects of IT on decision making, and found that the conclusions of previous research on this subject remain relevant for IIoT, despite two decades of technological development. Furthermore, we have identified relationships between information accessing, task switching, information overload and decision making. We have examined the effects on decision making on lower organizational levels than previous research, and found that the earlier conclusions from studies on higher organizational levels are transferable to a great extent. Our findings suggest that IIoT improves information accessing, which subsequently reduces task switching and information overload. Additionally, we argue that IIoT increases quality and speed in the decision making process, consequently improving problem solving and decision making abilities in organizations.