• Publications M.Sc. Miriam Höddinghaus

    Höddinghaus, M., Sondern, D. & Hertel, G. (in press). The automation of leadership functions: Would people trust decision algorithms? Computers in Human Behavior.

    Abstract: The advancing maturity of algorithm-based decision-making enables computers to perform many leadership functions today. However, a central precondition of successful implementation should be that human workers trust such automated leadership agents. The present study (N = 333 workers) compared participants’ reactions towards automated and human leadership using experimental vignette methodology with hypothetical work scenarios. We manipulated type of leadership agent (human vs. computer) and decision subject (disciplinary vs. mentoring), and measured participants’ trustworthiness perceptions and trust in the leadership agent. Results showed that participants perceived automated leadership agents as being higher on integrity and transparency than human leadership agents. However, human leadership agents were perceived as more adaptable and more benevolent. No differences occurred with respect to perceived data processing capacity or as a function of decision subject. Perceived trustworthiness predicted trust in the leadership agent, which in turn was positively related to further work-related outcomes (e.g., perceived fairness of the decision, perceived organizational support), confirming the general relevance of trust for organizations. The results contribute to our understanding of trust in automated leadership and offer practical implications for computer-based decision-making in the leadership context.


    Hertel, G., Meeßen, S. M., & Höddinghaus, M. (2020). Trust in the Context of e-HRM. In Bondarouk, T. & Fisher, S. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Electronic HRM (pp. 76–81). Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110633702-012. [PDF]