The design of technological interventions to motivate behaviour-          Our GT analysis derived six main categories or t...
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Using Grounded Theory to Inform the Design of Energy Interventions for the Workplace


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Poster presentation for Digital Engagement 2011 conference #de2011, part of the Electromagnates project: investigating energy interventions for the workplace. Research done by the Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre

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Using Grounded Theory to Inform the Design of Energy Interventions for the Workplace

  1. 1. The design of technological interventions to motivate behaviour- Our GT analysis derived six main categories or themes from the de-based reductions in home energy consumption has recently been sign task data, illustrated in figure 1. Each category also embodies fur-identified as a priority for the HCI community. Previous interventions ther research direction to support our principal research objective,have produced promising results, but have typically focused on do- which is to adequately understand employees’ motivations, aspira-mestic energy consumption. By contrast, this work focuses on the tions and workplace constraints in the context of engaging with organ-workplace context, which presents very different opportunities and isational energy interventions, all of which are wrapped up in organi-challenges. Specifically, monetary consequences, which have proved sational culture layers. The analysis also provides a rich account of em-successful as motivations in the domestic environment, are for the ployee and management perspectives of current energy usage practic-most part not present in the workplace from the employee perspec- es and how to design effective interventions. A prototype interfacetive. We describe the outcome of a sequence of workshops that fo- that embeds the six identified themes from the GT analysis is showncussed on understanding employee perceptions of energy use in the in figure 2.workplace, with the locus of activity on energy intervention design.Using a grounded theory (GT) analysis, we produced a framework ofkey themes detailing user perceptions and energy intervention designconsiderations. Our findings provide a framework of considerations forthe design of successful workplace energy interventions. Figure 5. Prototype interface with mapped GT themes Although the insights that we describe are largely concerned with or- ganisational cultures and politics, understanding these contexts will be crucial in the development of a successful energy intervention. This paper has argued that the design of interventions intended to reduce workplace energy consumption must address issues of corporate re- Figure 1 - Key categories derived from Grounded Theory sponsibility. Throughout the workshops the participants returned toThree day-long workshops were run across 3 locations with a total of issues of personal, departmental and institutional responsibility: who65 participants from 5 universities and a number of businesses in the was to be responsible for setting targets? Were they achievable? Whatenergy industry. The job roles of participants covered a diverse range would happen if they were not achieved? Who was to be held ac-including administration, managers, marketing, engineering, librari- countable? Where, in other words did the buck stop? Here or near?ans, IT support and institutional leaders. Workshop participants were The design of energy reduction interventions must be carried out withbriefed on the design task requirements and asked to think in terms of particular sensitivity to institutional cultures of accountability anddeployment in their own organisation. Specifically, the task was to de- blame management. The next steps in this research will be to applysign a 12 month intervention, using technologies of their choosing, to these findings using an iterative design process which continues toreduce energy consumption in the workplace. For each workshop sig- draw on the insights of employees of our partner organisations. Thenificant audio and written accounts of the design task were recorded final designs will be tested “in the wild” in large scale energy studiesfor qualitative analysis using the GT method. across campus and local authority infrastructure. 15th-17th November