We are happy to share that our article “Robot leadership – Investigating human perceptions and reactions towards social robots showing leadership behaviors” was published in PLOS ONE.
Abstract: Human-robot interaction research has shown that social robots can interact with humans in complex social situations and display leadership-related behaviors. Therefore, social robots could be able to take on leadership roles. The aim of our study was to investigate human followers’ perceptions and reactions towards robot leadership behavior, and differences based on the robot’s displayed leadership style. We implemented a robot to show either a transformational or a transactional leadership style in its speech and its movements. We presented the robot to university and executive MBA students (N = 29) and subsequently conducted semi-structured interviews and group discussions. The results of explorative coding indicated that participants differed in their perceptions and reactions based on the robot’s leadership style and based on their assumptions about robots in general. We observed that participants quickly imagined either a utopia or worried about a dystopia, depending on the robot’s leadership style and their assumptions, and that a subsequent reflection led to more nuanced views. We discuss the implications and recommendations for human-robot interaction and leadership research.
The full article is available open access at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0281786