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Haiyan Chen

Haiyan Chen

Project title

An investigation of the unintended negative consequences to consumers’ well-being resulting from the use of transformative self-service technologies: The case of health and fitness apps


  • Prof Klaus Schoefer
  • Prof Danae Manika (Brunel University)
  • Dr Efstathia Tzemou




Project description

This research aims to explore the unintended negative outcomes to consumers’ well-being when using transformative self-service technologies by focusing on the following two research questions:

1) What are the potential negative consequences to consumers’ well-being of using transformative self-service technologies?

2) How does the use of transformative self-service technologies lead to negative outcomes in regard to consumers’ well-being?

The ubiquity of services has profound impacts on consumers' daily lives (Anderson et al., 2013). Unlike traditional services, advanced technology has diversified today's services and service systems, which are closely related to the well-being of consumers. Early research has focused on the positive impact of transformative services on consumers.

In recent years, scholars in the field of service research have begun to call for critical thinking on the effects of transformative services on consumers (Anderson and Ostrom, 2015). Among these, the vulnerable consumer group is one of the concerns, which may be harmed due to the lack of certain ableness in the process of using transformative services. Therefore, it is of academic and practical significance to explore the unintended negative health outcomes of self-service technology to consumers’ well-being.

This study plans to adopt a sequential, mixed-method research design with the qualitative inquiry being followed by quantitative work. First, exploratory in-depth interviews will be conducted. Then the insight from the interview will be used to amend the conceptual framework so that it can be empirically tested in subsequent quantitative research using a cross-sectional survey.

Academically, this research can fill the gap in transformative service research on unintended consequences and vulnerable consumer groups. In practice, this study can help service providers offer personalized and sustainable self-service to vulnerable consumers. Also, relevant industry policy makers can designate more specific policies to monitor the supply of transformative self-services to protect vulnerable consumers.