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IV10 - 14th International Conference

Information Visualisation
26, 27 - 29 July 2010, LSBU, London, UK

The use of visualization in the
communication of business strategies
An experimental evaluation

Sebastian Kernbach (USI), Martin J. Eppler (HSG)
27 July 2010
Agenda
• What
Problem | Research question | Goal of research
• Why
Relevance | Importance
• How
Methodology | Procedure
• So What
Results | Limitations | Future Research
What
The Problem  Strategy Implementation (Communication)
Possible Solution  Visualization 

Research question:
Is the use of visualization better than text in the communication
of business strategies? 

Goal of research:
- Provide empirical evidence
- Give indication of how to better communicate strategies to
improve strategy implementation
Why Overview

Strategy Implementation

Strategy Communication
Methods

Strategy Communication
Effects

Time
Why Strategy Implementation
Strategy = How to reach goals (Performance)

Analysis Development Planning Implementation

Important ?
Problematic ?
Communication ?

Important ?
How to communicate ?

Lack of research
Why Strategy Communication Methods
Strategy = How to reach goals (Performance)

Analysis Development Planning Implementation

Important ?
Problematic ?
Communication ?

Important ?
How to communicate ?

Common way: Text Innovative way: Visualization
(PowerPoint) (Visual Metaphor, Roadmap)
Available, Widely used Information organized by location
Hierarchical bullet-points Illustration of causal relationships

Effects remain unclear Good qualitative and anecdotal feedback

Lack of empirical evidence
Why Strategy Communication Effects
Strategy = How to reach goals (Performance)

Analysis Development Planning Implementation

Important ?
Problematic ?
Strategy
Communication ?
Communication
Problems Important ?
How to communicate ?

Attention
Comprehension
Agreement Common way: Text Innovative way: Visualization
Retention (PowerPoint) (Visual Metaphor, Roadmap)
Available, Widely used Information organized by location
Hierarchical bullet-points Illustration of causal relationships
Strategy
Visualization Effects remain unclear Good qualitative and anecdotal feedback
Benefits
Lack of empirical evidence
Why

Research question:
Is the use of visualization better than text
in the communication of business strategies?

Hypotheses:
In the communication of
H1 business strategies,
visualization in the form of a
visual metaphor or roadmap,
H2 leads to better
Attention (H1)
Agreement (H2)
Comprehension (H3)
H3 Retention (H4)
compared to the text-only
form of PowerPoint.
H4

Manipulate visual + Measure effects = Causal relationship  Experiment
How Methodology
How Procedure 1

Real Strategy
Simplified
17 information units
How Procedure 2
Strategy Presentation 10min.
Questionnaire 1 15min.
Attention
Comprehension
Agreement
(Perception of Visual)
(Perception of Presenter)
Subject Background Information
Distraction Task 60min.
Questionnaire 2 15min.
Retention

Control variables
Fixed Measured
Presenter Subject Background Information
Duration Legibility
Environment Visualizer/Verbalizer

Timing and Control variables for each condition
How Procedure 2
So What Results 1
Mean (SD) ANOVA
PP VM RM Vis. vs Contr.

3.2 (0.9) 4.0 (0.8) 4.6 (0.7) .000

2.9 (0.8) 3.4 (0.6) 3.5 (0.9) .016

1.3 (0.7) 0.9 (0.7) 1.4 (0.7) .306

6.2 (2.5) 8.0 (2.6) 7.9 (3.3) .019
So What Results 2

H5

H6
Perception of
Visual
Perception of
Presenter
So What Results 2
R Square = .687
Sig. = .000

69%

H5

H6
Perception of
Visual
Perception of
Presenter
Mean (SD) ANOVA
PP VM RM Vis. vs Contr.
Perception
3.8 (1.2) 5.2 (0.9) 5.7 (1.1) .000
of Visual

Perception
4.3 (1.2) 5.3 (0.9) 5.7 (1.1) .000
of Presenter
So What Limitations & Future Research
Area Limitations Future Research

Content Strategy  Financial Services Generic Business Strategy

Visuals Two visualization methods: Improve Visual Metaphor
Visual Metaphor and Roadmap

Sample Business Managers attending MBA course Keep managers as sample
No engineers, creative people Include other professions, also lower education

Measurement Post-Measure Include Pre-Measure to Compare

Control variables Presenter possibly biased Neutral presenter
No presentation script Video-tape the presentation

Context Laboratory Experiment Extent to field experiment
Europe Conduct same experiment in other continents
Conclusion
Research question:
Is the use of visualization better than text in the
communication of business strategies?

Attention
Agreement
Comprehension
Retention

Perception of Visual
Perception of Presenter
Thank you for your attention.