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Unblackboxing IT Certifications: A Theoretical Model Explaining IT Certification Effectiveness

Published: 2017 Dezember

Buchtitel: Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2017)
Verlag: AIS
Organisation: Association for Information Systems (AIS)

Referierte Veröffentlichung


Digital service providers frequently undergo independent third party assessments (i.e., IT certifications) to signal a high degree of service security and privacy. However, the academic literature presents a pattern of inconsistent findings with regard to certification effectiveness. As prior research only analyzes the impact of certifications from a black box perspective (i.e., embedded vs. not embedded a certification seal), we currently lack a deep understanding about certification effectiveness. We ground our study on signaling theory to open up the black box and explain what factors influence certification effectiveness. With this short paper, we provide an overview of constructs that influence signal effectiveness derived from related literature on signaling theory. As part of our ongoing work, we will evaluate whether these findings based on the signaling theory can be applied to certifications by conducting interviews with consumers of digital services to derive a detailed theoretical model about certification effectiveness.


Critical Information Infrastructures