An Exploratory Study Investigating How and Why Managers Use Tablets to Support Managerial Decision-Making

Meng Xiao, Rob Meredith, Shijia Gao


Managers are often mobile and a large proportion of their work is dealing with decisions. Although many managers currently use tablet computers in their work, there is little research on the use of tablets for managerial decision-support. This exploratory study aims to investigate the ways in which managers use tablets to support their decision-making and the reasons why they do so. Using Task-Technology Fit theory, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 managers, 17 of whom used tablets for their work-related decision-making. The study reveals managers’ tablet usage patterns in terms of location, tablet applications, decision activities and types. This study has also found that a range of tablet characteristics and decision-task characteristics affect managers’ use of tablets to support decision-making at work. This exploratory study contributes to both academia and industry by providing evidence on the tablet decision-support area, and affording organisations, tablet vendors and tablet application developers informative findings for further improvement in the provision of tablet-based decision support.


Managers; Technology Use; Tablets; Decision Support; Mobile Decision Support; Business Intelligence; Mobile Business Intelligence; Task-Technology Fit

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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