Prof. Dr. Maier Christian


Christian Maier studied Information Systems at the University of Bamberg. Subsequently, he received a three-year doctoral scholarship from the Bavarian Elite Promotion (BayEFG) through the University of Bavaria e.V., before working as an Assistant Professor at the Chair of Information Systems, especially Information Systems in Service. During this time he also worked at the Centre of Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS). He studied the use of information systems in human resources as well as the behavior of job seekers and those interested in careers and is co-author of the study series "Recruiting Trends" and "Bewerbungspraxis".

He was awarded a PhD in 2014 for his work on technostress. His doctoral dissertation "Technostress: theoretical foundations and empirical evidence" was awarded the Schmalenbach Prize (2015) and the Hans Löwel Science Prize (2016), among others. In 2018 and 2019, he was a visiting scholar at Clemson University (USA) and the University of Lancaster (UK). In 2021, he was awarded the postdoctoral lecturing qualification in Information Systems for his postdoctoral thesis "Digital work and digital life: theoretical evidence and empirical studies on the discovery, development, diffusion, and impact of digital technologies".

His research focuses on digital transformation and its impact on technology users and businesses. For example, his research explains why individuals adopt using a digital technology (IT adoption), use it continuously (IT usage), discontinue using it (IT discontinuation), and resume using a previously used digital technology (IT use resumption). These themes are analyzed in private (e.g., Bitcoin, social networking sites, chatbots) and organizational contexts (e.g., enterprise content management, human resources) using diverse theoretical lenses (e.g., stress, coping, resistance). The research methods used are both quantitative and qualitative with different data collection forms such as interviews, case studies, diaries, (cross-sectional and longitudinal) questionnaires, and experiments.

His research is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), among others, and is regularly published in major international journals. For example, over 30 papers have appeared in A+ and A publications (according to VHB Jourqual 3), including MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association for Information Systems (2 times), European Journal of Information Systems (5 times), Information Systems Journal (2 times), Journal of Strategic Information Systems (2 times), and Journal of Information Technology (2 times). His research papers have been cited over 3,000 times and have received several Best Paper Awards (e.g., ICIS, WI, AIS Transactions on HCI, SIGMIS CPR) and Best Reviewer Awards. He also received prestigious Early Career Awards from AIS (2019) and ACM SIGMIS (2020), and a Schoeller Fellowship (2021). He is among the top ten business administration-related researchers under the age of 40 in the German-speaking world, as well as among the top 10 percent in the age-independent ranking. The international AIS Research Ranking currently ranks him 39th worldwide.

The research results are also regularly taken up in practice. For example, he regularly presents his findings in radio and television programs (including ZDF, RTL, 3Sat, Arte, BR, Bayern 1-3, Deutschlandfunk). At the same time, research results are picked up in various magazines and daily newspapers (including Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung).

In his teaching activities he is responsible for the course "Electronic Finance", "IT Change: Management of IT-related changes" and "Data Science". In addition, he offers Bachelor and Master seminars on changing topics and supervises student theses. Based on his teaching concept and the teaching evaluations of his students, he received the WIAI Faculty Award for Good Teaching (2018) as well as the University-wide Award for Good Teaching (2019).

Selected Publications

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Joseph, D., Mattke, J., and Weitzel, T. (2021)
Turnback Intention: An Analysis of the Drivers of IT Professionals’ Intentions to Return to a Former Employer
Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ) (45:4), p.1777-1806 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A+)

View Abstract
Recent statistics indicate that most organizations prefer to fill IT vacancies by rehiring IT professionals who previously worked in the organization. Less is known about what drives IT professionals to “turnback,” a term we define as returning to employment with a former employer. To explain this important and rarely considered IT job mobility behavior, we build on job embeddedness theory and on the concepts of shocks and job dissatisfaction from, among others, the unfolding model of voluntary turnover to develop the theory of IT professional turnback. We perform fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of data collected from 248 IT professionals to draw conclusions about the intention among IT professionals to return to work for a former employer, and develop a midrange theory. Our results reveal two configurations contributing to high turnback intention and three configurations contributing to low turnback intention. Our model distinguishes between work shocks, personal shocks, and IT work shocks. IT shocks are a new category of shocks specific to the IT profession. We contribute theoretically by theorizing a behavior relevant to IT professionals and explaining attributes driving turnback intention.

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Tarafdar, M., Mattke, J., Reis, L., and Weitzel, T. (2021)
Challenge and hindrance IS use stressors and appraisals: Explaining contrarian associations in post-acceptance IS use behavior
Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) (22:6) , p.1590-1624, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
Post-acceptance IS use is the key to leveraging value from IS investments. However, it also poses many demands on the user. Drawing on the challenge-hindrance stressor framework, this study develops a theory to explain how and why IS use stressors influence post-acceptance use. We identify two different types of IS use stressors: challenge IS use stressors and hindrance IS use stressors. We hypothesize that they are appraised through challenge IS use appraisal and hindrance IS use appraisal, respectively, through which they influence routine use and innovative use. We evaluate our hypotheses by surveying 178 users working in one organization and analyze the data collected using consistent partial least square (PLSc). We find that challenge IS use stressors positively influence routine use and innovative use via challenge IS use appraisal. Hindrance IS use stressors negatively influence routine use via hindrance IS use appraisal. We then dive deeper into these findings using a two-step fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), identifying the presence of challenge IS use stressors and challenge IS use appraisal as necessary conditions for high innovative use. We also reveal that the presence of hindrance IS use stressors and hindrance IS use appraisal only influences routine use and innovative use in the absence of challenge IS use stressors and challenge IS use appraisal. We discuss the practical relevance and transferability of our findings based on a comprehensive applicability check. Our findings advance IS scholarship of IS use stress and post-acceptance use by showing how routine use and innovative use emanate from IS use stressors.

Reis, L., Maier, C., Mattke, J., Creutzenberg, M., and Weitzel, T. (2020)
Addressing User Resistance Would Have Prevented a Healthcare AI Project Failure
MIS Quarterly Executive (19:4), p. 279-296, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: B)

View Abstract
Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into existing work routines involves invasive changes, and the resulting user resistance can lead to project failure. We describe a failed AI project at a large hospital to implement a cognitive agent and identify the root causes of the user resistance that led to the failure. Based on the lessons learned, we provide recommendations for addressing the causes of resistance for the three types of AI—automation, decision support and engagement.

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Thatcher, J.B., Sun, H., Weinert, C., and Weitzel, T. (2021)
Social Networking Site Use Resumption: A Model of Return Migration
Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) (22:4), p.1037-1075, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
This research explains why individuals resume using social networking sites (SNSs) after terminating their use. Drawing on return migration theory, we developed a theory-driven model of SNS resumption that includes two novel antecedents of SNS resumption behavior: nonuse-related dissatisfaction and use-related satisfaction. We also hypothesize that dispositional resistance to change moderates the impact of nonuse-related dissatisfaction and use-related satisfaction on resumption. We used a mixed methods approach to refine and evaluate the research model. Study 1 used the critical incident method to identify SNS-specific antecedents of nonuse-related satisfaction and use-related satisfaction, allowing us to refine the research model. Study 2 used structural equation modeling to evaluate our research model using two three-wave surveys: one with recent ex-users who recently decided to stop using and delete their profiles on Facebook and one with long-standing ex-users who stopped using and deleted their profiles on Facebook a long time ago. We found support for most relationships in our model: nonuse-related dissatisfaction and use-related satisfaction drive resumption intentions, and dispositional resistance moderates these relationships. Furthermore, we found that the time elapsed since users discontinued Facebook moderated these relationships such that the effect of nonuse-related dissatisfaction on resumption intention is stronger for recent ex-users and the effect of use-related satisfaction is stronger for long-standing ex-users. Our findings advance the understanding of resumption, an understudied behavior of the IT lifecycle and IT use and acceptance research.

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Wirth, J., and Weitzel, T. (2019)
Technostress and the hierarchical levels of personality: a two-wave study with multiple data samples
European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS) 28:5, 496-522, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
Even though IS use has numerous benefits for users and organisations, such as improved user performance and greater productivity, an increasing number of users experience technostress. Since technostress can result in decreased user well-being, it is important to understand what leads users to perceive it. Recent technostress research points to the relationship between personality traits and the perception of technostress as a research gap. Given that personality traits are structured hierarchically, we study how and which levels of user personality influence the perception of technostress. In developing our research model, we select personality traits from the three hierarchical levels of personality: neuroticism, personal innovativeness in IT (PIIT), and IT mindfulness. The results of 2 two-wave studies analysing data collected in an organisational setting (sample 1) and through mTurk (sample 2) reveal that all three personality traits influence the perception of technostress, with IT mindfulness having the strongest impact. This study contributes by revealing that user personality and, primarily, IT mindfulness influence the perception of technostress. Additionally, our findings reveal an inverted u-curved influence of techno-stressors on user performance, deepening our understanding of how the perception of technostress influences user reactions.

Maier, C., Laumer, S., Weinert, C., and Weitzel, T. (2015)
The Effects of Technostress and Switching-stress on Discontinued Use of Social Networking Services: A Study of Facebook Use
Information Systems Journal (ISJ) (25:3), p. 275-308, (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
Although much research has been done on the adoption and usage phases of the IS life cycle, the final phase, termination, has received little attention. This paper focuses on the development of discontinuous usage intentions, i.e. the behavioral intention in the termination phase, in the context of social networking services (SNSs), where it plays an especially crucial role. We argue that users stressed by using SNSs try to avoid the stress and develop discontinuous usage intentions, which we identify as a behavioral response to SNS-stress creators and SNS-exhaustion. Furthermore, as discontinuing the use of an SNS also takes effort and has costs, we theorize that switching-stress creators and switching-exhaustion reduce discontinuous usage intentions. We tested and validated these effects empirically in an experimental setting monitoring individuals who stopped using Facebook for a certain time period and switched to alternatives. Our results show that SNS-stress creators and SNS-exhaustion cause discontinuous usage intentions, and switching-stress creators and switching-exhaustion reduce these intentions.