Nudges in IT Support Case Resolution: A Randomized Control Trial

Last registered on July 01, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Nudges in IT Support Case Resolution: A Randomized Control Trial
Initial registration date
December 15, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 16, 2020, 8:16 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 01, 2021, 8:39 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This project uses a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of applying nudges in the context of ticket resolution within a multinational software corporation. Several tools have been introduced to automate key steps in the process of solving customer cases, however, many suffer from low adoption. The present study aims to investigate the potential for nudges (in the form of notifications about the availability of a diagnostic report) to increase the adoption of a specific diagnostic tool designed to process customer log files. We analyze both the immediate effects and persistence in behavior following the deactivation of the nudge. Approximately 900 employees will be randomly assigned to one of three groups, comprising one control and two treatment groups (N1 receives notifications for the entire 12-week duration of the study, N2 ceases to receive the nudge after 6 weeks of the study to assess long-term effects. A control group B receives no notifications).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Gorny, Paul M., Sean MacNiven and Petra Nieken. 2021. "Nudges in IT Support Case Resolution: A Randomized Control Trial." AEA RCT Registry. July 01.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Our intervention encompasses three treatments: In the baseline B we record business-as-usual, in N1 we nudge employees with a message for the 12-week trial period. In N2 we discontinue the nudge of N1 after six weeks. The nudge is the information about the availability of a diagnostic report. This report can be accessed by all groups.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Usage of diagnostic report (yes/no). Frequency of usage per ticket.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We have three treatment groups (baseline B, treatments N1 and N2 where in the latter the treatment manipulation is discontinued after 6 weeks). Employees will be randomly allocated to one of the groups in equal proportions. All employees working in the respective Service and Support Centers of the cooperating company and using the central support platform will be included in the study.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is donbe by the software in the company.
The log-in system is global and tracks both whether an employee has been assigned as well as the treatment the employee has been assigned to. The order is running through a repeating (1,2,3) only for those employees whose treatment assignment variable is yet equal to zero. Once employees have been assigned, the treatment assignment variable changes to one and their assigned treatment stays constant over the course of the intervention.
Randomization Unit
The randomization is done on the employee level and is based on log-in sequence.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
900 employees
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We will allocate approximately 300 participants randomly to each treatment. Employees are located across multiple sites of the company, where all treatments are run in parallel across sites (no clustering).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With a current mean of Usage of diagnostic report by employee at 10%, we get a minimum detectable effect size of 0.07911 (alpha=.05 Power=.8) and 0..09331 (alpha=.05 Power=.9) respectively.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
June 18, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
June 18, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
967 employees
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
314 employees in N1, 327 employees in N2, 326 employees in N3
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials