Watching how they are talking - Analyzing verbal behavior in two non-residential building projects to save energy by means of user participation

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S., Plesser, S. & Görtgens, A. (2014)

When organizations implement energy saving measures, building users are not always ready for the organisational change process (By, 2007). While user motivation is crucial for facilitating the change process, resistance to change inhibits well-intended measures. Many organizations use participatory interventions in order to increase participation and motivation of building users (Kauran, 2013; Griesel, 2004). We propose a behavioral approach to measure motivation and resistance to change in terms of the observable verbal behavior: While “change talk” expresses the willingness to adopt behavioral changes, “sustain talk” expresses resistance and signals that any efforts to promote behavior change are worthless. Our approach focuses on the dynamic interactions between change agents and building users. Therefore, we apply interaction analysis – a scientific procedure that allows investigating communication exchange on an utterance-by-utterance level (Mangold, 2010). We show that this method is particularly useful to understand how to increase users’ participation and user motivation within energy saving projects.

Poster presented at the BEHAVE Conference, Oxford, September 2014