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Designing for Cost Transparency in Investment Advisory Service Encounters


  • Philipp Nussbaumer


  • Inu Matter


  • Gian Reto à Porta


  • Gerhard Schwabe



Investment advisory services of financial service providers (FSPs) exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to advisory quality. The interaction of advisor and client is strained by a lack of transparency regarding the advisory process (what activities are performed and why) and the information used therein (what information is used for what purpose and with what effect), as well as regarding the precise costs of the service and the recommended products. In prior research, we suggested that process and information transparency issues may be appropriately addressed with collaborative information technology (IT) artifacts. In this paper, we argue that collaborative, transparent artifacts may also be a premise of enabling cost transparency. To this end, we describe a complete research cycle of designing, implementing, and evaluating a shared cost-transparent IT artifact to support client-advisor interaction in investment advisory encounters. Evaluation results suggest the efficacy of our design in improving the clients’ perceived cost transparency as well as increase their satisfaction and their willingness to pay for the received investment advice. These findings may also challenge the common belief of FSPs that transparent, fee-based advisory services would neither be accepted by clients nor be economically viable. Practical implications of these findings for designing advisory encounters with supportive IT are discussed. Copyright Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Nussbaumer & Inu Matter & Gian Reto à Porta & Gerhard Schwabe, 2012. "Designing for Cost Transparency in Investment Advisory Service Encounters," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 4(6), pages 347-361, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:binfse:v:4:y:2012:i:6:p:347-361
    DOI: 10.1007/s12599-012-0237-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    2. Andersson, Fredrik & Holm, Hakan J., 1998. "Transparency preference and economic behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 349-356, November.
    3. Daniel Bergstresser & John M. R. Chalmers & Peter Tufano, 2009. "Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Brokers in the Mutual Fund Industry," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4129-4156, October.
    4. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
    5. Stracca, Livio, 2004. "Behavioral finance and asset prices: Where do we stand?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-405, June.
    6. Golec, Joseph H., 1992. "Empirical Tests of a Principal-Agent Model of the Investor-Investment Advisor Relationship," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 81-95, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Brenner & Dimitris Karagiannis & Lutz Kolbe & Jens Krüger & Larry Leifer & Hermann-Josef Lamberti & Jan Leimeister & Hubert Österle & Charles Petrie & Hasso Plattner & Gerhard Schwabe & Falk Ue, 2014. "User, Use & Utility Research," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 6(1), pages 55-61, February.


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