Help-seeking practices and behaviours in organizations and AI-driven chatbot: a scoping review


  • Filomena Pagnozzi University of Sannio
  • Maarten Renkema University of Twente
  • Gilda Antonelli G. D’Annunzio University



help-seeking, request for help, human resources, chatbot, artificial intelligence tool


We present a scoping review that considers 25 papers and explores the growing phenomenon of the use of chatbots, in the context of help-seeking dynamics among workers facing work-related challenges. This phenomenon is significant from both social and technological perspectives, as it raises essential questions about the evolving role of technology in shaping the way individuals seek help in a changing work environment. Our study aims to examine how technology, such as chatbots, shape employees help-seeking practices and behaviors, using a Socio-Technical System approach (STS). Our analysis reveals that help-seeking comes mainly from the "social subsystem". In fact, it starts with individual needs and willingness to seek help, influenced by personal and group characteristics. The work environment and context also significantly influence employees' help-seeking behaviors. However, technology developments, new ways of work, and organizational transformations are redefining help-seeking processes, requiring the development of new processes, for which leaders play a crucial role. The integration of chatbots into this landscape introduces challenges and opportunities, impacting not only individuals but also organizational structure. Based on the reviewed papers we present directions for future research on AI-driven chatbots and help-seeking.


*In the references list below, asterisk-marked citations denote papers included in the sample used for the scoping review (Appendix 1).

Acemoglu, D., and Restrepo, P. (2018), “The race between man and machine: Implications of technology for growth, factor shares, and employment”, American economic review, 108(6): 1488-1542.

Adamopoulou, E., and Moussiades, L. (2020), “An overview of chatbot technology”. In IFIP international conference on artificial intelligence applications and innovations, pp. 373-383, Springer, Cham.

Antonelli. G, Tursunbayeva. A, and Simonetti, B. (2021), “The influence of organisational tenure, team diversity of educational background and level on the decision-making process of pre-startups”. British Academy of Management 2021 Conference, ISBN: 978-0-9956413-4-1

Arain, G. A., Bukhari, S., Khan, A. K., and Hameed, I. (2020), “The impact of abusive supervision on employees’ feedback avoidance and subsequent help-seeking behaviour: A moderated mediation model”, Journal of Management and Organization, 26(5): 850-865*

Arksey, H., and O’Malley, L. (2005), “Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework”. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1): 19–32. 1080/1364557032000119616.

Asril, N. M., Maharani, E. A., Tirtayani, L. A., and Suwandi, E. (2021), “Predicting help seeking behavior related to COVID-19 among Indonesian adults”, The Journal of Behavioral Science, 16(1): 28-44*

Au, K., Chiang, F. F., Birtch, T. A., and Kwan, H. K. (2016), “Entrepreneurial financing in new business ventures: A help-seeking behavior perspective”, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12: 199-213*

Autor, D. H. (2015), “Why are there still so many jobs? The history and future of workplace automation”, Journal of economic perspectives, 29(3): 3-30.

Bamberger, P. (2009), “Employee help-seeking: Antecedents, consequences and new insights for future research”, In Research in personnel and human resources management (28), pp.49-98, Emerald Group Publishing Limited*

Brynjolfsson, E., Li, D., and Raymond, L. R. (2023), “Generative AI at work” (No. w31161). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Chen, K., Chen, G., Wu, Q., Liu, W., and Zhao, H. (2023), “Help-seeking at work: an integrative review, organizing framework and agenda for future research”, Nankai Business Review International*

Christian, A. (2023), “The employees secretly using AI at work”, BCC, available at

Cleavenger, D., Gardner, W. L., and Mhatre, K. (2007), “Help-seeking: Testing the effects of task interdependence and normativeness on employees’ propensity to seek help”, Journal of Business and Psychology, 21: 331-359*

Cleavenger, D. J., and Munyon, T. P. (2015), “Overcoming the help-seeker’s dilemma: How computer-mediated systems encourage employee help-seeking initiation”, Organization Studies, 36(2): 221-240*

Cuel, R., Cacciatore, E., Ravarini, A., and Varriale, L. (2021), “Do organizations need a head of remote work?”, in Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS (pp. 274-286). Cham: Springer International Publishing

De Bernardi, P., Bertello, A., Venuti, F., and Foscolo, E. (2020), “How to avoid the tragedy of alternative food networks (AFNs)? The impact of social capital and transparency on AFN performance”, British Food Journal, 122(7): 2171-2186.

Drent, E., Renkema, M., and Bos-Nehles, A. (2022),. “Reconceptualizing the HRM role of the line manager in the age of artificial intelligence”. In Research Handbook on Line Managers (pp. 367-387). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Frey, C. B., and Osborne, M. A. (2017), “The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”, Technological forecasting and social change, 114: 254-280.

Geller, D., and Bamberger, P. A. (2012), “The impact of help seeking on individual task performance: The moderating effect of help seekers' logics of action”, Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(2): 487*

Gkinko, L., and Elbanna, A. (2023a), “The appropriation of conversational AI in the workplace: a taxonomy of AI chatbot users”. International Journal of Information Management, 69: 102568

Gkinko, L., and Elbanna, A. (2023b), “Designing trust: The formation of employees’ trust in conversational AI in the digital workplace”. Journal of Business Research, 158: 113707.

Glikson, E., and Woolley, A. W. (2020), “Human trust in artificial intelligence: Review of empirical research”. Academy of Management Annals, 14(2): 627-660.

Grodal, S., Nelson, A. J., and Siino, R. M. (2015), “Help-seeking and help-giving as an organizational routine: Continual engagement in innovative work”, Academy of Management Journal, 58(1): 136-168*

Habeeb, C., Warner, S., and Walsh, D. (2022),” Managing mental health: Athlete help-seeking”, Sport Management Review, 25(5): 871-891*

Haefner, N., Wincent, J., Parida, V., and Gassmann, O. (2021), “Artificial intelligence and innovation management: A review, framework, and research agenda”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 162, 120392.

Hargadon, A.B. and Bechky, B.A. (2006), “When collections of creatives become creative collectives: a field study of problem-solving at work”, Organization Science, 17(4): 484-500*

Höddinghaus, M., Sondern, D., and Hertel, G. (2021), “The automation of leadership functions: Would people trust decision algorithms?”. Computers in Human Behavior, 116: 106635.

Hoff, K. A., and Bashir, M. (2015), “Trust in automation: Integrating empirical evidence on factors that influence trust”. Human factors, 57(3): 407-434.

Holeman, I., Cookson, T. P., and Pagliari, C. (2016), “Digital technology for health sector governance in low and middle-income countries: A scoping review”, Journal of Global Health, 6(2),

Hong, W., Zhang, L., and Gajendran, R. S. (2023), “Relative status and dyadic help seeking and giving: The roles of past helping history and power distance value”, Human Relations, 00187267231152055*

Howard, J. (2019), “Artificial intelligence: Implications for the future of work”, American journal of industrial medicine, 62(11): 917-926.

Hsu, W. C., and Wang, C. Y. (2018), “Age and Gender’s Interactive Effects on Adult Learners’ Help-Seeking Behavior”, Revista de cercetare și intervenție socială, 60: 94-108*

Huang, X., Ruiz-Segura, A., Tan, C., Wang, T., Sharma, R., and Lajoie, S. P. (2023), “Social presence in technology-rich learning environments: how real we are feeling connected and how does it matter for learning?”, Information and Learning Sciences*

Lee, J. D., and See, K. A. (2004), “Trust in automation: Designing for appropriate reliance”. Human factors, 46(1): 50-80.

Lewandowski, T., Delling, J., Grotherr, C., and Böhmann, T. (2021), “State-of-the-Art Analysis of Adopting AI-based Conversational Agents in Organizations: A Systematic Literature Review”. PACIS, 167.

Liu, D., and Weistroffer, H. R. (2022), “Statistically significant! But is trust of practical significance?”. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 62(2): 247-258.

Iannotta, M., Meret, C., and Marchetti, G. (2020), “Defining leadership in smart working contexts: a concept synthesis”. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 556933.

Kaplan, A., and Haenlein, M. (2019), “Siri, Siri, in my hand: Who’s the fairest in the land? On the interpretations, illustrations, and implications of artificial intelligence”. Business horizons, 62(1): 15-25.

Koydemir-Özden, S., and Erel, Ö. (2010), “Psychological help-seeking: Role of socio-demographic variables, previous help-seeking experience and presence of a problem”, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5: 688-693*

Kraus, S., Ferraris, A., and Bertello, A. (2023), “The future of work: How innovation and digitalization re-shape the workplace”, Journal of Innovation and Knowledge, 8(4): 100438.

Kulkarni, M. (2012), “Contextual factors and help seeking behaviors of people with disabilities”, Human Resource Development Review, 11(1): 77-96*

Lebovitz, S., Lifshitz-Assaf, H., and Levina, N. (2022), “To engage or not to engage with AI for critical judgments: How professionals deal with opacity when using AI for medical diagnosis”, Organization Science, 33(1): 126-148.

Lee, F. (1997), “When the Going Gets Tough, Do the Tough Ask for Help? Help-seeking and Power Motivation in Organisations”, Organisational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 72(3): 336–363.*

Lim, J.H., Tai, K., Bamberger, P.A. and Morrison, E.W. (2020), “Soliciting resources from others: an integrative review”, Academy of Management Annals, 14(1): 122-159*

Lindley, S. E., and Wilkins, D. J. (2023), “Building Knowledge through Action: Considerations for Machine Learning in the Workplace.” ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 30(5): 1-51.

Liu, Y., Chen, F. X., Chiang, J. T. J., Wang, Z., and Liu, H. (2022), “Asking how to fish vs. asking for fish: Antecedents and outcomes of different types of help‐seeking at work”, Personnel Psychology, 75(3): 557-587*

Mueller, J. S., and Kamdar, D. (2011),” Why Seeking Help From Teammates Is a Blessing and a Curse: A Theory of Help-seeking and Individual Creativity in Team Contexts”, Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(2): 263–276*.

Mumford, E. (2006), “The story of socio‐technical design: Reflections on its successes, failures and potential”, Information systems journal, 16(4): 317-342.

Munn, Z., Peters, M. D., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., and Aromataris, E. (2018),. “Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach”. BMC medical research methodology, 18: 1-7.

Noy, S., and Zhang, W. (2023), “Experimental evidence on the productivity effects of generative artificial intelligence”. Available at SSRN 4375283.

Nuti, S. V., Wayda, B., Ranasinghe, I., Wang, S., Dreyer, R. P., Chen, S. I., et al. (2014), “The use of google trends in health care research: A systematic review”, PloS One, 9(10), e109583.

Pagnozzi, F., and Antonelli, G. (2022), "Help-seeking practices in Organization", in Leading digital Transformation, European Academy of Management. ISBN: 978-2- 9602195-4-8, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur, Switzerland, 15-17 June 2022

Park, D. Y., and Kim, H. (2023), “Determinants of intentions to use digital mental healthcare content among university students, faculty, and staff: motivation, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and parasocial interaction with AI Chatbot”, Sustainability, 15(1): 872*

Pasmore, W., Winby, S., Mohrman, S. A., and Vanasse, R. (2019), “Reflections: sociotechnical systems design and organization change”, Journal of Change Management, 19(2): 67-85.

Putnik, K., de Jong, A., and Verdonk, P. (2011), “Road to help-seeking among (dedicated) human service professionals with burnout”, Patient education and counseling, 83(1): 49-54*

Retkowsky, J., Hafermalz, E., and Huysman, M. (2024),. “Managing a ChatGPT-empowered workforce: Understanding its affordances and side effects”. Business Horizons

Rialti, R., Marrucci, A., Zollo, L., and Ciappei, C. (2022), “Digital technologies, sustainable open innovation and shared value creation: evidence from an Italian agritech business”, British Food Journal, 124(6): 1838-1856.

Rubery, J., Grimshaw, D., Keizer, A., and Johnson, M. (2018), “Challenges and contradictions in the ‘normalising’of precarious work”, Work, Employment and Society, 32(3): 509-527.

Salisbury, L. (2009). “Web of Science and Scopus: A comparative review of content and searching capabilities”. The Charleston Advisor, 11(1): 5-18

Savage, H., Murray, J., Hatch, S. L., Hotopf, M., Evans-Lacko, S., and Brown, J. S. (2016), “Exploring professional help-seeking for mental disorders”, Qualitative Health Research, 26(12): 1662-1673*

Seeger, A. M., Pfeiffer, J., and Heinzl, A. (2017), “When do we need a human? Anthropomorphic design and trustworthiness of conversational agents”. SIGHCI

Shawar, B. A., and Atwell, E. (2007), “Chatbots: are they really useful?”, Journal for Language Technology and Computational Linguistics, 22(1): 29-49.

Sherf, E.N., Croitoru, N. and McElroy, T.A. (2023), “Reinforcement sensitivity theory view of seeking behaviors at work: a meta-analysis”, Personnel Psychology.* doi: 10.1111/peps.12579.

Stoeckli, E., Dremel, C., Uebernickel, F., and Brenner, W. (2020), “How affordances of chatbots cross the chasm between social and traditional enterprise systems”. Electronic Markets, 30: 369-403.

Taecharungroj, V. (2023), “What Can ChatGPT Do?” Analyzing Early Reactions to the Innovative AI Chatbot on Twitter”, Big Data and Cognitive Computing, 7(1): 35*

Thomaz, F., Salge, C., Karahanna, E. and Hulland, J. (2020), “Learning from the dark web: leveraging conversational agents in the era of hyper-privacy to enhance marketing”. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48 (1): 43-63.

Trist, E. L., and Bamforth, K. W. (1951), “Some social and psychological consequences of the longwall method of coal-getting: An examination of the psychological situation and defences of a work group in relation to the social structure and technological content of the work system”, Human relations, 4(1): 3-38.

Trist, E. L. (1981), The evolution of socio-technical systems, (2), Toronto: Ontario Quality of Working Life Centre

Tursunbayeva, A., Di Lauro, S., and Antonelli, G. (2022), “Remote work at the time of COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: A scoping review” HR Analytics and Digital HR Practices: Digitalization post COVID-19, 127-169.

Van der Rijt, J., Van den Bossche, P., and van de Wiel, M.W.J. (2013), “Asking for Help: A Relational Perspective on Help-seeking in the Workplace”, Vocations and Learning, 6: 259–279*

Verhoef, P. C., Broekhuizen, T., Bart, Y., Bhattacharya, A., Dong, J. Q., Fabian, N., and Haenlein, M. (2021), “Digital transformation: A multidisciplinary reflection and research agenda”, Journal of business research, 122: 889-901.

Wakefield, J. R., Hopkins, N., and Greenwood, R. M. (2014), “Help-seeking helps: Help-seeking and group image”, Small Group Research, 45(1): 89-113*

Wang, H., Rispens, S., and Demerouti, E. (2022), “Boosting creativity in functional diverse work groups: The importance of help-seeking behavior and openness to experience”, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 31(5): 768-780*




How to Cite

Pagnozzi, F., Renkema, M., & Antonelli, G. (2024). Help-seeking practices and behaviours in organizations and AI-driven chatbot: a scoping review. PuntOorg International Journal, 1(1).