Lunchtime Seminar - The Go-Betweens: Backstage Collaboration Among Community Managers in an Inter-organisational Enterprise Social Network
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Kai Riemer
Abstract: Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) have become an important part of an organization’s collaboration repertoire. Yet, despite well-known promises for improving collaboration and enabling new ways of working, in many organizations adoption rates have been underwhelming. Given that ESNs are malleable technologies, they require bottom-up sense-making and experimentation to be appropriated. Yet it is not well understood how this process can be facilitated, and how those tasked with facilitation can be supported. We study a unique case of an international ESN provider, which established a dedicated inter-organizational ESN to support client adoption facilitators; those people within its client organizations tasked with the successful roll-out and adoption of ESN. By employing Goffman’s theatrical metaphor we find that this centralized ESN serves as a valuable tool for the provider to build a self-organizing community that supports adoption facilitators in coping with what we come to understand as a ‘go-between’ role. Adoption facilitators have to balance expectations of executives, who want the ESN to be ‘productive’, with those of workers, who need to experiment with the technology and find appropriate uses. We theorize that this case can serve as a model for other digital service providers in supporting adoption of their malleable technologies in client organizations.
Authors: Kai Riemer, University of Sydney; Ella Hafermalz, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Short Bio: Kai Riemer is Professor of Information Technology and Organisation at the University of Sydney Business School. Kai’s expertise and research interests cover the areas of Technology Appropriation, Virtual Work, Social Networking, Digital Disruption and the Philosophy of Technology. Kai has extensive experience with industry-funded research and leads a Linkage project initiative on managing bottom-up adoption of end-user technologies, sponsored by the Australian Research Council. He is the founder and leader of the Digital Disruption Research Group (DDRG) and convener of DISRUPT.SYDNEYTM. Kai’s research follows practice theoretical and non-orthodox approaches and appears in journals such as MIS Quarterly, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, or Communications of the Association for Information Systems. Kai is a board member of the Journal of Information Technology, Electronic Markets, and the Business and Information Systems Engineering journal.