At this year’s International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in Auckland, New Zealand, I’ll have the pleasure to present a poster on an ongoing research project on online community health. I was made aware of the concept by several of the community managers I interviewed for my dissertation. They used it as a way to describe the overall functioning and well-being of their communities. Ever since, I’ve been following the work in this area. Lithium, a consultancy, has introduced a so called community health index, for example. In 2011, Wang and Lantzy published the first academic paper on the topic. You’ll find the abstract, the conference poster, and the link to the final article below. Continue reading Conference Paper on Online Community Health
Given that the year 2014 is coming to an end, I asked myself the other day which recent papers have influenced my thinking and writing this year. First on the list is the MISQ special issue by Bharadwaj et al. (2013). In the paper, the authors attempt to bring together the strategy and information systems literature and emphasize the strategic role of information technology in organizations. Next, there’s the ISR special issue by Aral et al. (2013) on social media and business transformation, which sheds light on the transformative power of social media technologies as a specific class of information technologies. Third on the list is Treem & Leonardi’s (2013) book chapter on social media affordances, explaining how social media technologies differ from previous forms of computer-mediated communication and what kind of actions they facilitate. Ultimately, there’s Wang et al.’s (2013) OS paper, which highlights the competitive nature of online groups as they compete for members’ attention and time. Continue reading My Top 4 Articles for 2013
The concept of social capital is something I’ve been interested in ever since the beginning of my PhD (here’s a blog post from 2010, for example). This summer, I presented a conceptual paper on the development of social capital in online communities at the 20th Americas Conference on Information Systems in Savannah, GA. You’ll find the abstract, the conference presentation, and the link to the final article below.
“The present paper extends social capital theory by exploring the creation of social capital in a highly innovative, yet under-researched organizational form: online communities. It is shown that social capital development has thus far not been sufficiently theorized and research on how social capital may be created in online communities is missing altogether. Attempting to fill this gap, I draw on earlier contributions to the sociological literature by Coleman and Bourdieu. More specifically, four mechanisms that lead to the creation of social capital are identified, namely closure, stability, interdependence, and interaction. The concept of fluidity is then introduced as an important characteristic of online communities. The impact of fluidity on the mechanisms for social capital development is consequently scrutinized and some propositions are developed. The paper concludes with a discussion of opportunities for overcoming the challenges identified earlier. Implications for research and practice are advanced.” Continue reading Conference Paper on Social Capital
Samer Faraj, Georg von Krogh, Karim Lakhani, and Eric Monteiro are editing a special issue of ISR on online communities. Here’s the call for papers. Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014.
This special issue seeks papers that help the field to understand community dynamics, collaborative practices, and value-creation processes in OCs in order to both improve and move beyond traditional views of the online phenomena. All theoretical and methodological perspectives are welcomed, and novel and original perspectives are especially sought. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:
Continue reading ISR Special Issue on Online Communities
My colleague Alexander Richter and I recently presented an article on ‘Leadership 2.0’ at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). The article deals with the impact of social media and online communities on leaders in organizations. We present a framework to support and engage leaders in the transition process towards a networked organization. You can find the abstract, our conference presentation, and the full citation below.
“The adoption of social software brings about a plethora of socio-technological changes for organizations. A still largely unresolved challenge is to develop a better understanding of the consequences for leadership. To address this challenge, we first develop the notion of leadership 2.0, delineating it from previous leadership approaches. Then, we present results from 24 interviews conducted with project leaders for social software projects of publicly listed, mostly multinational organizations. Analyzing the interviews, we derive a set of activities that help to consider the role of leaders during the adoption and use of social software. We group the activities into three categories: convince (engage and activate leaders), sensitize (demonstrate the impact and develop new leadership models) and coach (help leaders to embrace the new tools and understand emergent use cases). We present this set of interventions as a framework to support and engage leaders in the transition process towards a networked organization.”
Richter, A., & Wagner, D. 2014. Leadership 2.0: Engaging and Supporting Leaders in the Transition towards a Networked Organization. Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences: 574–583, Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society. [Link]