Social Software & Strategy: A Review & Research Agenda

A couple of days ago, I commented on a research framework on social media by Kietzmann and colleagues published in the Journal of Public Affairs. I had another article sitting on my desk which was similar in scope. It’s been written by Haefliger and colleagues and served as the introduction to as special isssue of the journal Longe Range Planning. Haefliger and colleagues distinguish between strategy (value creation & value appropriation), technology (technology as a tool vs a mediator), and community (leadership & boundaries). Furthermore, they look at social software use from an internal and an external perspective. I find this structure more appealing and intuitive than the honeycomb presented earlier. A nice additional feature is the research agenda they produce. I’ve included both tables below.

Haefliger et al

Haefliger et al


Haefliger, S., Monteiro, E., Foray, D., & von Krogh, G. (2011). Social Software and Strategy. Long Range Planning, 44(5-6), 297–316. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2011.08.001

Unpacking the Social Media Phenomenon

I received a Google Alert to a new social media article by Kietzmann and colleagues yesterday morning. Having a brief look at it, I was intrigued by the social media honeycomb they produced with theories listed in each domain of functionality, including research questions that should be addressed in the future. You can find the honeycomb and the research agenda below. Trying to trace the development of the honeycomb, I came across another recent article by a similar set set of authors. Digging a bit deeper, I realized that the honeycomb has been around for a while. The earliest version I found was published by nform, a consultancy, in 2007. While the framework does not seem to be particularly innovative, I appreciate the authors’ effort to establish a research agenda for the field of social media. Let’s see if the suggested questions will be picked up by other researchers in the future or whether some of the combs will disappear or change over time.


Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241–251. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005

Kietzmann, J. H., Silvestre, B. S., McCarthy, I. P., & Pitt, L. (2012). Unpacking the social media phenomenon: towards a research agenda. Journal of Public Affairs. doi:10.1002/pa.1412