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Business Information Systems Working Paper Series

The Business Information Systems Working Paper Series at the University of Sydney Business School is a publication of the Discipline of Business Information Systems. Its mission is to foster research relating to the management of Information, Systems and Processes. All BIS Working Paper Series authors retain copyright in accordance with the University of Sydney's applicable policies.

For further information about the Series or to submit a paper for potential publication, please contact or the Discipline of Business Information Systems on +61 2 9036 9432.

The role of groups as local context in large Enterprise Social Networks: A Case Study of Yammer at Deloitte Australia July 2013

Authors: Riemer, Kai; Tavakoli, Asin

Abstract: Enterprise Social Networking, the application of popular social networking techniques to the workplaces of organisations, is an increasingly common phenomenon. But its nature, benefits and proliferation are not yet fully understood. In this study we investigate ESN communication at the micro-level. We focus on the role of the group feature in structuring and providing context for communication in large ESNs. Our case study is Yammer at Deloitte. In contrast to previous studies we carry out an analysis of communication at the thread (conversation) level, rather than at the level of single messages. This allows us to provide a more contextual understanding of the group aspects of communication. We find that information sharing underpins the majority of communication threads, which speaks to the usefulness of ESN, in particular in the context of knowledge-intensive work. We further uncover differences between network-wide and group-centred communication and derive a framework of four group archetypes, based on different group communication patterns. Our findings are useful for decision-makers in providing a better understanding of the role of groups in providing local contexts for users in large ESNs. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

S.O.C.I.A.L. - Emergent Enterprise Social Networking Use Cases: A Multi Case Study Comparison December 2012

Authors: Riemer, Kai; Richter, Alexander

Abstract: Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) is a relatively new phenomenon. It refers to the application of Internet platforms for relationship building and short message exchanges in the context of workplace communication. While a number of case studies have provided evidence of its usefulness, a more comprehensive and structured overview of ESN is needed. In this study we carry out a cross-case comparison of five indepth ESN case studies that have elicited use practices using genre analysis. A comparison of these case results allows us to derive a comprehensive catalogue of ESN use cases that demonstrates the versatility of ESN. Our study has two main contributions. Firstly, we present a use case catalogue in a structured and accessible form, which we term the S.O.C.I.A.L. framework. The framework provides an overview of ESN that is useful for decision-makers who want to guide the rollout and adoption in their organisation. Secondly, in part to caution against the use of the framework as a blueprint or recipe, we demonstrate the contextual nature of ESN by way of different contextual profiles of ESN in teams, projects and large enterprises. Our study provides a stepping-stone for future ESN research, since the S.O.C.I.A.L. framework provides a more refined understanding of ESN as both a broad and contextual phenomenon. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

Powercrowd: Enterprise Social Networking in Professional Service Work: A Case Study of Yammer at Deloitte Australia May 2012

Authors: Riemer, Kai; Scifleet, Paul; Reddig, Ruwen

Abstract: Social media technologies are making fast inroads into organisations. In the context of knowledgeintensive work the propositions of improving communication, information sharing and user involvement seem particularly promising. However, the role and impact of social technologies in enterprises in general and knowledge work in particular are still not well understood, despite emerging scholarly works in this field. In this study we aim to contribute to this stream of research. We investigate the phenomenon of Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) in the context of Professional Service Firms (PSF). Our case investigates emerging communicative work practices on the ESN platform Yammer within Deloitte Australia. We perform a genre analysis of actual communication data captured on the Yammer platform. We uncover a set of emerging practices enabled by the platform within the case company and reflect on our results in the context of the knowledge-intensive nature of professional service work. We find that Yammer in the case company has become 1) an information-sharing channel, 2) a space for crowdsourcing ideas, 3) a place for finding expertise and solving problems and most importantly 4) a conversation medium for context and relationship building. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

Oh, SNEP! The Dynamics of Social Network Emergence - the case of Capgemini Yammer January 2012

Authors: Riemer, Kai; Overfeld, Philipp; Scifleet, Paul; Richter, Alexander

Abstract: With more and more organisations accepting social media into the workplace as an integral part of professional practice and group communication, understanding what exactly happens when enterprise social networks suddenly emerge in the workplace, brought in on initiative of employees in a self organising manner, is increasingly important. In this paper we present an analysis of enterprise based-short message communications shared across the Yammer enterprise social network at the international service consultancy Capgemini. We concentrate on conversations during the first nine months of uptake with a focus on self-referential communication where users convers about Yammer itself. A time-trend analysis of conversation types leads to the identification of what we term the SNEP model, the Social Network Emergence Process that captures the phases in which the social network emerged over time. The study for the first time allows to unpack in detail the often-discussed emergence aspect of enterprise social media, in terms of sense-making, user experimenting, norming behaviour, and network diffusion. The identified SNEP model is useful for managers who want to understand what happens when social media initiatives suddenly erupt into existence in their organisations. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

Tweet Talking - Exploring The Nature Of Microblogging at Capgemini Yammer March 2011

Authors: Riemer, Kai; Diederich, Stephan; Richter, Alexander; Scifleet, Paul

Abstract: Microblogging has gained widespread popularity with the emergence of Twitter. While Twitter has shaped public perceptions of Microblogging, organisations have begun experimenting with Microblogging ‘behind the firewall’, for facilitating communication and group processes. However, research is still in its infancy. In this paper we explore how Yammer has been adopted within Capgemini, a large, globally operating consultancy business. In contrast to existing findings on Twitter usage, we find that Enterprise Microblogging (EMB) in our case is a predominantly conversational medium, where people interact and discuss, rather than only inform others about themselves (Twitter) or about their immediate task/team context, as has also been described in other EMB cases. We discuss our results in light of the particular organisational context of Capgemini and the general open nature of communication technologies. We conclude that appropriation of Enterprise Microblogging happens largely in accordance with the organisational context in which it is set. Microblogging is a diverse phenomenon, which is not sufficiently defined via the underlying technology characteristics. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

Analysis of Current Grounded Theory Method Practices March 2011

Authors: Raduescu, Corina; Vessey, Iris

Abstract: Use of the grounded theory research method (GTM) is increasing across many fields of inquiry. Understanding the GTM and how to apply it is therefore a key task for researchers examining the possibility of using these methods in their research. Since its introduction by Glaser and Strauss in 1967, GTM has evolved into two major streams, and there has been a continual debate about the choice between them and their applicability. Examination of the extant literature reveals significant problems in applying the GTM. In this paper, we take a first step in the quest for identifying the current GTM practices and providing more effective procedures for conducting GTM research. To achieve our goal we started by analysing and identifying a number of difficulties encountered by researchers who have used GTM. We then examined and presented the ways in which they have resolved and addressed the problems. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository

Managing Identities: from goverment e-commerce to national security October 2009

Authors: Seltsikas, Philip

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the challenges and issues facing US State and Federal government in attempting to develop, implement and maintain electronic identity managament systems. Primary data was collected from four key stakeholders in two US States and from five key stakeholders at the US Federal government (two 'agencies'). A qualitative analysis identifies four dominant themes and a trend that is shifting government identity management efforts from supporting government e-commerce transactions to improving national security. Central to this trend are key structural changes in the Federal management and budgeting of identity management initiatives. Projects that involved multi-million dollar investments in facilitating government e-Commerce transactions appear to have lost momentum, putting those huge investments at risk. Furthermore, the research findings suggest that US government electronic identity implementers depend heavily on exogenous standards, with anecdotal evidence indicating that this may be a very risky approach. Link to the Sydney eScholarship Repository