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Designing for Collaboration Using Social Network Analysis: Towards a Conceptual Method to Understand Organisational Interaction

Olsman, Kristin LU ; Roxendal, Ola LU and Åkerblom, Victor LU (2013) INFM03 20131
Department of Informatics
Abstract
The spreading of innovation within organisations is an area of interest for both academics and practitioners. Within information systems research collaboration issues are often addressed and solved through implementation of technology artefacts to meditate communication. With more and more resources being spent on collaborative technologies we argue that there can be cost advantages in looking at the socio-technical aspects of the information system when trying improve organisational communication.

As an initial step of information system interventions we argue that an overview of the information exchange network within organisations can lead to valuable insights into where to start and we argue that social network analysis can provide... (More)
The spreading of innovation within organisations is an area of interest for both academics and practitioners. Within information systems research collaboration issues are often addressed and solved through implementation of technology artefacts to meditate communication. With more and more resources being spent on collaborative technologies we argue that there can be cost advantages in looking at the socio-technical aspects of the information system when trying improve organisational communication.

As an initial step of information system interventions we argue that an overview of the information exchange network within organisations can lead to valuable insights into where to start and we argue that social network analysis can provide such an bird’s-eye view over organisational interaction. This leads us to our research question: How can social network analysis be used to describe, understand and explain organisational interaction in designing information systems for collaboration?

Taking a design science approach to the research question we aim to construct a meta-artefact, i.e. in our case knowledge about how to design for collaboration with the help of social network analysis. To test the applicability of social network analysis we collect sociometric interaction data from a knowledge intensive organisation using a name generating survey. The usability of the visualisations that are the output of the social network analysis are evaluated by decision makers within the organisation through interviews.

We conclude that social network analysis is a time-efficient method of collecting empirical data that can lead to deep insights into the structure of the organisational communication network. The visualisation can be seen as a map used to pinpoint the emergence of social networks within organisations and thereby acting as a tool to drive continuous change and innovation. (Less)
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author
Olsman, Kristin LU ; Roxendal, Ola LU and Åkerblom, Victor LU
supervisor
organization
course
INFM03 20131
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
bridges, structural holes, visualisation, design science, organisational interaction, information flow, social network analysis, Collaboration, brokers, eigenvector, entrality, closeness
report number
INF13-020
language
English
id
3809200
date added to LUP
2013-06-26 15:28:43
date last changed
2013-06-26 15:28:43
@misc{3809200,
  abstract     = {The spreading of innovation within organisations is an area of interest for both academics and practitioners. Within information systems research collaboration issues are often addressed and solved through implementation of technology artefacts to meditate communication. With more and more resources being spent on collaborative technologies we argue that there can be cost advantages in looking at the socio-technical aspects of the information system when trying improve organisational communication.

As an initial step of information system interventions we argue that an overview of the information exchange network within organisations can lead to valuable insights into where to start and we argue that social network analysis can provide such an bird’s-eye view over organisational interaction. This leads us to our research question: How can social network analysis be used to describe, understand and explain organisational interaction in designing information systems for collaboration?

Taking a design science approach to the research question we aim to construct a meta-artefact, i.e. in our case knowledge about how to design for collaboration with the help of social network analysis. To test the applicability of social network analysis we collect sociometric interaction data from a knowledge intensive organisation using a name generating survey. The usability of the visualisations that are the output of the social network analysis are evaluated by decision makers within the organisation through interviews. 

We conclude that social network analysis is a time-efficient method of collecting empirical data that can lead to deep insights into the structure of the organisational communication network. The visualisation can be seen as a map used to pinpoint the emergence of social networks within organisations and thereby acting as a tool to drive continuous change and innovation.},
  author       = {Olsman, Kristin and Roxendal, Ola and Åkerblom, Victor},
  keyword      = {bridges,structural holes,visualisation,design science,organisational interaction,information flow,social network analysis,Collaboration,brokers,eigenvector,entrality,closeness},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Designing for Collaboration Using Social Network Analysis: Towards a Conceptual Method to Understand Organisational Interaction},
  year         = {2013},
}