Peer-Reviewed Conference and Journal Articles:
Van Osch, W., Bulgurcu, B., and Kane, G.C. (2016). Classifying Enterprise Social Media Users: A Mixed-Method Study of Organizational Social Media Use. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Dublin, Ireland.
Van Osch, W., Steinfield, C.W., and Zhao, Y. (2017), Spanning the Boundary: Measuring the Realized and Lifecycle Impact of Distinct Boundary Spanning Activities on Project Success and Completion, Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii, USA, January 4-7, 2017. View PDF
Abstract: For work teams to be effective, maintaining communication ties with other individuals and teams elsewhere in the organization—an activity typically referred to as team boundary spanning—is necessary for obtaining resources critical to project success. Within the literature on boundary spanning, the positive relationship between a team’s boundary-spanning activities and their performance has been validated repeatedly, but primarily through the use of self-reports from managers and team members. Thus, neither objective data exists to support these claims nor a longitudinal understanding of how various boundary-spanning activities may play different roles at various stages of project work. Similarly, with the proliferating use of enterprise social media (ESM) technologies in organizations, the empirical link between the increased visibility of communication ties in ESM and more effective boundary spanning has been largely assumed, but has received only limited empirical validation. In this study, drawing on log and content data from 169 projects in an ESM of a large multi-national corporation, we aim to objectively assess the effect of boundary spanning on project success as well as provide a qualitative path model of the evolution of boundary-spanning activities throughout the lifecycle of a project through a comparison of successful versus unsuccessful projects. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Van Osch, W., and Steinfield, C.W. (2016) “Intra-Organizational Boundary Spanning: Strategic Implications for the Implementation and Use of Enterprise Social Media”, Journal of Information Technology, 31(2), 207-225, doi:10.1057/jit.2016.12 (Impact Factor: 4.525). DOWNLOAD
Abstract: Recent team boundary spanning literature has recommended a shift toward assessing the role of virtual tools—such as social media. Simultaneously the proliferation of Enterprise Social Media (ESM) points to the need to theorize and investigate the supra-individual usage of these tools, such as their usefulness for organizational groups. This paper responds to both mandates through a theoretical integration of the team boundary spanning and existing ESM literature. Using data from two studies—one qualitative and one quantitative—this papers addresses two important research questions regarding the empirical relationship between team boundary spanning and ESM for understanding (i) the types of team boundary-spanning activities that group members enact through ESM and (ii) the effects of ESM on extra-team stakeholders’ perceptions and reciprocating actions vis-à-vis the team boundary-spanning activities of these group members. The results of this study show that ESM, largely as a function of their visibility affordance, supports a narrow set of representational activities, but offers only limited support for information search and coordination. Furthermore, the findings reveal that ESM activity has a positive effect on extra-team stakeholders’ recognition and financial support of the representational ESM posts emanating from the boundary-spanning group. Important implications for theory, strategy, and design are discussed.
Van Osch, W., Steinfield, C.W., and Zhao, Y. (2016), Team Boundary Spanning through Enterprise Social Media: Exploring the Effects of Group-Level Diversity Using a Data Science Approach, Proceedings of the 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai, Hawaii, USA, January 4-7, 2016. View PDF
Effective work groups engage in team boundary spanning, that is, the use of communication ties as conduits to critical external resources. With the proliferation of social media technologies in enterprise settings and the associated increase in visibility of communication ties, understanding their impact on boundary spanning becomes imperative to improving cross-boundary knowledge creation and management inside organizations. In this paper, drawing on log data from 415 unique work groups in an enterprise social media (ESM) system, we use a machine learning approach to automatically detect three distinct team boundary-spanning activities. Using zero-inflated poisson regressions, we further show the effect of group visibility as well as three distinct sources of group structural diversity—geographic, functional, and hierarchical—on the extent to which teams engage in boundary spanning through ESM. Implications for theory and practice around the use of data science approaches as well as visibility and diversity constructs for understanding team boundary spanning are discussed.
Van Osch, W., Steinfield, C.W., Zhao, Y. (2015). Intra-Organizational Boundary Spanning: A Machine-Learning Approach. 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, Puerto Rico. View PDF
ABSTRACT >> In recent years, the ability to mine, manage, and examine big data has sparked a strong interest among scholars and managers to leverage data science and machine-learning approaches for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of various areas of knowledge management. The success of today’s enterprises increasingly depends on the efficiency and quality of their cross-boundary knowledge flows and processes (Marrone, 2010). Various information systems, specifically emerging enterprise social media (ESM) technologies, are used to increase the transparency and openness of knowledge flows with the aim of enhancing team effectiveness, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation. In this paper, we develop and test a machine-learning algorithm for detecting three distinct types of boundary spanning drawn from a series of earlier studies on project teams, using content data from an ESM platform of a large multinational corporation. The three boundary-spanning activities include representation, coordination, and general information search, all of which have been associated with distinct performance benefits, both for the teams performing these activities and the organization at large. Hence, insights from the proposed algorithm can assist knowledge managers in evaluating and enhancing the likelihood of cross-boundary knowledge flows.
Van Osch, W., Steinfield, C.W., Balogh, B.A. (2015). Enterprise Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational Communication and Collaboration. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Kauai, Hawaii, 2015. View PDF
ABSTRACT >> Given the large investments in Enterprise Social Media technologies in organizational settings, this paper sets out to explore the challenges and opportunities that ESM technologies provide for organizational communication. Merging existing conceptual work on ESM with findings from thirteen appreciative interviews with professionals from a large multinational organization, our papers offers six areas of opportunities and challenges—Social Capital Formation, Boundary Work, Attention Allocation, Social Analytics, Adoption and Use Incentives, and Governance and Control—that could guide researchers and practitioners in understanding and informing the use of social media technologies in their most productive and impactful ways.
Enterprise Social Media: Exploring the Role of Strategic Invisibility. Invited Talk at the Ivey School of Business at Western Ontario University.
Enterprise Social Media: The Role of Strategic Invisibility in Generative Collaboration and Contribution Behaviors. Invited Talk at the IESEG School of Management in Paris, France.
Intra-Organizational Boundary Spanning: A Machine-Learning Approach. 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, Puerto Rico. http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2015/BizAnalytics/GeneralPresentations/13 / View PDF
Enterprise Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational Communication and Collaboration. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Kauai, Hawaii, 2015. – View PDF
Foundations for the Project:
Leonardi, P., Huysman, M., and Steinfield, C. (2013). Enterprise social media: Definition, history, and prospects for the study of social technologies in organizations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(1), 1-19. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12029/epdf – View PDF
Steinfield, C., DiMicco, J., Ellison, N. B., and Lampe, C. 2009. Bowling online: Social networking and social capital within the organization. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies, (University Park, PA, USA, June 25-27). C&T ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 245-254. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1556496 – View PDF
Coursaris, C.K. and Van Osch, W. (2014) “A Scientometric Analysis of Social Media: Quantifying the Domain,” Scientometrics, 100(2). – View PDF
Van Osch, W., and Steinfield, C.W. (2013). “Boundary Spanning through Enterprise Social Software: An External Stakeholder Perspective”. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems 2013 (ICIS), Milan, Italy. – View PDF
Van Osch, W. and Coursaris, C.K. (2013). Organizational Social Media: A Comprehensive Framework and Research Agenda. Proceedings of the 46th Hawaiian International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Maui, Hawaii, USA, January 4-7, 2013. – View PDF
Van Osch, W. and Coursaris, C.K. (2012). The Duality of Social Media: Structuration and Socialization through Organizational Communication. The Eleventh Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on HCI Research in MIS (SIGHCI), Best Paper Award. – View PDF
Wietske van Osch & Constantinos K. Coursaris (2014): Social Media Research: An Assessment of the Domain’s Productivity and Intellectual Evolution, Communication Monographs, DOI: 10.1080/03637751.2014.921720 – View PDF