Organizational challenges for successful end user adoption of internal enterprise social software

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
Information Systems Science
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Objectives of the Study: Web 2.0 technologies and social software are making their way to the workplace in hopes of enhancing internal collaboration, communication and knowledge management. The success of these deployments depends on end user adoption as they build on active participation, encouraging of which, in turn, may be more complicated in a business environment than in our personal lives. Besides technological issues, the organizational culture may create significant barriers for end user adoption. This study aims at finding out what these challenges may be in order to better understand the most critical issues in enterprise social software deployments in terms of internal tools for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Academic background and methodology: Not much academic research has been done on this specific topic, but studies in enterprise social software in general, organizational culture, computer-supported group work and knowledge management can be used to depict organizational challenges in social software deployments as well. This thesis is based on a literature review and an empirical study to test the challenges suggested by earlier research. The empirical study is conducted using a survey to screen for possible interviewees and as eight semi-structured interviews with the chosen interviewees. Findings and conclusions: A framework of possible organizational challenges for the end user adoption of internal social software is created on the basis of a comparison between the results of the literature review and the empirical study. The results show that instead of the organizational culture having specific characteristics, such as practices or policies, that hinder the adoption, the main issues represent a more strategic level: They implicate a technology driven approach with a lack of understanding of how social software is merely an enabler of a much larger change. This, in turn, results in a lack of engagement, vision and transformational management ability to drive user adoption and to become a truly social business.
social business, enterprise 2.0, enterprise social software, end user adoption, deployment, challenge, organizational culture, collaboration