Enterprise Social Software: Addressing Barriers to Adoption
Enterprise Social Software is an emerging technology that many companies are evaluating. Because these tools are still very new and still evolving, academic literature in the area is limited. Our research focuses on the challenges around adoption of Enterprise Social Software within medium-to-large (hundreds to thousands of employees) enterprises. We believe this specific segment is relevant because these companies are in effect, the corporate middle class, making up the single largest proportion of all businesses (the long tail). These firms are also large enough to have underutilized tacit knowledge amongst their workforces and may be looking towards social software as a potential solution to encourage internal collaboration.
Our research will draw from existing literature (bridging research in Knowledge Management and Social Enterprise Software), as well as interviews with vendors, systems integrators and organizations who are currently considering or using social software. We believe that differences in organization’s structure and culture require a dynamic approach by vendors and management to encourage adoption of such tools across a workforce. A number of different incentivization mechanisms are available (bonus structure, rewards and rating systems, peer pressure, etc.); our analysis aims to identify the benefits and risks of these mechanisms so companies can make more informed strategic decisions on how to promote adoption within their organization.