Supporting adoption facilitators backstage with an inter-organizational enterprise social network

Kai Riemer, Ella Hafermalz

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) have become an important part of an organization's collaboration repertoire. Yet, despite well-known promises for improving collaboration and enabling new ways of working, in many organizations adoption rates have been underwhelming. Given that ESNs are malleable technologies, they require bottom-up sense-making and experimentation to be appropriated. Yet it is not well understood how this process can be facilitated, and how those tasked with facilitation can be supported. We study a unique case of an international ESN provider, which established a dedicated inter-organizational ESN to support client adoption facilitators; those people within its client organizations tasked with the successful roll-out and adoption of ESN. By employing Goffman's theatrical metaphor we find that this centralized ESN serves as a valuable tool for the provider to build a self-organizing community that supports adoption facilitators in coping with what we come to understand as a 'go-between' role. Adoption facilitators have to balance expectations of executives, who want the ESN to be 'productive', with those of workers, who need to experiment with the technology and find appropriate uses. We theorize that this case can serve as a model for other digital service providers in supporting adoption of their malleable technologies in client organizations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems 2018 (ICIS 2018) - Proceedings
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
    ISBN (Electronic)9780996683173
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event39th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2018 - San Francisco, United States
    Duration: 13 Dec 201816 Dec 2018


    Conference39th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Francisco


    • Adoption facilitators
    • Enterprise Social Networking
    • Goffman
    • Malleability


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