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Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in
Consulting: A Practice Perspective
Yanina Tykholoz, David Wagner, Alexander Richter
Presentation prepared for the 2020 GeNeMe Conference | Knowledge Communities Track
October 7-9, 2020 1
Agenda
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020
1
2
3
4
5
6
Motivation
Theoretical foundation
Research design
Results
Discussion
Contributions
2
1 | Motivation
Study focus: Use cases of Enterprise Social Software (ESS) in consulting from a practice perspective
Depiction of ESS use cases as an instrument to support ESS adoption (Glitsch & Schubert, 2017; Herzog & Richter, 2016)
Some contributions to the information systems (IS) literature (Greeven & Williams, 2016; von Krogh, 2012; Stray et al.,
2019; Forstner & Nedbal, 2017; Richter & Riemer, 2013; Schubert & Glitsch, 2015)
So far, practice perspective has been largely neglected in IS work, thus the aim is to integrate ESS into practice
research (Whittington, 2014)
Consultants seen as knowledge workers (Creplet et al., 2001), therefore investigating their work seems promising for
illustrating how ESS can be tailored to its users‘ needs (Richter & Riemer, 2013)
Research question:
How is ESS used (use cases) within a knowledge-intensive industry (consulting practice perspective)?
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020 3
2 | Theoretical foundation
Enterprise Social Software (ESS):
• Software applications that support collaboration and communication within and across organizations
(Engelstätter & Sarbu, 2013)
• Comprises features known from social media, such as blogs, wikis, tags, etc. (Martensen et al., 2015)
• Is malleable, i.e. it does not prescribe particular application patterns to its users (Richter & Riemer, 2013)
Consulting practices
1. Putting the customer first (Cope, 2012)
2. Time-boxing (Kubr, 2002)
3. Leveraging joint knowledge spaces (Creplet et al., 2001)
4. Managing the team (Block, 1999)
5. Networking & socializing (Cheng, 2012)
6. Enhancing personal effectiveness (Kubr, 2002)
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020 4
3 | Research design
Explorative single case study (Benbasat et al., 1987; Yin, 2009)
• Exemplary case to show an in-depth analysis of typical ESS usage (Yin, 2009)
Data collection
• Semi-structured interviews with consultants of different levels as the main source of information
• Purposeful and chain sampling to find the most information-rich cases (Patton, 2014; Miles & Huberman, 1994)
• Additional sources of information: company documents and field notes from observations
Data analysis
• Automated transcription (Sonix.ai) with subsequent manual processing followed by qualitative data analysis in
MAXQDA (Kuckartz & Rädiker, 2019)
• Deductive approach by means of thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006)
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020 5
4 | Results
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020
USE
CASES
PROJECT
PRACTICES
Putting the customer first Improve user experience
Leveraging joint knowledge spaces Break up knowledge silos
Managing the team
Split work
Communicate with stakeholders
Networking and socializing Facilitate casual communication
Enhancing personal effectiveness Automate workflows
Eliminate waiting timesTime-boxing
6
4 | Results
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020
Project practice Use Case Sample quotes (Interviews were conducted in German and translated into English)
Putting the
customer first
Improve user
experience
“For example, (ESS X) is a great tool, but it is not social enough. We implement (ESS Y) in (ESS X) (…) to find a better or stronger solution. (…) Let us be honest,
(…) we have people who stay in the company for 25 years. They like to take things slow (…), they do not want to have a lot of new tools coming in. (…) But,
the moment when their manager posts an update on (ESS Y), it will show on (ESS X), then they will be like „Oh, what is this?“. So, we are combining these
different tools to find a better solution, (…) And that makes everybody's life much easier.” (Consultant 4, further C4)
Time-boxing Eliminate waiting
times
“I have always asked my team (…) to have it (ESS) on all the time, because I have a very busy schedule and sometimes have to shoot over quickly ‘where can I
find that, how can I do this, can you please do that’. This works perfectly over (ESS). And, I don't like making phone calls either, so I think it's much better to
write briefly. (…) And as soon as it comes to exchanging documents via email, we have to save something on some servers. In my opinion, this is not a
modern way to handle this.” (C8, G)
Leveraging joint
knowledge spaces
Break up
knowledge silos
“Traditionally, I would say from 2006 to 2018, a lot of things were done via Outlook or via email client. This means, information was lying in the local
mailboxes. For the first time ever, I now have the possibility to share it (information) with other people on (ESS). This breaking up of knowledge silos, making
project work across projects possible in the first place, I think, is a very important point that many people have not yet recognized. (C1, G)”
Managing the
team
Split work “What we also like using in (ESS), meanwhile very extensively, is the ‘to do’s function’. (…) you can basically create your own backlog, assign it to one or
more people, then break it down to subprojects, so that every subproject gets its own column. (…) This is more used for the day-to-day business and not for
the major strategic lines of the projects.” (C3, G)
Networking and
socializing
Facilitate casual
communication
“Of course, we also have larger groups where we can exchange ideas. Some groups are more professional, others are more private, where it is OK to share
some jokes or gifs or something to make us smile. I find that very pleasant. Especially in project teams, (…) you experience a lot more on-site, because you
spend a lot of time together, then you get into situations that weld you together and if you share that again, in the group, it promotes discussions and social
cohesion.” (C2, G)
Enhancing
personal
effectiveness
Automate
workflows
“I would rather sit for six hours to find out how it works than do the work manually for six hours, because then I know how it works and the next time it is
automated. For example, the planner board with the story points where I spent 40 hours in total to set up the programming (…) and so on. But now I can use
this in the future for each of my projects again and again.” (C6, G)
7
5 | Discussion
Introduced use cases shed light on how consultants benefit from the malleability of ESS (Richter & Riemer, 2013) and
tailor the software to meet their job-specific requirements, i.e. team management, time-boxing etc.
Employees are often missing guidance and a clear direction on how to utilize ESS (Forstner & Nedbal, 2017), thus
investigating use cases is central to support ESS appropriation
Our study illuminates the fact that when looking at ESS appropriation, a practice perspective can help understand
the needs ESS serves, e.g. insights show that consultants cannot use ESS only for the sake of innovation, but need to
operationalize it so they can solve their customers‘ problems
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020 8
6 | Contributions
Contributions to theory
• Addressed the gap of how consultants‘ skills „are changing in the digital age“ (Cerruti et al., 2019, p. 918)
• Extended set of known ESS use cases and introduced new ones for the field of management consulting
(Schubert & Glitsch, 2016)
• Contributed to information systems and practice research by investigating IS, and specifically ESS „in use“
(Whittington, 2014, p. 90)
Implications for practice
• Illustrated use cases help facilitate ESS appropriation
• Prototypical case helps software developers to better understand their customers‘ needs
• Moreover, as consultants can be seen as change agents that bring innovation to their clients (Cerruti et al., 2019),
knowing how they utilize ESS can give insights into how their clients might work with ESS in the future
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020 9
Contact details
Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective
October 7-9, 2020
Yanina Tykholoz
MBA student at Munich Business
School
Consultant at Multiversum
E-Mail:
Y.Tykholoz@multiversum.consulting
Prof. Dr. David Wagner
Professor of International Business &
Digital Business
Munich Business School
E-Mail: David.Wagner@munich-
business-school.de
Prof. Dr. Alexander Richter
Professor of Information Systems
Wellington School of Business and
Government
Victoria University of Wellington
E-Mail: Alex.Richter@vuw.ac.nz
10

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Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective

  • 1. Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective Yanina Tykholoz, David Wagner, Alexander Richter Presentation prepared for the 2020 GeNeMe Conference | Knowledge Communities Track October 7-9, 2020 1
  • 2. Agenda Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 1 2 3 4 5 6 Motivation Theoretical foundation Research design Results Discussion Contributions 2
  • 3. 1 | Motivation Study focus: Use cases of Enterprise Social Software (ESS) in consulting from a practice perspective Depiction of ESS use cases as an instrument to support ESS adoption (Glitsch & Schubert, 2017; Herzog & Richter, 2016) Some contributions to the information systems (IS) literature (Greeven & Williams, 2016; von Krogh, 2012; Stray et al., 2019; Forstner & Nedbal, 2017; Richter & Riemer, 2013; Schubert & Glitsch, 2015) So far, practice perspective has been largely neglected in IS work, thus the aim is to integrate ESS into practice research (Whittington, 2014) Consultants seen as knowledge workers (Creplet et al., 2001), therefore investigating their work seems promising for illustrating how ESS can be tailored to its users‘ needs (Richter & Riemer, 2013) Research question: How is ESS used (use cases) within a knowledge-intensive industry (consulting practice perspective)? Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 3
  • 4. 2 | Theoretical foundation Enterprise Social Software (ESS): • Software applications that support collaboration and communication within and across organizations (Engelstätter & Sarbu, 2013) • Comprises features known from social media, such as blogs, wikis, tags, etc. (Martensen et al., 2015) • Is malleable, i.e. it does not prescribe particular application patterns to its users (Richter & Riemer, 2013) Consulting practices 1. Putting the customer first (Cope, 2012) 2. Time-boxing (Kubr, 2002) 3. Leveraging joint knowledge spaces (Creplet et al., 2001) 4. Managing the team (Block, 1999) 5. Networking & socializing (Cheng, 2012) 6. Enhancing personal effectiveness (Kubr, 2002) Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 4
  • 5. 3 | Research design Explorative single case study (Benbasat et al., 1987; Yin, 2009) • Exemplary case to show an in-depth analysis of typical ESS usage (Yin, 2009) Data collection • Semi-structured interviews with consultants of different levels as the main source of information • Purposeful and chain sampling to find the most information-rich cases (Patton, 2014; Miles & Huberman, 1994) • Additional sources of information: company documents and field notes from observations Data analysis • Automated transcription (Sonix.ai) with subsequent manual processing followed by qualitative data analysis in MAXQDA (Kuckartz & Rädiker, 2019) • Deductive approach by means of thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 5
  • 6. 4 | Results Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 USE CASES PROJECT PRACTICES Putting the customer first Improve user experience Leveraging joint knowledge spaces Break up knowledge silos Managing the team Split work Communicate with stakeholders Networking and socializing Facilitate casual communication Enhancing personal effectiveness Automate workflows Eliminate waiting timesTime-boxing 6
  • 7. 4 | Results Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 Project practice Use Case Sample quotes (Interviews were conducted in German and translated into English) Putting the customer first Improve user experience “For example, (ESS X) is a great tool, but it is not social enough. We implement (ESS Y) in (ESS X) (…) to find a better or stronger solution. (…) Let us be honest, (…) we have people who stay in the company for 25 years. They like to take things slow (…), they do not want to have a lot of new tools coming in. (…) But, the moment when their manager posts an update on (ESS Y), it will show on (ESS X), then they will be like „Oh, what is this?“. So, we are combining these different tools to find a better solution, (…) And that makes everybody's life much easier.” (Consultant 4, further C4) Time-boxing Eliminate waiting times “I have always asked my team (…) to have it (ESS) on all the time, because I have a very busy schedule and sometimes have to shoot over quickly ‘where can I find that, how can I do this, can you please do that’. This works perfectly over (ESS). And, I don't like making phone calls either, so I think it's much better to write briefly. (…) And as soon as it comes to exchanging documents via email, we have to save something on some servers. In my opinion, this is not a modern way to handle this.” (C8, G) Leveraging joint knowledge spaces Break up knowledge silos “Traditionally, I would say from 2006 to 2018, a lot of things were done via Outlook or via email client. This means, information was lying in the local mailboxes. For the first time ever, I now have the possibility to share it (information) with other people on (ESS). This breaking up of knowledge silos, making project work across projects possible in the first place, I think, is a very important point that many people have not yet recognized. (C1, G)” Managing the team Split work “What we also like using in (ESS), meanwhile very extensively, is the ‘to do’s function’. (…) you can basically create your own backlog, assign it to one or more people, then break it down to subprojects, so that every subproject gets its own column. (…) This is more used for the day-to-day business and not for the major strategic lines of the projects.” (C3, G) Networking and socializing Facilitate casual communication “Of course, we also have larger groups where we can exchange ideas. Some groups are more professional, others are more private, where it is OK to share some jokes or gifs or something to make us smile. I find that very pleasant. Especially in project teams, (…) you experience a lot more on-site, because you spend a lot of time together, then you get into situations that weld you together and if you share that again, in the group, it promotes discussions and social cohesion.” (C2, G) Enhancing personal effectiveness Automate workflows “I would rather sit for six hours to find out how it works than do the work manually for six hours, because then I know how it works and the next time it is automated. For example, the planner board with the story points where I spent 40 hours in total to set up the programming (…) and so on. But now I can use this in the future for each of my projects again and again.” (C6, G) 7
  • 8. 5 | Discussion Introduced use cases shed light on how consultants benefit from the malleability of ESS (Richter & Riemer, 2013) and tailor the software to meet their job-specific requirements, i.e. team management, time-boxing etc. Employees are often missing guidance and a clear direction on how to utilize ESS (Forstner & Nedbal, 2017), thus investigating use cases is central to support ESS appropriation Our study illuminates the fact that when looking at ESS appropriation, a practice perspective can help understand the needs ESS serves, e.g. insights show that consultants cannot use ESS only for the sake of innovation, but need to operationalize it so they can solve their customers‘ problems Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 8
  • 9. 6 | Contributions Contributions to theory • Addressed the gap of how consultants‘ skills „are changing in the digital age“ (Cerruti et al., 2019, p. 918) • Extended set of known ESS use cases and introduced new ones for the field of management consulting (Schubert & Glitsch, 2016) • Contributed to information systems and practice research by investigating IS, and specifically ESS „in use“ (Whittington, 2014, p. 90) Implications for practice • Illustrated use cases help facilitate ESS appropriation • Prototypical case helps software developers to better understand their customers‘ needs • Moreover, as consultants can be seen as change agents that bring innovation to their clients (Cerruti et al., 2019), knowing how they utilize ESS can give insights into how their clients might work with ESS in the future Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 9
  • 10. Contact details Use Cases of Enterprise Social Software in Consulting: A Practice Perspective October 7-9, 2020 Yanina Tykholoz MBA student at Munich Business School Consultant at Multiversum E-Mail: Y.Tykholoz@multiversum.consulting Prof. Dr. David Wagner Professor of International Business & Digital Business Munich Business School E-Mail: David.Wagner@munich- business-school.de Prof. Dr. Alexander Richter Professor of Information Systems Wellington School of Business and Government Victoria University of Wellington E-Mail: Alex.Richter@vuw.ac.nz 10