Social Media Track

Over the last years, various social media have become part of the lives of billions of Internet users. These platforms rely on individual users for content creation and their success hinges on active user involvement and participation. In addition, spurred by the pervasive use of smartphones, social media facilitate paradigm shifts in the ways we develop relationships, communicate with each other, collaborate, procure goods and services, and exchange information. Also, new business models have been developed which are based on the Internet and concepts of online participation (such as Airbnb as an example for the sharing economy). Alongside, public platforms that allow anyone to virtually disseminate information to a global audience, enterprises have adopted social media to connect their employees and to increase distribution of knowledge within the organization.

Despite the ubiquitous nature of social media use, we still need to better understand the role and long-term consequences of this phenomenon for digital transformation on individual, organizational and societal levels. There are both positive and negative consequences that are worth exploring in this context. One the one hand, social media can promote the creation of social capital, resulting in increased interconnectedness, or facilitate social support and collective action. As such, it is opening up a new world of empowerment, in which previously concealed conditions are openly discussed and even celebrated instead of being hidden. By facilitating interpersonal communication and access to information, social media can create significant benefits across a multitude of social and individual layers. On the other hand, there are very real dangers of intense social media involvement that need to be taken into account. The sheer quantity and the sensitivity of the information users disclose gives rise to strong privacy concerns and also gives rises to ethical questions when it comes to collecting and analysing social media data. Moreover, the spread of ‘Fakenews’ and #Hatespeech, as well as the rise of Social Bots, has a strong influence on social media communication. Furthermore, the impact of social media on users’ mental health has been questioned, with empirical evidence hinting at such undesirable developments as addiction, depression, mood disorders.

We invite research that offers fresh theoretical perspectives and novel empirical insights on ways of organizing and collaborating enabled by social media. We also invite studies that focus on different contexts of social media use and digital collaboration, examining both positive and negative consequences. We welcome research that uses a variety of methods. We especially encourage research that reaches out beyond IS theories, is grounded in multiple reference disciplines and applies new intriguing perspectives to document and understand the transformative impact of social media and social media-related smartphone use.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Social media and theories about digital collaboration
  • Digital leadership and virtual teams
  • Enterprise knowledge sharing and collaborative work
  • Personal knowledge management and social media
  • Blurring boundaries of private and business (e.g. Consumerization, Shadow IT)
  • Social media-enabled business models
  • Organizational networking with social media and collaboration technologies
  • Use of social media for citizen and political participation
  • Development and use of social media analytics
  • Identification and effects of Fakenews and Social Bots
  • Digital methods for understanding social media collaboration (e.g. design science approaches, the computational turn; big data methods)
  • Critical perspectives on social media (e.g. social and information overload; Technostress).
  • Intersection of Social media and culture/gender/generations
  • Value co-creation in Social media contexts
  • Use of Social Media during crisis situations

Track Chairs

Alexander Richter

IT University of Copenhagen

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Shahper Richter

Auckland University of Technology

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Stefan Stieglitz

Universitat Duisburg-Essen

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