(Social) Networks and IT

Research Summary

Beside the often sworn „internal “forces of a firm like qualified personnel or a matured management, inter-organizational social networks act as resource to extend the competence and capacities of a firm. Nowadays, while most firms are exposed to increasing competitive pressures, no firm acts autonomously, anymore. Rather, enterprises have affiliated themselves in networks, which no longer consist of only producers and suppliers, but cover also providers or research institutions, e.g. universities. A major research focus of our department pursues the question whether and to what extent enterprise networks play a role for the innovativeness of an enterprise and which contribution IT can make to exploit the knowledge of the external partners. Therefore, on the one hand the relationships between a firm and its partners are examined by using the Social Capital Theory and on the other hand the exploitation of the partner’s knowledge is operationalized by the concept of Absorptive Capacity. We collect empirical data in the German manufacturing and IT industry in cooperation with the German Graduate School of Management and Law, Heilbronn, by surveys and case studies.

Another part of this research program is concerned with the analysis of social networks on an interpersonal level. For example, we try to analyze the role of certain interaction pattern (e.g. ”single face to the client“ vs. ”high density network“) between outsourcer and provider for outsourcing success. During the investigation of those interaction patterns, particularly the approach of social network analysis (SNA) is applied. On the basis of empirically captured interaction patterns  and social network structures, different outsourcing governance scenarios are evaluated regarding their potential impact on outsourcing success.

Selected Publications

Beimborn, D., Blumenberg, S., König, W., Martin, S., Moos, B., Schlosser, F., and Weitzel, T. (2009): Erfolgreiche Gestaltung partnerschaftlicher Outsourcingbeziehungen: Relationale Faktoren im Outsourcingmanagement der 1.000 größten Banken in Deutschland; Books on Demand, Norderstedt (ISBN 978-3-8391-2901-2). Online unter: www.bod.de/index.php

Moos, B., Beimborn, D., Wagner, H., and Weitzel, T. (2010): Suggestions For Measuring Organizational Innovativeness: A Review; Proceedings of the 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai (HI)

Beimborn, D., Moos, B., Schlosser, F., and Weitzel, T. (2009): The Role of Client-internal Social Linkages for Outsourcing Success - An SNA Approach; Proceedings of the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), San Francisco (CA)