Handbook of Research on Business Social Networking: Organizational, Managerial, and Technological Dimensions (2 Volumes)

Handbook of Research on Business Social Networking: Organizational, Managerial, and Technological Dimensions (2 Volumes)

Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha (Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal), Patricia Gonçalves (School of Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal), Nuno Lopes (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal), Eva Maria Miranda (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal) and Goran D. Putnik (University of Minho, Portugal)
Indexed In: SCOPUS View 1 More Indices
Release Date: October, 2011|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 956
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-168-9
ISBN13: 9781613501689|ISBN10: 1613501684|EISBN13: 9781613501696
  • Free shipping on orders $395+
  • Printed-On-Demand (POD)
  • Usually ships one day from order
  • 20% discount on 5+ titles*
(Multi-User License)
  • Multi-user license (no added fee)
  • Immediate access after purchase
  • No DRM
  • ePub with PDF download
  • 20% discount on 5+ titles*
Hardcover +
(Multi-User License)
  • Free shipping on orders $395+
  • Printed-On-Demand (POD)
  • Usually ships one day from order
  • Multi-user license (no added fee)
  • Immediate access after purchase
  • No DRM
  • ePub with PDF download
  • 20% discount on 5+ titles*
(Individual Chapters)
  • Purchase individual chapters from this book
  • Immediate PDF download after purchase or access through your personal library
  • 20% discount on 5+ titles*
Description & Coverage

Given the widespread, frequent use of social networks as a means for people to communicate and share their interests, it comes as no surprise that they have become an important tool for businesses and business networking.

The Handbook of Research on Business Social Networking: Organizational, Managerial, and Technological Dimensions investigates the beginning of social networks and provides perspectives on how they can enhance business. This two-volume reference discusses the main issues, challenges, opportunities, and trends related to the range of new developments and applications in business social networking. Social networks and their integration in businesses are be addressed using technological, organizational, managerial, and social perspectives with the aim of disseminating current developments, case studies, new integrated approaches, and practical solutions and applications.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Corporate Strategy and Business Networks
  • Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Scientific Social Networking
  • Social Network and Online Marketing
  • Social Networks and Computer Mediated Communication
  • Social Networks in Management
  • Socially Networked Knowledge Workers
  • Virtual Enterprising
  • Web 2.0 for Collaborative Product Development
Reviews and Testimonials

This book provides a rich set of perspectives, analyses, and examples on the application of social networking to businesses and organizations. The relevance of insights that can be acquired from this content must not be dismissed, for the walnut-sized pieces of technology at the heart of most social networking software strike at the heart of social networking, and therefore, at the heart of business.

– Leonel Morgado, GECAD/UTAD – Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
Table of Contents
Search this Book:
Editor Biographies
Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal. She holds a Dipl. Eng. in the field of Systems and Informatics Engineering, an M.Sci. in the field of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and a Dr.Sci in the field of Production Systems Engineering. She teaches subjects related to Information Systems, Information Technologies and Organizational Models to undergraduate and post-graduate studies. She supervises several PhD projects in the domain of Virtual Enterprises and Information Systems and Technologies. She regularly publishes in international peer-reviewed journals and participates in international scientific conferences. She serves as a member of Editorial Boards and as an Associate Editor for several International Journals and for several Scientific Committees of International Conferences. She has authored and edited several books and her work appears in more than 100 papers published in journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. She is the co-founder and co-chair of several international conferences: CENTERIS – Conference on ENTERprise Information Systems, ViNOrg - International Conference on Virtual and Networked Organizations: Emergent Technologies and Tools and SeGAH – IEEE International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health.
Patricia Gonçalves is currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Technology at the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal where she has been lecturing for over twelve years. She graduated from the University of Aveiro in 1997, with a degree in New Communication Technologies, then earned her MSc. in Information Management in 2000, from the University of Oporto and, in 2008, completed her PhD, at the University of Minho, in the field of Production Systems Engineering. She teaches subjects related with Multimedia, Virtual Environments, Human Computer-Interaction and Collaborative Tools to undergraduate and post-graduate studies. Her main research interests include (but are not limited to): Computer Supported Collaborative Work and Learning, Interactive Multimedia Applications, Virtual Worlds, Serious Games and Human Computer Interaction.
Nuno Lopes received his Bachelor degree (5 years degree) in Systems and Informatics Engineering, in 2002, from University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. During this course, he made an internship at Philips Research, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Later on he received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, from University of Minho, Portugal, in 2009. His Ph.D. focused on the building of large-scale indexing systems through the use of structured peer-to-peer networks. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave, Barcelos, Portugal, teaching Network Communications and Operating Systems courses, among others. His research interests include distributed systems, decentralized algorithms, peer-to-peer networks, and large-scale information retrieval.
Goran D. Putnik received his Dipl. Eng., M.Sci. and Dr.Sci. from the Belgrade University, both M.Sci. and Dr.Sci. in the domain of Intelligent Manufacturing Systems. He is currently Associate Professor, at Department of Production and Systems Engineering, University of Minho (Portugal) and teaches, or has taught, a number of subjects in the area of CIM, IMS, Concurrent Engineering, Design Theory, and Virtual Enterprises on undergraduate and post-graduate studies. He served as the Director of the Centre for Production Systems Engineering (CESP) and as the Director of the Master Course on CIM, at the University of Minho. Dr. Putnik’s scientific and engineering interests are manufacturing systems and enterprises design and control theory and implementation, design theory and design engineering, formal theory of production systems and enterprises, and distributed, agile and virtual enterprises. He regularly publishes articles and presents papers on conferences. In last years his special attention is on the topic of Virtual Enterprises for which he organized a research group and a number of research projects and has been also an invited speaker by international research groups.
Editorial Review Board
  • Adamantios Koumpis , Research Programmes Division, ALTEC, SA, Greece
  • Álvaro Rocha, University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal
  • António Tavares, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, Portugal
  • Fernando Moreira, University Portucalense, Portugal
  • João Varajão, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
  • Leonel Morgado, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
  • Luís Ferreira, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, Portugal
  • Nuno Rodrigues, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, Portugal
  • Paula Tavares, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, Portugal
  • Vítor Carvalho, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, Portugal
Peer Review Process
The peer review process is the driving force behind all IGI Global books and journals. All IGI Global reviewers maintain the highest ethical standards and each manuscript undergoes a rigorous double-blind peer review process, which is backed by our full membership to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Learn More >
Ethics & Malpractice
IGI Global book and journal editors and authors are provided written guidelines and checklists that must be followed to maintain the high value that IGI Global places on the work it publishes. As a full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), all editors, authors and reviewers must adhere to specific ethical and quality standards, which includes IGI Global’s full ethics and malpractice guidelines and editorial policies. These apply to all books, journals, chapters, and articles submitted and accepted for publication. To review our full policies, conflict of interest statement, and post-publication corrections, view IGI Global’s Full Ethics and Malpractice Statement.


About the Subject

Organizations have witnessed a communication revolution; the ability to send and retrieve information from everywhere has changed the way we work and live. Internet-based access to information and internet communication means have become ubiquitous. Web portals, as content aggregators, provide efficient access to information and services online: they are electronic gateways or entrances that provide numerous links to other sites and information that is needed. They provide a central concentrated focal point and an information source that can be personalized. They also allow people to gather detailed information and data as they need it and simplify access to information. They are playing increasingly important roles amongst online communities as audiences seek out more specific information, providing valuable opportunities for both profit and non-profit communities by helping to eliminate time consuming tasks such as administrative tasks and information dissemination.

Social networking portals are a recent trend. A social networking site (SNS) connects and presents people based on information gathered about them, as stored in their user profiles. These user profiles determine the way in which users are able to present themselves to others. The most important distinguishing factor between the various sites is the range of profile information that they store and can perform operations on.

Social networking sites have low overheads and aggregate large quantities of valuable information through user profiles, ranging from their favorite books to movies, and such information can be targeted for very specific advertising. A number of these sites have classifieds and even advertise openings for job opportunities. The value of the network increases as the number of members increases.

The business networking sites provide more opportunities for people with membership subscriptions to look for jobs, contracts, and other prospects creating viable options to make a profit. Social networking at present is still looking for a solid business model. The business model for social networks is unclear as how to make profits from these sites and the question remains if there is a potential revenue model. Venture capitalists continue to fund social and business networking sites however, giving rise to the speculation that there is a bubble within this niche in the market.

As these networking sites continue to attract and register new users every day, in some cases millions of people, the race is on to find a competitive and working business model that will utilize the strength of numbers and valuable information collected. These sites can also be used to publicize a brand by targeting a company’s publishing and advertising capabilities towards the large numbers of members that have signed up to a site. Social networking technology enables people to connect in a way that closely mirrors natural social behavior. These structures are fundamental to the way people organize themselves and communicate, and yet personal communication products take no account of them fully as of yet.

This handbook of research represents a collection of the most recent developments on the technological, organizational, managerial and social dimensions of this social media that dictate a paradigm shift in organizations, society and people.

Organization of the Handbook

This book deals with business social networking and is organized into five different sections: Section I – The Technological Dimension; Section II – Social Aspects; Section III – Social Networks in Education; Section IV – Business and Managerial Aspects, and finally, Section V – Case Studies / Studies of Impact and Adoption. It consists of a compilation of 51 contributions to the discussion of the main issues, challenges, opportunities, and developments related with business social networking, in a very comprehensive way, in order to disseminate current achievements and practical solutions and applications.

In Section I, there are eleven chapters that address relevant research and development contributions to the technological dimension of social networking. It reflects many authors’ views on how technology and both the dissemination and management of knowledge benefits the development of organizations’ social and economic growth.

In chapter one, Igor Hawryszkiewycz discusses the issues of planning and policy analysis activities in business and why public enterprises require knowledge from many domains. The chapter provides a way for modeling large scale collaboration using an extension to social network diagrams called enterprise social networks (ESNs).

The second chapter, by Fjorentina Angjellari-Dajci and other authors, discusses why traditional social science models, including those for social network analysis (SNA), have so far not succeeded in establishing a valid computational model of social science, especially autonomy.

Sebastian Marius Rosu and George Dragoi, in chapter three, consider a role-based authorization approach to service invocation as necessary in order to enhance and guarantee the integrity of the transactions that take place in the business environment of a virtual enterprise. The virtual enterprise network and the virtual team are the main concepts used in analyzing the network architecture for geographically dispersed enterprises as support for business development.

In chapter four, José C. Delgado recognizes that the user is no longer a mere consumer, but rather a producer, and calls for a paradigm shift, with the user at the center of the social network scenarios, taking the role of an active service, in equal terms with social network providers. The author names this as a user-centric approach and shows a migration path from current social network models. To support this approach, a new Web access device, called the browserver, is presented.

Enrico Franchi and Agostino Poggi present “Multi-Agent Systems and Social Networks.” In their chapter (5), they describe the relationships between multi-agent systems and social networks and how multi-agent systems technologies and techniques have been used and can be used to support social networks.

Eric Wong and Loretta Sze present, in chapter 6, a neural-network data mining system used to generate information for subsequent fuzzy multi-objective analysis. It demonstrates the benefits of integrating information technology, artificial intelligence and multi-objective decision making to form a practical aid which capitalizes on the merits of business social networking sites.

In chapter seven, Sanaa Askool, Aimee Jacobs, and Keiichi Nakata study “A Method of Analysing the Use of Social Networking Sites in Business” by investigating and understanding the influence of Web 2.0 on business through a tool and present how it can be integrated with work activities.

Fayez Hussain Alqahtani, Jason Watson, and Helen Partridge explain in chapter eight how Enterprise 2.0 technologies (Web 2.0 technologies within organisations) can support knowledge management. The chapter also explores how such technologies support the codifying (technology-centred) and social network (people-centred) approaches of KM, towards bridging the current gap between these two approaches.

In chapter nine, Claudia Canongia and Raphael Mandarino Junior introduce the theme of cybersecurity, its importance in the actual scenario and the challenges of the new Information Society, whose critical development factors are the technological revolution and innovation.

In chapter ten, entitled, “Evaluating IBMEC-RJ’s Intranet Usability Using Fuzzy Logic,” the authors Ana Beatriz Cavaleiro dos Reis Velloso, Walter Gassenferth, and Maria Augusta Soares Machado believe system’s usability is a concept that goes beyond the ease of use, is broader than that, and includes several criteria to measure it. The chapter evaluates the usability and thus the quality of IBMEC-RJ’s Intranet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since it is of great assistance to teachers and students.

In the last chapter (11) of section one, Evelyn Paola Soto Rojas and Antonio Batocchio propose the implementation of new collaborative technologies, Enterprise 2.0, aiming to support information management and knowledge management in virtual enterprises.

The eleven chapters of section II examine the social dimension of social networking by including chapters about trust building, privacy, cyberethics, social citizenship, and other related topics.

In chapter twelve, Andrew Targowski defines the nature, scope, pace, and consequences of the rapid development of social networking in the 21st century. Such concepts as global virtual society, global virtual nation, virtual nation, virtual users, national virtual citizens and global virtual citizens are defined. Their electronic culture is defined, too. Finally some recommendations for further research are provided. In particular, the question of whether the concept of one world government is good or bad for mankind should be answered soon, in order to properly steer the further development of large-scale social networks.

In chapter thirteen, ethical issues are discussed by Stephen B. Schafer and Thomas Palamides. Their chapter explores the ethics of social influence marketing (SIM) relative to the dynamics and standards of morality implied by cognitive principles of analytical psychology.

In chapter fourteen, Giorgio Bruno shows how to enable a community of people to achieve a certain goal through structured actions; such structured actions are organized in processes called social processes, for which a notation called SPN (Social Process Notation) is proposed.

“Role of Privacy and Trust in Mobile Business Social Networks” is the fifteenth chapter and is written by István Mezgár and Sonja Grabner-Kräuter. They approach the way new information and communication technologies and their integration can extend the possibilities of high level collaboration amongst people independently where they are on the globe. The goal of the chapter is to present the role and relationships between trust and privacy in mobile (business) social networks, and to introduce the possible types of privacy threats and countermeasures in case of online social networks. A short summary on future trends in mobile social networks is also presented.

In the same line of the marketing model entitled “Marketing-mix,” a new mnemonical model is presented by Dário Elias Félix Oliveira Rodrigues in chapter sixteen. This model designated as “Cyberethics-mix,” is composed of four elements, all of them having the initial letter "P".

In chapter seventeen, “Social Network Citizenship,” Mina Seraj and Aysegul Toker describe and discuss the specificities of membership commitment to online social networks. While delineating these specificities, the authors introduce the concept of social network citizenship (SNC) to define the characteristics of committed network members. A conceptual model involving commencement, creation, change, and commitment is developed in order to establish the antecedents of this new concept. In addition, the implications for marketing practice are discussed to reveal how companies can acquire social network citizens to retain their social media marketing strategies successfully.

Blanca L. Delgado-Márquez, J. Alberto Aragón-Correa, and Nuria E. Hurtado-Torres dedicate their chapter (18) to social networks and trust-building processes in organizational environments. In this chapter the authors draw on graph-based structures in order to investigate the role of individuals’ social networks as tools for enhancing potential trust-building processes at interpersonal level. The chapter relies on two main aspects. First, it proposes a theoretical approach in establishing a linkage between agents’ social networks and trust-building processes among unknown agents. Second, it carries out an experimental investigation focused on a laboratory experiment developed with students of both Management and Economics degrees. Furthermore, it outlines some implications for managers.

In chapter nineteen, Yóris Linhares de Souza, Fernanda Farinelli, George Leal Jamil, Maria Celeste Reis Lobo de Vasconcelos, and Gutenberg Marques Dias present “Virtual communities of practice as a support for knowledge sharing in social networks” since virtual communities practice appear as an important way to share knowledge among groups of people joined by common interests, such as the search for solutions for problems, development of competences, professional relationship upgrade, growth of productivity, and general working quality. However, some barriers have emerged to the social network members, such as lack of trust, real incentives, and time to dedicate in order to contribute in these communities. In this chapter, aiming to evaluate such scenarios, a multiple case study methodology was conducted, starting from a literature review of main concepts, giving support for a final assessment of cases to provide better understanding and identification of the main benefits and barriers for the participation and collaboration in these new platforms. As a result of the present study, these reflections could lead to a better comprehension of the application in the business environment of the social networks structured over virtual communities of practice.

In chapter twenty, Xenia Ziouvelou writes about distinct aspects of networks. Initially, social networks are described and defined, emphasizing upon their key characteristics. Subsequently, the different network types are reviewed and a holistic network taxonomy based on four distinct dimensions, is proposed: network focus, network openness, network orientation, and social space. Finally, the author examines the strategic perspectives of social networks for business actors, while focusing on organisational benefits and associated risks.

Jürgen Dorn and Stefan Labitzke present, in chapter twenty-one, an analytical approach to detect relationships between people in the real world such as friendship, rivalry, or others out of the behavior of members in a social software system. In social software systems, users often evaluate submissions of other users. If these actions are somehow biased, we assume a personal relationship between these users. The authors apply the approach in TechScreen, a social software system that supports the exchange of knowledge about Internet technologies. Since they try to mine competencies of its users, the validity of evaluations is very important. In this chapter it is possible to see the results of experiments resulting from about 50 users.

In chapter twenty-two, “Job Searches via Social Networking Sites: Employed Job Seekers Intentions,” Norazah Mohd Sukin and Kota Kinabalu examine the factors influencing employed job seekers acceptance of social networking sites as a job search tool. It was found that perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment are positively and significantly related to the behavioral intention to use social networking sites as a job search tool, whereas perceived ease of use is not positively and significantly related to the behavioral intention to use social networking sites as a job search tool. The study implies that the developers of social networking sites need to provide additional useful functionalities or tools in the social networking sites to help users of social networking site with their job searches. There needs to be an assurance that social networking sites will not disclose an individual’s private and confidential information without his or her consent.

Section III is composed of three chapters that focus on the impact social networks have in education (e-learning and b-learning).

Kathleen P. King proposes, in chapter twenty-three, that the changes social media is causing in the business world can be further leveraged in higher education to cultivate 21st century learners, primed for innovative thinking. A model is provided which scaffolds critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation through low cost/no-cost social media tools in educational and professional settings.

In chapter twenty-four, António Amaral and Madalena Araújo propose the creation of an organizational framework for managing the knowledge produced in organisations, as well as incorporating the lessons learned in the daily organizational routines. The purpose is to better respond to the problems that may occur and therefore, strategically realign the organisation towards efficiency and the improvement of the results.

The last chapter of this section, chapter twenty-five, written by Jelena Zašcerinska, Andreas Ahrens, and Olaf Bassus, aims at studying a discussion group/forum at one Professional Networking site (LinkedIn) for understanding and exemplifying “KM paradigms” such as humanist paradigm, inter/intra organizational paradigm, technological paradigm, and socio-technical paradigms from the perspective of social media. The focus is on determining new offered term/label instead of knowledge management of these discourses for defining the knowledge management discipline or science accurately. As a result, the differences of perceptions among members that represent different (such as academics/educators and practitioners’) background is also aimed to be identified. At the end, the authors hope to exemplify how existing information is shared and new knowledge is developed with respect to a specifically selected, related topic, Knowledge management, among the members of a Professional Networking site. The results can also be useful for other related studies on social networks and their social and professional impacts.

Section IV is composed of eleven chapters that address relevant research and development contributions to the business and managerial aspects of social networking.

In chapter twenty-six, Adamantios Koumpis, Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, and Nikos Melanitis describe how both science and practice services are seriously suffering in today’s corporate environments from many different suboptimalities.

Paul T. Kidd addresses, in chapter twenty-seven, the use of Social Networking Technologies in the context of support for development of sustainable business practices, specifically the use of these technologies in a radical way to create information flows within the business and from external bodies, that effectively call into question the purpose, values, products, technologies, etc. of the enterprise.

In chapter twenty-eight, Ammar Memari, Jorge Marx Gómez, and Waad Asaad present PurpleBee, a tool on top of Instant Messaging networks that serves as a communication point between the company and their customers. The application manifests itself as a "buddy" on the list of buddies the customer has on his IM service and allows him to interact in different ways with the company through sending and receiving Software Agents.

In chapter twenty-nine, Danijela Lalic, Ugljesa Marjanovic, and Bojan Lalic discuss how today, technological achievements that significantly influence communication management are Social Networks in virtual environments. They state that the latest research clearly indicates that this trend is going to last in the future. It is considered as a fact that there are many changes and innovations in the field of information and communication technologies during the past few decades. Development of communication technologies has provided a new framework for organizing corporate communication processes, both internal and external. Channels for the transfer of relevant information have been faced with huge technological improvement, but the fact analysis and former research do not provide insight in specific motivation patterns for usage of social networks among employees, as well as their influence on communication satisfaction within the organizations.

“Hybrid Intelligence through Business Socialization and Networking: Managing Complexities in the Digital Era” is explored by Jayantha P. Liyanage in chapter thirty, since managing industrial complexities and inherent risks in the modern economic climate has become quite a challenging task for more sectors than ever before. Apart from more formal financial constraints and risks, various industrial environments encounter a wide range of risks and uncertainties due to the inherent dynamics of the business environments. This leads to some form of structural re-configuration in a business-to-business transactional context generating an environment of so-called Hybrid Intelligence (Hybrid-I). This chapter explores and elaborates on the Hybrid-I concept as a modern scenario with reference to developments within the offshore oil & gas production sector.  

In chapter thirty-one, Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko analyzes business networks as a part of a multi-domain innovation ecology, which includes global production and innovation ecosystems, institutional network facilitators, and local communities and users. Their interplay is a reflection of the reconfiguration of inter-sectoral relations, in which business, government, and citizens may produce collaborative synergies and, thus, contribute to growth, competitiveness and social development. Web 2.0 is not a panacea, nor does it bring benefits automatically. On the contrary, companies need to be sensitive to the network logic and partners’ orientations in order to maximize the innovation potential of global innovation networks facilitated by social network sites and other Web 2.0 tools and services.

In chapter thirty-two, Ritesh Chugh provides a simple yet detailed overview into the world of online social networking. The pros and cons of social networking have been outlined and a review of four popular social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Viadeo) focussing upon general information, group features, design and information content has been provided. It outlines some practical usage guidelines that can be adopted to make social networking successful. Ultimately to meet the demands of businesses in the age of the Web 2.0 cyberworld it has become more important than ever before to understand this trend-setting movement.

In chapter thirty-three, José António Porfírio and João Correia dos Santos raise the main challenges deriving from the increased use of online social and business networks and their impact on the way businesses are being done today. They believe that social and business networks are at the basis of a future revolution on management fundamentals, and emphasize in particular those concerned with Strategy’s conception, implementation and control.

“From Local to Virtual Business Networks: The Issues at Stake,” also written by José António Porfírio, Marc Jacquinet, and Tiago Carrilho, shows how, in the past, local networks were considered a very important factor for territorial development. With the development of the internet, places became virtual, creating new spaces of “digital geography.” These networks show the potential to alter critically the way businesses are conducted, thus changing management fundamentals and managers capabilities to act within the present theoretical framework. In this chapter, the authors offer an analysis to these features, trying to devise not just what may be the major changes but also what could be the major challenges for development coming up from these issues.

In chapter thirty-five, Mariano Corso, Antonella Martini, and Fiorella Crespi believe that Enterprise 2.0 or E2.0 refers to a set of organisational and technological approaches steered to enable new organisational models based on open involvement, emergent collaboration, knowledge sharing, and internal/external social network development and exploitation. It aims to respond to the new features and needs of people and boosts flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. Based on evidence from 52 case studies, a survey, and a co-laboratory approach conducted by the Observatory on E2.0, the chapter analyses the social enterprise approach, which is one of the emerging E2.0 models. Specifically, this chapter reports the application areas (such as social network and community and unified communication & collaboration), the barriers for sales and marketing, and finally, the managerial guidelines.

At last, in chapter thirty-six, Pedro Guedes de Carvalho, in “The Keystone Sector Analysis” describes a different vision on how to make use of a simple network diagnosis instrument in order to identify and describe the network structure of a set of diversified institutions located and acting in a regional environment. The use of an analytical framework enables policy makers to intervene in a variety of manners. After a detailed literature review of different discipline approaches, the author describes different models for network formation and present the keystone sector analysis as a parsimonious centrality measure existing before more recent and complex frameworks used in reduction crime policies with the same definition (e.g. inter-optimal centrality). Considering the embeddedness in social network environments where different institutions – private, public, third sector – make decisions and influence future decisions, the keystone sector analysis is also helpful to uncover some methodological weaknesses in socioeconomic development and provide new opportunities for policy purposes.

Finally, section V is composed of fifteen chapters of valuable case studies /studies of impact and adoption as contributions to the business and managerial aspects of social networking.

Calin Gurau and Ramzi Benkraiem present their study, in chapter thirty-seven, on “The influence of business social networks on the financial performance of UK biopharmaceutical SMEs.” This chapter attempts to address this knowledge gap, investigating a sample of UK biopharmaceutical SMEs, from various stages of the corporate lifecycle. This approach permits a comparison between the structure of formal and informal networks of the manager/entrepreneur, in various corporate phases of evolution, and an analysis of the statistical relation between the size of networks and specific financial performance indicators.

In chapter thirty-eight, Romana Xerez, Paulo Figueiredo, and Miguel Mira da Silva, examine social networks in Portuguese society, and the impact of these social networks on organizations regarding computer-mediated communication. The results describe a Portuguese case study and attempt to answer the following question: How does computer-mediated communication contribute to social networking in organizations? This chapter examines the emails and phone calls exchanged during the year 2008 by employees working for a Portuguese bank in order to identify nodes, roles, positions, types of relations, types of networks and centrality measures. Overall there were 93,654 internal calls and 542,674 emails exchanged between the actors. The findings suggest that emailing is the preferred means of communication, although frequency increases with hierarchy communication. Collaborative work between departments functions as the emergence of a network. The results confirm the relevance of computer networks to support social networks in organizations, and its potential concerning data analysis outside the traditional surveys, and the possibility of introducing Internet sources.

In chapter thirty-nine, Mustafa Sagsan and Tunç Medeni study a discussion group/forum from one Professional Networking site (LinkedIn) in order to understanding and exemplify “KM paradigms” such as humanist paradigm, inter/intra organizational paradigm, technological paradigm and socio-technical paradigms from the perspective of social media. Discourse and content analysis techniques based on qualitative research methodology is used in this study in order to understand the perception of the current status and future direction of knowledge management discipline through these expert comments that include storytelling which are based on the experience of actors. At the end, the authors exemplify how existing information is shared and new knowledge is developed with respect to a specifically selected, related topic, knowledge management, among the members of a professional networking site. The results can also be useful for other related studies on social networks and their social and professional impacts.

In the chapter entitled “Improving the Effectiveness of Advertising in Internet Social Networking” (40), Francisco Rejón-Guardia, Juan Sánchez-Fernández, and Francisco Muñoz-Leiva review the most recent developments and contributions in the field of social media to business and professional networking, marketing, and critical success factors including case studies in communications actions. More specifically, they focus on the role of advertising in Internet social networks (ISN) and their function as a channel of communication from the consumer’s perspective. To do so, they describe the important role ISNs play today in business strategies aimed at relationship marketing as well as the most widely-used advertising formats. They apply the Elaboration Likelihood Model of behavior to ISNs to gain a better understanding of advertising effectiveness from the standpoint of degree of involvement, distinguishing between vehicle exposure and ad involvement. Finally, factors that reduce the effectiveness of advertising in ISNs are revised using a model that focuses on cognitive avoidance. In the research, cognitive avoidance and advertising effectiveness are considered to be a consequence of undesirable perceptions that emerge during exposure to advertisements.

In chapter forty-one, Damjan Obal investigates an emerging shift in the corporate world that is now more often than ever engaging with the global community of users. Collaborative, open business models promoting user-driven, open innovation strategies are adopted, one of them being framed as crowdcasting - specific crowdsourcing model where corporations broadcast their challenges to a targeted community. The chapter tries to elaborate the ways how crowdcasting models could benefit by tapping even deeper into the new social networks and exploring their potential.

In chapter forty-two, José Antonio Álvarez Bermejo, César Bernal Bravo, Manuel Jesús Rubia Mateos, and Javier Roca Piera, suggest recent studies are focusing on how social networks impact the learning process and how students organize themselves to face collaborative tasks via these networks, as well as their impact on the learning outcomes of the students. In a number of these studies, learning social aspects are analyzed, showing, among other issues of interest, that participating in social networks positively affects students' self-esteem. In their chapter, it is shown how this applies to the university model being adopted in Europe. Nowadays, the student is limited by the class and by the restricted group of people enrolled in that same university degree. In which way can the University facilitate that students get to each other so that they can find aspects in common and therefore the set of relationships grows? This chapter shows how Universidad de Almería, UAL, globalizes its campus providing access to every student, as well as how this social network is succeeding.

In chapter forty-three, Daniela Favaro Garrossini, Ana Carolina Kalume Maranhão, and Luis Fernando Ramos Molinaro present a chapter with results obtained from a survey developed between the years 2006 to 2010, at the University of Brasilia. Its objective is to seek a broadening of citizen participation spaces supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), to form an effective network in for constructing sectorial policies in Brazilian healthcare. The current work aimed to fill in a gap in studies about improving citizen participation in Brazil, in order to establish new ways for expanding the network formed by the councils and the consequent improvement in the collaborative spaces within the decision making process.

In chapter forty-four, entitled, “Analysis of social media in administration: epistemological and practical considerations,” Karoll Haussler Carneiro Ramos, Joselice Ferreira Lima, Flávio Elias de Deus, and Luís Fernando Ramos Molinaro analyze some case studies about social media in organizations’ administration. Social media’s epistemological base is introduced, considering contributions from the subject of organizational behavior. The importance of this discipline is that it brings together the points of view of some social sciences (social psychology, sociology and anthropology). After this, views regarding the mathematical nature of social media are presented. The internet’s influence on social media is also discussed, for it has contributed to a new common sense and it is responsible for social media popularity. Finally, how social media interferes in organizations is attested to as well as how it can be managed. In order to help the understanding of such knowledge, a survey is described, having articles related to organizational practices in social media.

Pasquale Del Vecchio, Valentina Ndou, and Laura Schina explore technological potentialities in chapter forty-five, through their case study on collaborative new product development. This chapter aims firstly to delineate and validate some of these constraints by using the insights coming out from a case study and secondly to suggest a possible solution in order to overpass some of the barriers identified and to exploit the customers’ knowledge acquired on the web.

In chapter forty-six, Leonilde Reis, Luísa Carvalho, and João Grãos Duros present a chapter about a case study of the importance of a technological platform to support the Social Market. A project was developed under an information modelling organizational analysis based on the current situation, as well as the assumptions of the operations needs of the future information system, which are involved in designing various institutions of Social Solidarity in the District of Setúbal. The added value of information systems in the context of the Social Market relate to centralized management of information thereby allowing the reuse of non-perishable goods.  

Steffen Ortmann, Peter Langendörfer, and Michael Maaser study the case “Social Networking and Privacy – A Contradiction?” in chapter forty-seven. This chapter analyzes the business networks LinkedIn and Xing, and the more leisure time related social communities, Facebook and StudiVZ. In particular, differences in collecting and handling of user data are of interest. Based on that, the authors present and analyze reported criticism based on published and personally investigated data. Then they evaluate whether that criticism is justified, hypercritical, or even an understatement. On behalf of analyzing potential threats and pitfalls, they finally work out existing and potential privacy risks as well as resulting consequences for the real life of community members.

In chapter forty-eight, Rafael Studart Monclar, Jonice de Oliveira, Fabrício Firmino de Faria, Lucas Vargas Freitas Ventura, Jano Moreira de Souza, and finally, Maria Luiza Machado Campos, study the history of social networks as well as their application, importance, and peculiarities in the medical context. The National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT in Brazil), established in 2008, gave particular importance to cancer control in contemporary society, therefore, a series of analyses were conducted in social networks. The authors present their project proposal, BRINCA, as well as its architecture and the current state of their research in their chapter “Networked Knowledge Workers on the Web: An Examination of US Trends, 2008-2010.”

In chapter forty-nine, Toni Ferro and Mark Zachry map some of this space in a productive way for organizations and online researchers by focusing their attention on a particular segment of Web 2.0 services, publicly available online services (PAOSs) used for work purposes. After defining this segment and its relationship to other kinds of online services, they report the results of an annual survey that looks at who is using such PAOSs for work as well as the nature of that work. The survey results indicate that how often PAOSs are used for work differs depending on the company size and office location of individuals. To frame the findings, the authors differentiate among the multiple PAOSs respondents reported using by classifying them as different genres of services, which they find provides a productive typology for understanding such services and their roles in organizations.

Badreya Al-Jenaibi focuses the study in chapter fifty on topics related to social networking and teamwork in United Arab Emirates organizations. The chapter focuses on different concepts including the meaning of teamwork, formal and informal teamwork, and social teamwork challenges. Several key issues that are addressed are evaluating network communication in business, teamwork rewards, and scopes in the UAE business organizations. The research method utilized is a structural interview and focus group that includes 14 Public Relations practitioners in different public and private organizations. The researcher developed specific questions, such as: What are the challenges that face Public Relations practitioners when developing teamwork for social networking? Do leaders respect social network teams? Why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of social network teams? One of the research goals is to investigate PR employees and their adaptation of teamwork in local organizations, collaborations, and virtual and social networking. The study concludes with many behavioral and PR employees' thoughts, such as a preference of informal teamwork as it relates to the organizational environment. Consequently, if the managers offer motivation and job satisfaction, the teamwork will accrue.  

The final study of this book, in chapter fifty-one, is written by Antonio José Caulliraux Pithon, Ralfh Varges Ansuattigui, and Paulo Enrique Stecklow. This chapter analyzes the social network of authorship of one of five Postgraduate Programs of CEFET/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, presenting the connections between network teachers, justifying the morphological characteristics of the network and suggesting methodologies for continuing the study for the teaching and researching networks.


Along these 51 chapters, the reader is faced with the discussions and confirmation of the relevance and impact of this hot topic, providing professionals, researchers, and scholars with some of the most advanced research developments, solutions, state-of-the-art enabling technologies, discussions, applications, and case studies.

The handbook is expected to support a professional audience of top managers, IT professionals, technology solution providers, and an academic audience (teachers, researchers, and students, mainly of post-graduate studies). As an academic tool, it can be a support to disciplines of post-graduate studies on IT/IS.

We hope you find it useful. Enjoy your reading and study!

The Editors,
Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha
Goran D. Putnik
Patrícia Gonçalves
Nuno Lopes
Eva Maria Miranda