Behavioural Dimensions for Discovering Knowledge Actor Roles Utilising Enterprise Social Network Metrics

Janine Viol, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany
Rebecca Bernsmann, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany
Kai Riemer, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


The identification of distinct user roles is an important theme in social media research. However, for Enterprise Social Networks (ESN), the use of social media within organisations, research identifying such roles is still lacking. Yet, understanding user roles, in particular regarding their knowledge con-tributions and communication behaviour, might usefully support companies in managing critical knowledge resources. Against this backdrop, in this research-in-progress paper we derive 16 metrics characterising the participation behaviour, message content and structural position of ESN users of an Australian professional services firm. Based on a factor analysis, we identify four distinct dimensions of ESN user behaviour: Contribution & networking, information provision, contact dispersion and invisible usage. With this research we contribute to the literature by transferring concepts and meth-ods of organisation science and social media research to an ESN context. Further, our approach forms the basis for the identification of different types of knowledge actors, which might ultimately help to improve organisational knowledge transparency.