Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) are said to have the potential to significantly improve communication and collaboration between employees. However, utilization is still a problem in organizations, as participation is voluntary. Current research on Affordance theory in IS research suggests one reason being that users may not always recognize the opportunities for action and the potential outcome of the corresponding actualization. In our qualitative study in a medium-sized company, we investigate how experiencing offline networking with other ESN users will help to recognize online networking potentials, leading to an increased actualization of ESN affordances. In addition, we investigate the role of social bots (here: Lunch Roulette Bot), which provoke interaction by inviting users to meet other employees for lunch, therefore nudging users to experience certain actualizations like offline networking. We find that social bots can be more helpful than conventional one-to-many solicitations of the management and increase human interaction in ESN.
Meske, Christian and Amojo, Ireti, "Social Bots as Initiators of Human Interaction in Enterprise Social Networks" (2018). ACIS 2018 Proceedings. 15.