Much of the research on the impacts of electronic communication networks such as the Internet presents as competing substitutes personal, embedded relationships and computer-mediated, armís-length relationships between exchange partners. More recent research highlights the complementarity of these two kinds of relationships (e.g., Kraut et al. 1999). However, this research has not explored what following a strategy of complementarity means in situ. This paper seeks to address this shortcoming. Using ethnographic data to explore the consequences of implementing a self-service technology in an environment in which social relationships and social capital are regarded as a key to success, the research presented here highlights the tensions inherent in a business model that seeks to integrate rationalization and relationships.
Schultze, Ulrike, "Self-Serve Internet Technology and Social Embeddedness: Balancing Rationalization and Relationships" (2002). ICIS 2002 Proceedings. 46.