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2012/2013  KAN-MLM_75  The Networked Organization – Opportunities and Challenges

English Title
The Networked Organization – Opportunities and Challenges

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Changes in course schedule may occur
Tuesday 13.30-15.10, week 36-41, 43-46
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MA in International Business Communication
Course coordinator
  • Liana Razmerita - Department of International Language Studies and Computational Linquistics
The course will be taught together with Matthias Trier from ITM.
Main Category of the Course
  • Information Systems
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Communication
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
Last updated on 29-04-2012
Learning objectives
The goal of this course is to enable students to:
  • Understand the development towards a networked organization, the new business models and workplace requirements that this environment brings,
  • Understand the support of informal knowledge exchanges, learning and communication with social media,
  • Demonstrate knowledge related to challenges and opportunities offered by social media in an organization
  • Be able to apply social network analysis as a research method,
  • Demonstrate knowledge in relation with recent approaches to open innovation, collaboration and peer production,
  • Develop strategies that tap the social networks of customer and 'prosumers' linked by strong and weak ties,
  • Understand the role and effects of online social influence in these networks, and
  • Utilize related theories such as social capital theory, transactive memory theory and structural network theories to explain the observed network phenomena.
No special requirements.
The Networked Organization – Opportunities and Challenges
The Networked Organization – Opportunities and Challenges:
Type of test Oral Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner Second internal examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 20 Minutes
The topic of the project assignment will be formulated and presented in group during the course. The subject must be related to the course objectives and be accepted by the teacher during the course.

Students will be expected to show that they have read the literature and that they are able to apply it in both the context of their projects and during the oral examination.
The examination will consist of an oral exam based on a group project assignment of 12 pages prepared during the course.
Prerequisites for attending the exam
The topic of the project assignment will be formulated and presented in group during the course.
Course content
The capabilities offered by social media are leading to the evolution of novel opportunities and challenges for organizations. Internal boundaries of the organization are blurred as informal collaborative networking is increasingly mediated by web2.0 technologies. This affords new levels of interaction and community-building. The modern organization further seeks to develop relationship ties with other stakeholders, e.g. to tap the benefits of open innovation.
All these developments require reconsidering the organization as a networked organization, embedded in complex and evolving relationship configurations with implications for strategic management objectives and business performance. Using Web 2.0, enterprises may adopt or be forced to adopt new business models to engage with customers and co-creating ‘prosumers’ who organize in social networks and engage in online discourses that exchange opinions, feedback, experiences, with the expectation of an active and transparent role of the organization.
In this course we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the networked organization by scrutinizing the different interlinked relationship networks that can be found inside the organization as well as at its interfaces to its customers and partners. The course will introduce theories and case studies related to the implementation and use of social media based networks for facilitating knowledge communities, crowdsourcing, collaborative innovation, networked customer relationships, or online social influence and participation - both in private and public organizations.   

Teaching methods
The course will draw upon a substantial body of research, present cases and give examples of real-life practice that is rigorous and accessible approach to the topic. The students will become familiar with the role of social media and networks within the context of a modern organization.

The course’s development of personal competences:

Students will be equipped with recent real world cases, corresponding theories, as well as with appropriate methods. This will enable them to engage in their own projects that uncover the potential of the networked organization.
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
- Understand the role of social media for networks inside and outside of the organization
- Explain network phenomena based on theory (e.g. social capital theory, transactive memory theory, network theories)
- Understand the ways in which social influence affects customer decisions and corporate reputation
- Utilize social network analysis as a research method for understanding and analysing networked organizations and their environment
- Develop strategies for the networked organization that tap the potential of open innovation, social networks among online consumers/prosumers, or internal knowledge exchanges
Expected literature
Adler, P.S. (2001): Market, Hierarchy, and Trust: The Knowledge Economy and the Future of Capitalism, Organization Science, 12, 2, pp. 215-234.
Benkler, Y. (2011): The unselfish Gene, Harvard Business Review,  July–August, pp.77-85.
Burt, R.S., 2001. Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital. In N. Lin, K.S. Cook & R.S. Burt, eds. Social Capital: Theory and Research. Sociology and Economics: Controversy and Integration series. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. pp.31-56.
Borgatti and Foster, The network paradigm in organizational research: A review and typology. Journal of Management. 29, 6, pp. 991-1013.
Castells, M. (2004): Informationalism, Networks, and the Network Society: A Theoretical Blueprint, in: The Network Society - A Cross-cultural Perspective, Ed. M. Castells,
Manuel Castells, pp.3-48.
Cho, H.-K., Trier M., Kim E. (2005): The Use of Instant Messaging in Working Relationship Development: A Case Study. Journal of Computer-mediated Communication, 10, 4, 2005.
Choi et al. (2010): The impact of information technology and transactive memory systems on knowledge sharing, application, and team performance: A field study. Mis Quarterly, 34, 4, 2010, pp.855-870.
Gefen & Straub (2004): Consumer trust in e-Commerce and the importance of social presence. OmegaJournal, 32, 6, pp. 407–424.
McAfee (2006): Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration, Sloan Management Review, 47,3, pp. 20-29.
Howe, J. (2006): The Rise of Crowd Sourcing. Wired Magazine. 14,6.
Kleinnijenhuis et al. (2011): Social Influence in Networks of Practice. An Analysis of Organizational Communication Content. Communication Research, 38, 5, pp. 587-612.
Leimeister et al. (2009):    Leveraging Crowdsourcing: Activation-Supporting Components for IT-Based Ideas Competition. Journal of Management Information Systems; 26,1, pp.197-224
Razmerita, L. (2011). "An Ontology-based Framework for Modeling User Behavior - A Case Study in Knowledge Management." IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans, 41, 4). Pp. 772-783.
Rizova (2006): Are you networked forsuccessful innovation? MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 49-55.
Trier M. (2008): Towards Dynamic Visualization for Understanding Evolution of Digital Communication Networks.  Information Systems Research, 9, 3, 2008, pp.335-350.
Wasko, M. M. and S. Faraj (2005): Why Should I Share? Examining Social Capital and Knowledge Contribution in Electronic Networks of Practice. MIS Quarterly 29,1, pp. 35-57.
Further readings will be provided by the teacher.
Last updated on 29-04-2012