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2018/2019  KAN-CINTV1802U  Communication in Action on the Social web

English Title
Communication in Action on the Social web

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Mads Bødker - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-06-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describing and reflecting on key ideas of social informatics and the associated theoretical frameworks suggested in the course
  • Reflecting on needs for changing and or developing communication processes and participation through the use of social technologies
  • Suggesting concrete ways to facilitate the use of social media within and across organizations
  • Assessing and analyzing examples of social informatics and communication processes, including aspects of individual user and group behavior in social media
  • Discussing and synthesising social informatics concepts and theories presented in the course
Communication in Action on the Social Web:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Short introduction by the students (max 5 minutes), followed by reflections and dialogue.

Course content and structure

According to Kling, social informatics is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses and consequences of information technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts". In the past years, we have witnessed a seemingly profound shift in the use of web-based technologies as lightweight, end-user friendly social tools for communication, socialization, and collaboration have become one of the most popular applications for the world wide web. We no longer have to look at corporate intranets to see web technology be used for massive collaboration and communication. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Sina Weibo, blogs, wikis, recommender engines, - all this, and more, have thoroughly changed the face of networked practices around the world, and the consequences are far from confined to the technological or the virtual. New information practices have “real” consequences.
Going beyond the early considerations of Social Informatics by Kling, this obligatory course for the IM specialization takes up classic and recent theories from social science and the humanities that critically examine social aspects of networked communications such as the above mentioned.


The subjects of analysis will be centered upon both work and leisure technologies such as intranets, mobile communication, and recent developments in social software practices such as (micro) blogging, wiki's, peer-to-peer sharing, wearable technologies and their attendant infrastructures.
Readings and class structure
The readings are based around research articles from different fields that have implications for the general theme of the course. In addition to the literature suggested by the lecturers, two peer reviewed research articles will have to be chosen by the students in the project groups. These must be approved by one of the lecturers no later than April 1. 2016. The articles should fall within the scope of the student’s planned mini-project essay.

Description of the teaching methods
The classes are structured around close reading, reflections and critique of the course literature.

The mini-project will be based on the student groups’ own choice of a digital social technology (e.g. Facebook, Sina Weibo, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Instagram, Wikipedia, Podio, and FitBit, JawBone, and other quantified self technologies). The groups must then apply (depending on relevance) at least 3 of the principles discussed in class on their case and argue for their usefulness for the analysis and understanding of the particular social medium. The analysis must be based on on-line observations of user behavior and interactions using the chosen technology.

To gain a solid basis for the mini-project, each student group is expected to engage actively in the technology in question, and document this with example screendumps etc. All projects should take point of departure in the uploaded presentation(s) that the group made during the course.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will be invited to give short presentations of their ongoing work to teachers and students in order to sharpen their approach. This will be done in regular lectures to help the students better integrate theoretical concepts and reflections in their projects. Furthermore, a number of workshops are dedicated to presentations of work and feedback to student groups.
Student workload
Attending class sessions 32 hours
Reading and preparing for in-class discussion 70 hours
Experimenting and using different social media 8 hours
Project work, mini project 72 hours
Preparation for individual exams 24 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature

The literature can be changed before the semester starts. Students are advised to find the literature on LEARN before they buy the books.


Björneborn, L (2005): Small World Network Exploration, http:/​/​vip.db.dk/​lb/​papers/​bjorneborn_2005_small-world_network_exploration.pdf


Borgatti, S.P, and Foster, P.C. (2003). The Network Paradigm in Organizational Research: A Review and Typology, in Journal of Management, 29/6, 2003, also available here http:/​/​www.analytictech.com/​borgatti/​papers/​borgattifoster.pdf


Ciolfi, L, Fitzpatric, G, and Bannon, L (2008):  Settings for Collaboration: the Role of Place, in  Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2008) 17:91–96


Clemmensen, T. (2012). Adapting e-gov Usability Evaluation to Cultural Contexts In E. Buie & D. Murray (Eds.), Usability in Government Systems: User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants (pp. 331-346). NY: Morgan Kaufmann.


Clemmensen, T. (2011). Designing a Simple Folder Structure for a Complex Domain. Human Technology, 7 (3), 216-249.


Campos, P., & Campos, A. (2009).

SimCompany: An Educational Game Created through a Human-Work Interaction Design Approach. Paper presented at the Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2009.


Cecez-Kecmanovic, Galliers, Henfridson, Newell and Vidgen (2014). The Sociomateriality of Information Systems; Current Status, Future Directions. MIS Quarterly Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 809-830/September 2014


Contarello, A., Fortunati, L., & Sarrica, M. (2007). Social thinking and the mobile phone: A study of social change with the diffusion of mobile phones, using a social representations framework. Continuum, 21(2), 149-163.


Day, R. (2007). Kling and the “critical”: Social informatics and critical informatics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(4), 575-582.


Dittrich et al (eds.) 2005: International reports on socio-informatics, pp. 15-20, 30-43. 52-59, available here: http:/​/​www.iisi.de/​fileadmin/​IISI/​upload/​IRSI/​IRSIv2i2.pdf


Dourish, P (2004). What we talk about when we talk about context, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 8/1, 2004


Eagle, N, & Pentland, A (2005): Social Serendipity: Mobilizing Social Software, http:/​/​reality.media.mit.edu/​pdfs/​serendipity.pdf


Fortunati, Leopoldina. "User design and the democratization of the mobile phone." First Monday (2006)., in http:/​/​firstmonday.org/​htbin/​cgiwrap/​bin/​ojs/​index.php/​fm/​article/​view/​1615/​1530


Gal, U., & Berente, N. (2008). A social representations perspective on information systems implementation. Information Technology & People, 21(2), 133-154.


Granovetter, M.S. (1973): The Strength of Weak Ties, in American journal of sociology, 78, 1360 available at http:/​/​www.stanford.edu/​dept/​soc/​people/​mgranovetter/​documents/​granstrengthweakties.pdf


Haddon, L. (2001): Domestication and Mobile Telephony. Paper presented at ‘Machines that Become Us’, Rutgers University, New Jersey, US, April 2001, available here http:/​/​www.lse.ac.uk/​media@lse/​whosWho/​AcademicStaff/​LeslieHaddon/​Domestication%20and%20mobile.pdf


Harrison, S. Dourish, P (1996). Re-place-ing space: the roles of place and space in collaborative systems. In Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '96)


Kaplan, A.M. and Haenleina, M (2009), Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media, in Business Horizons Volume 53, Issue 1, January-February 2010, Pages 59-68


Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design: MIT Press Cambridge, MA. (whole book)

Kling, R. (2000). Learning about information technologies and social change: The contribution of social informatics. The Information Society, 16(3), 217-232.


Messetter, J. (2009) “Place-Specific Computing:
A Place-centric Perspective for Digital Designs”, in International Journal of Design, 3:1. Available at http:/​/​www.ijdesign.org/​ojs/​index.php/​IJDesign/​article/​view/​353/​239


Newman et al (2002). Designing for serendipity: supporting end-user configuration of ubiquitous computing environments, in DIS '02 Proceedings of the 4th conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques


Orlikowski, W (2010): The sociomateriality of organisational life: considering technology in management research Available at http:/​/​cje.oxfordjournals.org/​content/​34/​1/​125.full


Orlikowski, W, and Iacono, SC. (2001): Desperately Seeking the IT in IT research; A call to theorizing the IT artifact, in Information Systems Research, Vol 12, No.2, 2001


Postill, John, and Sarah Pink. "Social media ethnography: the digital researcher in a messy web." Media International Australia 145 (2012): 123-134.


Sahay, S, Robey, D (1996).  Organizational context, social interpretation, and the implementation and consequences of geographic information systems, in  Accounting Management & Information Technology, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1996


Salovaara, A, Tamminen, S (2009): “Accept or appropriate? A design-oriented critique on technology acceptance models”. Preprint draft available at: http:/​/​www.hiit.fi/​~asalovaa/​articles/​salovaara-tamminen-2009-acceptance-or-appropriation-draft-for-web.pdf


Sawyer, Steve, Eschenfelder, Kristin R (2002). "Social informatics: Perspectives, examples, and trends”, in Annual Review of Information Science and  Technology, 36, 1, 2002


Scott SV, Orlikowski WJ. ‘Getting the Truth’: Exploring the Material Grounds of Institutional Dynamics in Social Media 2009. Paper presented at the 25th European Group for Organizational Studies Conference, Barcelona, Spain, available at  http:/​/​eprints.lse.ac.uk/​26699/​


Thom-Santelli, J (2007) “Mobile Social Software: Facilitating Serendipity or Encouraging Homogeneity? ” Pervasive Computing, 3, 2007


Wakkary, R and Tannenbaum, K (2009) A sustainable identity: the creativity of an everyday designer, Proc. of CHI2009, Boston, 2009


Wittel, A (2001): Towards a Network Sociality, Theory, Culture & Society, Sage, London, Vol. 19(6), 51-76)

Last updated on 12-06-2018