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Saturday, September 27 • 14:56 - 15:15
"Dimensions of social business: A systematic literature review and social business cycle"

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Background: Social media channels facilitated by Web 2.0 (O'Reilly, 2005) created new opportunities for interaction and innovation for public (Baumgarten & Chui, 2009) and private sector organizations (McAfee, 2006). The increasing adoption, use and impact of social media in organizational settings is resulting in a new kind of business paradigm termed as “Social Business” (Vatrapu, 2013).

Objective: There has been little focus on a systematic treatment of the phenomena of social business when compared to other business paradigms such as e-business in the scientific world. Extant literature reviews are on specific topics of interest rather than on the general topic of social business itself (i.e. Leung, Law, van Hoof, and Buhalis (2013); Guy (2012); Veil, Buehner, and Palenchar (2011)). Our objective in this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review on the general topic, formulate the dimensions of social business, and propose a social business cycle.

Methods: We followed a three step methodology for the review based on the systematic literature review research goals outlined by Okoli and Schabram (2010) and the content-oriented thematic categorization of the literature specified by Webster and Watson (2002). From encoding and analysis of the literature, we created the four dimensions of social business (Perception, Adoption, Practice and Management) and discussed each dimension in detail with the selected articles.

Results: The proposed social business cycle (Figure 1) starts with the organizational perception of the risks and benefits of social media. Based on this perception, the organization undertakes strategic decision on if, when and how to adopt social media channels. If the strategic decision is to proceed with the adoption, then the organization allocates appropriate resources and procures relevant tools for their social business activities and engages in practice. Finally, in the management phase, the organization defines and implements appropriate management frameworks aligned with its business goals.

Conclusions: In this paper we attend the gap of conceptualizing the phenomena by categorizing the existing literature into four main research dimensions. There is also a knowledge gap in understanding the IT artefacts for social business (such as social CRM etc) and the research gaps need to be filled within each research dimension of social business (Perception, Adoption. Practice, and Management). We hope this literature review will support and motivate further research in social business adding more findings to the current state of knowledge.


Baumgarten, J., & Chui, M. (2009). E-government 2.0. Mckinsey Quarterly, 4(2), 26-31.

Guy, R. (2012). THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ACADEMIC PRACTICE: A REVIEW OF LITERATURE. Kentucky Journal of Higher Education Policy and Practice, 1(2), 7.

Leung, D., Law, R., van Hoof, H., & Buhalis, D. (2013). Social Media in Tourism and Hospitality: A Literature Review. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(1-2), 3-22.

Mcafee, A. P. (2006). Enterprise 2.0: The dawn of emergent collaboration. Mit Sloan Management Review, 47(3), 21-28.

O'Reilly, T. (2005). Web 2.0: compact definition. Message posted to http://radar. Oreilly. Com/archives/2005/10/web_20_compact_definition. Html.

Okoli, C., & Schabram, K. (2010). A guide to conducting a systematic literature review of information systems research.

Vatrapu, R. (2013). Understanding Social Business. In K. B. Akhilesh (Ed.), Emerging Dimensions of Technology Management (pp. 147-158). New Delhi: Springer.

Veil, S. R., Buehner, T., & Palenchar, M. J. (2011). A Work‐In‐Process Literature Review: Incorporating Social Media in Risk and Crisis Communication. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 19(2), 110-122.


avatar for Zeshan Jaffari

Zeshan Jaffari

avatar for Ravi Vatrapu

Ravi Vatrapu

Director & Professor, Centre for Business Data Analytics, Copenhagen Business School

Saturday September 27, 2014 14:56 - 15:15
TRS 1-003 Ted Rogers School of Management

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