Social Information Systems

Minitrack on HICSS 2021

Social information systems combine social media technologies and principles of open collaboration (Schlagwein et al., 2011) (Schmidt et al., 2018). They comprise a large variety of software including social networking platforms, online/content communities, collaborative project management tools collaborative technologies, blogs, wikis, and sites for crowdsourcing being among the well-known, (Schmidt et al., 2019).

Social Information Systems differ from other types of information systems by enabling emergent interactions (Schmidt et al., 2020). Emergent interactions are defined during run-time by two or more participants of a social information system. No plan or approval from a supervisor or management is necessary. In this way, social information systems differ fundamentally from the prevailing information systems, so-called Tayloristic information systems. Tayloristic Information Systems, build upon the ideas of Taylorism (Taylor, 1911; Littler, 1978), enable users only to interact according to specific features and design fixed in software. Although the users may initiate these interactions on their own. they are bound to the interaction types defined in the information systems.

Social information systems have profound practical implications on the way individuals communicate and the way business processes are organized (Schmidt et al., 2019). Platform business models such as AirBnB need social information systems to evaluate and integrate resources. The so-called "Gig-economy" posits that crowdsourcing platforms have the power to change hierarchical coordination towards more market-like and fluid forms where individuals bring in their competencies for specific projects, I.e. "gigs". From this perspective, social information systems may be regarded as "glue" in distributed business processes. The field of social information systems (Schlagwein et al., 2011) (Schmidt et al., 2019) comprises technical aspects and requirements (e.g. Web 2.0 techniques, semantic interoperability, data analysis and fusion, social analytics) as well as their embedding in business processes and business models. Among the examples are the use of social information systems in business process management (Schmidt and Nurcan, 2009) and applications, such as social customer relationship management (Alt and Reinhold, 2012) (Reinhold and Alt, 2011) (Reinhold and Alt, 2019).