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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | Organization and Management | 2013
Thesis number: 13421
How do companies adopt Social Business? - Insights from the Finnish ICT industry
Author: Hakkarainen, Jenna
Title: How do companies adopt Social Business? - Insights from the Finnish ICT industry
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; sosiaalinen yrittäjyys; social entrepreneurship; yritykset; companies; prosessit; processes
Pages: 137
Key terms: Social Business adoption; social technology; Born Socials; established companies

The purpose of the study was to educate companies on Social Business adoption by investigating and analyzing companies who have already adopted Social Business. The study about Social Business adoption can be valuable since earlier technology literature teaching companies on Social Business adoption is limited. In particular, Finnish companies are still in the early stages of Social Business adoption and require further guidance for adoption. The research setting is the Finnish ICT industry.


The study was a theory building study. It applied comparative research design with a longitudinal element and included 5 qualitative case studies in companies which have already adopted Social Business; 3 Born Social cases and 2 established company cases. Data collection involved three interviews in each established company and one interview in each Born Social company. Furthermore, it involved two interviews with Social Business specialists and collection of secondary data on the investigated companies for the purpose of triangulation. Companies which had already adopted Social Business created the ground for the emergent theory model about Social Business adoption. This theory model could potentially help organizations learn about Social Business adoption regarding adoption process and factors influencing Social Business adoption which can be impacted by the companies.


The findings proposed that there is no single path for adopting Social Business. The adoption process can be linear and gradual which starts from localized exploitation of social technology in internal communication and which evolves gradually to Social Business over time. Alternatively, the study suggested that established companies have similar opportunity as "Born Socials" to leapfrog the incremental and evolutionary stages of social technology adoption and to adopt Social Business as a non-linear process. The research suggested that the location where Social Business is adopted, the objectives for adopting Social Business, whether social technology strategy is present, whether there is a technological fit, whether social technology and business strategy are aligned, the type of management process, leadership and organizational culture, as well as the nature of organizational structure influence Social Business adoption. Difference in these organizational factors resulted in different Social Business adoption processes. The study proposed that leapfrogging to Social Business and non-linear Social Business adoption is perhaps only possible in the new business unit in the established company context were the appropriate organizational characteristics exist for non-linear Social Business adoption while Social Business adoption within the mainstream organization results in linear and gradual Social Business adoption.
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