Interactive technology plays a central role in organizations; one facet is the provision of tools for communication and cooperation. Within the Christian Doppler Laboratory (CDL), we accompanied the roll-out of corporate social media in a international production company. In a first step, we investigated the usage and acceptance of the tool through a multitude of actions (e.g., expert evaluation, use case definition, success criteria survey, workshops, and a benchmark survey). The first benchmark survey round particularly strived to assess the employees’ attitude towards the corporate social media platform at a specific point in time. The results of this survey (n= 224) show that the employees rather accepted the social media platform for internal communication and collaboration purposes.
After rolling out the social media platform company wide, we decided to re-assess the employees’ attitude towards the platform with a second benchmark questionnaire round one and a half years later. Thereby, we aimed to investigate – after being initially accepted in the first round – if the employees had adopted and integrated the social media into daily work practices. The quantitative findings showed that the employees rarely adopted the social media platform into their work practices. This finding led us to analyze in detail the qualitative data gathered along with the survey, as this data held valuable examples and explanations to better understand this phenomenon. Hereby, we identified three major challenges regarding the adoption of corporate social media: (1) diverging perspectives & uncertain top-down communication, (2) the functionality jungle & high usage complexity, and (3) lacking collaboration & customization.
In order to further inform and address the identified challenges in technology acceptance and adoption, we broadened our perspective towards technology appropriation, which not only concerns social media, but a variety of interactive technology in organizations and private lives. In a series of workshops, we aim to discuss and learn from individuals’ experiences and practices in adapting technology to their needs. Thereby, we particularly focus on technology that was not initially intended to foster communication, but which was appropriated to meet people’s communication needs. Thereby, users are considered as part of an ongoing design process, which can also inform the design of novel interactive technology.