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The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to support small organizations to navigate the context of an accelerated Digital Transformation using Enterprise Social Media platforms, in response to external contingencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.Design/methodology/approachA longitudinal action research study, supported by an exploratory analysis that follows a hybrid approach of deductive and inductive reasoning, has been conducted in the context of a small organization. Several data collection techniques were used for context understanding and problem-solving.FindingsFindings suggest that value creation related to the use of Enterprise Social Media platforms supports small organizations in this accelerated context of Digital Transformation. Value perception is central in overcoming adoption barriers and achieving sustainable use of these platforms in daily basis activities, especially in remote working. External pressures, like those imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, play an important role in catalyzing digital initiatives.Research limitations/implicationsAs the main limitations to this paper, we highlight the study of a single organization in a specific context and the number of actors involved; hence, there is room to extend the study to other industries, organization sizes and contexts.Practical implicationsThis paper provides managers with insights into how to conduct their Enterprise Social Media initiatives in a turbulent environment, highlighting their key success elements, and their potential to create value for their organizations and stakeholders. Furthermore, managers could explore the potential of Enterprise Social Media platforms to support organizations in the Digital Transformation journey.Social implicationsSmall organizations play an important role in generating wealth for nations around the world. However, governments encounter difficulties in supporting the Digital Transformation of this type of organization. This paper provides insights into how to use an affordable and intuitive technology to include this type of organization in the Digital Transformation journey.Originality/valueA long-term study of Enterprise Social Media is recommended, but quite rare in the Information Systems literature. This study adopts a longitudinal investigation to analyze the use of Enterprise Social Media to support a small organization to adapt, in balance with their internal and external contingencies, providing a further contribution to the contingency theory. This research also adds contributions to the sociotechnical system perspective, analyzing the deep imbrication between social and technical subsystems in the required organizational change, supporting a small organization for coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Journal of Systems and Information Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2022
Keywords: Enterprise social media; Accelerated digital transformation; Small organization; Value creation; COVID-19 pandemic; Contingence theory; Sociotechnical perspective
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