Generating Generativity


Peer-Reviewed Conference and Journal Articles

Enterprise Social Media Use in Classroom Team Projects: a Mixed-Methods Exploration of the Effects of Affordances on Team Productivity and Use

Cherchiglia, L., Van Osch, W., Liang, Y. & Averkiadi, E.   •  2021

Human-Computer Interaction International, Washington DC, USA.


An Exploration of the Effects of Enterprise Social Media Use for Classroom Teams

Cherchiglia, L., Van Osch, W., Liang, Y. & Averkiadi, E.   •  2020

Proceedings of the 19th Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on HCI Research in MIS (Pre-ICIS SIGHCI 2020).


This paper explores the adoption of Microsoft Teams, a group-based Enterprise Social Media (ESM) tool, in the context of a hybrid Information Technology Management undergraduate course from a large midwestern university. With the primary goal of providing insights into the use and design of tools for group-based educational settings, we constructed a model to reflect our expectations that core ESM affordances would enhance students’ perceptions of Microsoft Teams’ functionality and efficiency, which in turn would increase both students’ perceptions of group productivity and students’ actual usage of Microsoft Teams for communication purposes. In our model we used three core ESM affordances from Treem and Leonardi (2013), namely editability (i.e., information can be created and/or edited after creation, usually in a collaborative fashion), persistence (i.e., information is stored permanently), and visibility (i.e., information is visible to other users).

Idea Generation in Enterprise Social Media: Open versus Closed Groups and Their Network Structures

Wietske Van Osch, Burcu Bulgurcu   •  2020

Journal of Management Information Systems, 37(4), 904-932. FT50, Impact Factor: 3.775; ranked 3rd in Information Systems.
DOI: 10.1080/07421222.2020.1831760


Social network theory has produced conflicting results regarding the link between different social network structures—bridging versus bonding—and idea generation. To address this conundrum, we conduct a naturally occurring quasi-experiment of 126 open and 108 closed groups within an Enterprise Social Media (ESM) system of a multinational enterprise. Our findings show that idea generation occurs when the type of social network structure—bridging or bonding—is matched to a group’s openness or closedness, respectively. We further show that the reverse is counterproductive: when closed groups display bridging ties and open groups display bonding ties, idea generation is significantly undermined. Theoretically, these findings clarify the conditions and mechanisms by which both bridging and bonding can result in idea generation and provide a deeper understanding of the use of ESM for idea generation. Practically, our findings provide valuable and actionable insights regarding the use of ESM for idea generation in groups.

Investigating Linguistic Indicators of Generative Content in Enterprise Social Media

Elisavet Averkiad, Wietske Van Osch, Yuyang Liang   •  2020

International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50341-3_23


Teamwork is at the heart of most organizations today. Given increased pressures for organizations to be flexible, and adaptable, teams are organizing in novel ways, using novel technologies to be increasingly agile. One of these technologies that are increasingly used by distributed teams is Enterprise Social Media (ESM): web-based applications utilized by organizations for enabling communication and collaboration between distributed employees. ESM feature unique affordances that facilitate collaboration, including interactions that are generative: group conversations that entail the creation of innovative concepts and resolutions. These types of interactions are an important attraction for companies deciding to implement ESM. There is a unique opportunity offered for researchers in the field of HCI to study such generative interactions, as all contributions to an ESM platform are made visible, and therefore are available for analysis. Our goal in this preliminary study is to understand the nature of group generative interactions through their linguistic indicators. In this study, we utilize data from an ESM platform used by a multinational organization. Using a 1% sub sample of all logged group interactions, we apply machine-learning to classify text as generative or non-generative and extract the linguistic antecedents for the classified generative content. Our results show a promising method for investigating the linguistic indicators of generative content and provide a proof of concept for investigating group interactions in unobtrusive ways. Additionally, our results would also be able to provide an analytics tool for managers to measure the extent to which text-based tools, such as ESM, effectively nudge employees towards generative behaviors.

Developing a Method for Identifying Instances of Group Generative Interactions in Enterprise Social Media

Elisavet Averkiad, Wietske Van Osch, Yuyang Liang   •  2019

Eighteenth Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on HCI Research in MIS


Companies hold particular interest in group generative interactions – the conception of novel ideas and solutions through group exchanges. They are a root-cause of innovation and thus are important to companies’ survival. Enterprise Social Media (ESM) offer a unique opportunity to study generative group interactions, due to the transparent nature of activities on these platforms. In this research-in-progress paper, we conduct a preliminary analysis to develop a method that could identify the instances of ESM-based generative group interactions, where we focus on distinguishing generative versus nongenerative group interactions. To do this, we used the text  from all group interactions from an ESM platform of a multinational organization. We implemented machine learning models to learn and classify the text as generative or non-generative. As a result, we produced the top important term features from the best performing model. These features will help us understand the nature of discussions that occur in these interactions in future studies.

The Effects of Group Visibility on Social Capital Formation in Enterprise Social Media

Wietske Van Osch, Burcu Bulgurcu, Ann Majchrzak   •  2018

European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) Proceedings


ESM have created new opportunities for groups of individuals to create networks of connections, including previously unknown others inside the same organization. The formation of social capital in the context of ESM is inherently affected by the visibility affordance of these tools, resulting in either visible or invisible groups. As such, ESM offered a unique opportunity to assess the effects of visibility on group processes, specifically in the context of social capital formation. Given that past research has had a strong positivity bias with respect to the role of visibility on organizational processes, we developed and validated a framework that incorporated both visibility and invisibility and suggested that social capital formation can emerge within both visible and invisible groups, yet, that the exact form of social capital—i.e., bonding or bridging—are shaped by the visibility settings of the group and the level of discussions ongoing in the group. Therefore, as researchers of ESM technologies, we must be cautious in generalizing about the unequivocal effects of visibility and instead must be sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of visible versus invisible groups and their emergent network structures. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.