Analysis of behaviour dynamics within Enterprise Social Media-based social networks

The behaviour of social networks (i.e. networks formed of interlinked social entities) is inherently dynamic. For example, the breakdown of previous network relationships may contribute to the creation of new relationships or the loss of network players may cause changes to the future network structure. This characteristic also applies to social networks that emerge from the collective use of ESM (Enterprise Social Media). Despite this, previous research into ESM network behaviour presented a largely static perspective (for example using empirical cross-sectional studies), which may have undermined any relevant findings and practice-relevant implications. This project aims to counteract this conflict by investigating ESM network behaviour specifically from a dynamic perspective. This involves three core research questions.
Firstly: How do ESM networks behave at participant, group, and global level from a dynamic point of view? Secondly: Why do ESM networks behave in this way? Thirdly? What are the consequences of this behaviour on individual people, groups, and organizations? To answer these research questions, the project will involve a literature review to identify any gaps in the research into ESM network behaviour that can be addressed by taking a dynamic perspective. On this basis, these research gaps will then be closed using empirical research. Finally, the empirical results will be used to develop ESM network behaviour models (for example socio-theoretical or AI-based relationship forecasting models or agent-based network simulation models). By the time this stage has been completed, this project should have made significant advances in research into ESM network behaviour.

Sebastian Schötteler - Prof. Heidi Schuhbauer

Project start/end

February 2019/2023

Participants – Collaboration

Consortial doctoral project between

  • Faculty of Computer Science at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology
  • Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
    Schöller Foundation Chair for Information Systems, in particular digitalization in business and society.


    Teaching research – Research-based learning (QuL [Quality in Teaching] – Nuremberg Tech