Journal of Information Technology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 115–129 | Cite as

A field study of spatial preferences in enterprise microblogging

  • Jan Recker
  • Dominik Lekse
Research Article


How does the introduction of enterprise social networking affect the way that geographically dispersed managers communicate with each other? We examine enterprise social network (ESN) usage data obtained from a community of store managers in a leading Australian retail organization, over a period of 15 months after introduction of the platform. Our interest in examining this data is in spatial communication preferences by the network users, that is, to ascertain who is communicating with whom and where. Our analysis of 12,000 messages exchanged between 530 managers shows that interactions can generally be characterized by individual preferences for local communication but also that two different user communities exist – ‘locals’ and ‘globals’. We develop empirical profiles for these two types of social network user communities, and we compare the empirical results against contrasting theoretical perspectives for spatial preference patterns in communication behaviour. We outline implications for theories on spatial influences on communication behaviours on ESNs.


enterprise social networking microblogging computer-mediated communication organizational social networking spatial analysis distance decay 



The authors are thankful to the case organization for participating in their study and providing them with access to the data. An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the 25th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, and the authors are grateful for the feedback of the conference reviewers on the earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Association for Information Technology Trust 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Systems School, Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.European Research Center for Information Systems, University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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