Designing an Enterprise Social Questions and Answers Site to Enable Scalable User-to-User Support

  • Oliver Gass
  • Gülcan Öztürk
  • Silvia Schacht
  • Alexander Mädche
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9073)


Nowadays, the information technology infrastructure within organizations is getting more and more heterogeneous. Recent trends such as bring-your-own-device or choose-your-own-device satisfy user requests for diverse devices they already know from their private life. On the other hand, following these trends results in an increased complexity of the organizations’ infrastructure and a substantial rise in required effort for supporting users. In order to address this increased support demand, the establishment of a user-to-user support culture seems promising. An established concept to provide user-to-user support is the concept of social questions and answers (SQA) sites. SQA sites have been shown to be successful in the private context. Users can seek and provide knowledge and thereby support each other. This paper presents the design and evaluation of an enterprise SQA platform aiming to support employees in solving problems with processes or technologies. Building on already derived design principles, we discuss the design and implementation of the SQA prototype within an existing Customer Relation Management platform. The resulting system was then evaluated within five focus group sessions with professionals from various industries. The evaluation results show the validity of our design principles and the usefulness of the implemented prototype.


BYOD User-to-user support Social questions and answer sites 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baskerville, R.: Individual information systems as a research arena. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 20(3), 251–254 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Harris, J., Ives, B., Junglas, I.: IT Consumerization: When Gadgets turn into Enterprise IT Tools. MIS Q. Exec. 11(3), 99–112 (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chamakiotis, P., Whiting, R., Symon, G., Roby, H.: Exploring Transisitions and Work-Life Balance in the Digital Era. In: ECIS 2014 Proceedings (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Forrester, Key Strategies to Capture and Measure the Value of Consumerization of IT, A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Trend Micro, Cambridge, MA, USA (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gens, F., Levitas, D., Segal, R.: 2011 Consumerization of IT Study: Closing the Consumerization Gap. IDC, Framingham (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Von Hippel, E., Lakhani, K.R.: How Open Source Software Works: ‘Free’ User-to-User Assistance? Res. Policy 32, 923–943 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kaplan, A.M., Haenlein, M.: Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Bus. Horiz. 53(1), 59–68 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kim, W., Jeong, O.-R., Lee, S.-W.: On social Web sites. Inf. Syst. 35(2), 215–236 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Boyd, D.M., Ellison, N.B.: Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. J. Comput. Commun. 13(1), 210–230 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kügler, M., Smolnik, S., Raeth, P.: Why Don’t You Use It? Assessing the Determinants of Enterprise Social Software Usage: A Conceptual Model Integrating Innovation Diffusion and Social Capital Theories. In: ICIS 2012 Proceedings (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Meyer, P., Dibbern, J.: An Exploratory Study about Microblogging Acceptance at Work. In: AMCIS 2010 Proceedings (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shipps, B., Phillips, B.: Social Networks, Interactivity and Satisfaction: Assessing Socio-Technical Behavioral Factors as an Extension to Technology Acceptance. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 8(1), 7–8 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Davis, F.D.: User Acceptance of Information Technology: System Characteristics, User Perceptions and Behavioral Impacts. Int. J. Man. Mach. Stud. 38(3), 475–487 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B., Davis, F.D.: User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View. MIS Q. 27(3), 425–478 (2003)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhao, L., Lu, Y.: Enhancing Perceived Interactivity through Network Externalities: An Empirical Study on Micro-Blogging Service Satisfaction and Continuance Intention. Decis. Support Syst. 53(4), 825–834 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lin, K.-Y., Lu, H.-P.: Why People Use Social Networking Sites: An Empirical Study Integrating Network Externalities and Motivation Theory. Comput. Human Behav. 27(3), 1152–1161 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cheung, C.M.K., Lee, M.K.O.: A Theoretical Model of Intentional Social Action in Online Social Networks. Decis. Support Syst. 49(1), 24–30 (2010)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cheung, C.M.K., Chiu, P.-Y., Lee, M.K.O.: Online Social Networks: Why Do Students Use Facebook? Comput. Human Behav. 27(4), 1337–1343 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Muller, M.: Lurking as Personal Trait or Situational Disposition? Lurking and Contributing in Enterprise Social Media. In: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 253–256 (2012)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pöyry, E., Parvinen, P., Malmivaara, T.: Can We Get from liking to buying? Behavioral differences in hedonic and utilitarian Facebook usage. Electron. Commer. Res. Appl. 12(4), 224–235 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Palmisano, J.: Motivating Knowledge Contribution in Virtual Communities of Practice: Roots, Progress and Needs. In: AMCIS 2009 Proceedings, Paper 198 (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pi, S.-M., Chou, C.-H., Liao, H.-L.: “A Study of Facebook Groups Members’ Knowledge Sharing,” Comput. Comput. Human Behav. 29(5), 1971–1979 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Harper, F., Raban, D.: Predictors of answer quality in online Q&A sites. In: Proc. SIGCHI (2008)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shah, C., Oh, J.S., Oh, S.: Exploring characteristics and effects of user participation in online social Q&A sites. First Monday 13(9), 18 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gazan, R.: Social Q&A. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 62(12), 2301–2312 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gazan, R.: Specialists and synthesists in a question answering community. Proc. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 43(1), 1–10 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tiwana, A., Bush, A.: Continuance in Expertise-Sharing Networks: A Social Perspective. IEEE Trans. Eng. Manag. 52(1), 85–101 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Adamic, L., Zhang, J., Bakshy, E., Ackerman, M.S.: Knowledge sharing and yahoo answers: everyone knows something. In: Proceedings of WW 2008, pp. 665–674 (2008)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gazan, R.: Social Annotations in Digital Library Collections. D-Lib Mag. 14(11/12) (2008)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hevner, A.R., March, S.T., Park, J., Ram, S.: Design Science in Information Systems Research. Mis Q. 28(1), 75–105 (2004)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vaishnavi, V.K., Kuechler, W.: Design science research methods and patterns: innovating information and communication technology. Auerbach, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Walls, J.G., Widmeyer, G.R., El Sawy, O.A.: Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant EIS. Inf. Syst. Res. 3(1), 36–59 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ortbach, K., Gaß, O., Köffer, S., Schacht, S., Walter, N., Maedche, A., Niehaves, B.: Design Principles for a Social Question and Answers Site: Enabling User-to-User Support in Organizations. In: Tremblay, M.C., VanderMeer, D., Rothenberger, M., Gupta, A., Yoon, V. (eds.) DESRIST 2014. LNCS, vol. 8463, pp. 54–68. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gregor, S., Benbasat, I.: Explanations from intelligent systems: Theoretical foundations and implications for practice. MIS Q. 23, 497–530 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Petter, S., Vaishnavi, V.: Facilitating Experience Reuse Among Software Project Managers. Inf. Sci (Ny). 178(7), 1783–1802 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Petter, S., Randolph, A.B.: Developing Soft Skills to Manage User Expectations in IT Projects: Knowledge Reuse Among IT Project Managers. Proj. Manag. J. 40(4), 45–59 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Al-Alawi, A.I., Al-Marzooqi, N.Y., Mohammed, Y.F.: Organizational culture and knowledge sharing: critical success factors. Journal of Knowledge Management 11, 22–42 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Agichtein, E., Castillo, C., Donato, D., Gionis, A., Mishne, G.: Finding high-quality content in social media. In: Proc. Int. Conf. Web Search Web Data Min., WSDM 2008, p. 183 (2008)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Anderson, A., Huttenlocher, D.: Discovering value from community activity on focused question answering sites: A case study of stack overflow. In: Proc. of the 18th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (2012)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Gyarmati, L., Trinh, T.: Measuring user behavior in online social networks. IEEE Netw. 24(5), 26–31 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gazan, R.: Microcollaborations in a social Q&A community. Inf. Process. Manag. 46(6), 693–702 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Goffman, E.: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Anchor Books (1959)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Walther, J.B., D’Addario, K.P.: The Impacts of Emoticons on Message Interpretation in Computer-Mediated Communication. Soc. Sci. Comput. Rev. 19(3), 324–347 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Short, J., Williams, E., Christie, B.: The Social Psychology of Telecommunications. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (1976)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Julian, J.: How Project Management Office Leaders Facilitate Cross-Project Learning and Continuous Improvement. Proj. Manag. J. 39(3), 43–58 (2008)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Bista, S.S.K., Nepal, S., Colineau, N., Paris, C.: Using Gamification in an Online Community. In: Proceedings of the 8th IEEE International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing, pp. 611–618 (2012)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., Nacke, L.: From game design elements to gamefulness: defining ‘gamification. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference on Envisioning Future Media Environments, MindTrek 2011, pp. 9–15 (2011)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Huotari, K., Hamari, J.: Defining gamification: A service marketing perspective. In: Proceeding Int. Acad. MindTrek Conf., pp. 17–22. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Rothenberger, M., Chatterjee, S.: A Design Science Research Methodology for Information Systems Research. J. Manag. Inf. Syst. 24(3), 45–77 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Gorelick, C., Tantawy-Monsou, B.: For performance through learning, knowledge management is critical practice. Learn. Organ. 12, 125–139 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Geister, S.: Effects of Process Feedback on Motivation, Satisfaction, and Performance in Virtual Teams. Small Gr. Res. 37(5), 459–489 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Adomavicius, G., Tuzhilin, A.: Toward the next generation of recommender systems: A survey of the state-of-the-art and possible extensions. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 17, 734–749 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Stewart, D.W., Shamdasani, P.N., Rook, D.W.: Focus groups. Theory and practice 20, 188 (2007)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Tremblay, M.C., Hevner, A.R., Berndt, D.J.: Focus Groups for Artifact Refinement and Evaluation in Design Research. Commun. ACM 26, 599–618 (2010)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Allee, V.: The Knowledge Evolution: Expanding Organizational Intelligence. Butterworth-Heinemann (1997)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Tan, H.C., Carrillo, P.M., Anumba, C.J., Bouchlaghem, N.D., Kamara, J.M., Udeaja, C.E.: Development of a Methodology for Live Capture and Reuse of Project Knowledge in Construction. J. Manag. Eng. 23(1), 18–26 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Dellarocas, C.: The Digitization of Word Digitization Feedback Mouth: Promises and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms. Manage. Sci. 49, 1407–1424 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Lawley, E.: Games as an Alternate Lens for Design. Interactions 19(4), 16–17 (2012)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Laschke, M., Hassenzahl, M.: Mayor or Patron? The Difference Between a Badge and a Meaningful Story. In: Proceedings of the CHI 2011 Workshop on Gamification, pp. 72–75 (2011)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Sjöklint, M., Constantiou, I., Trier, M.: Numerical Representations And User Behaviour In Social Networking Sites: Towards A Multi- Theoretical Research Framework. In: ECIS 2013 Proceedings, Paper 167 (2013)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Thom, J., Millen, D., DiMicco, J.: Removing Gamification from an Enterprise SNS. In: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work - CSCW 2012, pp. 1067–1070 (2012)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Peffers, K., Rothenberger, M., Tuunanen, T., Vaezi, R.: Design Science Research Evaluation. In: Peffers, K., Rothenberger, M., Kuechler, B. (eds.) DESRIST 2012. LNCS, vol. 7286, pp. 398–410. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Gass
    • 1
  • Gülcan Öztürk
    • 1
  • Silvia Schacht
    • 1
  • Alexander Mädche
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Chair of Information Systems IVUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Enterprise SystemsUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations