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Research papers on business blogging

Since it’s something people ask from me once in a while – a list of research papers on business/corporate/employee blogging (primarily those where actual uses of weblogs are studied), abstracts included.

  • When known the company studied is in [] in front of the reference.
  • For an overview of more practitioner-oriented publications check Lockwood & Dennis (2008) below.
  • Most of the papers are free online, google the title if you don’t have an access to the scientific databases.

Suggestions of what is missing are welcome, I will try to update this list, but no promises.


[HP] Brzozowski, M. J. & Yardi, S. (2008). Revealing the long tail in office conversations. In CSCW 2008 Workshop on Enterprise 3.0.

Blogs, wikis, and forums can break down geographic distances, workgroup boundaries, and organizational hierarchy in an organization. While these tools significantly lower the barriers to producing content, employees may perceive there to be little incentive to invest their own time in providing this content for public consumption. We found that increasing visibility often motivated employees to participate and contribute content. Employees were motivated by the opportunity for attention, and the ways in which social media tools enabled or hindered this opportunity influenced the way it was used. In this paper, we describe the design and use of the internal social media platforms at Hewlett-Packard and examine the ways that employees used these tools. Specifically, we explore ways in which designing for increased visibility and providing opportunities for recognition improve the ways that social media platforms can be used in organizations.

Dwyer, P. (2007). Building Trust with Corporate Blogs. In Proceedings of International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM’07).

The personal relationships that companies once had with customers degenerated into the cold automaticity of datagathering with the widespread adoption of management information systems. By restoring a human face to a company’s self-presentation, blogging has been heralded as a paradigm shift in the way companies interact with customers. This study tests a model relating the content of an author’s blog posts to readers’ responses. It suggests that companies can use blogging to complement customer relationship management processes to the extent their customers exhibit an organic desire to commune by combining provocative informational content with expressions of benevolent intent. Such consumers respond well to these overtures, showing evidence of increased subject-matter involvement, liking and trust. The study also proposes a way to measure diversity of thought in reader comments to guard against being unduly swayed by a vocal minority.

[Microsoft] Efimova, L. & Grudin, J. (2007). Crossing boundaries: A case study of employee blogging. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (p. 86). IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2007.159

Editors, email, and instant messaging were first widely used by students who later brought knowledge of their uses and effective practices into workplaces. Weblogs may make such a transition more quickly. We present a study of emergent blogging practices in a corporate setting. We attended meetings, read email, documents, and weblogs, and interviewed 38 people- bloggers, infrastructure administrators, attorneys, public relations specialists, and executives. We found an experimental, rapidly-evolving terrain marked by growing sophistication about balancing personal, team, and corporate incentives and issues.

[IBM] Huh, J., Jones, L., Erickson, T., Kellogg, W. A., Bellamy, R. K. E., & Thomas, J. C. (2007). BlogCentral: the role of internal blogs at work. In CHI ’07 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 2447-2452). San Jose, CA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1240866.1241022

This paper describes a preliminary investigation into an internal corporate blogging community called BlogCentral. We conducted semi-structured interviews with fourteen active bloggers to investigate the role of blogging and its effects on work processes. Our findings suggest that BlogCentral facilitates access to tacit knowledge and resources vetted by experts, and, most importantly, contributes to the emergence of collaboration across a broad range of communities within the enterprise.

[IBM] Jackson, A., Jates, J., & Orlikowski, W. (2007). Corporate Blogging: Building community through persistent digital talk. In Proceedings of the 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (p. 80). IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2007.155

Blogging has grown exponentially on the Internet; however, the role of blogs within the enterprise remains ambiguous. Why and how do individuals use internal corporate blogs? What results do both individuals and the corporation realize from internal blogs? Our exploratory study of a large global IT corporation’s internal blogging system analyzed usage statistics, interviews, and the results of an anonymous, Web-based survey. We found that benefits to users were social as well as informational, and that connecting with their community was an important value sought by all types of users. Heavy users of the system realized the greatest benefits, but they also constituted the core of an online community that provided important benefits to medium users as well.

[Microsoft] Kaiser, S., Müller-Seitz, G., Lopes, M. P., & Pina e Cunha, M. (2007). Weblog-technology as a trigger to elicit passion for knowledge. Organization, 14(3), 391-412. doi:10.1177/1350508407076151

The practice of Weblogging as a new social and technological phenomenon in society and business is gaining a growing number of supporters. In short, a Weblog is a website where individual thoughts are publicly displayed in the form of a diary. In this paper, we seek to illustrate the impact of Weblog technology on people’s passion for knowledge. We start from the assumption that successful knowledge management requires the engagement of people in knowledge-related practices. We introduce a famous agglomeration of Weblogs that deal with the development of a commercial software. Based on an exploratory study, we suggest that the specific features and character of this novel technology have an impact upon the passion for voluntary knowledge work, which is triggered by experiences of flow states, as well as extrinsic stimuli.

[Microsoft] Kelleher, T. & Miller, B. (2006). Organizational blogs and the human voice: Relational strategies and relational outcomes. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(2).

This study develops and tests operational definitions of relational maintenance strategies appropriate to online public relations. An experiment was designed to test the new measures and to test hypotheses evaluating potential advantages of organizational blogs over traditional Web sites. Participants assigned to the blog condition perceived an organization’s “conversational human voice” to be greater than participants who were assigned to read traditional Web pages. Moreover, perceived relational strategies (conversational human voice, communicated relational commitment) were found to correlate significantly with relational outcomes (trust, satisfaction, control mutuality, commitment).

[IBM] Kolari, P., Finin, T., Lyons, K., Yesha, Y., Yesha, Y., Perelgut, S. et al. (2007). On the structure, properties and utility of internal corporate blogs. In Proceedings of International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM’07).

Weblogs, or blogs are radically changing the face of communication within enterprises. While at the minimum blogs empower employees to publicly voice opinion and share expertise, collectively they improve collaboration and enable internal business intelligence. Though the power of blogs within organizations is well accepted, their properties, structure and utility has not yet been formally analyzed. In this paper, we study the use of blogs within a large corporation to reveal some of the interesting characteristics. We propose new techniques to model the reach and impact of posts using the corporate hierarchy. We discuss how such a technique can feed into tools that identify the reach of blog posts, and the emergence of trends and experts within an organization.

Lockwood, N. S. & Dennis, A. R. (2008). Exploring the corporate blogosphere: A taxonomy for research and practice. In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (p. 149). IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2008.163

Corporate blogs have received a great deal of attention recently in the practitioner literature and are gaining interest in the research community, although little is known about the uses and impacts of these blogs. We develop a taxonomy to describe and compare corporate blogs, and then apply it to companies listed on the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, and S&P SmallCap 600 indices. Our findings revealed several main clusters of blogs that are currently being hosted by corporations as well as a few uncommon types of blogs that may represent emerging trends in corporate blogging practices. These findings also suggest that our taxonomy is indeed able to differentiate among different types of corporate blogs and will be a useful tool for future research.

Stocker, A. & Tochtermann, K. (2008). Investigating Weblogs in Small and Medium Enterprises: An Exploratory Case Study. In D. Flejter, S. Grzonkowski, T. Kaczmarek, M. Kowalkiewicz, T. Nagle, & J. Parkes (Eds.), BIS 2008 Workshops Proceedings (pp. 95-107).

Contrary to a Wiki where the opinion of the individual user disappears in favor of a more impartial ‘collective intelligence’, a weblog is author-centered, expressing the author’s subjective point of view. This particular property of weblogs played a fundamental role for the popularity weblogs gained for making implicit knowledge explicit in an unsolicited, self-organized way. However, empirical studies from academia exploring internal corporate weblogs remain scarce, especially when they focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which make up the majority of all enterprises worldwide. To counteract this lack of research, we investigate an internal corporate weblog in an ICT SME from a knowledge management perspective. We derive both research questions and hypotheses to test within future studies. Furthermore, we consider already gained findings from corporate weblog research and investigate their immediate applicability in the context of SMEs.

[HP] Yardi, S., Golder, S., & Brzozowski, M. J. (2008). The pulse of the corporate blogosphere. In Conference Supplement of CSCW 2008.

Blogging at work has gained considerable interest in the knowledge management community. It is not clear, however, how much of work blogging is related to work versus social, or when work blogging takes place. In this poster, we present results from our examination of the temporal aspects of blogging within a large internal corporate blogging community. We compared our findings to similar analyses of employee email use and to college student Facebook use. We found that blog posting is temporally similar to email, while blog reading is more similar to Facebook messaging. Our results suggest that participation is both work-related and social, indicating a desire to connect to coworkers at multiple levels.

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