Digital Identity and Reputation in the Context of a Bounded Social Ecosystem
Ben Jennings and Anthony Finkelstein
University College London London, UK
In this article, Jennings and Finkelstein (2008), argue that the concepts of human agent reputation and trust have become critical now that social software is becoming adopted by Industry. And that for the successful integration of social software into business processes, both reputation and authority need to exist.
According to Jennings and Finkelstein (2008), incorporating social technologies within an Organisation has two key benefits: firstly business processes can be improved through socially supported interactions and secondly, by providing a means for human knowledge to be captured & reused by the Organisation. The Authors discuss the theoretical use of “social software data artefacts” to trace data creation back to a unique digital identity so that individuals can be linked to a specific activity, expertise or knowledge.
A key issue raised by Jennings and Finkelstein (2008) is that of information overload and how an excess of messaging can lead to a loss of productivity and potential abandonment of the systems. They propose the use of a computer based filtration system to rank information based on contextual importance or fit for purpose.
The Authors present that trust and reputation are based upon subjective intuition or other ambiguous signals and are key to the adoption of social software. They assert that when a Users perceived value of a social system increases, the amount of trust also increases which in turn supports further adoption.
Jennings and Finkelstein (2008) observe that enterprise social software adoption is typically conservative and non-systematic. They assert that to incorporate human agents into business processes, there must be an automated way of creating unique digital identity resources to serve as the foundations of trust and reputation.
From a Social Wiki to a Social Workflow System
Gustaf Neumann, Selim Erol. Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna Austria
Neumann and Erol (2009) present their approach for using wiki applications to develop a collaborative open-source work-flow system. The Authors believe that recent developments of social software are an extension of existing collaborative applications currently inplace, designed to support unstructured communication and knowledge/information sharing.
According to Neumann and Erol (2009), the demand for social technologies such as blogs/wikis/IM/document sharing etc is evidenced by the introduction of these social components into leading business software applications. The Authors assert the intent is to provide for ease of use/networking/communication/sharing, accessibility & visibility amongst other drivers.
As a driver for the adoption of social technology to BPM, Neumann and Erol (2009) discuss how recent research indicates the need for improved flexibility within the business process management approach. Their research has highlighted “a shift from top down approaches in business process design and deployment to an approach where also bottom-up reengineering and adaption from the user side is welcomed”. This requirement for agility is an outcome of a rapidly changing business environment and the need to quickly adapt to process and Organisational changes.
In this paper, a key finding reached by the Authors on the difference between wikis and traditional workflow systems is that the usefulness of the former is based on the wisdom of the crowds (user community) rather than pre-defined workflow knowledge. The concluding section of this paper goes on to describe the implementation of a wiki based workflow system.