Social media are fundamentally changing the way we communicate, collaborate, consume, and create. They represent one of the most “transformative” impacts of information technology on business, both within and outside firm boundaries. Social media have revolutionized the ways businesses relate to the marketplace, creating a new world of possibilities and challenges for all aspects of the enterprise, from marketing and operations to finance and human resource management. In particular, social media have been integral to recent advances in relational inference about consumer preferences, novel peer-to-peer and targeted marketing techniques, and demand prediction. The transformative power of social media extends beyond the traditionally studied marketing and consumer behavior aspects of business.
Increasingly, social media are also transforming the way businesses relate to workers, allowing them to build flexible relationships with remote talent, to crowdsource new ideas, or to engage in micro outsourcing. Within organizations social media have the potential to transform the exchange of knowledge and expertise and thus accelerate innovation and the development of new products. Social media have disrupted entire industries (e.g., news and publishing) and are redefining others (e.g., gaming). What we’ve seen has barely scratched the surface of what’s coming and what is possible.
Potential bachelor and master theses are designed to investigate the relationship between social media and business transformation. All lenses of inquiry into the nature of this relationship are encouraged, including strategic, organizational, behavioral, economic, and technical. We welcome theoretical, analytical, and empirical (using any kind of research method, including experiments, primary data from social media logs, case studies, simulations, surveys, and so on).The student has to choose one of these alternatives.
The topics addressed in the possible theses might relate to some of the trends mentioned above, or to other aspects of the relationship between social media and business transformation.
The topic “Business Transformation and Social Media” is designed in such a way that more than one student can write a thesis about it. A possible topic of each thesis might be oneof the following:
Implications of social media for marketing
Social media and consumer behavior
How social media are transforming the search for, and management of, talent
The role of social media in the internal management of knowledge
Social media as an innovation accelerator
Industry-level implications of social media
How social media are transforming specific industries
The use of social media in crowdsourcing
Social media and organizational culture
Privacy implications of social media and their transformative effect on business
The definition, and integration, of “social media strategy”
Information technology infrastructures and strategies for social media