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Implementing Web 2.0 Tools in Organisations

The Learning Organization call for papers for the Special Issue on:

Implementing Web 2.0 Tools in Organisations

Submissions Deadline: November 1, 2012
Submissions to Guest Editor: Dr Gavin Baxter, University of the West of Scotland, Scotland, UK ([email protected])

Web 2.0 is a concept that refers to the social use of the World Wide Web and describes the social characteristics displayed by groups of individuals through using Web 2.0 tools. Synonymous with the notion of Web 2.0 tools is the term ‘social software’ which implies the use of software that supports group interaction (Shirky, 2003). There are several Web 2.0 tools in use today, for example: wikis, blogs, micro-blogs (i.e. twitter), social networking sites and online discussion forums. These particular types of Web 2.0 tools, dependent on use, have the potential to support interaction among users that can promote collaborative learning and knowledge sharing. One area where the use of Web 2.0 tools have been applied quite extensively is within the field of education. For example: blogs have been used to promote reflective learning among students (McDermott, Brindley and Eccleston, 2010), wikis to promote group work (Ramanau and Geng, 2009) and online discussion forums to assist with problem based learning (Makoul et al., 2010).

In comparison, the potential for adopting Web 2.0 tools in organisational settings is now gradually being acknowledged with this recognition giving birth to the concept known as ‘Enterprise 2.0’. Enterprise 2.0 refers to the use of social software within or among organisations and their customers and partner companies (McAfee, 2008). Empirical evidence suggests that when applied within internal contexts technologies such as blogs and wikis have the potential, for example: to support internal communication (Kosonen, Henttonen and Ellonen, 2007) and knowledge sharing (Hester, 2010). In addition, it has been suggested that the use of Web 2.0 tools can be used to sustain the process of organisational learning (Baxter, Connolly and Stansfield, 2010; Boateng, Mbarika and Thomas, 2010). In addition, the flexibility and transparency of use associated with Web 2.0 tools means that they are highly adaptable to apply in diverging organisational contexts, for instance: in virtual project teams or communities of practice when organisational members may be geographically dispersed.

However, though empirical research on the use of Web 2.0 tools in organisations is gradually increasing, the majority of studies have thus far predominately focused on how these types of technologies have been used in organisations, in addition to the context of their use. In contrast, there appears to be a lack of empirical research explaining the background, decision making processes, organisational factors affecting the impact on adoption and use of Web 2.0 tools, in addition to the steps taken by organisations when internally implementing them in the workplace. Though some guidelines and frameworks have been created to assist in this matter (McAfee, 2009; Bernal, 2010), further research is required to propose fresh theoretical and  conceptual guidance on this subject, to validate and further enhance these frameworks providing invaluable knowledge to management practitioners about how to implement Web 2.0 tools in their companies.

This special issue seeks the submission of manuscripts to tackle the subject of implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations. Contributions are invited that are empirical either by being experimental correlational, observational or conceptual and qualitative in nature. Preference will be shown to papers which perform analysis and discuss the results or interpretations of an intervention or case study. For example, papers adopting single or multiple case study approaches can include a wide array of analysis such as pre and post-test design if their research is experimental and quantitative in nature or they can employ the use of thematic or constant comparative analysis if they fall within the qualitative paradigm. This call for papers has been designed to be as broad as possible to encompass a wide range of Web 2.0 tools in addition to concentrating on how they can be best implemented in large corporations, small-to-medium enterprises and micro-organisations. Authors are invited to contact the guest editor with their ideas by October 1, 2012 so that they can be discussed with a view to ascertaining their suitability for this special issue.

The salient themes and primary foci that will be explored include some of (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What factors affect the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
  • How much of an impact does organisational culture have on the introduction and adoption of Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
  • Is there a ‘one size fits all’ approach towards employing Web 2.0 tools and their use within organisations?
  • What role should management adopt in aiding the transition towards the use of Web 2.0 tools in their organisations?
  • Does the size of an organisation affect the approach towards how Web 2.0 tools are implemented in organisations?
  • Do different industry disciplines and organisational contexts have an impact on the implementation of Web 2.0 tools?
  • Is a ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ approach more pragmatic towards promoting and supporting the process of introducing Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
  • What framework(s) would be appropriate to evaluate the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
  • That factors influencing ‘best practice’ would be suitable to adhere to when introducing Web 2.0 tools into an organisation for the first time?
  • How does the way in which Web 2.0 tools are introduced into an organisation impact on the success of their uptake for supporting the process of organisational learning?

Submission Guidelines:

The deadline for receipt of manuscripts is November 1, 2012. Please contact the Special Issue Guest Editor via e-mail by October 1, 2012 to increase the chances that your manuscript fits the editorial intentions. 
Please submit your manuscript in MS Word using the ScholarOne system on the journal’s Manuscript Central website ( If you have any questions about using the system please contact Emerald ScholarOne Manuscripts Support Centre ([email protected]). You should also indicate that the manuscript is for the special issue on “Implementing Web 2.0 tools in Organisations”.

Manuscripts should adhere to the TLO submission guidelines summarised at: Manuscripts should be no more than 5,000 words of text. Titles should be no more than eight words.

In keeping with ethical standards of research, each author who submits a manuscript to TLO must ensure that the original data or results presented in the manuscript have not been published in whole or part elsewhere. The primary reason for this is that duplicate publication may distort the knowledge base in a field and may lead to erroneous inferences regarding a phenomenon. Authors for whom English is their second language are encouraged strongly to use an editing service prior to submitting their manuscripts. One example of such a service is Emerald Publishing Editing Services; information about these services can be found at the Emerald Publishing website ( 
This Special Issue is open and competitive. Submitted papers will undergo the normal, double-blind, peer review process.

Important Dates

1st October 2012 - Contact Guest Editor with submission ideas


1st November 2012 - Full paper submission

1st December 2012 - Notification to authors

20th January 2013 - Final version of papers due

May 2013 - Special Issue Edition published


Baxter, G.J., Connolly, T.M. and Stansfield, M. H. (2010). “Organisational blogs: benefits and challenges of implementation”. The Learning Organization. Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 515-528.

Bernal, J. (2010). Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise: Guidelines and Examples for Implementation and Management Within Your Organization. IBM Press Pearson plc.

Boateng, R., Mbarika, V. and Thomas, C. (2010). “When Web 2.0 becomes an organizational learning tool: evaluating Web 2.0 tools”. Development and Learning in Organizations. Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 17-20.

Hester, A.J. (2010). “Increasing Collaborative Knowledge Management in Your Organization: Characteristics of Wiki Technology and Wiki Users.” In: Proceedings of the 2010 Special Interest Group on Management Information System's 48th annual conference on Computer personnel research on Computer personnel research, SIGMIS-CPR’10, May 20-22, Vancouver, BC, Canada, pp. 158-164.

Kosonen, M., Henttonen, K. and Ellonen, H.K. (2007). “Weblogs and internal communication in a corporate environment: a case from the ICT industry”. Int. J. Knowledge and Learning. Vol. 3, Nos. 4/5, pp. 437-449.

Makoul, G., Zick, A.B., Aakhus, M., Neely, K.J. and Roemer, P.E. (2010). “Using an online forum to encourage reflection about difficult conversations in medicine”. Patient Education and Counseling. Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 83-86.

McAfee, A. (2008). “A Definition of Enterprise 2.0”. In: Buhse, W. and Stamer, S. (eds.) Enterprise 2.0: The Art of Letting Go. iUniverse, Inc. New York, Bloomington, pp. 1-15.

McAfee, A. (2009). Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.

McDermott, R., Brindley, G. and Eccleston, G. (2010). “Developing Tools to Encourage Reflection in First Year Students Blogs”. In: Proceedings of the fifteenth annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education, ITiCSE’10 June 26-30, Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey, pp. 147-151.

Ramanau, R. And Geng, F. (2009). “Researching the use of Wiki’s to facilitate group work”. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 2620-2626.

Shirky, C. (2003). “A group is its own worst enemy: social structure in social software”. Paper presented at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference, Santa Clara, CA, April 24, 2003. (viewed 11th Apr 2012).