In this section, you will find press articles, videos, books, papers, and links.

Graduate Thesis

A Framework for Understanding the Adoption and Impact of Socially Focused Business Practices – download now

Submitted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology on February 12, 2015 in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Engineering and Management.

Abstract: Two trends have emerged where technology plays a dominant role in aiding organizations to meet their goals. The first is a trend where organizations are engaging customers in developing business strategy. The second is a trend where organizations are discovering, promoting, and adapting to process efficiencies. These two trends have influenced the creation of new collaborative technologies that encourage knowledge sharing. Also known as social software, these technologies have been adopted by organizations aiming to better connect with external stakeholders and communicate business practices organization-wide. Organizations have also invested in their own social platforms, enabling them to host conversations, gather ideas, and communicate messages, among other capabilities.

Organizations are making investments in social technologies to support their goals. However, many organizations struggle to understand the impact of these investments in practice. There are two challenges that organizations typically face when understanding the impact of social technology. One challenge is that they often struggle with user adoption, and as a result, there is insufficient usage to demonstrate improvement or impact. Another challenge is that there is no existing basis upon which the organization can compare performance with and without social technology.

Despite these challenges, organizations continue to promote the use of social technologies inside and outside their organizations. While several have highlighted value to themselves and their clients by using such technologies, others still do not understand how to gain such benefits for themselves.

In this thesis, I discuss five case studies of organizations that have adopted social technology and demonstrated impact on business processes. Drawing on these findings, I articulate several approaches that can foster adoption of these technologies within organizations. I conclude by presenting a framework for understanding the business impact of social technology in the workplace.

Thesis Supervisor: Wanda Orlikowski
Title: Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management, Information Technologies and Organization Studies



mitsdmMIT System Design and Management, February 2013. In this article, I discuss my decision to pursue a second masters degree focusing on engineering and management. I also share my beliefs on product management and taking a systems approach to the product development lifecycle.

2011 IBM Tech Trends, November 2011. In this video, I discuss the results of a report conducted by IBM in July 2011 with a focus on how mobile technology is changing and the impact for mobile developers. IBM developerWorks conducted a survey of over 4,000 IT professionals, faculty members and students from among the developerWorks community. We asked respondents about their view of the future of technology, including questions on business analytics, mobile computing, cloud computing, and social business.

IETV, “Connecting with Social Software” (video), May 2011. An ever-increasing number of businesses are using social software to enable project managers to efficiently connect to individuals, groups of people and even entire communities. This ability to share knowledge and efficiently leverage people’s interests and skillsets enables companies of any size to remain flexible and agile when it comes to developing new products and ideas. We visited the IBM Research facility in Cambridge, Mass., for a 21st Century take on the old adage: It’s not what you know, but who you know.


The Real Time Link” (podcast), April 2011. Social media and social technology are everywhere these days. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform, these applications have become just as important at a social level as a corporate level.  Matthew Lees of RightNow Technologies heads this panel discussion with Jim Lundy of Saba, Suzanne Livingston of IBM, and Carlos Diaz of blueKiwi.

MIT Technology Review,
Social Tools for Business“, Erica Naone, March 2011. In a business world where people meet face to face less often, social software can foster collaboration. With social tools such as Facebook and Twitter ballooning in both numbers and cultural impact, businesses are looking to adapt these consumer technologies to the security and etiquette needs of the workplace. IBM in particular has experimented with using social software to promote collaboration within its own workforce of 400,000. Now it has distilled the resulting insights to create Lotus Connections, the first enterprise social software suite to reach the market.

, “The Future of Marketing“, January 2011. In this 35 minute interview, Sam Rosen, Co-founder of ThoughtLead, speaks to Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager of IBM Lotus Social Software, about making virtual customer communities. Together they explore the ins and outs of the social business, and specifically how customer communities can up level your business. Questions include do customer communities add to your overall business growth? How do you make your customer community sustainable? Do you get your employees involved? And many more.

The Atlantic, “How about Embracing ‘Social’ Business?“, December 2010. In today’s business climate, companies are facing increasing pressure to accomplish work faster, more efficiently, and with fewer resources. This challenge has caused companies to rethink the strategies they have in place and the models by which they run. Optimizing the way we work isn’t about working harder – it’s about working smarter. (read more)

BusinessWeek, Always on the Go at Big Blue“, May 2007.  Every day is packed with meetings and demos for this Bentley grad who works in software product development at IBM. (read more)


Product Details by David Brooks (Author), Stephen Hardison (Author), David Byrd (Author), Gary Wood (Author), Saurabh Calla (Author), Tim Speed (Author), Michael Martin (Author), Suzanne O. Minassian (Author)
Kindle Edition – Jul 13, 2009

Product Papers

IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution Redbook

 v 1.0 (6/2006)      v2.6 (10/2006)

IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution utilizes portal, collaboration, and application integration technologies and adds unique capabilities specifically for organizations to manage the achievement of objectives – all presented to the user in a single, useful user experience. Effective strategy execution can be improved by effectively aligning business units and workgroups to corporate objectives, assigning accountability, monitoring progress, and accelerating exception resolution. Workplace for Business Strategy Execution delivers intuitive alignment and insight through actionable scorecards and in-context dashboards. This IBM Redpaper will guide you through the introduction of Workplace for Business Strategy Execution in your environment using a two organization scenario – one large, one small – to illustrate.

Research Papers

Studying Appropriation in Activity-Centric Collaboration
September 2005

We describe a case study of appropriation of a research prototype by a 33-member research community, leading to reinvention of the prototype and a successful transfer to product. Based on those experiences, we propose some lessons learned about designing for appropriation.
Shared Landmarks in Complex Coordination Environments
April 2005

We explore the concept of social landmarks in complex, shared information and coordination environments. Previous research in navigation and shared spaces has tended to emphasize individual navigation, formally inscribed spaces, social filtering, and boundary objects. Based on ethnographic research into complex collaborative work in organizations, we extend the concept of navigational “landmarks” to include not only individually-used documents, but also shared landmarks in the form of persons, roles, and events. This emerging concept of social landmarks may be applied in identifying and representing these coordinating points, to support the work of teams and organizations in complex projects.
Lessons from the ReMail Prototypes
November 2004

Electronic mail has become the most widely-used application for business productivity and communication, yet many people are frustrated with their email. Though email usage has changed, our email clients largely have not. In this paper, we describe a prototype email client developed out of a multi-year iterative design process aimed at providing those who “live in their email” with an improved, integrated email experience. We highlight innovative features and describe the user trials for each version of the prototype with resulting modifications. Finally, we discuss how these studies have recast our understanding of the email “habitat” and user needs.
Diverse Strategies for Interruption Management in Complex Office Activities

Interruptions are common in today’s workplace. Some researchers have viewed interruptions as unwanted disruptions, using restrictive techniques to reduce them. Others have seen value in relevant interruptions, promoting their helpful effects, while classifications of interruptions have noted both the positive and negative consequences of interruption types. This poster describes strategies and artifacts for managing interruptions across various applications and media, revealed during ethnographic interviews of office workers in a large software company. Results show complex patterns of problems and advantages of interruptions, and suggest a more complex account of interruptions in working life.



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