Understanding Interaction Search Behavior in Professional Social Networks
We present an empirical study of social interaction in a professional social network.
As the point of departure, we take previous research into distributed work and
information foraging theory to explore interaction search behavior of
individuals active in professional networks, examining how social factors
govern their behavior. For this exploration, we focused on the process
through which relevant collaborators are chosen to execute shared work tasks
in the area of logistics, and identified six characteristics of the explored processes.
We recognized the "survival of the social" as a cornerstone for efficient and
long-term professional networks and outlined design implications arising from our findings.
More specifically, we found that participants are oriented to solutions that involve active
social agents and social relations, rather than optimizing based on task
characteristics, efficiency, and cost. These behaviors motivate the need for
the concept of social interaction foraging.
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