Social Business Documents…

…are user-generated electronically stored semi-structured information which are created through collaboration technologies, application and functions. They often occur as compound documents, consisting of the main intellectual entity as well as different social content components/fragments which have their own nested lifecycle within the overall evolving lifecycle of the compound Social Business Document. Being social objects, they extend our knowledge by enabling and supporting business communication and collaboration between stakeholders and therefore include valuable business information which needs to be managed accordingly.“
(Hausmann, Verena; 2018)


This website will give you a short introduction in what I, Verena Hausmann, mean by the term “Social Business Documents” (SBD) from a researcher’s perspective.

Therefore I would like to show you a small example here through which the definition, but also the complexity of Social Business Documents should be represented. The picture below shows a wiki document with its different parts from the program IBM Connections.

The Social Business Compound Document of a wiki entry in IBM connections

This entry consists not only of its main content, but also includes meta data such as the creation date and who created it, as well as tags, attachments, different versions, comments and likes. And all together this can de defined as a Compound Social Business Document. The characteristics that distinguish social business documents from traditional documents are that they are collaboratively developed and shared and consist, as just shown, of more than one single document, but a series of components. Enterprise Information Management and Document Management as the disciplines dealing with unstructured documents, in which SBD can be categorised as well, provide us with many inputs concerning documents. Definitions and concepts around documents and records are given in the literature. We can already find document principles, qualities, challenges and requirements which build the foundation for further research on SBD and especially the tools provide us with possible management functions.

However, adapting all these to Social Business Documents leads to several questions and requirements which need to be answered as new challenges arise and old concepts can’t be used as they are. The subpage “SBD” tries to give first insights to these challenges.