Intranets & Social Networks
I think a number of sites that you wouldn’t refer to as an intranet are better understood in that context. A large percentage of a University’s site is built by and for its members. That seems to me to serve the same purpose as an intranet.
Mentioned in “Web Work,” Jorij Abraham observed four stages of intranet development. He believes that most organizations in the future will not go through each of these stages successively as they do now, but leverage each of them concurrently. There is the Publishing Intranet that keeps participants informed, the Knowledge Intranet which provides access to information acquisition and creation tools, the Collaboration Intranet which help teams work together on specific tasks and then the Business Intranet which focuses on improved workflow rather than individual users.
Each of these stages, to an increasing degree from first to last, seem to focus on interaction among participants. Sensibly, a number of resources use theories about social networks to inform design of intranets. A few good reads, include “It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know: Work in the Information Age.” I guess nodes are people too, in this “Introduction to Social Network Analysis”
So I suppose then two other related areas would be research into systems for CSCW and considerations of online networking. Peter discusses social networks in the online world from time to time. Here’s an article on Digital Libraries & CSCW that gives a good overview of the latter.