I’m working on a management question and need an explanation to help me learn.
Challenges to Adopting Social Media –
Andrew McAfee, one of the premier experts on Enterprise 2.0 systems, commented about the challenges of adopting such systems and the shift in orientation needed by management to unleash a culture of User 2.0.
I thought these technologies [such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube] were essentially so cool that when you dropped them in an organization, people flocked to them. That was the assumption I carried around in my research. I very quickly had that overturned. This is not an overnight phenomenon at all. And while there are pockets of energy, getting mass adoption remains a pretty serious challenge for a lot of organizations.
If youre a middle manager who essentially views your job as one of gatekeeping or refereeing information flows, you should be pretty frightened by these technologies, because theyre going to greatly reduce your ability to do that. If youre someone who sees your job as managing people and fundamentally getting the human elements right that will lead your part of the organization to succeed, these technologies are not at all harmful to you. One of the things that weve learned is that theres no technologyeven these great new social technologiesthats a substitute for face time. If you have another view of yourself, which is that youre someone whos responsible for output, these tools should be your best friend. Because all the evidence we have suggests that Enterprise 2.0 helps you turn out more and better products and actually is not a vehicle for time wasting or for chipping away at what youre supposed to be doing throughout the day.
Based on McAfees comments, contents of the chapter, and your own experiences, respond to the following questions through the eyes of a president of the company and as an employee.
- 1. What are the major obstacles to adopting Web 2.0 communication tools in the workplace? What are the benefits of adopting these tools?
- 2. When are Web 2.0 communication tools more efficient than Web 1.0 communication tools such as email? But also, when are Web 1.0 communication tools such as email better choices than Web 2.0 communication tools?
- 3. Explain how the use of social media tools by your employees would benefit the company as a whole; how might its use be detrimental to the company?
- Jeffrey Zaslow, in a November 5, 2009, article called The Greatest Generation (of Networkers) in The Wall Street Journal, examined attitudes about Millennials in the workplace. Consider a few of the comments:
Because so many people in their teens and early 20s are in this constant whir of socializingaccessible to each other every minute of the day via cell phone, instant messaging and social-networking websitesthere are a host of new questions that need to be addressed in schools, in the workplace, and at home. Chief among them: How much work can hyper-socializing students or employees really accomplish if they are holding multiple conversations with friends via text messaging, or are obsessively checking Facebook?
Some argue they can accomplish a great deal: This generation has a gift for multitasking, and because theyve integrated technology into their lives, their ability to remain connected to each other will serve them and their employers well. Others contend that these hyper-socializers are serial time-wasters, that the bonds between them are shallow, and that their face-to-face interpersonal skills are poor.
Does text messaging prepare one to interact in the workplace? The unspoken attitude is, I dont need you. I have the Internet, says P.M. Forni, the 58-year-old director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, which studies politeness and manners. The Net provides an opportunity to play hide-and-seek, to say and not say, to be truthful and to pretend. There is a lot of communication going on that is futile and trivial.
Thats far too harsh an assessment, says Ben Bajarin, 32, a technology analyst at Creative Strategies, a consulting firm in Campbell, California. He argues that because young people are so adept at multimedia socializing, their social skills are actually strengthened. Theyre good at managing conversations and getting to the pithy essence of an issue, he says, which will help them in the workplace.
While their older colleagues waste time holding meetings or engaging in long phone conversations, young people have an ability to sum things up in one-sentence text messages, Bajarin says. They know how to optimize and prioritize. They will call or set up a meeting if its needed. If not, they text. And given their vast network of online acquaintances, they discover people who can become true friends or valued business colleaguespeople they wouldnt have been able to find in the pre-Internet era.
Answer the following questions related to this passage from Zaslow:
4. In what ways do social media tools not only enhance, but also hamper the effective development of interpersonal skills needed in the workplace? Think in terms of how this might affect the different generations in your company.
Setting Appropriate Boundaries –
In a recent survey of corporate employees, 76 percent thought it was OK to friend another employee who was a peer. Only 35 percent thought it was OK to friend a supervisor, and only 30 percent thought it was OK to friend a supervisee.
Based on these comments, contents of the chapter, and your own experiences, respond to the following questions through the eyes of a president of the company and as an employee.
5. Do you think it is appropriate to friend a supervisor or supervisee on Facebook or another social networking website? What problems could arise by doing so? What work benefits might you achieve? What social boundaries should exist between supervisors and supervisees? Explain.
6. Do you think the boundaries between private life and work life are blurred by communication technologies such as social networking? What standards or principles do you want to use to keep parts of your private life separate from your colleagues? Explain
Reread the three examples of personal social media use that hurt employers (see the beginning of the Using Social Media Ethically section on p. 255).
7. Identify an unethical scenario involving social media use you’ve encountered or heard about in the workplace. Explain why it was considered unethical. Then, explain how employees can avoid such a scenario and others like it.
Corporate Social Media Guidelines
As reference, read Coca-Colas social media guidelines at the following link: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/online-social-media-principles (Links to an external site.).
You are thinking about adding similar things to your own policy. Respond to the following questions. Think in terms of how this will affect your policy. Relay your expectations to your staff.
8.The policy states that employees are responsible for following the Code of Business Conduct in all public settings and to be conscientious when mixing your business and personal lives.Give a couple examples of activities or types of posts that many people might consider private or personal and that could damage a companys image?
9.The policy encourages employees to post items that inspire moments of optimism and happiness.What value do these types of posts provide to a company? How might posting as an employee create opportunities for other employees?
10. What types of online conversations about the company are appropriate? Inappropriate?
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