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Social Technologies, Control and Innovation in a large multinational. Heba El-Sayed and Chris Westrup Workshop ‘Social Media and International Development’ Manchester 31 st March 2011. We would like to acknowledge the financial support of CIMA in funding this research.

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social technologies control and innovation in a large multinational

Social Technologies, Control and Innovation in a large multinational.

Heba El-Sayed and Chris Westrup

Workshop ‘Social Media and International Development’

Manchester

31st March 2011

We would like to acknowledge the financial support of CIMA in funding this research.

slide2

Enterprise Systems and the advent of Enterprise 2.0

  • ‘Enterprise 2.0., is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers. Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities.’ McAfee (2006)
arising themes
Arising Themes
  • Different use and understanding of internet technologies.
  • The imperative to connect
  • Creating visibility
  • Boundary crossing

Between work areas;

Between company and customers;

Between work and outside activities

  • Remediation: a liberation and a burden
  • Continuing flux
different use and understanding of internet technologies
Different use and understanding of internet technologies.
  • ‘you have got your communication network, you know that if you want to know about what’s happening in Japan you phone the head of Japan and he will be right back on the phone to you and that’s your network now wherever you are in the organisation it works like that it’s just slightly different.’
  • Senior Partner
the imperative to connect
The imperative to connect
  • ‘the aspirations have been the same for a very long time, so the aspiration to understand what does Enumerate know, what do we know about our clients what experience have we got, as a firm, individually we have always want you know that has been part of the Holy Grail, I think what has changed is that technology has now enabled us to do that.’
  • Manager
creating visibility and traceability
Creating visibility (and traceability)

‘I think it was late 2006 that IM was turned on in the UK and even then we had to get round the risk points, so we had to have a clear policy and every time we go in to start an IM conversation the first thing it says is policy here, click here to read the policy, you can not save your IM threads.

38.22 Chris- You can’t save your IM threads?

38.25 DC- Because every email you send in the organisation, a copy of every email you generate is kept for up to 7 years for discovery purposes should it be needed.’

  • Everyone having an on-line directory page that’s kept up to date.
  • An internal Facebook application linked to this directory.
  • Ability to mine emails but not instant messaging (IM)
boundary crossing between work areas
Boundary crossing: Between work areas
  • Patchy ability to contact anyone anywhere.
  • Workplace norm to assist others – a ‘gift’ economy.
  • But most people work in teams and work accordingly.
boundary crossing between company and customers
Boundary crossing: Between company and customers;
  • Highly formalised in Enumerate but more apparent in other companies;
  • Sharing wikis; using blogs; having special relationships with specific customers to test new products or services.
boundary crossing between work and outside activities
Boundary Crossing: Between work and outside activities

‘suddenly you will get into the sort of thread of where are you now, am I right that you are at Enumerate …. interestingly I know a guy at Enumerate do you know him? … and you suddenly find through your own personal networks that you are connected potentially to work networks as well. But I don’t think I probably spend enough time on Facebook in that respect, Linked In is an interesting one as well where I see that much more as a business tool and therefore I have got probably more business acquaints and colleagues there although I have got some good friends who have got in a business context also on Facebook, you know talking to them they maintain the 2 as separate things,’

Manager

  • Organizing your work/life balance
  • Organizing your Facebook;
  • Organizing your persona;
remediation a liberation and a burden
Remediation: a liberation and a burden
  • Allowing information to be moved around diverse teams;
  • Able to link digital text and conversations together;
  • Able to trace what has happened.
  • Though –
  • Not having time to use new technologies;
  • Not finding them useful to what they have to do;
continuing flux
Continuing flux
  • Preoccupation with speed;
  • Completion for a client;
  • Competing with your team to demonstrate your value;
  • Looking to technologies to ‘lever’ change
implications for development
Implications for Development
  • Technologies are patchy and heterogeneous; yet are both social and technical (contra Morozov 2011) – not a labyrinth; a maze or rhizome.
  • Visibility leads to traceability which leads to manoeuvring for privacy (see Latour 2007)
  • Digitalisation concerns (re)mediation and is longer term - probably generational - and with unknowable consequences (see Lanzara 2010)
  • Connection is highly prized yet individuals are also pragmatic. Technologies act as assertions of status and as functioning objects .
  • Tension between locking down the internet and allowing generative effects (see Zittrain 2008)
slide14

For ICT4D Research:

  • More understanding (case studies) needed on how digitalisation/ (re)mediation/digital learning is taking place – rethinking technology/social divide.
  • More investigation needed on importance of platforms and tensions between proprietary and generative platforms.
  • More investigation needed on the creation of visibilities/ development of identity/community/ issues of traceability and privacy.
  • Avoid techno-optimism; more detailed case studies that engage how economic, political, and social issues are enmeshed in apparently technological platforms.
slide15

Lanzara, G. F. (2010) Remediation of practices: How new media change the ways we see and do things in practical domains First Monday, 15,6 - 7 June http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3034/2565

  • Latour, B. (2007) Beware, your imagination leaves digital traces, Times Higher Literary Supplement, 6th April.
  • McAfee, A., (2006) Enterprise 2.0: the dawn of emergent collaboration, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47 (3), pp 21-28.
  • Morozov, E. (2011) The Net Delusion: How not to liberate the world Allen Lane.
  • Zittrain (2008) The Future of the Internet and how to Stop it Penguin (Online at http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf)