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IT, communication, and social networks. I. Social networks • How they work • How people use them II. Social networks and business • Digital business strategy • Organizational wikis III. Virtual management

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it communication and social networks
IT, communication, and social networks

I. Social networks

• How they work

• How people use them

II. Social networksand business

• Digital business strategy

• Organizational wikis

III. Virtual management

• Knowledge sharing and virtual teams

i social networks
I. Social networks

How they work

There are clearly observable patterns and routines in social life

They connect different individuals, groups, and organizations to each other

What are the origins of these routines?

Sociologists refer to them as “social structure”

Relationships among different parts of society

Patterns and routines that persist over time

Norms, rules, guidelines that influence our actions

i social networks1
I. Social networks

A social network has observable patterns of interaction and communication among people, groups and institutions

Each is a “node” in the network

Connections (ties) among nodes vary widely

Technical: intensity, duration, distance

Strong ties: tight connections (less useful!)

Weak ties: loose connections

Social: familial, friendship, legal, business, interests

Social capital:the advantage created by location in a network

i social networks2
I. Social networks

From Rheingold’s “smart mob” site, a simple network:

Central node!

i social networks3
I. Social networks

A complex network: Asian Pacific Leadership program alumni

i social networks4
I. Social networks

A really complex network of people linked through the Ryzeblog

i social networks5
I. Social networks

Why are social networks valuable?

Real-world networks are neither completely ordered nor completely random and exhibit properties of both

If you are linked to multiple networks with weak ties, you have access to more information and resources

This is better than having many ties in a single network

This also works for groups and organizations


Exchanging information and resources

Seeking and providing ideas, critiques, input

i social networks6
I. Social networks

Computer networks become social networks when they connect people and organizations

They support new forms of interaction

Virtual teams and communities, CSCW, remote work, distance education, online gaming

They sustain strong, intermediate, and weak ties

They provide access to information and social support in specialized and broadly based relationships

This can involve the use of social software

Wellman, B. (2001). Computer networks as social networks. Science, 293(5537), 2031-2034.

i social networks7
I. Social networks

Computer-based social networks differ from off-line social networks

Boundaries are more permeable, vague and overlapping

Interactions are with diverse others

Linkages switch between multiple networks

Hierarchies are flatter and more recursive

Work and community networks are diffuse and sparsely knit

People and organizations can more easily extend and sustain their networks

i social networks8
I. Social networks

It has become the basis for a business model -all-top-social-networking- websites-as-on-2010

i social networks9
I. Social networks

Faceted identity, faceted lives: Social and technical issues with being yourself online

The authors challenge the assumption that social networks should be based on an assumption of a single stable asocial identity

Survey data indicated that many people use a range of strategies to manage faceted identities

~ To what extent can your social identity be described as faceted? Does this make sense?

~ How does boundary maintenance shift when moving from offline to online

i social networks10
I. Social networks

What are key issues we experience managing personal boundaries within and across social technologies?

How do we facet our identities and lives, and how do we express them through use of email and Facebook?

They offer a theoretical framework for understanding errors in assumptions about the singularity of identity

Important because these assumptions are inscribed into the sharing models of social technology systems

Based on survey data from a sample of 631

Farnham, S. and Churchill, E.F. (2011). Faceted identity, faceted lives: social and technical issues with being yourself online. Proceedings of the ACM 2011 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. 359-368

i social networks11
I. Social networks

Assumption: SNS embody assumptions about the ways in which people relate to others

It shapes how we represent ourselves to others online

Privacy and access control settings shape our choices

How and with whom to share content

Whether others are allowed to see or contact us or be aware of our ongoing activities

Based on an assumption that a single unified user identity is appropriate and sufficient

This works for much of our professional and academic lives

i social networks12
I. Social networks

Does one identity fit all situations?

Especially as as we create connections to others from multiple areas of our lives

Better assumption: our lives are ‘faceted’

We vary in the extent to which our lives and identities are faceted

We maintain social boundaries and show different facets according to the current social situation

We segment our lives into bounded areas because various facets of our identity are incompatible

This is impression management

i social networks13
I. Social networks

Social identity theory: we have many identities in our self-concepts

Some are personal and idiosyncratic, and some shaped by social context

We have multiple social roles that weseparate but can integrate if we so choose


Faceted lives are correlated with role incompatibility

Single, working men had the highest level of incompatible facets

Family is an important context for sharing online

i social networks14
I. Social networks


Email allows controlled sharing: bonding capital or strong ties)

It was a preferred form of communication for private sharing across facets of life

SNS are based on a broadcast model: bridging social capital and weak ties

A higher level of facet incompatibility was correlated with increased email usage and worry about sharing in the context of social networks

i social networks15
I. Social networks

But there’s a backlash! joyarchives/529.html antisocial.gif

i social networks16
I. Social networks

Where do I sign up? 2011/06/01/social-networking-has- turned-us-into-an-anti-social-species/

it communication and social networks1
IT, communication, and social networks

I. Social networks

• How they work

• How people use them

II. Social networks and business

• Digital business strategy

• Organizational wikis

III. Virtual management

• Knowledge sharing and virtual teams

ii social networks and business
II. Social networksand business
  • Digital business strategy: Toward a next generation of insights
  • The authors propose a new role for IT strategy where is is on equal footing with business strategy
  • They explore the scope, scale, speed and sources of value creation involved in what they call digital business strategy
  • ~ Does this approach make sense? How digital does a business have to be for this to work?
  • ~ What are some examples of companies that have done this well? Poorly?
ii social networks and business1
II. Social networks and business
  • Typically, business strategy has directed IT strategy
  • Recently, the business infrastructure has become digital with increased interconnections among products, processes, and services
  • Digital technologies are transforming business strategies, business processes, firm capabilities, products and services
  • Key interfirm relationships are changing in extended business networks
  • Organizational practices are changing
  • Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O.A., Pavlou, P. A., and Venkatraman, N. (2013). Digital business strategy: Toward a next generation of insights, MIS Quarterly, 37(2), 471-482.
ii social networks and business2
II. Social networks and business
  • Changes: lower price/performance levels of computing (hardware and software)
  • Global connectivity through standard protocols (Internet and mobile web)
  • Transforming the structure of social relationships in both the consumer and the enterprise space with social media and social networking
  • Products and services increasingly have embedded digital technologies
  • It is becoming increasingly more difficult to disentangle digital products and services from their underlying IT infrastructures
ii social networks and business3
II. Social networks and business
  • The response must be developing a digital business strategy
  • Organizational strategy formulated and executed by leveraging digital resources to create differential value
  • Scope of digital business strategy
  • It transcends traditional functional areas, such as marketing, procurement, logistics, operations…
  • Also various IT-enabled business processes, such as order management, customer service
  • Includes digitization of products and services and the information around them
ii social networks and business4
II. Social networks and business
  • Relies on rich information exchanges through digital platforms inside and outside organizations
  • Allow multifunctional strategies and processes to be tightly interconnected with the aid of interfirm IT capabilities
  • Big data create conditions of information abundance due to the massive amount of detailed (and often ready to analyze) data made available
  • Digital business strategy extends the scope beyond firm boundaries and supply chains to dynamic ecosystems that cross traditional industry boundaries
ii social networks and business5
II. Social networks and business
  • Scale of digital business strategy
  • Increased availability and reliance on cloud computing services allows firms to scale infrastructure up or down
  • Enables on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources
  • As products and services become digital and connected, network effects are a key differentiator/driver of value creation
  • Scaling will require understanding how to develop the organizational capabilities to harness the huge quantities of heterogeneous data, information, and knowledge that is generated on a continuous basis
ii social networks and business6
II. Social networks and business
  • Speed of digital business strategy
  • Digital business strategy accelerates the speed of product launches
  • Also highlights the importance of planned obsolescence
  • Speeds up decision making, CRM
  • Creates efficiencies in the supply chain
  • Leads to more rapid network formation and adaptation
ii social networks and business7
II. Social networks and business
  • The sources of business value creation and capture in digital business strategy
  • Increased value from capture and analysis of information
  • Increasing importance of multisided revenue models not just in software
  • Value through coordinated business models
  • Value through control of the digital industry architecture
ii social networks and business9
II. Social networks and business

Social networks and leadership: understanding social structure has consequences for organizational survival

Requires accurate perception and management of network relations

Assumes cognitive structures shape leadership actions

Importance of relations between organizational actors who are embedded in multiple social networks

Social life is structurally patterned and network connections have social utility (capital)

Balkundi, P. and Kilduff, M. (2006). The ties that lead: A social network approach to leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 17(4), 419-439S

ii social networks and business10
II. Social networks and business

The view of leadership changes from human capital (traits, styles) and situational attributes (task, decision process) of leaders

Towards social capital built up around a person

Occurs because of social perceptions and actual structure of their networks

Ego-networks: immediate social ties shaped to meet leader’s expectations

Organizational networks: varying degree of embedding and influence

Inter-organizational networks: important for resource flows and environmental control

ii social networks and business11
II. Social networks and business

Balkundi and Killduff, p. 944

ii social networks and business12
II. Social networks and business

What are the major costs?

Opportunity costs: especially time

Translation costs: especially tacit knowledge

Maintenance costs: arrangement, information sharing, preparation, monitoring

These are influenced by the type of knowledge sought, time constraints, type of decision

Lack of structural holes: knowledge workers in cohesive networks may lose the flexibility to build new ties

Relational inertia hinders the development of new competencies, impedes learning

ii social networks and business13
II. Social networks and business

ii social networks and business14
II. Social networks and business

In our networks, we form “schema’ about other people

Negative relationships: enduring sets of negative judgments, feelings, and intentions toward others

Negative encounters do not have to lead to negative relationships

Negative relationships may form without negative encounters

When people maintain a working relationship and one (or both), for whatever reason, dislikes the other

May cross organizational boundaries and power differentials and others may or may not be aware of it

ii social networks and business15
II. Social networks and business

Negative relationships create social liabilities

Strength: intensity of dislike

Reciprocity: is the dislike one way or two way?

Cognitive awareness: do you know that they don’t like you?

Social distance: is it a direct or indirect relationship?

Social liability is the combination of these characteristics

They develop much faster than do positive social relationships

ii social networks and business16
II. Social networks and business

Negative asymmetry: negative relationships can have more power over outcomes than positive relationships

They typically involve more cognitive and emotional overhead

Negative information is given higher value than positive information (especially social information

Negative interactions have been found to have a disproportionately greater effect on life satisfaction, mood, illness, and stress

Negative gossip amplified distrust more than positive gossip amplifies trust

ii social networks and business17
II. Social networks and business
ii social networks and business18
II. Social networks and business
  • Factors affecting shapers of organizational wikis
  • Yates, Wagner and Majchrzak studied participants in organizational wikis
  • They hypothesized that motivations differed for the two main types of activities, knowledge shaping and contributions of personal knowledge
  • Intellectual capital theory could account the former and social exchange theory for the latter
  • ~ What are your motivations for contributing to wikis (or for not contributing)?
  • ~ In what ways could these wikis be valuable?
ii social networks and business19
II. Social networks and business

There are two main types of activities involved in organizational wikis

Knowledge shaping: a purposeful activity to transform existing knowledge into more useful knowledge

Editing, integrating, organizing, rewriting content

Contributing personal knowledge

Are the motivations different for people engaging in each type of contribution?

The authors survey and interview participants (n=94)

Yates, D., Wagner, C. and Majchrzak, A. (2010). Factors affecting shapers of organizational wikis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(3), 543-554

ii social networks and business20
II. Social networks and business

Two theories can account for these activities

Intellectual capital theory explains knowledge shaping

Factors facilitating intellectual capital development: opportunity, anticipation, capability, and motivation to deploy

Integration requires coordinated application of various individual expertise to accomplish tasks at the project or community level

Involves recombination, reorganization, and new forms of synthesis

Shaping enhances organizational intellectual capital

ii social networks and business21
II. Social networks and business

Social exchange theory explains for personal knowledge contributions

We make more contributions when they maximize our benefits and minimize our costs at individual, group and organizational levels

Reasons: time to contribute, individual work performance benefits, fulfilling group responsibilities to community, membership in a core group

They found that the two theories accounted for the majority of their results

it communication and social networks2
IT, communication, and social networks

I. Social networks

• How they work

• How people use them

II. Social networks and business

• Digital business strategy

• Organizational wikis

III. Virtual management

• Knowledge sharing and virtual teams

iii virtual management
III. Virtual management

Exploring the effects of online social ties on knowledge sharing: A comparative analysis of collocated vs dispersed teams

With social capital and social cognitive theory, Suh and Shin develop a model predicting individual knowledge sharing

With social network analysis, they found that people on collocated and dispersed teams should manage online and offline social ties to enhance knowledge sharing

~ Why don’t online social interactions increase knowledge sharing in collocated groups?

~How central are you in your social networks?

iii virtual management1
III. Virtual management
  • Goal: how online social ties in a group influence individual organizational knowledge sharing
  • Assumes social media enable individuals to establish social ties and get socio-emotional support online
  • Much online contact occurs between people who see each other in person and work at the same place
  • Knowledge sharing: provision or receipt of know how, task information and feedback about a product/service
  • Are dynamics of dispersed teams are different from collocated teams?
  • Suh, A. and Shin, K.S. (2010). Exploring the effects of online social ties on knowledge sharing: A comparative analysis of collocated vs dispersed teams. Journal of Information Science 36(4), 443-463.
iii virtual management2
III. Virtual management
  • Social capital: individual knowledge sharing depends on relationships in social networks and resources inherent in interpersonal interactions
  • Network structure is the foundation of social capital andan attribute of a social or individual unit
  • Private capital: prestige, educational credentials and promotions benefiting individuals through personal social relationships
  • Public capital: the character of social relations in an organization based on collective goal orientation, shared trust and members’ activities
iii virtual management3
III. Virtual management

Focus: socio-emotional ties (friendship and social support)

Frequency of interaction: strength of social ties

Centrality: the extent of one’s connection to others

A structural property associated with instrumental outcomes: power, decision making and innovation

In-degree: ties directed to the node (popularity)

Out-degree: ties the node directs to others (extroversion)

Motivational sources: to generate public capital, members must be motivated to donate private capital

iii virtual management4
III. Virtual management

Online social ties contribute to knowledge sharing but effects differ between collocated and dispersed teams

Frequency of online social interaction significantly stimulates motivational sources of public capital in dispersed but not in collocated teams

Centrality of online interaction has little influence on reciprocity in dispersed teams and trust in collocated teams

High levels of norm of reciprocity do not predict knowledge sharing in dispersed teams

Individuals contribute knowledge in online networks without expectation of reciprocation

iii virtual management5
III. Virtual management

The modern era can be characterized by networks, relationships, and globalization

This affects the ways in which business is done

Place is redefined as geographic location becomes more flexible

Time and its significance for work changes

Virtual teams become more common

Managers must now manage in “electronic space”

Gillam, C. and Oppenheim, C. (2006). Review Article: Reviewing the impact of virtual teams in the information age Journal of Information Science, 32(2), 160-175

iii virtual management6
III. Virtual management

Virtual team: groups of people who work across time, space and often organizational boundaries

They use interactive technology to facilitate communication and collaboration

Organizational function and processes are more important than location

Gillam and Oppenheim, p. 162

iii virtual management7
III. Virtual management

Communication processes are essential for virtual teams

The challenge of sharing important information

Problem: uneven information distribution can lead to redundancy, bad decisions, perception of slacking

Solution is better dissemination, but should avoid

Information overload: increase in the information received and requests for information

Communication intrusion: increase in interruptions of work by communications

New literacy: documents (forms,charts, graphs, maps) and tools (images, graphics, video, audio)

iii virtual management8
III. Virtual management

Problems with communication

Social peripherality: makes pre-existing information asymmetries in the organization worse

Places people who are not comfortable with the favored communications channels at a disadvantage

May cause depersonalization and lack of commitment

Cultural diversity

Communications processes differ in different cultures

Differences in social conceptions of trust and processes of building it

iii virtual management9
III. Virtual management

Managing a virtual team

Create a statement of purpose

Focus on a clear understanding of missions, aims, objectives and expectations

Set clear, measurable goals

Identify ‘milestones’ to acknowledge progress

Create an identity for the team

Make sure team members know their roles and responsibilities

Build the team to allow the inclusion of experts

iii virtual management10
III. Virtual management

Managing a virtual team

Develop strategic policies to recognize and reward interim goal achievement

When celebrating, involve all team members

Promote ongoing training and education to develop management and decision making skills in the team

Ensure that members are aware of and can communicate with each other

Have means of storing and retrieving team knowledge for scheduling, planning and synchronization

Work to build trust