Enterprise Social Media Research

Early Results Suggest a Mixed Score Card

Engage for Change, Glass Digital Media, Carlo communications (Sydney) and Simply are researching the influence of enterprise social media on behaviour/working relationships and business performance. And where possible to cite generational and regional differences in different parts of the world.

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Whilst there is plenty of research into the use of personal social media outside work, there is a sparsity inside work.

Very early results suggest that it provides benefits for those that participate including

  • Being able to access experts and senior people that old style hierarchies make invisible and hard to reach, physically and psychologically
  • By using the tools available people say that they can let the ‘robots’ do repetitive work leaving them time for more creative work
  • Providing global access to content and people almost instantly enabling collaborative problem solving
  • Freedom to work with much less supervision

There are some buts emerging:

  • In contrast to the above benefits Enterprise Social Media is seen by some to be just another task to be ticked off
  • If there is no induction into the tools available people feel excluded where, for example, key content/discussions are confined to platforms that may only have a minority sign up
  • The presumption that collaboration improves outcomes is questioned because of doubt that the ‘right’ people are signed up and participating
  • There are also repeated reports of feeling unsafe to participate because there are inadequate protocols, and stories of people being censored for their views
  • Some report that there seems to be little governance with tools and platforms popping up with little apparent co-ordination or plan.  Though others argue the opposite; that governance is shorthand for a resumption of command and control and that a laissez faire environment simulates the creativity just like  the internet
  • There’s also a strand that suggests that people come to presume that all communication and relationships have to be conducted electronically where the loser is tone and sensitivity

We have between 15 – 20 organisations participating so far. We need more here and internationally.

Contact johnsmythe@engageforchange.com to get the brief.

There’s no cost involved.