Should Companies Embrace Social Media
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The title of this particular case study is Should Companies Embrace Social Business? There are companies out there that understand the power of social networking. The social networking could occur on Facebook or Twitter. It has been stated, “Over half of all adults visit social networking sites at least once a month, and many of today’s employees are already well versed in the basics of public social networking” (Laudon & Laudon, 2014, p. 75). Companies, nowadays, can share information, build revenue, and keep abreast of their competitors, especially if they should utilize social networking. There are many tools at the disposal of companies. When it comes to a social networking site, one company might choose to implement and use it in one way while another company in another particular fashion. The ways that a company chooses to implement and use it can give a good indication on whether there will be good or bad results.
It has been stated, of course, “…nearly 5,000 U.S. information workers found that only 28 percent of workers use any kind of social software at least one a month for their work, and many of those are only using a public social network such as Facebook” (Laudon et al., 2014, p.75). If companies want to get their employees involved in what is happening, they need to put in the work. Just because social networking is out there doesn’t mean it will be used or even used correctly. It has been said, “…35 percent of the companies using internal social networking systems reported lackluster adoption as a major obstacle to success” (Laudon et al., 2014, p. 75). Companies need to figure out ways to motivate their workers into using the social networking systems. Those social networking systems can ultimately bring about open communication and that open communication could bring about new ideas.
Research has been done on why social networking is hard to implement at work. This has been clearly stated, “… companies that have tried to deploy internal social networks have found that employees are used to doing business in a certain way, and overcoming that organizational inertia can prove difficult” (Laudon et al., 2014, p.75). It seems that companies need to find a way to motivate their employees. If a company uses some form of motivation, their employees might be more willing to use the social networking systems. The reasons for using the social networking systems have to be valid and understood by the employees. Without any type of justification, employee might want to keep the same old things. The reason is because they would not move into something that is unknown or foreign to them.
Within the company that they are a part of, an employee might just go with what is already known instead of exploring what is unknown. Social networking systems are supposed to bridge the gap between employees and the higher ups, employees and the company itself, and the customers and the company itself. Many employees use social networking systems outside of their company. But there are not a lot of employees who are willing to do the same within the company. It seems that most employees do not understand the connection between their company and a social networking system. If I’m social at work, can I really the company? Will it help with my work process? These are the things that employees are thinking about when they are choosing to engage or not engage in a social net working system.
It has been stated, “Employees who are used to collaborating and doing business in more traditional ways need an incentive to use social software. Most companies are not providing that incentive: only 22 percent of social software users believe the technology to be necessary to their jobs” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 75). Companies need let their employees understood the reasons why social networking systems should be used and how it is necessary to their daily work process. The social networking systems shouldn’t just be there to be there. They should be put to good use. And those social networking systems should create an impact among the employees, the company, and the individuals choose to associate themselves with the company. Social networking systems should be assisting many companies. But it seems like it is helping some more than others.
Case in point, Altimeter Group did a report, which stated, “About half the respondents said that internal social networks had ‘very little impact’ on employee retention, the speed of decision making, or the reduction of meetings” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 75). Impact might not have been so great because the internal social networks weren’t use in the right way. Like it has been said previously, it depends on how the social networking system gets implemented. If the implementation of the social networking system isn’t good then there would be no lasting impact. Companies need to figure out why they are using this brand of software, what features would be used, and how could those features benefit the company. It been said, “Many companies that launch internal social networks find themselves with a host of features that their employees never use.
The most common used feature of most enterprise networks are profiles… The ability to integrate the network with e-mail is also vital feature” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 75). Some companies started to realize the feature, which were vital and the features that could be eliminated. The social networking system should be customized to suit the needs of that particular company. There are downsides, of course, of using an internal social network. But there are benefits as well, especially if the internal social network is being used properly. CSC is an information technology and consulting firm (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 75). And they understood the need for social networking systems mainly because the employees are very skilled and knowledgeable.
It was stated, “CSC launched an initiative it called C3, short for Connect, Communicate, Collaborate, with a cutting edge enterprise social networking product as the centerpiece. CS quickly settled on Jive’s Social Business Software Solution” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 76). Implementing the concept of C3 was a good choice by the company. It seems the company understood the need for employees to connect, communicate, and collaborate with others within and outside the company. If Jive was to be successful, there needs to be communication. The communication must happen between the ones who are implementing the social networking software and the ones who are supposed to be using it day in and day out. The social networking product, which CSC choose to use, lived up to its name. It went above and beyond the call of duty.
It was clearly stated, “Jive also found the ability of its Social Business Software to bridge internal and external communities—in other words, it allowed the company to network within the company as well as with suppliers, partners, and customers from outside the firm” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76). It seems that with this particular social software, the company was able to multitask. Not just with the employees within the company. But it seems that they were able to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their suppliers, partners, and customers. Before Jive was put to good use, the company decided to test the waters. It was stated, “Twelve ‘champions’ enlisted more than 100 advocates to help formulate adoption plans, seed content, and test over 200 groups prior to the pilot’s launch” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 76). CSC wasn’t go to launch the social software half way that they wanted it to be tested and know that it will be put to good use.
The testing of the social software helped tremendously, especially when the social software was smoothly implemented within the company, between the company and its suppliers, and between the company and its customers When the company kept with the C3 initiative and kept on using the social software, there was success. It has been said, “When a U.S. based employee used C3 to request proposal related information, the request generated 11 global replies and the right answer from a global colleague in 30 minutes” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76). The social networking system yielded good results for everyone involved and it seems many employees were willing to use the software and make it a part of their work process. Of course, CSC wasn’t the only company who took the initiative and implemented Jive within their company.
Yum! Brands went ahead and put the social software within every aspect of their company. Yum! Brands have their hands in so many parts of business that they needed social software, which could keep up. The social software had to adjust to the changes within the company. The changes could, of course, be small but it could be rather large. So the social software should be able to move smoothly from one adjust to the next. This has been stated, “Yum has a culture of building, recognizing, and sharing know-how to drive innovation, and it wanted a social solution to allow its employees to collaborative effectively across geographical borders” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 76). With the use of Jive, the company will be able to connect, communicate, and collaborate more effectively. It really wouldn’t matter what part of the world an employee is.
They will still be able to get things done and the work process that they have will continue. When Yum launched their platform of ICHING, it marketed to their employees. It was clearly stated, “The Jive platform was customized to allow community members to upload ‘badges’ of achievement to individuals’ profiles and to require that all contributions be tagged to increase searchability” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76). The company wanted to use Jive so that every employee could stay connected to one another. Through that connection, there would be definite collaboration. The case study said, “Managers can solicit input from other employees around the world and ask questions at no cost. The system has helped eliminate redundant resources and allows users to upload and download documents, many of which were too big for the company’s e-mail system” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76). With Jive, the company was able to exchange documents.
There was no paperwork that had to be exchanged between parties. It could be easily uploaded and viewed. And it seems ideas for the company were given, obtained, and used by the company. CSC and Yum! Brands understood the need for social networking systems. These social networking systems drive the connection, communication, and collaboration that are needed to make a company thrive. Within the modern era, e-mail might fade into the background and social networking might stay within the forefront. Chris Laping, who is a CIO of the 30,00-employee Red Robin hamburger restaurant chain, wants to let team members collaborate in a manner that is similar to the way they work outside the office, using a tool that would let people create conversations, perform status updates, upload and share files, and set up workgroups for small project teams (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76).
This CIO, like many others, understands employees need a better way to connect, communicate, and collaborate with one another. More business could be done for companies as a whole, especially if they would choose to use social software. And even though there are many different kinds of social software out there, some social software seem to trump others. The CIO of Red Robins and many others within the company decided to try their hand at Yammer. Within the case study, this was stated, “Yammer usage is not ‘overwhelming’ at this point, and about 95 percent of Red Robin’s information systems projects still use Share Point… Yammer would be considerably cheaper than Share Point, and in Laping’s opinion, closer to the way people actually collaborate” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.76-77). Laping understands that the use of Yammer could be more beneficial in the long run than the use of Share Point.
And it seems that small business are taking the lead as well and using social software. Den-Mat, a 450-employee dental equipment manufacturing company, used social software to better their company and the social software kept them connected with their customers as well. It was stated, “The company selected Salesforce CRM and Salesforce Chatter as the centerpiece of its system modernization efforts, hoping for an eventual increase in productivity after the inevitable growing pains at the outset” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.77). The social software that Den-Mat decided on was easy to implement and use. The productivity of the manufacturing company will seem to grow and definitely thrive for years to come. There was a brief discussion on Yammer because Laping wanted it to be used more than Share Point.
I believe Yammer is social software that will definitely benefit a company, especially if the social software is implemented properly. From pcworld.com, it was stated that Yammer is essentially a social network that’s entirely focused on your business. Companies can use Yammer in every aspect of their business. Not just when it comes to the little things but the bigger things as well. It was stated within pcworld.com that Yammer could help a company share files. The sharing of files can easily happen when an employee chooses to upload documents and videos to the social networking site. And finally, it was stated that collaboration can happen quite easily with Yammer. There are many social software out there. But some social software works better for a company than others. It is all in how a company implements social software. If the implementation is off, the employees and other people within the company won’t fully adopt the social software as their own.
The fist case study question is the following:
Identify the management, organization, and technology factors responsible for slow adoption rates of internal corporate social networks. Within the case study, it was stated that 35 percent of the companies using internal social networking systems reported lackluster adoption as a major obstacle to success (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 75). Workers weren’t enthusiastic about using the software. They really didn’t see the reason to use it. Also it was stated from before, “…only 22 percent of social software users believe the technology to be necessary to their jobs” (Laudon, et al., 2014, p.75). If workers believed that there was no use for the social software, they won’t be using in their work process. It will remain in the background. Finally, it is how the social software was being implemented and used.
The second case study question is the following:
Why have each of the companies described in this case been successful in implementing internal social networks? Explain your answer. It seems that each company went ahead and choose the right social software. And each company went ahead and choose the proper way to implement the social software. CSC and Yum! Brands choose Jive because the social software allowed the companies a way to connect, communicate, and collaborate (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 76). These companies were successful because they understood the need for social software. Like it has been stated previously, if the social software is implemented properly then it would be successful.
Then there was Red Robins. The CIO decided that it would be better for the company if Yammer were used. The social software was good at sharing files and collaboration (Laudon, et al., 2014, p. 76). The CIO understood that if the company was going to grow and be more innovative Yammer would have to be used. Finally, there is the Den-Mat. The social software, which was used by the company, were Salesforce CRM and Salesforce Chatter (Laudon, et al, 2014, p.77). The social software was implemented properly and helped with productivity.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2014). Management information systems: organization and technology in the networked enterprise (13 ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Retrieved from: http://www.pcworld.com/article/260517/what_is_heck_is_yammer.html