New Online Journal: “Social Media for Organizations”
Author: Jill Drury
With the popularity of social media in purely social contexts, I’ve been fascinated by the implications for using these tools for work-related purposes. In recent years, organizations of all types—whether they are industrial, academic, government, or non-profit—are increasingly turning to social media tools such as wikis, blogs, microblogs, and social networking for internal use. By doing so, they hope to enhance collaboration, streamline business processes, and improve relationships.
Despite this trend, little is known about how, or even if, social media tools are changing organizations. Some of these adoption efforts meet with considerable success and some do not; but unfortunately, we don’t yet understand the mechanisms behind the successes and failures. In fact, there is disagreement on whether social media even constitute novel technologies for organizations. Some argue that the features of these tools and the behaviors they facilitate differ little from those of previous tools such as instant messaging or teleconferencing. Others, instead, point to differences in practices facilitated by social media tools such as global sharing, flattening of hierarchies, and large-scale deliberation on innovations. Similarly, there is disagreement regarding the extent to which findings can be transferred from public (consumer-based) to organizational social media intended for employees, citizens, or volunteers. Can harnessing social media as a transformational force truly be as simple as creating a “Facebook for the organization”?
Because there are so many questions regarding organizations’ use of social media, there is a burgeoning research community looking into them. To provide a freely available publication outlet, MITRE is hosting the independent journal known as the Journal of Social Media for Organizations. If you have a case study, opinion essay, or research paper relevant to the journal, please leave a comment below.