Social Media and Value Creation: Exploring the Perception of Generation Y toward Corporate Social Networking Applications Use

Social Media and Value Creation: Exploring the Perception of Generation Y toward Corporate Social Networking Applications Use

Imed Boughzala (Telecom Ecole de Management, Evry, France)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/JOEUC.2016040107
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Abstract

Organizations increasingly rely on corporate social networks and online communities, under what is called today Enterprise 2.0, to enhance socialization and favor information/knowledge sharing, collaboration and value creation among coworkers. Researchers and practitioners to date have mostly assumed that people from this generation Y, because of their massive use of social media in the private arena, would be willing to accept and use them more easily and quickly in corporate environment. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no empirical work which has been reported on this issue confirming this assumption.
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Introduction

In 2005, the social aspect of the Web was emphasized by Tim O'Reilly (2005) to highlight the value of socialization related to people connections, content sharing and co-creation through social networks. Internet user is no longer considered as an information consumer but more as a content producer. To the point that in 2006 Time magazine titled its coverage “You.” (Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world). Indeed, this magazine used to devote coverage to the person of the year since the late 1920s.

The idea of this study lets internet user, by expressing themselves freely on the web and interacting directly with others, to control the information entirely (by support of the Social Web 2.0) which makes, in somewhat, a break with the traditional web.

Today, integrating Web 2.0 applications (i.e. social media) in businesses provides many opportunities to improve interaction, information/knowledge sharing and collaboration among employees, also with customers and partners. These applications have been a popular medium for people interaction, content sharing (Constant et al., 1994; Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Cramton, 2001; Shi et al., 2014) and open collaboration (Coleman & Levine, 2008).

To date, companies increasingly rely on corporate social networking (CSN) applications (in the continuum of Intranet efforts) to enhance interactions, increase the density of connections and share information among coworkers for driving business value (Culnan et al., 2010) and innovation (Chesbrough & Appleyard, 2007; Sena & Sena, 2008).

According to many authors (Dudezer t et al., 2009; Hershatter & Epstein, 2010; Boughzala, 2007-2012a; Deal et al., 2010; Gorman et al., 2004), the new generation of hypermodern employees (i.e. Generation Y) has developed new habits and behaviors at work. They use, on a daily basis, Web 2.0 applications (blogs, wikis, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, SN applications/services, folksonomy, podcasting, tagging, mashups, etc) in the private arena and, therefore, consider that such applications for self-organizing, sharing and collaboration are the best tools to work. Social networks and online communities are for them the best resources to solve problems collectively, to get connections and partnerships and thus to take advantage of the collective intelligence (Smith & Duin, 1994; Malone et al., 2009; Beck et al., 2014). This generation is used to choose by it-self the tools and devices it deems fit to use (notion of self-care, Bitner et al., 2002). This is part of larger organizational issues, called BYOD (aka Bring Your Own Device), BYOA (aka Bring Your Own Application, Ballagas et al., 2004) or more BYOB (aka Bring Your Own Behavior, Gunnarsson, 2012).

Scholars and practitioners to date have mostly assumed that people from this generation Y (Dudezert et al., 2009; Hershatter & Epstein, 2010), because of their massive use of social media in the private arena, would be willing to accept and use them more easily and quickly in corporate environment under what we call Enterprise 2.0 (Crumpacker & Crumpacker, 2007; Deal et al., 2010). However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no empirical work which has been reported on this issue confirming this assumption on the ground. Nobody can affirm today that generation Y would be the driver of this technology adoption in corporate environment considering their technology readiness (Parasuraman, 2000).

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