A Traditional Organization Towards a New Dimension of Labour: Social Business

A Traditional Organization Towards a New Dimension of Labour: Social Business

Maria João Ferreira (Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & Universidade do Minho, Portugal), Fernando Moreira (Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & Universidade Lusíada, Portugal) and Isabel Seruca (Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & Universidade do Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8614-4.ch095
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Abstract

Organizations have suffered a large (r)evolution at the social, economic and technological levels. A change of paradigm in the information systems and technologies (IST) used in the day-to-day life of every citizen cannot sustain such a transformation by itself; a change of culture and behaviour is therefore necessary. The use of IST in an appropriate and integrated way with the organization's processes will depend on an individual and collective effort. The younger generation, accustomed to sharing personal information on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms,often through mobile devices, enters the job market looking for similar tools. These new “social tools” allow the production, sharing and management of information and knowledge within the organization between peers and other stakeholders, eliminating the barriers of communication and sharing. Taking advantage of these technologies for organizations within the context of Social Business, in particular nomadic workers, requires a comprehension exercise in how to demonstrate its usefulness with regard to the creation, access and sharing of contents in a safe way. To this end, this chapter provides a comprehensive view of a new context of labour faced by traditional organizations (i.e. social business supported by mobile IST – m_CSDT) in order to improve the well-being of these organizations through the collective intelligence and agility dimensions.
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Introduction

It is widely acknowledged that organizations have suffered a large (r)evolution at the social, economic and technological levels, with particular predominance in the last 10 years, where the traditional barriers of transferring information and knowledge silos have been progressively eliminated. Finding experts and knowledge within an organization is now easier through Social Business.

Social Business (Yunus, 2007; IBM, 2013) can be defined as the ability of an organization to share information, produce knowledge collaboratively, manage knowledge, eliminate communication and sharing barriers, accelerate business processes, approaching the business partners, namely suppliers and customers, and create innovative products, services and business models. It is thus essential that such products, services and models are created and properly documented, managed and shared.

A change of paradigm in what comes to the use of information systems and technologies (IST) in the day-to-day life of every citizen, by itself, does not sustain such a transformation; it is also necessary a change of culture and behaviour. On the one hand, the use of IST in an appropriate and integrated way with the organization's processes will depend on an individual and collective effort, which may be called “collective leadership” (Friedrich et. al, 2009). On the other hand, the younger generation, accustomed to sharing, often through mobile devices, personal information on Facebook, Twitter, among others, enters the job market looking for similar tools. These new “social tools” allow the production, sharing and management of information and knowledge within the organization between peers and other stakeholders, allowing the barriers elimination of the communication and sharing.

Therefore, we may infer that Social Business is much more than just collaboration and sharing, since the IST that are currently available allow the organizations’ processes to be more dynamic, more “social”.

Following these developments, and according to the European Commission report “A Roadmap for Advanced Cloud Technologies H2020 under,” the environment of IST (market research, industry, education, training, etc.) is undergoing constant changes. These changes originate, typically from the conflict between the technical restrictions and the “new” needs experienced by users. Thus, it is necessary to identify the major changes that can be expected in the next 5-10 years and can, or will, affect the environment of IST. It is expected, for example, that in 2015 the concept BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becomes practically general, as well as Cloud Computing (Schubert, 2012).

The growth of social media is already happening at a tremendous rhythm. The arrival and development of mobile internet applications has set to double the intensity of social media use. In 2011, in Europe, 28% of people already had a smartphone with mobile internet. This rises up to 34% in the United States, 38% in India and 41% in China (InSites Consulting, 2011b). This makes mobile internet the fastest penetrating technology in the history of mankind (Van Belleghem, 2012). Furthermore, it is a trend that has huge implications on organizations.

The arrival of mobile internet has fully democratized the World Wide Web. Yesterday’s non-internet users now only need a smartphone and a location with free wifi access to go online. In the past, it was needed a workplace, a computer and an internet subscription, which was too expensive for many people. This barrier has now, however, disappeared. As discussed in Van Belleghem (2012), the situation in the United States proves this beyond doubt. The highest smartphone penetration levels are to be found in the poorer Hispanic and Asiatic sections of the community. In 2011, the research company Nielsen found that in the traditionally more affluent white community only 27% had a smartphone. These figures are the reverse of what would be rationally expected, and they mean that all target groups in all social classes will soon be approachable on a large scale via social media.

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