Analysis of Social Media in Administration: Epistemological and Practical Considerations

Analysis of Social Media in Administration: Epistemological and Practical Considerations

Karoll Haussler Carneiro Ramos (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil), Joselice Ferreira Lima (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil), Flávio Elias de Deus (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil) and Luis Fernando Ramos Molinaro (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1601-1.ch047
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Abstract

This chapter analyzes some case studies about social media in organizations’ administration. To do this, social media’s epistemological base will be introduced, considering contributions from the subject of organizational behavior. The importance of this discipline is that it brings together social sciences points of view (social psychology, sociology and anthropology). After this, views will be presented regarding the mathematical nature of social media. In this part, the internet’s influence on social media will also be discussed, for it has contributed to a new common sense, and it is responsible for social media popularity. Finally, how social media interferes in organizations will be attested to, as well as how it can be managed. In order to help the understanding of such knowledge, a survey will be introduced, with articles related to organizational practices in social media.
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Social Current

In Social Current, the bibliographical review is based in philosophy, sociology, anthropology and organizational psychology fields. Those sciences analyze social media’s influence on society before the coming of internet. It means that those sciences go to the essence of what grounds human interactions, and at the same time they analyze technology’s impact on an individual’s daily life.

Philosophy

In the beginning of civilization, humankind was gathered in clans. These primitive units shared the same interests, values and communication tools, defining specific hierarchical structures. The clans founded the first societies and as they spread, techniques developed.

Rudinger (2007) attests that only in the XVII century did techniques start truly affecting the way of living, cultural life and society’s sociability, making the concept of culture strongly connected with the concept of technology, which originated technoculture.

For Subirats (1989), the analysis of modern technoculture must consider the ontological dimension of the technique as the principle present in forms of culture. Thus, the way in which technology affected society found a wide field for discussion in philosophy.

There are basically two lines of thought in philosophy about technique: technologic thought and “technophobia”. Technologic thought is divided into Prometheans or technifiles and Faustians. Both have as a guide the following idea: “whatever is missing in our lives, such a lack will be filled in by a greater access to databases and new technological resources,” (Rudinger, 2007, p.14). For technological thought, technology has a huge influence on humankind’s faith and its progress does not depend on other factors that interfere with life in a society. In this case, the human beings stand out when greater command of technology is bestowed upon him.

The technophobic view personifies technology by giving it a Machiavellian domination over man. This view believes that technology brings out the main weaknesses of society and to that it suggests ways of sabotaging computer systems so as to save humankind.

Regardless of the views for and against, it is worth saying that technology is just a means and cannot be labeled as good or bad, for it is only a way of knowing developed to fulfill humans’ needs.

Thus, technological improvement has contributed to broadening the social media concept, which came to be known as a group of points with mutual communication. In the field of sociology, it came to be used for explaining the phenomena of reciprocal relationships among human beings.

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