Digital Organizations: The Social Business Contribution

Digital Organizations: The Social Business Contribution

Maria João Ferreira (REMIT, Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & ISTTOS, Centro Algoritmi, Universidad do Minho, Portugal), Fernando Moreira (REMIT, IJP, Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & IEETA, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal) and Isabel Seruca (REMIT, Universidade Portucalense, Portugal & ISTTOS, Centro Algoritmi, Universidad do Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4799-1.ch001
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Digitalization is changing business and organizations. In the organizational context, the potential that can be realized through digitalization is manifest, namely the expenditure reduction and higher innovative power. However, it is not enough to integrate digitalization; a change of culture and behavior is necessary. To this extent, social media relations have the potential to create communication capabilities that can be turned into useful resources, which in turn will result in more significant competitive advantage and performance. Taking advantage of social tools within social business contexts requires an exercise in how to demonstrate usefulness regarding the creation, access, and sharing of content securely. To this end, this chapter will provide a comprehensive view of a new context of labor (i.e., social business supported by mobile IST-m_CSDIT2) to improve the organizational well-being through the collective intelligence and agility dimensions.
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Organizations in recent years, due to digitalization, have undergone an enormous r(evolution) at the social, economic, and technological levels where the traditional barriers of information transfer 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; Spieth et al., 2019) 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 behavior. 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; Eva et al., 2019). 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 “Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030” EU is harnessing the power of the digital transformation to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it is fully committed to develop capacity and expertise in key digital technologies such as connectivity, the ‘internet of things’, cybersecurity, blockchain or high-performance computing, while simultaneously paying attention to the potential negative externalities of digital infrastructures. (Timmermans & Katainen, 2019).

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. Currently, according to Kemp (2020), internet worldwide users are 4.57 billion with a penetration rate of 59%, mobile internet users as a percentage of total internet users are 91% and the active social media worldwide users are 396 billion with a penetration rate of 51%. This makes mobile internet the fastest penetrating technology in the history of mankind (CISCO, 2020).

In this context, Social Business Intelligence (SBI) – the combination of business intelligence software with collaboration tools - allows organizations to see, discuss and act on changes and insights that are happening in their business data. SBI combines corporate data with user-generated content in social media, contributing to better decision making in the organization. Social networks are analysed from different user perspectives, such as content, relationships, and behaviour, becoming an abundant source of information about opinions, interests, needs and attitudes of users. The challenge of the SBI is, then, an efficient management of information from social networks considered as Big Data, characterized by an immense amount and variety of unstructured data that changes at high speed (Berlanga et al., 2019).

Taking advantage of these technologies for organizations within the context of Social Business, in particular for nomadic workers, requires a comprehension exercise in how to demonstrate their usefulness with regard to the creation, sharing and documentation of information and knowledge in and out of an organization, the education and training of organizational workers and ad-hoc discussion, in a safe way. In this chapter, we propose an approach using mobile devices, called mobile Create, Share, Document, Improve and Training (m_CSDIT2). The Case Study approach will be used as the research method (Yin, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Nomadic Workers: Someone who works in different places while away from their office, often using a mobile phone and the internet:

Agility: The capability of an organization to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market.

Social Business: A company that embeds social tools and practices both internally (employee-oriented) and external (oriented to other stakeholders such as customers or other business partners) with and integrated approach.

Training and Education Professionals: Training and education in the networked organizations is to connect and communicate based on facilitating collaborative work and learning amongst workers, especially as peers.

Mobile Learning: Any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed, predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies.

Social Software: Software inspired by the functionalities of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, microblogging, social networks, and others.

Collective Intelligence: Shared knowledge jointly constructed by a group of people through their collaborations and instructions.

Well-Being: Is when individuals have the psychological, social, and physical resources they need to meet a particular psychological, social, and/or physical challenge.

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