Impact of Social Media Readiness on Social Media Usage and Competitive Advantage

Impact of Social Media Readiness on Social Media Usage and Competitive Advantage

Apoorv Durga, M. L. Singla
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7080-6.ch010
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Usage of social media within organizations' value chains has been increasing rapidly. There are several benefits and savings projected due to usage of social media. As a result, there is also a lot of hype that is typical of any new web phenomenon. On the other hand, saner voices are cautioning against excessive hype and point to high failure rate of social media initiatives. Lack of best practices or frameworks and incomplete understanding of how to make best use of social media are some of the reasons cited for this high failure of social media initiatives. In addition, there are several other aspects related to governance, people, and processes that need to be addressed to improve success rate of these initiatives. Therefore, effective implementation of a social media initiative includes addressing all those aspects that relate to governance, people, and processes. The authors use a construct, “Social Media Readiness,” that encapsulates these aspects. This chapter summarizes research that shows how readiness can impact social media use.
Chapter Preview

Focus Of This Chapter

Readiness is a multi-level and multi-dimensional construct and is very similar to constructs such as “Maturity Model” used in various other information management models (Durga, 2012; Pelz-Sharpe et al., 2009). Some of the similarities between a maturity model and a readiness model are:

  • 1.

    Both of them usually encapsulate multiple high-level categories or factors, with each of those factors consisting of multiple dimensions. These dimensions describe capabilities that are required by an organization for specific objectives. For example, the ECM Maturity Model (Pelz-Sharpe et al., 2009) describes capabilities required by an organization to be successful with respect to its information management initiatives. The readiness model described in this chapter describes factors required for the success of social media initiatives.

  • 2.

    Both readiness and maturity models typically describe a “graded set of capabilities” using multiple levels for each dimension. As an example, for a specific dimension, Level 4 will have incrementally better capabilities (or maturity or readiness) than will Levels 1 to 3.

  • 3.

    Organizations can use both these models to access and audit their current state as well as arrive at a roadmap for a future state. As an example, an organization can match characteristics of each level with their own state to arrive at what level they are currently at.

Since readiness is similar to maturity in certain ways (as described above), the focus of this chapter is not really on describing characteristics of each readiness level. Rather, the focus is on exploring how having such a model can help organizations achieve strategic outcomes. This research used competitive advantage as a strategic outcome; but a similar approach can be used to analyze other outcomes such as customer satisfaction or cost control.



What Is Social Media?

Social media “refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue” (Baruah, 2012). In that sense, it is not based on a new technology or concept but uses existing web-based and mobile technologies. However, what differentiates it from other media is its ability to turn one-way communication into an interactive dialogue (Baruah, 2012). Social media allows people and organizations to communicate and interact with others. Social media refers to “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). The keywords are “Web 2.0” and “User Generated Content” (or UGC, for short). Social media has also been described as being “an array of platforms that allow people to interact, create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks” (Carr et al., 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Readiness: This refers to factors that contribute to an organization’s readiness to handle issues related to information.

People Readiness: This relates to those human factors responsible for an organization’s performance.

Extent of Spread in the Value Chain: This refers to the usage of social media within an organization’s value chain. It consists of activities, with different areas of an organization’s functions, for which social media can be used.

Social Media Readiness: The extent to which an organization is prepared—with respect to factors related not just to technology but also with respect to organizational and business imperatives—to be able to implement social media initiatives successfully.

Competitive advantage: For the purpose of this chapter, the concept of competitive advantage as proposed by Porter in his 1985 work has been used as the basis. Porter describes three different ways that companies can use for competitive advantage: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus.

Organizational and Business Readiness: This refers to strategic and organizational considerations that are required for an organization to be ready.

Technology Readiness: This refers to the extent to which an organization is capable of making optimal use of technical infrastructure and architecture—for the purpose of employing social media technologies.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: