Social Leadership: Exploring Social Media and the Military – A New Leadership Tool

Social Leadership: Exploring Social Media and the Military – A New Leadership Tool

Scott Campbell Mackintosh
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-203-1.ch008
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This chapter will identify the military’s approach to social media and outline the security controversy it views as an inherent issue associated with condoning and promoting the use of social media. It will then discuss how that approach is evolving with the passage of time and the rapid adoption of social media by society as a whole; examining the balance between security concerns and obvious organizational benefits. In discussing social media as a vehicle of transformational leadership this chapter will reveal untapped benefits of social media in a military context and examine where and how it could be adopted. In closing this chapter will make recommendations, which would facilitate a better adoption of various forms of social media by the military.
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If Social Knowledge is the use of social media to create, transfer, and preserve organizational knowledge – past, present, and future – with a view to achieving the organizational vision; it can be can argued that the military is undergoing a transformation with respect to its approach to this new battlefront and what vision it wants to create.

In the early days of social media the military treated it, as it does with all unknowns, solely as a threat. There were, and to a large degree still exist, serious concerns around social media sites and operational security (OPSEC). Fears were rampant that social media had the potential to put sensitive information into the wrong hands.

In February of 2008 the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) reported on the Canadian Forces attempts to ban use, by members, of social media sites such as Facebook citing concerns around OPSEC. They reported on a memo issued by DND to warn members of the dangers:

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