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When social means business: the potential of social computing tools to support collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure
 

When social means business: the potential of social computing tools to support collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure

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Hazel Hall's invited keynote paper presented at Innovation in e-information, Manchester 16-17 June 2009. This presentation draws on the project work discussed in the report at: ...

Hazel Hall's invited keynote paper presented at Innovation in e-information, Manchester 16-17 June 2009. This presentation draws on the project work discussed in the report at: http://drhazelhall.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/soc_comp_proj_rep_public_2008.pdf.

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    When social means business: the potential of social computing tools to support collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure When social means business: the potential of social computing tools to support collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure Presentation Transcript

    • When social means business: thepotential of social computing tools tosupport collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure Dr Hazel Hall Reader in Social Informatics Centre for Social Informatics School of Computing Edinburgh Napier University
    • Room demographicsWho uses what for purposes of collaborative work?  Blogs?  Wikis?  Social networking?  Instant messaging?  Microblogging?
    • Purposes of the TFPL-Napier studyEstablish main opportunities and risks of social computing tools within organisations for collaborative work purposes, as perceived by information and knowledge management professionals  Meet general interest of TFPL’s client base  Inform TFPL’s training and consultancy portfolio  Serve as pilot for larger, externally-funded piece of work
    • Focus on social computing toolsEstablish main opportunities and risks of social computing tools within organisations for collaborative work purposes, as perceived by information and knowledge management professionals  Licensed collaborative work platforms, e.g. SharePoint (Microsoft), Lotus Notes and Quickplace (IBM), E-rooms (Documentum)  “Mature” social software applications, e.g. instant messaging, blogs, wikis  Newer Web 2.0 applications, e.g. social networking, microblogging
    • Focus on collaborative work purposesEstablish main opportunities and risks of social computing tools within organisations for collaborative work purposes, as perceived by information and knowledge management professionals  Focus to date  Freely available social software for personal use  Academic studies that treat “older” applications in non-corporate environments, e.g. educational settings  Few studies on internal social computing environments  Lack of extant literature on newer tools, e.g. social networking and microblogging applications
    • Focus on perceptions of I&KM communityEstablish main opportunities and risks of social computing tools within organisations for collaborative work purposes, as perceived by information and knowledge management professionals  Rather than:  Journalists, e.g. concern over vulnerable groups  Educational researchers, e.g. goal of enhancement of classroom environment  Public relations professionals, e.g. efforts to improve corporate communications
    • Research focus 1: scale of implementationOrganisational uptake of social computing  Levels of adoption  Degree of access to tools  In general  By tool  By tool functionAttitudes of IM/KM staff to social computing  In general  By tool
    • Research foci 2 & 3: opportunity & riskAnticipated & actual, feared & realised (literature review) Themes Opportunities RisksProductivity Improved productivity Time-wasting through increased collaborationPractices Enhanced IM practice Erosion of IM practice, e.g. archiving & accessing exchanges, compromised securityBehaviours Positive cultural change Antisocial behaviour, e.g. bullying
    • Research activities: 12 weeks 2008Weeks 1-2 Weeks 3-8 Weeks 8-12 Weeks 10-12Literature Design of data collection Data analysis Writing upreviewing tools and data collectionPreface to Web-based survey Quantitative – Excel 14,500 wordstudy Focus groups Qualitative - manual report Interviews
    • Hazel Hall and ShooreshFocus group held at Golzari based at Napier inIDOX offices in Glasgow Edinburgh(31/07/08)Respondents to web- Melanie Goody and Belindabased survey (07- Blaswick based at TFPL in14/07/08) and Londonparticipants in telephoneinterviews (28/07 Focus group held at-01/08/08) based across IDOX/TFPL offices in Londonthe UK (23/07/08)
    • Data subjectsPopulation  TFPL contacts  Direct, e.g. clients, attendees at SharePoint Summits  Indirect, e.g. through the Scottish Information NetworkInvitation to participate  Face-to-face at TFPL Connect meeting June 2008  Survey and focus groups: by e-mail invitation  Possible to attend focus group, but not complete survey  Interviews: volunteers left contact details on survey
    • Study contributions Data set Data derived from Number of contributions 1 Web-based survey 57 Survey majority from public sector 2 London focus group 13 organisations. Organisation size = 3 Glasgow focus group 12 median 725 employees. 4 Interviews 14 96* *It was possible to make more than one contribution to the research, e.g. all who were interviewed completed the survey (96-14=82); similarly it was possible to complete the survey anonymously and attend a focus group .
    • Data collected, recorded & analysed Set Data collected Recording and analysis 1 Tool uptake within organisation; Excel for analysis of quantitative data. governance of tools; attitudes to Qualitative data coded up and analysed opportunity and risk; challenges; manually. demographic data 2&3 Participant reactions to, and Recorded as Word files and content discussions of, preliminary results integrated into report under main themes as of web-based survey. derived from analysis of survey data. Also posted to TFPL blog, e.g. http://blog.tfpl.com/tfpl/2008/07/index.html 3 Participant experience of Recorded as Word files and content implementation: as executed, integrated into report under main themes as planned or not yet undertaken derived from analysis of survey data.
    • Uptake of social computing for collaborative work Range in levels of adoption Sophisticated implementations with integrated “consumer” & licensed applicationsNon-provision
    • Uptake of social computing for collaborative work Range in levels of adoption Sophisticated implementations with integrated “consumer” & licensed applications Sense that the study came “too early” Sense that the study came “too early” High number of “don’t know” and “neutral” High number of “don’t know” and “neutral” responses to survey questions responses to survey questions Two thirds of respondents who provided additional Two thirds of respondents who provided additional free text comments at end of survey noted that the free text comments at end of survey noted that the impacts of social computing were yet to be felt impacts of social computing were yet to be felt Interviewees were cautious in drawing firm Interviewees were cautious in drawing firm conclusions conclusionsNon-provision
    • Access and encouragement
    • Access and encouragement Public sector Public sector Higher levels of access and Higher levels of access and encouragement encouragement Private sector Private sector Greater levels of actual usage Greater levels of actual usage Restricted use Restricted use Reported by 24% survey Reported by 24% survey respondents respondents Change management Change management investment concerns investment concerns Even/especially in cases of high Even/especially in cases of high financial outlay financial outlay
    • Enthusiasm amongst IM and KM staffLevels of enthusiasm for social computing for collaborative work amongst IM and KM staff = high  Increases collaboration and improves productivity in general  Facilitates knowledge and information sharing  Connects individuals and groups  Widens communication channels  Enhances IM practice  More obvious and better organisation of resources  Consolidation of material and reduction of silos  24 hour access  Induces positive cultural change, e.g. widened employee choice  retention
    • The biggest risk?
    • The biggest risk?Failure to capitalise on opportunities offered by social computing tools due to poor implementation management  Respondents familiar with this risk from earlier experiences, e.g. intranet developments from mid-90s onwards  This risk is not considered in the literature Like most things it’s about cultural change. A Like most things it’s about cultural change. A tool (however clever) can be used well/badly. tool (however clever) can be used well/badly. Therefore usual considerations apply around Therefore usual considerations apply around what purpose does it serve, selling it to the what purpose does it serve, selling it to the business, understanding business business, understanding business benefits/risks, giving staff skills to use [it/them] benefits/risks, giving staff skills to use [it/them] properly, providing standards and guidance properly, providing standards and guidance around use, encouraging good practice. around use, encouraging good practice.
    • Less prominent risksIM problems  Information sprawl (but not overload); archiving; means of accessing archives; (version control and information quality)Compromised security  (Legal infringement and disrepute theoretically valid, though not realised in practice); some leakage of confidential informationLowered productivity  Coping with IM problems; failure to adopt social computing tools  “If employees are going to waste time, they do not need social computing tools to do it”(Anti-social behaviour)
    • Top tools for IM and KM professionalsRank Tool Opportunities Risks posed 1 Wikis Information sharing Information quality in terms of wiki accuracy; IM practice Leakage of confidential Productivity data 2 Blogs Connecting individuals & groups, e.g. Disrepute unite separated team members Leakage of confidential Widening communication channels to data large audiences, e.g. promotion of work, opening up of conversations, feedback
    • Tool availability & usefulnessAvailability UsefulnessWikis WikisBlogging BloggingSocial networking Instant messagingInstant messaging Social networkingMicroblogging Microblogging
    • Tool availability, usefulness & usageAvailability Usefulness UsageWikis Wikis Social networkingBlogging Blogging Instant messagingSocial networking Instant messaging WikisInstant messaging Social networking BloggingMicroblogging Microblogging Microblogging
    • Tool availability, usefulness & usageAvailability Usefulness UsageWikis Wikis Social networkingBlogging Blogging Instant messagingSocial networking Instant messaging WikisInstant messaging Social networking BloggingMicroblogging Microblogging Microblogging
    • Tool availability, usefulness & usageAvailability Usefulness UsageWikis Wikis Social networkingBlogging Blogging Instant messagingSocial networking Instant messaging WikisInstant messaging Social networking BloggingMicroblogging Microblogging Microblogging
    • Tool availability, usefulness & usageAvailability Usefulness UsageWikis Wikis Social networkingBlogging Blogging Instant messagingSocial networking Instant messaging WikisInstant messaging Social networking BloggingMicroblogging Microblogging Microblogging Ready availability of a tool does not guarantee popularity Under-exploitation of most valuable tools? Microblogging is barely on the radar, yet consider its features…
    • MicrobloggingElements of social networking  End user determines source of information flow based on “social network” that he/she buildsElements of instant messaging  Interactions are brief and to the point, real time, “familiar” formatElements of wiki  Public nature of conversations encourages collaborative building of new knowledgeElements of blogging  Microblog, with easy linking to other resources
    • MicrobloggingElements of social networking  End user determines source of information flow based on “social Plus elements of network” that Plus elements of he/she builds conversation, providing: conversation, providing:Elements of instant messaging 1. Meta-knowledge 1. brief and to the  Interactions are Meta-knowledge point, real time, “familiar” format 2. Problem reformulation 2. Problem reformulationElements of wiki Validation 3. Validation 3. 4. Legitimisation  Public nature 4. Legitimisation encourages collaborative building of of conversations new knowledgeElements of blogging  Microblog, with easy linking to other resources
    • 5 stages of Twitter acceptance http://www.slideshare.net/minxuan/how- twitter-changed-my-life-presentationDenialII think Twitter sounds stupid. think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone careWhy would anyone care what other people are doingwhat other people are doing right now?right now?
    • 5 stages of Twitter acceptance http://www.slideshare.net/minxuan/how- twitter-changed-my-life-presentation Presence OK, II don’t really get why OK, don’t really get why people love it, but II guess people love it, but guess Denial II should at least create an should at least create an account. account.II think Twitter sounds stupid. think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone careWhy would anyone care what other people are doingwhat other people are doing right now?right now?
    • 5 stages of Twitter acceptance http://www.slideshare.net/minxuan/how- twitter-changed-my-life-presentation Dumping I’m on Twitter and use it for I’m on Twitter and use it for pasting links to my blog pasting links to my blog posts and pointing people to posts and pointing people to Presence my press releases. my press releases. OK, II don’t really get why OK, don’t really get why people love it, but II guess people love it, but guessDenial II should at least create an should at least create an account. account.II think Twitter sounds stupid. think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone careWhy would anyone care what other people are doingwhat other people are doing right now?right now?
    • 5 stages of Twitter acceptance http://www.slideshare.net/minxuan/how- twitter-changed-my-life-presentation Conversing II don’t always post useful don’t always post useful stuff, but II do use Twitter to stuff, but do use Twitter to have authentic 1x1 have authentic 1x1 Dumping conversations. conversations. I’m on Twitter and use it for I’m on Twitter and use it for pasting links to my blog pasting links to my blog posts and pointing people to posts and pointing people to Presence my press releases. my press releases. OK, II don’t really get why OK, don’t really get why people love it, but II guess people love it, but guess Denial II should at least create an should at least create an account. account.II think Twitter sounds stupid. think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone careWhy would anyone care what other people are doingwhat other people are doing right now?right now?
    • 5 stages of Twitter acceptance http://www.slideshare.net/minxuan/how- twitter-changed-my-life-presentation Conversing Microblogging II don’t always post useful don’t always post useful stuff, but II do use Twitter to stuff, but do use Twitter to have authentic 1x1 have authentic 1x1 Dumping conversations. conversations. I’m using Twitter to publish I’m using Twitter to publish I’m on Twitter and use it for I’m on Twitter and use it for useful information that useful information that pasting links to my blog pasting links to my blog posts and pointing people to Presenceread, and to posts and pointing people to people read, and to people my press releases. my press releases. OK, II don’t really1x1 authentically. conversebutget why OK, don’t really why conversebutgetguess people love it, people love it, 1x1 authentically. II guessDenial II should at least create an should at least create an account. account.II think Twitter sounds stupid. think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone careWhy would anyone care what other people are doingwhat other people are doing right now?right now?
    • Back to the biggest risk: “wrong”implementationChallenge of understanding changes in the environment where social may mean business  Organisational level  Lack of investment/partial investment/restricted access  Lack of investment in change management  Personal level  “Don’t know”/ “neutral”/caution  Consider your own forays into social computing  Work/social conversation  Accounts and identities  Microblogging issue today parallels e-mail 15-20 years ago?
    • … and parallels with the telephoneIllustrated with this clip from Topsy Turvy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z9cpzz6Cp0
    • Implications for information andknowledge management professionals  Explore the value of social computing  Sell “right” message on value to the organisation  Play an active role in implementation planning  Choice of tools  Management of roll-out  Design of governance guidelines  Become mediators in social computing business environments  Explore microblogging
    • More Gilbert & SullivanScottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre explore Facebook: our final conference treat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7RrHXNyONc With thanks to Kev Sutherland
    • When social means business: thepotential of social computing tools tosupport collaborative work as part of the organisational information infrastructure Dr Hazel Hall Reader in Social Informatics Centre for Social Informatics School of Computing Edinburgh Napier University