Katri luukka dissertation without appendices


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A study of social media leadership experiences

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Katri luukka dissertation without appendices

  1. 1. K. LUUKKAManagers’ Experiences of the Use of the Social Media as Part of TheirLeadership: Towards to the Social Media Leadership Theory MBA University of Wales 2011
  2. 2. DECLARATIONThis work has not previously been accepted in substance for any degree and is notbeing concurrently submitted in candidature for any degree.Signed………………………………………….. (candidate)Date………………………………………………STATEMENT 1This work is the result of my own investigations, except where otherwise stated. Wherecorrection services have been used, the extent and nature of the correction is clearlymarked in a footnote(s).Other sources are acknowledged by footnotes giving explicit references. A bibliographyis appended.Signed………………………………………….. (candidate)Date………………………………………………STATEMENT 2I hereby give consent for my work, if accepted, to be available for photocopying and forinter-library loan, and for the title and summary to be made available to outsideorganisations.Signed………………………………………….. (candidate)Date……………………………………………… 2
  3. 3. AcknowledgementsMy interest in social media leadership started along with my MBA studies three yearsago. Since then my use of social media has extended from personal use to be a part ofmy leadership. I have learnt so much about management and leadership with my fellowstudents, that first of all, I want to thank you all for the peer support during the wholestudy process.Our MBA course director Steve Griffiths, many thanks to you for the confidence to getour assignments and dissertation done in time, you were right. My dissertationsupervisor Lucy Griffiths, thank you for your guidance and online discussions onFacebook. Lucy, your supportive and encouraging feedback made me work in plannedschedule. Mrs Marja Orpana-Niitlahti, the friendliest person in the world, thank you forlanguage maintenance.My boss, principal Marita Modenius, I owe my thanks to you. You have encouraged methroughout my MBA studies, even when studying in one‟s work context was not alwayseasy. I wish that every worker, at least once in his/her life, would have the opportunity tohave a boss like you, Marita: positive, supportive and visionary. My adult educationmanagement team: Hannu, Hely, Hilkka, Iiris, Jyrki, Kaarina, Risto and Tuula. How can Iever thank you enough? You have all been supportive and willing to test the possibilitiesoffered by social media in your own leadership. It has been a pleasure to share theexperiences with you and alongside renew myself as a director.And last but not least, I want to thank my family. My husband Eero and our daughtersSanna and Marleena have shared everyday life online and offline with me, and havereminded me that there is life also outside and after a dissertation. Sanna and Marleenahave leaded me to use social media as part of my life. I thank you both. You have beenmy inspiration and strength while doing my MBA studies.Helsinki, 20th March 2011Katri Luukka 3
  4. 4. ABSTRACTThis research had three aims: 1) to investigate managers‟ social media leadershipexperiences, how open leadership theory (Li 2010) works in practical leadershipsituations, 2) to research how negative experiences, feelings and face to face leadingare part of social media leadership and 3) to expand researcher‟s knowledge and skillsof social media and to find useful practical solutions for the use of social media as partof her leadership in an adult education organization from offline /face-to-face leadingculture to new online- offline leading culture.The theoretical background of the study highlights social media tools: blogs, Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Shared documents and Video Conferences and social media‟spossibilities to improve business leadership. The leadership theories are presented fromtrait theories (Taylorism) to behavioral leadership theories. After that followscontingency leadership theories and the recent transactional and transformationalleadership theories. Finally Charlene Li‟s (2010) open leadership theory is presented.This research had a case study and action research approaches. Data has beencollected from six international managers on Facebook‟s private discussion group. Datawas analyzed by using a content analysis method.Summary of findings was that Li‟s (2010) open leadership theory considers the basicsfor the social media leadership theory. However, there is a need to develop a moredetailed social media leadership theory, based on the transformation of communicationfrom face-to-face leadership, offline working culture to the new online-offline workingculture. Li‟s (2010) open leadership theory had disadvantage in that it doesn‟t putattention to: 1) sustainable and green business while using more social media as partof leadership, 2) how negative experiences of the use of social media should behandled, 3) comparing face-to-face- leading and online social networking leading and 4)discussion of changes to the emotional part of leadership while working changes fromoffline to online working culture. The researcher‟s knowledge and skills have expandedon how to use social media as part of her leadership in an adult education organizationduring this research project.Keywords: social media, leadership, open leadership 4
  5. 5. CONTENTSABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………………..41 INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………....82 REVIEW OF LITERATURE………………………………………………………………..102.1 Social Media..……………………………………………………………………………..10 2.1.1 An Introduction to Social Media………………………………………..10 2.1.2 Social Media Tools: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Shared documents and Video Conferences……………………………………13 2.1.3 Social Media‟s Possibilities to Improve Business and Leadership….192.2 Leadership Theories………………………………………………………………..…….23 2.2.1 A Brief History of Leadership Theories…………………………..…….23 2.2.2 Transformational Leadership Theory…………………………..………24 2.2.3 Open Leadership Theory………………………………………..………263 METHODOLOGY………………………………………………………………………..….30 3.1 Research Set-up, Aims and Questions ……………………………………..……….30 3.2 Data Collection……………………………………………………………………..…...32 3.3 Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………..……...33 3.4 Evaluation of the Research………………………………………………...…………..344 RESULTS……………………………………………………………………………...……..374.1 Managers‟ Use of Social Media as Part of Their Work Now………………………....374.2 Managers‟ Experiences Related to the Open Leadership…………………………….41 4.2.1 Sharing in Open Leadership………………………………………….....41 4.2.2 Cultural issues in Open Leadership…………………………………....43 4.2.3 Transformation in Open Leadership…………………………………....44 4.2.4 Mind-sets and Traits in Open Leadership…………………………...…46 4.2.5 Learning in Open Leadership……………………………………………48 4.2.6 Benefits in Open Leadership…………………………………………….50 4.2.7 Monitoring in Open Leadership………………………………………....51 4.2.8 Risks in Open Leadership……………………………………………….53 5
  6. 6. 4.3 Managers‟ Experiences of the Negative Issues, Feelings and Face-to-face Leadingin Social Media Leadership…………………………………………………….....................54 4.3.1 Negative Experiences in Social Media Leadership…………………...54 4.3.2 Feelings in Social Media Leadership…………………………………...55 4.3.3 Face-to-Face- leading in Social Media Leadership…………………...574.4 Social Media as Part of Managers‟ Leadership in the Future…………………...……584.5 The Researcher‟s Experiences and Use of Social Media as a Result of ResearchProject…………………………………………………………………………………….…….604.6 Discussion of Findings……………………………………………………………………675 CONLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS…………………….……716 BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………..…75APPENDICES:Appendix 1. Participants of the ResearchAppendix 2. A Matrix of the Facebook‟s Group Discussion Themes 6
  7. 7. List of Figures:Figure 1. A Matrix for evaluation of external forces against internal capability…………19Figure 2. A Feeling mirror; critical reflection as a tool for learning from experiences….61Figure 3. A Quick test for manager‟s and organization‟s social media skills……………63 7
  8. 8. 1 INTRODUCTIONTime magazine has named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a Person of theYear (Time 2010). One reason for this nomination is how social networking has duringthe year 2010 moved from a personal communications tool to a business tool thatbusiness leaders are using to transform communications with their employees andcustomers, as it shifts from one-way transmission of information to two-way interaction(George 2010). Also a radical transformation that journalism is experiencing is a clearexample of how the world of communication is changing to digital all the time (Cambiéand Ooi, 2009 p. 9, TNS 2010). The ministry of Finance has launched the Finnishnational online customer service program (SADe) in 2009. The aim of the program is tocontribute all key online customer services for citizens and enterprises before 2013. AllFinnish public services should be available online for the customers then. The aim isalso to reconcile information technology systems to work together better (SADe 2009).The Ministry of Finance has also published Finnish National Social Media InformationSecurity Guidelines in December 2010 (Ministry of Finance 2010). An aim of thisguideline is to encourage administration in the public sector to use social media as partof work with better security. Generation Y, the 76 million Millennials born between 1982and 2000; are looking for meaningful work where they can express their potential. Thevoice they respect most is that of authenticity and competence, the voice of socialmedia (Cambié and Ooi 2009, 64-65.) Tapscott (2010 p. 30) calls this generation the“grown up digital generation”. The information technology is developing all the time andalso citizens‟ skills especially Generation Y‟s skills to use information technology viasocial media are changing them into publishers, which is going to changecommunication structures between people and organizations (Safko and Brake, 2009 p.69-94).This research focuses on social media as part of leadership due to the fact that there isa pressure to change a traditional adult education business to online business by usingmore social media tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as part of work andleadership. The pressure comes from this changing world, where the new youngcustomers are used to communicating and working on the Web. The researcher worksas a vice principal in one of the largest adult education organizations in Finland. Theorganization‟s current leadership culture was based at the beginning of the research 8
  9. 9. purely on face- to-face leading and therefore an action research approach was taken asa framework for this study to find out new solutions to improve social media as part ofmanagement team‟s leadership access. Charlene Li‟s (2010) open leadership theorywas chosen as a theoretical background for this study. Open leadership theory statesthat sharing is a key issue while using social media tools and it is going to changeorganization‟s culture transparent and therefore there is a need to transformorganization‟s culture as well (Li 2010). This research had three aims: 1) to investigatemanagers‟ social media leadership experiences, and how open leadership theory (Li2010) works in practical leadership situations, 2) to research how negative experiences,feelings and face-to-face leading are part of social media leadership and 3) to expandresearcher‟s knowledge and skills of social media and to find useful practical solutionsfor the use of social media as part of her leadership in an adult education organizationfrom an offline /face-to-face leading culture to a new online-offline leading culture.At the beginning of this study the researcher used Jue et. al.‟s (2010) definition of socialmedia to describe to the research participants, what social media meant in this study.Jue et. al. (2010 p. 44) defines social media as follows: “today social mediaencompasses all the Internet-enabled capabilities for communicating through differentmeans: audio, video, text, images and every other combination or permutationimaginable”. At the end of this study after analysis of the empirical data, the researchermade her own definition for social media. “Social media is collaborative online workingby using social media tools or social networking communities and other Internet basedsolutions to achieve a common goal for online working” (Luukka 2011a, 21.2.2011).This research report has the following structure. After introduction there followsliterature review of the social media and leadership theories. Then follows methodology-chapter which includes: 1) research set-up, aims and questions, 2) data collection, 3)data analysis and 4) evaluation of the research. After that the results are presented thefollowing order: 1) managers‟ use of social media as part of their work now, 2)managers‟ experiences related to the open leadership, 3) managers‟ experiences of thenegative issues, feelings and face-to-face leading in social media leadership, 4) socialmedia as part of managers‟ leadership in the future, 5) researcher‟s experiences anduse of social media as a result of research project and 6) ddiscussion of findings. At the 9
  10. 10. end of the research report are conclusions, limitations and recommendations and finallybibliography.2 REVIEW OF LITERATUREThe literature review considers two aspects for this study: social media and leadership.The social media chapter introduces basic concepts of Web 2.0 and social media andalso criticism against it. After that follows an overview of social media tools: blogs,Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, shared documents and video conferences and finallysocial media‟s possibilities to improve business and leadership and its benefits anddoubts. After social media follows the leadership chapter which has an introduction tothe history of leadership theories from the beginning of 1900 trait leadership theories tocurrent transformation and to the latest open leadership theory.2.1 Social Media2.1.1 An Introduction to Social MediaWeb 2.0 (Relationship Web) and Social MediaTim O‟Reilly (founder of O‟Reilly Media) used term Web 2.0 to describe the significantshift in how software developers and users were interacting with the Web in 2004. Youcould not do this with earlier Web sites, which were primarily used for two things: toprovide information or as Web services. Web 2.0 is working like a relationship Web forusers. Organizations use sites to attract, create, build and deepen relationships withpeople: internally with employees and externally with customers, partners, investors orprospective employees and customers. (Brown, 2009 p. 9, Lincoln, 2009 p. 7, PaukerKreizberg 2009, Mustonen, 2009 p.10-11.) Term social media refers to activities,practices, and behaviors among online communities, where people share information,knowledge, and opinions by using Web 2.0 technologies for conversational interactions(Safko and Brake, 2009 p. 6-7). The idea of communication through social media in webpages is that they are open to everyone. The social media based on web. 2.0 (Funk2009, Cesar 2008, Shuen 2008), where, for example, Facebook is an online socialnetworking site (Baloun 2007, Holzner 2009) and Second Life (DeMesa 2009,Freedman 2008, Terdiman 2008) is a virtual social networking site. Web 2.0 are webbased platforms, which provide solutions for online social networking communities. 10
  11. 11. Mustonen (2009, 8) continues that social web can be defined as the online place wherepeople with a common interest can gather to share thoughts, comments, opinions andother information. Social media can also seen largely as “all the Internet-enabledcapabilities for communicating through different means: audio, video, text, images andevery other combination or permutation imaginable” (Jue et. al., 2010 p. 44). Socialmedia (Web 2.0) is interactive, where users expect to be able to participate andgenerate content and voice opinion and get immediate feedback. Users expect Websites to be user-centric. Belsky (2010 p. 129-130) argues that social media tool likeFacebook and Twitter are making the creative process more transparent. The use ofsocial media tools and social networking are leading organizations towards to thetransparency (Evans D., 2010 p. 207-208, Phillips and Young, 2009 p.37-44, Scott,2010 p. 191). Social media culture means interactivity in the organisations. (Lincoln,2009 p.10, Pauker Kreizberg 2009.) Social media has changed the communicationbetween companies and customers and therefore it can also call as “consumer-generated media” (Mangold and Faulds 2009) or consumer-generated content (Taylorand Kent 2010).Pauker Kreizberg (2009) states five characteristics for the friendly social media (Web2.0) culture: 1) transparent (open about their actions), 2) user centric (focus on people,both internal and external), 3) agile (are nimble and quick to adjust), 4) empowering(give people information and the ability to take action) and 5) creative (encourageexperimentation and innovation). She also indicates ten barriers to friendly social mediaculture: 1) Security (ensure security without stifling creativity and communication), 2)Compliance (balance enterprise needs vs. ease and accessibility of Web tools), 3)Usability (core competence in usability and user centricity are essential), 4)Competition (more agile, creative and smaller companies may present a real threat), 5)Empowerment (people go online to get info they need and take action), 6) Public Face(user-generated posts can remain available for years, anywhere, on the Web), 7)Transparency (information is more open, easily found and circulated), 8) GenerationGap (Boomers and Millennials use the Web differently), 9) Communication (effectivecross-functional communication is difficult whether on- or offline and 10) Behaviour(employees need to know company policy for online behaviour). (Pauker Kreizberg2009.) 11
  12. 12. Pauker Kreizberg (2009) states also four strategies for the managers to improve friendlysocial media culture: 1) help your leadership figure it out in terms of your business, 2)focus on relationships and demonstrate that value through user experiences, 3) coveryour assets with practices that protect the company but do not stifle creativity and 4)provide training that closes the gap in communication - whether it is across generations,functions, language, culture or physical proximity. (Pauker Kreizberg 2009.) Fernando(2010) has also created eight notions as best practice steering points for managers toimprove social media. His steps to social media are following:1) understand the end goals, 2) formulate strategy, 3) calibrate appropriate social mediatools to match strategy, 4) build an open extensible platform, 5) embody strongtaxonomy and structure, 6) assemble staff for involvement and knowledge contribution,7) anticipate and embrace varying use cases and 8) develop a company maturitymodel. Fernardo‟s (2010) social media steering points are quite similar to PaukerKreizberg‟s (2009) strategies but they are more detailed like calibrate appropriate socialmedia tools to match strategy, assemble staff for involvement and knowledgecontribution and build an open extensible platform.Criticism Against Social MediaJain Palvia and Pancaro (2010) are worried about how humans are turning into hermits.They argue that cyber space social interaction makes students and members ofcommunities lose touch with real social interactions and experiences. Rather thancalling somebody by phone, many people prefer using Facebook or similar websites toleave a comment on the receiver person‟s profile wall. The lack of synchronouscommunication and decreased desire to communicate face to face is transformingcommunication patterns. They continue that these technological toys make our liveseasier and presumably more productive, while enabling our separation from the realworld. As a conclusion they make a statement: “although we may never return to the“golden age” of face to face conversing with our fellow human beings, we need to becognizant of having a good balance between using technology mode and face to facemode of communication. There is a lot that can be learned from a person‟s tone of voiceand facial expressions through actively listening and observing. The global easyconnectivity offered by networking sites is turning humans into hermits”. (Jain Palviaand Pancaro 2010.) 12
  13. 13. Jain Palvia and Pancaros‟ (2010) critique is full of emotions to get back “the old goodtimes” before social media. The critique is quite heavy against social media, but it is notunusual to hear this kind of critique in everyday life. They argue that “cyber space socialinteraction makes students and members of communities to lose touch with real socialinteractions and experiences” shows that Jain Palvia and Pancaros are presenting thethinking which make a difference between real life and online interactions. The newGeneration Y, the 76 million Millennials born between 1982 and 2000 are not separatingonline-offline worlds like the older generations do, because they are the “grown updigital generation” like Tapscott (2010) calls them. Even though there are alsomistakes, which are possible to make in social media, which Howard (2011) highlightsfollowing way: 1) attempting to be an expert in everything, 2) providing vagueinformation about giveaways, 3) trying to reach everyone, all the time, 4) trying to beperfect and 5) spending time that you simply don‟t have.Carr (2010) highlights, how the internet is changing the way we think, read andremember. He argues that reading is now skimming and scrolling with little patience. Healso argues that using of the Internet gives a quick access to large quantities ofinformation with search filtering tools, and an easy way to share opinions with a smallbut interested audience. Even though, by using the Internet, you are losing the touch ofbooks and magazines, the benefits of Internet are bigger and therefore for some people,the very idea of reading a book has come to seem old-fashioned. (Carr, 2010 p. 8.) Carr(2010 p. 16) continues that the more you are using Internet the more your brains arebecoming “hungry of the Internet” and you want to be connected all the time. Lanier(2010 p. 83) is worried about young people, who are getting stressed to keep theirsocial networks (Facebook, Twitter) and they have to continuously to maintain theirnetworks reputation.2.1.2 Social Media Tools: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Shared documentsand Video ConferencesBlogsThe use of blogs as part of leadership is quite common nowadays. The researcher hasalso written blogs as part of her work over two years. The author‟s social medialeadership blogs which are part of this research project are also secondary data of the 13
  14. 14. research and therefore blogs are presented more deeply with SWOT- analysis thanother social media tools in this literature review (Luukka 2011a, Luukka 2011b).Web logs are better known as blogs (Blossom, 2009 p. 32, Briggs and Burke, 2009 p.281, Burrows 2007, Kilpi, 2006 p.11). There were 60 million active blogs in 2007(Burrows 2007, 20). It is very difficult to find reliable updated information of active blogsfrom latest years because there are thousands of opportunities for writing blogs withblog tools and also writing blogs on organisation‟s Web pages. There are several toolsfor searching blogs from Web: Blogdigger, Bloglines, Feedster, Google Blog Search,PubSub, Technorati, and IceRocket. (Faigley and Selzer 2009.) Private persons arewriting blogs e.g. to expose their public opinions and for keeping their online journals.Blogs are also used as a learning method to improve and share reflection on e-learning(Ferriter 2009, Imperatore 2009, Yang 2009). Enterprises are writing blogs for improvingtheir business brand but also for internal communication as to implement theorganisation‟s strategy for personnel (Kilpi, 2006 p. 25-27.). Blogs can be useful inshowing the expertise of those within the organisation, but need to be carefullycontrolled to avoid releasing damaging information (Chaffey, 2009 p. 130). A typicalblog combines text, images, and links to other blogs or related web pages. The RSS(really simple syndication) feeds are simply “portable” versions of blogs or other mediasites that can be read via applications called newsreaders (Battelle, 2007 p. 266). RSSprovides the updated information for you (Li and Bernoff, 2009 p. 54). An importantfeature of blogging is that readers are able to leave their own personal comments in aninteractive format. (Burrows 2007.) An ever-growing number of online markets are usingblogs to replace more traditional e-commerce web sites (Meyerson 2008). Blogs have alot of interactive opportunities e.g. sending sequential posts from site´s owner or visitorsand creating a quick online presence, sharing ideas, offering RSS, showcasing audioand video clips.Strengths of BlogsIf the organisation‟s brand is well known locally, nationally and also internationally, the blogscould also be well known and supporting organisation‟s brand e.g. Finnair‟s (Finnair 2011) andThe White House‟s blogs (White House 2011). The organisation‟s web pages should becustomer based. The blogs should be focused on particular customers (potential and current) 14
  15. 15. and other enterprises. The distribution in this case means information distribution. Theorganisation‟s web pages information distribution should be high. A link to blogs should befound on organisation‟s front page, therefore the openness of the blogs should also be high andtherefore the opportunity to spread information is also high. The blog‟s linking and blogmarketing are promoting blog‟s distribution.Weakness of BlogsWeb blogs and also intranet blogs should be connected with organisation‟s strategy.The intermediaries could be used for organisation‟s blogs marketing. The bloggers‟,who are writing blogs should be skilful. The cross-channel support between blogs,bloggers, inside the organisation or between similar kinds of other organisations couldalso help blogs distribution. The writing of blogs is linkage with cultural matters (Scobleand Israel, 2006 p. 115-131). The openness of all people is not naturally high, thereforethere is no habit of public discussions. Because the openness of blogs is high, theopportunity to spread information is high and also false and bad information can spreadquickly and wildly.Opportunities of BlogsThe blogging could be an excellent way for cross-selling for different kinds oforganisations. This means that there should be more co-operation among organisationand its partners in the same business field. Blogging is an opportunity for new marketsand services for people, who are used to use the internet as a tool for communicationand for doing business. Blogs could also implement organisation‟s strategy in a publicformat for personnel using intranet blogs.Threats of BlogsThe blogging could lead to lost customers, if the blogs are written badly and if theydamage organisation‟s brand. Blogging as a social media and new entrants can frightenpersonnel. They can be afraid if the writing takes too much time (Financial Times 2010)and if there is no time for discussion with blogs on the web in this busy working life.People are worried with regard to the new competitive products especially, ifcompetitors get secret information about the organisation through its blogs. Blogs can 15
  16. 16. lead to conflicts, if there are misunderstandings between blogger and readers or e-customers. Also threats of e-business security (Ghosh 1998), work against using blogs.Social media networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedInFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are globally the most widely used social medianetworks for private and business purposes and therefore they are chosen to bepresented as examples of leadership social media tools. Social networking services(e.g. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) focus on building online communities of peoplewho share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests andactivities of others. (Bennet et al. 2010.) These social networking sites generally provideseveral ways for users to interact and communicate with each other including writing toeach other‟s profile, instant messaging, chat rooms, e-mail, webcams, file sharing,blogging and discussion groups. Social networking tools foster transparentcommunication visible to all, the collaborative input of any employee, could berecognised and potentially be rewarded. Status and prestige incentives are thus builtinto the collaborative process, which are the key factors to contribute to productivity andsatisfaction of employees. Transparency is the key issue of social networking. Thebenefits of social networking are the following: community, collaboration andcontribution. (Bennet 2010.) Eyrich et al. (2008) argues that social media has moved tothe status of strategic tool and more practitioners are developing skills related to onlinecommunication technology.FacebookFacebook has more than 500 million active users. As many as 50 % of the active userslog on to Facebook every day. The average user has 130 friends. People spend over700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. About 70% of Facebook users are outsidethe United States from 190 countries. (Facebook 2011.)Facebook is a social networking site that enables users to connect by creating personalinformation profiles, inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles, andsending emails and instant messages between each other (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010.)Safko and Brake (2009 p. 452) continues that depending on the setup, users arenotified when someone in their network updates their page or status. Users create theirpages based on their personal preferences, add others to their network groups 16
  17. 17. andshare their experiences with pictures, links or videos. Finally Safko and Brake (2009p.453) states that Facebook suits for a quick and convenient way to update a multitudeof friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances on what you are doing. Businesses useFacebook for advertising.On each social media tool there is a possibility for a user to set up his/her own privacysettings. E.g. Facebook has a very clear privacy policy, which all the users must accept.The privacy policy includes: 1) information Facebook receives, 2) information you sharewith third parties, 3) how Facebook use your information, 4) how Facebook sharesinformation, 5) how you can view, change, or remove information and 6) how Facebookprotects information. The user of Facebook decides with whom he/she wants to shareinformation: a) with friends, b) friends of friends or c) with everyone (Holzner, 2009 p.27-31).TwitterTwitter has 175 million registered users with 370, 000 new sign-ups every day. 95million tweets/messages have been sent daily. Twitter introduces the organization as aninformation network where millions of people, organizations, and businesses use it todiscover and share new information. (Twitter 2011.)Twitter is a micro blogging application that allows sending short, text-based posts of 140characters or less (Brown, 2009 p. 38, Jain Palvia and Pancaro 2010, Kaplan andHeanlein 2010, Phillips and Young, 2009 p. 17). In Twitter, the messages are calledtweets (Briggs and Burke, 2009 p. 286). Twitter‟s users can post original tweets undertheir Twitter accounts and they can “retweet”, which means posting another user‟stweet. Twitter users have a profile page, which describes them and indicates theirfollowers and whom they follow. When following somebody‟s tweets, you receive theirtweets. Twitter users are both consumers of tweets (followers) and producers of tweets(followed). (Fischer and Reuber 2011.)Berinato (2010): Six ways to find value in Twitter‟s noise: 1) learn about competitivelandscape, (Tweets about your product that include the names of rival brands canreveal a lot about market positioning), 2) look for unexpected themes (persistent words 17
  18. 18. point to persistent ideas), 3) dip deeper in to the stream (while stream graphs give anoverall impression of what people are tweeting about, it is important to know what otherwords are being used in relation to those in the stream), 4) look for user experiences(product testing and reviews can‟t replace user reactions), 5) learn why negative wordsare coming up (finding negative words is a good way to locate consumers‟ pain points)and 6) learn about conversation dominators (words that suddenly dominate the tweetstream mean something has happened that‟s worth learning about).LinkedInLinkedIn express that they are the world‟s largest professional network on the Internetwith more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories. More than halfof LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States. There were nearly twobillion people searches on LinkedIn in 2010. (LinkedIn 2011.)LinkedIn is a professional (business) social networking site (Jain Palvia and Pancaro2010, Mangold and Faulds 2009, Qualman, 2009 p. 225-226). Professional networkingsites are more of business nature than social. These promote events and activities inthe professional lives of people allowing them e.g. to share information related to a newjob, a job achievement, job promotion, recommendation of another colleague in generalor specifically for a job category and job availability in a company or in the marketplace(Jain Palvia and Pancaro 2010, Qualman, 2009 p. 225-226). There is also a possibilityfor professional group discussions and sending messages between colleagues andfriends.Collaborative Online Work: Shared Documents and Video ConferencesDocuments sharing by using e.g. Google Docs and WIKI- social media tools isproviding an opportunity to work online together anytime and anywhere. Shareddocuments also allow organizing data, controlling access, and working in real time, andinstantly publishing documents on Web pages, blogs, within groups or companies(Safko and Brake, 2009 p. 581). Shared documents value is as a tool for communitycollaboration (Jue et.al., 2010 p. 130). Blossom (2009 p. 33-34) continues thatcollaborative publishing and/or social network publishing are enabling groups of people 18
  19. 19. to collaborate on common documents and to build and use relationship with otherpeople using tools that let people share information about their personal andprofessional needs and interests. Online conferencing with videos, chat, or webinarswith two-way communication are available for free or at low cost (e.g. Skype, GoogleTalk) (Phillips and Young, 2009 p.19-20). Skype provides one-to-one, one-to-many,many-to-one and many-to-many real time calls with other Skypes and also inexpensivelocal, national and international calls to phones and mobiles (Safko and Brake, 2009 p.417- 419).2.1.3 Social Media’s Possibilities to Improve Business and Leadership Social Media as Part of Market Driven StrategyThe Perrot‟s matrix for external forces and internal capability is illuminates the problemwhere traditional business is nowadays struggling to use on not to use social media(e.g. blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) as part of their business plan (Chaffey,2009 p. 275). Market Driving Market Driven Strategy: Customer Strategy: Keep HIGH education and pace with market Internal capability / Incentives motivation threats/ opportunities Status Quo: Capacity Building: Don‟t Bother Build for transition to Electronic LOW Commerce LOW HIGH External Forces / IncentivesFigure 1. A Matrix for evaluation of external forces against internal capability 19
  20. 20. Market driven strategy leads to the benefits for the first or early movers of using e.g.social media as part of leadership. The early movers benefits of online business are thefollowing: - the ability to amass a critical mass of customers, - developing distinct business models to exploit the advantages of the internet for trading, - gaining economies of scale through exploiting network externalities, - building customer loyalty through brand recognition, - building in switching costs to the website, - building relationship with customers electronically, - establishing partnership with key industry players ahead of competitors, - influencing the industry infrastructure, - refining the value proposition and adding value to customers through innovations, - managing both physical and virtual value chain for competitive advantage, - building an understanding of customers and their buying habits via the internet and - becoming a learning organisation. (Combe, 2006 p. 306.)Combe (2006 p. 302) argues that to compete effectively in the internet economyrequires managers to address the following criteria: 1) draw up a business plan, 2)determine what is to be sold or what service is to be delivered, 3) have a good qualitywebsite design, 4) ensure security, 5) set appropriate delivery times, 6) create a brand,ensure good customer service, 7) promote the website, 8) pricing, 9) define terms andconditions of sale and 10) ensure scalability of technology. Chen (2001) identifiesseven things that needed to be aligned in strategic changing to an online (virtual)organisation: 1) strategic, 2) systems, 3) structure, 4) style, 5) staff, 6) skills and 7)shared values.Social Media BenefitsMany business researchers have stated social media as marketing tools (Berinato2010, Dholakia and Durham 2010, Kozinets et al. 2010, Trusov et al. 2009). On the 20
  21. 21. other hand social media is full of marketing tools, which are changing the marketer-generated business to user-generated business (Evans, D. 2010, Evans, D. 2008 andEvans, L. 2010). Eva Fisher and Reuber (2011) have argued that social media is notjust as marketing tools, but also as a form of communication that can have muchbroader consequences at the individual and firm level. Social media have the potentialto be valuable tools that, if deployed well, can positively affect business outcomes suchas sales growth, brand image and company reputation (Fisher and Reuben 2011). Scott(2010 p. 3-13) argues that the old rules of marketing and PR are ineffective in an onlineworld. Jaokar et al. (2009 p. 83-104) argues that business should understand the databehind social networks and Spark (2010) continues from organization‟s personnel pointof view that “there is gold in your employees‟ personal networks. Curtis et al. (2010)have found in their research that social media tools are beneficial methods ofcommunication for public relations practitioners in the nonprofit sector.Mangold and Faulds (2009) have argued that social media is a hybrid element of thepromotion mix because it combines characteristics of traditional IMC tools (companiestalking to customers) with a highly magnified form of word-of-mouth (customers talkingto one another) whereby marketing managers cannot control the content and frequencyof such information. They also have stated social media enable instantaneous, real timecommunication and utilizes multi-media formats (audio and visual presentations) andnumerous delivery platforms (e.g. Facebook, YouTube and blogs), with global reachcapacities (Mangold and Faulds 2009).Even though a company cannot directly control customer-to-customer conversations orword of mouth marketing (WOMM) (Kozinets et al. 2010) in social media, it caninfluence and shape these discussions in a manner that is consistent with theorganization‟s mission and performance goals. Mangold and Faulds (2009) havesuggested nine shaping for social media‟s discussion: 1) provide networking platforms,2) use blogs and other social media tools to engage customers, 3) use both traditionaland Internet-based promotional tools to engage customers, 4) provide information, 5) beoutrageous, 6) provide exclusivity, 7) design products with talking points andconsumers‟ desired self images in mind, 8) support causes that are important toconsumers and 9) utilize the power of stories. 21
  22. 22. At point when fears and anxieties diminished against social media (Web 2.0), companyleaders may start to appreciate that social networking tools and technologies can beutilized to: - enable speedier location, access and sharing of information, - enable more efficient leverage of contacts and knowledge, - help retain key employees by improving satisfaction in the workplace, - break down time and geographical boundaries to improve communication between widely dispersed personnel, - reduce expenses and improve productivity and competitiveness. (Strategic Direction 2009.)Social Media DoubtsTaylor and Kent (2010) have argued that there is still so little evidence about socialmedia‟s effectiveness beyond anecdotes and self report studies. They have stated thatsocial media should be problematized by asking questions: 1) how can you build arelationship in 140 characters or less, 2) what demographics are likely to be effectivelyreached via social media, 3) what traditional media might be as useful or more useful,and when should you use them and 4) what happens to the public that are not online?(Taylor and Kent 2010.) One of the great threats of social networking is that Taylor andKent (2010) have stated, as a fear, if social media‟s outcomes are not asproductive/effective as the input to the social media e.g. human and technologicalresources have taken.Wyld (2008) suggests that in the Web 2.0 environment, senior managers need toexamine carefully and provide informed responses to of the following:1) time and energy required to commit to maintain effectively blogging,2) the Web 2.0 and blogging knowledge of the company,3) bloggers‟ best practices development in a company,4) monitoring of the blogosphere, what is being said of the company,5) legal issues arisen from blogging among employees and executives,6) dealing of blogs and Web 2.0 media with communication policy of the company,7) awareness of new Web 2.0 technologies and their benefit use and8) measuring the effectiveness of blogging activities. 22
  23. 23. Aula (2010) argues that social media generates, expands and boosts risks dynamics.That‟s because in social media, users mostly generate unverified information – both trueand false – put forth ideas about organizations that differ greatly from whatorganizations share with the public. Dholakia and Duerham (2010) continues thatcautious optimism seems wise, while using social media. Companies should see whatFacebook can do for them but use it as just one nice tool.2.2 Leadership Theories2.2.1 A Brief History of Leadership TheoriesA history and the first phase of leadership theories started from trait theories calledalso Taylorism which was based on industrial leadership that happened in 1900 – theearly decades (Friedman, 2010 p. 291-304). Traits theories were based on leading ofindustrial workers (machine operators) (Drucker, 2009 p. 183). Glynn and DeJordy(2010 p. 119-157) continues that the traits theories was launched from a psychologicalperspective and with the overriding assumption that leaders were somehow differentand in possession of special, unique, or extraordinary personality attributes, abilities,skills, or physical characteristics that others did not have. Mullins (2007 p. 367) addsthat traits leadership leaders are born and not made. After traits theories followedbehavioral leadership theories of leadership which focus on a leader‟s style of action,typically categorized with regard to a task orientation and people orientation. Thisleadership approach had its origins in the work of Lewin, Lippitt and White in 1939 whooutlined three basic leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire (Glynnand DeJordy, 2010 p. 119-157, Mullins, 2007 p. 371.) Both traits and behavioralleadership theories led to studies and assessment of leadership styles like Likert‟s“attitude toward men” and Blake and Mouton‟s “managerial grid” as a test of manager‟stask or people orientation (Gill, 2006 p. 42-43).In contrast to trait and behavioral theories followed contingency leadership theories(1960 – 1980) which assumed that leadership can vary across situations and that theremay not be a universally effective way to lead; different contexts may call for differentkinds of leadership. Contingency theories of leadership contextualized leadership andmodeled it as more supple, adaptive, and situationally flexible than trait or behavioral 23
  24. 24. theories (Glynn and DeJordy, 2010 p. 119-157, Mullins, 2007 p. 374-381.) An exampleof contingency period is Henry Mintzberg‟s study of managers work. He concluded thatmanagerial work involves interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles.These roles require a number of skills: developing peer relationships, carrying outnegotiations, motivating subordinates, resolving conflicts, establishing informationnetworks and disseminating information, making decisions with little or ambiguousinformation, and allocating resources (Mintzberg 1975.)The recent transactional and transformational leadership theories have taken theirroots from trait, behavioral and contingency leadership theories. Transactionalleadership is more instrumental by using rewards or punishment to motivatesubordinate efforts (Glynn and DeJordy, 2010 p. 119-157.) Transactional leadersappear to be strongly directive and they tend not to use the consultative, participative ordelegative leadership styles. They set objectives and performance standards, but do soin a directive rather than participative manner and they also use closed and leadingquestions in their interactions with others (Gill, 2006 p. 51.) Mullins (2007 p. 381)continues that transactional leadership is based on a relationship of mutual dependenceand exchange process of “I will give you this, if you do that”. Transformationalleadership is more inspiring and exciting followers to high level of performance throughvisionary leadership (Glynn and DeJordy, 2010 p. 119-157.) Transformationalleadership features and its connection to social media is highlighted more in the nextchapter (2.2.2).2.2.2 Transformational Leadership TheoryDucker (2009 p. 177) dominates the last century as “a Century of SocialTransformation”. He continues: “No century in human history has experienced so manysocial transformations and such radical ones as the twentieth century”. He argues that achange from industrial workers to knowledge workers has made this great change ofworking culture during the last century (Ducker, 2009 p. 177-204.)According to Northouse (2004 p. 174) “the transformational leadership theory isconcerned with performance of followers and also with developing followers to theirfullest potential”. Yukl (2002 p. 241) adds that “transforming leadership appeals to the 24
  25. 25. moral values of followers in an attempt to raise their consciousness about ethical issuesand to mobilize their energy and resources to reform institution”. Ruggierri (2009)argues that tranformational leader increases their followers interests, respects group‟sobligations and mission, demonstrates qualities which induce respect and reachingpride, becomes role models, and examines new prospects for solving problems andreaching goals by encouraging followers to find new solutions and propose new ideas.Nissinen (2006) has emphasized that transformational leadership is also near deepleadership. He argues that both deep leadership and transformational leadership arestimulating, constructive and interactive relationships where objectives of followers andleaders come closer to each other and where leaders can become agents for the growthof others. Transformational leadership considers four factors: 1) idealizedinfluence/charisma, 2) inspirational motivation, 3) intellectual stimulation and 4)individualized consideration (Bass and Avolio, 1994 p. 1-9, Mullins, 2007 p. 382,Northouse, 2004 p. 174-178).Idealized influence (charisma)The transformational leaders have the charisma (the idealized influence) and they actas strong role models for followers (Bass and Avolio, 1994 p. 1-9, McManus, 2006 p.17, Northouse, 2004 p. 174). They have high standards of moral and they are deeplyrespected by followers.Inspirational motivationThe leaders with inspirational motivation communicate high expectations to followers,inspiring them through motivation to become committed to and a part of the sharedvision in the organization. (Bass and Avolio, 1994 p. 1-9, Northouse, 2004 p. 175-176)According to Northouse (2004 p. 176) this kind of manager motivates his personnel toexcel their work through encouraging words and pep talks that clearly communicate theintegral role play in the future growth of the company. This means that manager shouldbe good at giving speeches, which focus on essence. Manager should be assertive andget people to listen to him/her. His/her talking should be calming.Intellectual stimulationThe intellectual stimulation includes leadership that stimulates followers to be creativeand innovative, and to challenge their own beliefs and values as well as those of the 25
  26. 26. leader and the organization. This kind of leadership supports followers as they try newapproaches and develop innovative ways of dealing with organizational issues (Bassand Avolio, 1994 p. 1-9, Northouse, 2004 p. 177.)Individualized considerationThe individualized consideration represents leaders who provide a supportive climate inwhich they listen carefully to the individual needs of followers. Leaders act as coachesand advisers while trying to assist individuals in becoming fully actualized (Bass andAvolio, 1994 p. 1-9, Northouse, 2004 p. 177).Transformational Leadership and Manager’s Use of Social MediaAccording to Mullins‟s (2007, 382) and Northouse‟s (2004 p. 174-178) transformationalleadership theory there are four factors: 1) idealized influence/charisma, 2) inspirationalmotivation, 3) intellectual stimulation and 4) individualized consideration; these fourfactors explain also quite well the features needed in manager‟s social media leadershipskills. If a manager, who uses social media tools as part of his/her leadership, is alsocharismatic, he/she will get lots of followers on his/her blogs, Facebook, Twitter andLinkedIn profiles. A manager, who has skills for using social media tools withinspirational motivation way is assertive and gets people to listen, look at and alsoread his/her presentations on social networks. A manager with intellectual stimulationsupports followers by e.g. sharing documents online and participating online discussionwhile his/her followers are trying new approaches and develop innovative ways ofdealing with organizational issues. A manager with individualized consideration socialmedia skills acts as coach and adviser, who tries to assist individuals in becoming fullyactualized social media online-offline workers.2.2.3 Open Leadership TheoryCharlene Li (2010) has stated in her Open Leadership theory that while using socialtechnology, it “can transform the way you lead”. She argues that her research shows,“the biggest indicator of success has been an open mind set- the ability of leaders to letgo of control at the right time, in the right place and in the right amount” (Li, 2010 p. 8).She continues by defining open leadership as follows: “having the confidence and 26
  27. 27. humanity to give up the need to be in control while inspiring commitment from people toaccomplish goals”. Open leadership fosters new relationship with new rules like:1) respect that your customers and employees have power,‟2) share constantly to build trust,3) nurture curiosity and humility,4) hold openness accountable,5) forgive failure (Li, 2010 p. 14-15.)The Two Basics of the Open Leadership: Sharing and TransformingOrganization’s CultureThe key issue in open leadership is confidence. A leader has to have faith that thepeople he/she passes power to will act responsibly. This means that a leader mustunderstand that there are actually more capable people who can do the things that theleader does. This requires humility from a leader (Li, 2010 p. 18.)Ten elements of SharingLi (2010 p. 17-48) defines ten elements of the openness as following: A. OpenInformation Sharing: 1) Explaining, 2) Updating, 3) Conversing, 4) Open Mic, 5)Crowdsourcing, 6) Platforms, B. Decision-making: 7) Centralized, 8) Democratic, 9)Self-managing (Consensus) and 10) Distributed. Explaining and updating are the kind ofinformation that originates from within the organization. Conversing, Open Mic andcrowdsourcing mean the kind of information where information comes from outside theorganization back into it. Platforms are offering technological solutions for openness ininformation sharing. Decision-making four types 1) centralized, 2) democratic, 3) Self-managing (Consensus) and 4) Distributed are changing because of the openness of theorganizations. No one type of decision-making is best. They just differ in terms of thedegree of control, extent of information shared, and choice of people involved asappropriate for each situation. (Li, 2010 p. 17-48.)Organisation’s Culture and TransformationLi (2010 p. 245) emphasizes that company‟s cultural issues are following: 1) valuesdrive the vision, 2) leaders set the tone and example for others to follow, 3) extendingthe old culture into new and 4) systems and structure sustain the transformation. She 27
  28. 28. has developed an action plan to improve transformation towards to open leadership inorganization. The action plan contains seven recommendations: 1) create a sense ofinformation sharing, 2) identify the values that will carry you through the transformation,3) lead by example, 4) encourage risk taking; reward risks taken, 5) start small to winbig, 6) institutionalize systems and structures and 7) be patient. (Li, 2010 p. 267-268.)Mind-sets and TraitsA major theme through open leadership theory is that leadership is about relationships,and because social technologies are changing relationships, leadership also needs tochange. Li (2010 p. 174-187) defines four open leadership archetypes mind-sets 1)Cautious Tester, 2) Worried Skeptic, 3) Realist Optimist and 4) Transparent Evangelist,which are based on four mind-sets: optimistic, pessimistic, independent andcollaborative. The Cautious Testers are both pessimistic and collaborative. Theyunderstand the need to collaborate because they can see the benefits, to theorganization and to themselves, of involving a greater circle of people. Cautious Testersare willing to test options, plans and new ideas, and to do so with other people but theirenthusiasm for trying new things is tempered by their pessimism. The RealisticOptimists can see the benefits of being open but also understand the barriers. Theycan also work through the tough situations, have the collaborative mind-sets and skills,and most importantly, know how to overcome organizational obstructions by showingdoubters the genuine benefits of being open and winning their trust. Realistic Optimistsare both collaborative and optimistic. The Worried Skeptics are the opposite ofRealistic Optimists in that they are pessimistic and independent. These people bynature worry about all things that can go wrong and with an independent mind-set, theybelieve that success comes from the strengths and skills of individuals. TransparentEvangelists, they are “bitten by the technology bug” and they have personallyexperienced a transformation and derive tremendous personal satisfaction and joy fromengaging with people through social technologies. Transparent Evangelists are bothindependent and optimistic. (Li, 2010 p. 174-187.)Four Open Driven Objectives: learning, dialog, support and innovationIn her work with companies Li (2010 p. 53) has found that there are four underlyingobjectives integrated into almost every successful strategic plan. Li (2010 p. 53-56) 28
  29. 29. states that first and foremost, organizations must learn from employees, customers, andpartners before they can do anything else. Organizations and their leaders must beconstantly open for learning. She continues, communication (internal and external)transforms a relationship from of shouting out one-way messages to a dialog betweenequals. And along the way, people in the conversation become more and moreengaged, to the point where they have a dialog without having to be present. Peopleboth inside and outside the organization need help/support at different times.Creativity/innovation needs to be fostered, both inside the organization.While using dialog, open leadership also increases employees and customersengagement to the organization step by step. The first step is watching (e.g. read blogs,see videos or listen to podcasts). The next step is sharing (e.g. sites on Twitter andFacebook). The third step into deeper engagement is commenting (e.g. to organisationsblog or site). The fourth step is producing (e.g. writing a blog or create a podcast). Thelast and highest step of engagement is curating. Then people become highly andpersonally engaged in a community. (Li, 2010 p. 58-62.)Benefits, Monitoring and Risks in Open LeadershipBenefitsLi (2010 p. 77) has found in her studies that the open-driven objectives all create somecommon benefits like: 1) remove friction, 2) scale efforts, 3) enable fast response and 4)gain commitment. She continues also with the benefits of 1) open learning, 2) opendialog, 3) open support and 4) open innovations. The benefits of these open leadershipareas are difficult to measure but Li has done also calculations, how to get positivereturn of these too (Li, 2010 p. 75-103.) Li (2010 p. 76) adds that leadership shouldrigorously examine the benefits of openness but she also argues that an undueemphasis on hard ROI does no one any good.Monitoring (measuring the benefits being open)Li (2010 p. 54) suggests the use of basic monitoring tools (free and paid) to track thediscussions, what the customers are having of the organization. She also suggests thatorganisations should evaluate their decision-making processes:1) centralized, 2)democratic, 3) Self-managing (Consensus) and 4) Distributed, who is involved, whatkind of shared information is used to make the decision, and how effective the decision- 29
  30. 30. making process is. Also to improve effectiveness, one choice is to make the decision-making process more open. Another choices are to consider who is involved indecision-making or whether better information sharing could improve effectiveness aswell. (Li 2010 p. 47.)RisksLi (2010, 211) encourages to risk taking and speedy recovery from failure. She arguesthat an inherent behaviour of open leaders is to encourage responsible risk taking. Withrisk taking come the inevitable failures, and open leaders must prepare theirorganizations for those as well in particular, how to deal with and recover from failure.(Li, 2010 p. 211). In social media it is not possible to hide failures and therefore there isa need for a whole different attitude about failing than earlier (Li, 2010 p. 237).3 METHODOLOGYThis methodology chapter considers first epistemological assumptions of case studyand action research set-up. Then follow research aims and questions, data collectionand analysis. Finally is the evaluation of the research, which considers validity andethics.3.1 Research Set-up, Aims and QuestionsA Methodological Set-up; A Focus Group Case Study’s and an Action Research’sEpistemological AssumptionsThis qualitative research focuses on managers‟ experiences of use of social media aspart of his/her leadership. Therefore social media and leadership are presented astheoretical backgrounds of the research. Facebook was chosen a social media tool fordata collection for the focus group of six participants/managers. Focus group isstructured by the researcher, who has a list of topics/questions that make up the focusgroup‟s agenda (Cooper and Shindler, 2008 p. 178-184, Davis, 2007 p. 202-204, Jamesand Busher, 2009 p. 131). From the epistemological and philosophical assumptions,this is a case study (Dul and Hak, 2008 p. 4, Yin, 2003 p. 13-14) with action research(Cooper and Schindler, 2008 p. 185, Gray, 2009 p. 313-334) approach focus onparticipant managers‟ and researcher‟s experiences of the use of social media and havetherefore a connection to the constructivism (epistemology) and phenomenology 30
  31. 31. (philosophy) research approach. An epistemology means how you know, what youknow and the methods you choose to use in order to test validity of knowledge (Davies,2007 p. 236). Constructivism rejects the objectivist view of human knowledge. Truth ormeaning is constructed not discovered. People may construct meaning in differentways, even in relation to the same phenomena. In phenomenological approach humansare interpreting the world. The aim is to grasp and understand how individuals come tointerpret their and others‟ actions meaningfully. (James and Busher, 2009 p. 7-8.) Theresearcher has acted like an action researcher during this research project. She hasused more social media tools as part of her own leadership and her experiences hasbeen documented to social media leadership blogs (Luukka 2011a, Luukka 2011b).Therefore Loxman‟s (2006 p. 122) approach to action research managers have beenused as an approach in this research. The study‟s action research part was evaluatedthrough Loxman‟s suggestions for action research managers in results chapter (4.5).Research Aims and QuestionsThe main aim of the research project was to investigate managers‟ social medialeadership experiences, how open leadership theory (Li 2010) works in practicalleadership situations. The other aim was to research how negative experiences,feelings and face-to-face leading are part of social media leadership. The answers tothese research aims were searched with following four research questions:1. How do an international group of managers perceive their use of social media as partof their work now?2. Can their experiences be related to theory of open leadership (Li 2010)?3. How do the participants see negative experiences, feelings and face- to face leadinginvolved in social media leadership?4. How do the participants see their presence in social media communities developingin the future?The second aim for the research project was to expand researcher‟s knowledge andskills of social media and to find useful practical solutions for the use of social media as 31
  32. 32. part of her leadership in an adult education organization. The following fifth researchquestion was aimed at finding answers to that research aim.5. How has the researcher‟s experience and use of social media tools changed as aresult of research project?For the first four research questions primary data was collected by using a privateFacebook discussion group for six international managers; four from Finland, one fromItaly and one from Portugal. For the fifth research question, the secondary data wascollected by researcher‟s participation in discussions on Facebook discussion groupwith managers and by her social media blogs.3.2 Data collectionThe primary data of the research has been collected on Facebook‟s social medialeadership discussion group between 1 November – 12 December 2010. First the focusgroup was meant to be open for a month for four participants Harry, Tony, Mike andJames. James didn‟t take part in discussion and therefore two new participants Pamelaand Jane were asked to take part in for the two last weeks of group discussion. Theirparticipation in the group discussion brought a female perspective on social medialeadership to the data. All participants have been renamed with new names Harry,Tony, Mike, James, Pamela and Jane in this research report (Appendix. 1). This isbecause of the anonymity of the participants sought to retain and new names makeparticipants more human than just naming them from participant 1 to participant 6. Theparticipants of the research were found vithe researcher‟s online – offline networks.Harry was her prior colleague, James was her MBA‟s fellow student, Mike was herfriend‟s relative and Pamela was her colleague from National level organisation. Tonyand Jane, they took a contact to researcher after having noticed her announcement ofthe MBA‟s research issue on Finnish social media network (SOMETU 2011). Theresearcher has met participants Harry, James, Pamela and Jane face-to-face.The secondary data of the research considers the researcher‟s own participation inFacebook group discussions with the participants of the study. Researcher‟s blogs areanother part of the secondary data. The researcher has published 14 blogs consideringthe theme social media leadership from July 2010 to January 2011. The seven: 1) 15 32
  33. 33. September 2010, 2) 9 October 2010, 3) 9 November 2010, 4) 22 November 2010, 5) 19December 2010, 6) 25 January 2011 and 21 February 2011 are published in Finnish(Luukka 2011a) and seven: 1) 3 July 2010, 2) 15 September 2010, 3) 11 October 2010,4) 11 November 2010, 5) 8 December 2010, 6) 11 January 2011 and 7) 6 February2011 in English (Luukka 2011b).3.3 Data AnalysisThe research questions were divided into smaller sub-discussion themes for thediscussion group. The 15 sub-discussion themes were: the use of social media 1) in thevery beginning, 2) at work now and 3) a vision of social media at work in the future. Theopen leadership theory (Li 2010) was divided into eight sub-discussion themes thatwere: 1) Sharing/Openness, 2) Cultural Similarities and Differences, 3) Change ofwork/transforming, 4) Mind-sets and Traits, 5) Learning, 6) Monitoring, 7) Effectivenessand 8) Risks. The other issues of social media were: 1) Negative Experiences, 2)Feelings and 3) Face-to-Face leadership. The fifteenth theme was an opportunity togive feedback to researcher. Discussion matrix shows participants activity to take part ineach discussion themes (Appendix 2.). The data were analysed by theory basedcontent analysis (Latvala & Vanhanen-Nuutinen, 2001 p.30-36) also called Top-Downanalysis driven by theory (Chi, 1997). The primary (participants‟ discussions in groupand information got with a questionnaire Appendix 1.) present evidence, howparticipants‟ discussions agree or disagree with open leadership theory. The researcherred participants‟ discussions (original data) through “with a question in her mind”: doesthis participant‟s discussion topic‟s content agree or disagree with the theory of openleadership. The secondary data: 1) researcher‟s discussion in group and researcher‟sblogs were analyzed with the same method as primary data, but also doing self-reflection, how her own knowledge and experiences have been expanded during theresearch project. The conceptual mode of analysis (Strauss and Corbin,1998 p. 66) wasused as a method to doing line-by-line coding to search from the data properties andrelationships of the concepts. The result chapter includes parts of original data shownas samples of discussion of each research topic. These samples are quite large but itwas hard to cut them down because after cutting down the story line of discussion topicwould have been lost. Finally both primary and secondary data‟s outcomes wereconnected to Li‟s (2010) open leadership theory and also to the other social media 33
  34. 34. leadership literature. At the research report the original data samples as evidences arewritten in italics, with Arial font number 11 and with line space one.3.4 Evaluation of the ResearchResearch’s validityThe concept validity has traditionally been used in quantitative research but it has beenadopted in qualitative research including many others concepts, which refer to theaspects of validity (Gray, 2009 p. 190.) While doing an evaluation of the research, thetwo key terms validity and reliability of the research are often presented (Gray, 2009 p.190-197, Yin, 2003 p. 33-39). Reliability can also been defined as part of validity as inthis research. This research‟s validity has looked into four aspects of validity: 1)construct validity, 2) internal validity, 3) external validity and 4) reliability (Yin, 2003 p.34). Construct validity establishes correct operational measures for the conceptsbeing studied (Gray, 2009 p. 157, Yin, 2003 p. 34). This can also to be asked by thefollowing question: Does the research study key concepts which it was aimed to study?An answer to that question in this study is positive. This research focused on managers‟use social media as part of their leadership, the theoretical background of the study andthe empirical data were connected together through the research with the sameconcepts of social media and leadership. Results of the study are written in the followingway: first primary data results, then secondary data results and finally primary andsecondary data results (empirical data) have been connected to the literature review.This kind of results presentation increases also construct validity of the research, whileempirical data‟s concepts and theoretical backgrounds concepts are discussed and/orconnected together (Berg 2001, Ely et.al. 2001, Locke et. al., 1998 p. 24-27, Luukka2007). Internal validity refers to explanatory and causal studies relationships, wherebycertain conditions are shown to lead certain conditions (Gray, 2009 p. 156, Yin, 2003 p.34). In this descriptive case study with action research approach there was no aim tostudy causal relationships and therefore internal validity of the research in notevaluated. External validity establishes the domain to which a study‟s findings can begeneralized (Gray, 2009 p. 156, Yin, 2003 p. 34). The aim of the research was not togeneralize research outcomes. The aim of the research was to study, whethermanagers‟ experiences of the use of social media as part of their leadership can berelated to theory of open leadership (Li 2010) and this has been evaluated in this 34
  35. 35. research. Reliability demonstrating the operations of a study such as the datacollection procedures can be repeated with the same results (Gray, 2009 p. 158, Yin,2003 p. 34). The research data collection and analysis have been described detailedenough in previous chapters so that another researcher could follow and repeat theresearch. The same results outcomes could be expected if the new research will bedone to same research participants. It is possible that the participants have learnt fromthe first research and therefore the second research could conduct more deeper data ofthe research issues or it is of course possible that people change their thinking of theresearch issue as time goes by.Online research’s validity; constructing credibility and authenticityThe researcher acts as an instrument in qualitative research (Tuckett 2005) andtherefore researcher‟s reflexivity voice involves the realization that the researcher is nota neutral observer, and is implicated in the construction of knowledge (Gray, 2009 p.498).The previous validity criteria refers to the research which is done reality/offlinestudy designs. James and Buster (2009 p. 71- 82) suggest that constructing credibilityand authenticity need to look through online research, which has a different kind ofresearch design than offline studies. People can present different kind of identities whileacting online in social networks like blogs and Facebook (James and Buster, 2009 p.71). In this study the researcher has met four of the six participants face-to-face. Theresearcher has talked on the phone and on Skype with the two participants, whom shehas not met. There is no reason to doubt that the participants aren‟t presentingauthentically their discussion on Facebook group. Everyone wanted to use their realidentity with their own Facebook profile and they knew that their anonymity will besecured in the research report.After data collection on Facebook group the researcher has evaluated her skills to leadonline discussion group for data collection. She realized that she should have ensuredthat all participants can use Facebook’s group options. Therefore some participants lostthe first week’s discussion opportunity, because they had difficulties to find Facebook’sgroup discussion site. Facebook group discussion site gave an opportunity forparticipants to discuss asynchronously, non-real-time (James and Buster, 2009 p. 14),which means that the researcher must also be active, motivate and give feedback toparticipants. The researcher of this research noticed that in the middle of data 35
  36. 36. collection and she stated to participate more in discussions. During online datacollection discussions, the researcher is also a “participant researcher” (James andBuster, 2009 p. 79).While using focus groups, the researcher has a list of topics that make up the focusgroup‟s agenda (Davies, 2007 p. 202). In this research eight topics were based on Li‟s(2010) open leadership theory and rest were based on other theoretical background andresearcher‟s own experiences of the use of social media as part of leadership. Onereason why James didn‟t take part in Facebook‟s discussion group was because he wasexpecting more open discussion than structured topics of focus group. James: “Why it was like this, was due to the fact that I had expected an open discussion, with only the titles given. Instead of that, this had background for each of the titles, and despite of the stories being relatively short, I didnt find the time to read them thoroughly enough to participate to the discussions. Im not stating, that background information or guidelines for discussions would be bad, especially when trying to get answers to research topics, but that requires that the participants read the guidelines first and discuss after that only on those topics. Unfortunately, in the given time line, I couldnt fine the time to do this, so I dropped out of the discussions”. On the other hand timing was also bad for James. “I was a volunteer to join the discussion, but the timing was bad. Not in a sense, that it would have had anything to do with the organiser, but my workload exploded in my daily work and I had to try to push forward my own dissertation as well”.Research EthicsThe high research ethical issues have been followed during the whole research processfrom data collection to analyzing data and reporting the research. The researcher hasobserved the rights of the participants while doing research. The participant‟s rights likee.g. privacy and anonymity, voluntary, honest and confidential treatment while collectingdata (Fowler, 2009 p. 163, Saunders et. al., 2009 p. 185). Gaiser and Shneider (2009 p.26-27) argue that traditional research ethics are a useful starting point while doingonline research. The online environment represents new ethical aspects for researcherssuch as informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, privacy (private and publicspaces), virtual personae and copyrights (Gaiser and Shneider, 2009 p. 26-27).Theresearcher has described her own thinking of the social media leadership researchissue by writing blogs during the research project. The research report was written indetailed way that the reader can follow and do the research in the same way, if she/hewould like to. In this research the data was collected in Facebook discussion group. Theparticipants took part in discussion group voluntarily with his/her real name and in 36
  37. 37. research report participants‟ were named with new created names, which ensured theprivacy of the participants. The participants didn‟t get any benefit of participation for theresearch. Researcher promised to send a copy of the final research report to theparticipants, which didn‟t undermine the principle that research participation was avoluntary act (Fowler, 2009 p. 167).Research data should be retained to serve future uses (National Academies, 2009 p.109). On the other hand, data should be used for the purposes for which it has beencollected and the purposes of the clearly explained to participants (James and Bushner,2009 p. 117). The data of this research has been shown to researcher‟s supervisor afterthe data collection ended. The data will be destroyed after the adoption of research,because participants have not been asked permission for the use of the material forlater research purposes.4 RESULTSThe results chapter gives answers to the research questions in the following order: 1)manager‟s use of social media as part of their work now, 2) managers‟ experiencesrelated to the open leadership theory, 3) managers‟ experiences of the negative issues,feelings and face-to-face leading in social media leadership, 4) social media as part ofmanagers‟ leadership in the future and 5) researcher‟s experiences and use of socialmedia as a result of research project. All results are written in the same format: firstprimary data results, then secondary data results and finally primary data andsecondary data results are linked to the literature review. At the end of the chapter thereis a discussion of findings.4.1 Managers’ Use of Social Media as Part of Their Work NowPrimary data resultsHarry can be described as a social media “middle active practical user”.I work at the University in Italy. It all began with using moodle at work, as a learning platform formy students. After having used communication platforms during project work and with partnersfrom all over Europe it became clear, that social media had its advantages and I was going touse it as a means for communication on a wider scale.Then there came myspace, which was the missing counterpart for virtual communication inprivate life. As it was very US-centered, after 1 year or so I quit and moved to FB. The feelingwas the same as it was for Katri (the researcher) in the beginning: what am I supposed to do 37
  38. 38. with it. So, a new learning process started and it becomes more and more important to havecertain skills in what I call social media literacy. This means, that you need to learn how to usethose tools and the potential danger they bring along. The internet never forgets, as theysay...And now, slowly but certainly, after having used Facebook for a couple of years, I askmyself the same question again: what am I supposed to do with it? It bores me more and more,although it is a very good tool for keeping in touch with friends. And probably - as I prefer tospend time with real people in the real world - for me it is going to be just that: a tool for keepingin touch...Social media plays a lesser part in my work. In countries like Italy (where I live) in Germanythere is actually an ongoing discussion about using for example facebook during working hours.The reason most likely is, that FB is being mostly used for private purposes and networking,although it is becoming more and more commercial. Everybody (or almost) at work has a profileon here, even my employer (as an institution). The administrators of that profile are allowed toaccess the platform and they use it mostly for communication. I have reasons to doubt that thecommunication (i.e. chat) happening on facebook during working hours is work related.A more or less official tool at work is Skype, especially its chat function, and a lot of people useit. Interesting: people who dont know each other so well use e-mails to communicate, peoplewho know each other better use Skype. Of course there are video conferences, e-learningenvironments and the like. The first I dont consider a social media, but technology basedcommunication tools. The second has most of the time functions like a profile, etc., which wouldmake it a social media, but is hardly ever used for that, as the alternatives (facebook, myspace,etc.) are better fitting.Tony can be described as a social media long time “high active expert user”.The first touch of social media came to me back in 1999, when I was involved in a mobilemarketing start-up. The concept back then was somethng that would clearly be called socialmedia nowadays, though the concept came much, much later. The company was dissolved in2000, and nothing much came out of it in the end.The real use of social media for me started early 2004 when I was invited to a network calledOpenBC, nowadays better known as Xing. Soon after I was invited to LinkedIn, and startedusing those two very actively the same year, and have been ever since.Facebook and MySpace came in much later, and in between I had been using (seldomly)several social networks such as Plaxo, Bebo, Ryze, Tagged, Hi5, WAYN, Viadeo, etc. So farIve identified roughly 2500 different social networks and have a personal profile in about 180-200. Semi-actively using a couple of dozen and almost daily c. 10 networks.Other social media tools, such as forums, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, VoIPs, etc. Ive used quite alot during years and still use many on a daily basis. My current company is more or less built onusing the best of social media in our daily work. And, of course, as management tools as well ;-)I guess Im more or less an oddity here, well, not just here. In general I use social media in verydifferent ways to 99% of other people. Since 1999 (it was not yet called social media, but still)Ive used social networks and social media tools in sales, marketing, document mngmt/filesharing, virtual workspaces, recruitment, general management, advertising, job hunting andwhat not. Ive even been hired based on online CV, online referrals (one vague real-life referral),Interviewed via Skype (not video call) and group chats and ending up working remotely usingsocial media tools and hosted online remote desktop. I never met anyone in the companybefore leaving them a 1,5 years later due to taxation issues. The company was in the UK, I wasin Finland. 38
  39. 39. In the daily work I use currently 5-20 social networks and social media tools, and 10-60specialist forums and specialist discussion groups. The numbers have actually quite recentlygone down, I used to use much more social media before. So social media has changed mywork (and life) quite significantly during years, but mostly already in the mid 2000s, it has beenquite stable for the past 3 or so years.As Ive been living abroad for a couple of years, the best means to keep in contact with friendsand family have been social media, and then again the people that I befriended in Denmark andin the UK are best reached online these days. I guess Katri (the researcher) has found keepingin touch with her family via Skype and Facebook very useful in the recent years as well, right?What comes to work as such, social media has since 2004 been the backbone of my workinglife success, couldnt have made it without it. It is been a source of business contacts, salesleads, marketing tool, a place to keep and share files and folders, to communicate via, and soon. So the impact has been huge. It is hard to imagine where I would be and what I would do(as work) if I had never got acquainted with social media like I did. A big thank you goes to afriend who came back to Finland from Silicon Valley after 6-7 years around 1998-1999. Heintroduced me to many of these ways of working back in the day.Pamela can be described as a social media “high active practical user”.I think the first social media tool for me was LinkedIn where I was invited I don‟t remember howmany years ago…it was unused for quite a while until I activated it again about year ago.But the real SOCIAL side of social media for me began during my two pregnancies andmaternity leaves 2004-2008. :) I started to follow and comment different discussion groupsdealing with pregnancy, giving birth, raising children, renovating the house etc. And they werereally active!!! How could I capture that activity into my professional communities today? It is thequestion of demand and necessity to share.Then on 2008 I started to work in a project dealing with entrepreneurship training for thecreative field. I signed in Facebook and started a group for people who are somehow involved increative entrepreneurship. In one week we had over 50 members and it started to grow andgrow (at the moment 405 members).Today I use Twitter, Facebook, Google-tools, Ning.com, LinkedIn, Doodle, YouTube,SlideShare…it is almost impossible to list them because they have become so solid part of mywork as a project manager and network coordinator during the past year. And this will be theproblem as well; there are people who don‟t see these tools as some “new future thing”anymore and then there are the people who don‟t want to sign in Facebook because theirchildren are in there. And the both groups are working in the same workinglife that is changingvery fast.This is the very question of leadership: how to make these people work together effectively, howto motivate, how to understand the both sides. In business the fast change is necessary but inpublic sector and in educational field it will probably be struggling in many ways.Jane can be described as a social media “high active practical user”. In herquestionnaire (Appendix 1.), she has stated her social media use as follows: Oh, yes! Ithas become a way of life, actually. It has taken the place of my morning paper: I start with yle.fi,then proceed to my media list in Twitter, HBR and from there to my networks in FB andLinkedIn. Can‟t live without it.. Should I worry..? Nope, not yet, I think.. For there are days, that Idon‟t have an opportunity to do the following “morning routine” and yet I live =). 39
  40. 40. “ I work in Tax Administration (TA), and am in charge of marketing our eServices. Officially TA isnot yet participating in SOME, however we do have media surveillance on a few maindiscussions sites (which, I guess, can be seen as SOME communities). My personal set ofSOME tools consists mainly of Blogger, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook; Delicious, Picasa andYouTube”.Mike can be described as a social media “high active expert user”.Mike works as a General Manager and Owner in ICT- company. Facebook for show off thehuman side to your customers, occasionally to advertise job openings to the companies I workwith. LinkedIn, it is very hot for people in IT industry and Marketing and Advertising, use it a lotto get in touch with people from this areas. Skype as a communication tool… IP Phone, I alsofollow some blogs where some Guru‟s share their opinions (Appendix 1.).Secondary data resultsThe researcher can be described as a “high active practical user”. It was 2007, when Istarted to use Skype to communicate with my daughter, who lives and study in San Francisco. Itwas a huge experience to discuss and see her face with also non-verbal signs, if everythingwas ok or not. 2008, I went to Facebook (FB). First I was very abashed. I didnt know, what todo there and why be there. I went to FB because both of my daughters were there and FB waseveryday communication tool for them. I kept very strict openness policy, who I invited oraccepted to my "friend" in FB until middle of September 2010. During this MBA dissertation, Ivechanged my SOME- openness policy more open. Ive also learnt to use FBs group discussiontool, where I can regulate my openness- policy as I want. I write/discuss in FB like on any web-pages. Now FB is part of my everyday life :). “I work as a vice principal in an adult eduction organisation. I decided to do my MBAdissertation of the theme "managers use of social media in leadership", because in ourorganisation managers dont use social media (SOME) in their work. The students are inFacebook and quite many teachers use online platforms and also blogs as part of theirteaching. Our organisations leadership culture is that we keep up face to face- meeting 80-90% of the time we work. Quite often wrong people are in meetings and I feel that meetings aremostly waist of time. I feel that Im bored to this kind of leadership culture...”Researcher has also written in her social media blog 8 December 2010 (Luukka 2011b):Three months ago in August 2010, I used Facebook and Skype for my private online socialnetworking. After that I‟ve taught myself to use over 15 social media tools. I‟ve learnt thatFacebook has much more opportunities than just being a connection tool with my friends andfamily. While I‟ve used these SOME- tools, I‟ve realised that the key question is not in the use ofSOME- tools. Instead, the question is, how to participate in the SOME- communities, that theseSOME- tools give me an opportunity. 40
  41. 41. Primary and secondary data results’ connections to literature reviewParticipants of the research and the researcher have been nominated with their activityof use of social media as middle activity like Harry, who does not use social mediaeveryday and Tony, Pamela, Jane, Mike and researcher were high activity users, whileusing social media tools everyday. Tony and Mike were nominated also as socialmedia expert users that because social media was a content of their work. The otherswere social media practical users who used social media as a part of their work forpractical reasons to improve their work. Li (2010 p. 174-187) has named four openleadership archetypes: 1) Cautious Tester, 2) Worried Skeptic, 3) Realist Optimistand 4) Transparent Evangelist, which are based on four mind-sets: optimistic,pessimistic, independent and collaborative. Tony and Mike instead of experts could alsobe nominated as Transparent Evangelists, while they are “bitten by the technology bug”and they have personally experienced a transformation and derive tremendous personalsatisfaction and joy from engaging with people through social technologies. (Li, 2010 p.178.) The rest of the participants and the researcher instead of practical usersnomination could also be nominated as Realistic Optimists because of their attitudestowards to social media were so realistic. The Realistic Optimists can see the benefitsof being open but also understand the barriers. They also can work through the toughsituations, have the collaborative mind-sets and skills, and most important, know how toovercome organizational obstructions by showing doubters the genuine benefits ofbeing open and winning their trust. (Li, 2010 p. 175.) Two archetypes Cautious Testerand Worried Skeptic are presented later in chapter Managers’ Experiences Related to Theory of Open Leadership4.2.1 Sharing in Open LeadershipPrimary data resultsThree participants Jane, Tony and Pamela all from Finland took part in social media‟ssharing/openness discussion. Jane said “This is a tough one.. perhaps a few thoughtsbased on my personal experiments. The shade of tone can be explained with a lonely positionof marketing in public sector. When you are a lone ranger, not many colleagues share theenthusiasm of your field of expertise. Thus, it has been a great help for me to share thoughtsand experiences within my peer network. Benchmarking and developing ideas together acrossorganizational borders has proven to be easier than I thought”. Tony continued: “I see the 41