Employee Social Capital: Formation via Social Technologies

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Dell's Internal Social Media: Forming Social Capital via Internal Social Technologies

Dell's Internal Social Media: Forming Social Capital via Internal Social Technologies

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  • Social capital theory at the very basic level assigns value to the social connections that people have with one another.
    Organizational social capital can be summed up as the benefits resulting from the ties employees form with other employees in the social structure of an organization, often independently of organizational structures.
    These benefits can be seen at the individual level and at the organizational level.
    Individual level: faster access to information about an internal job opening due to a beneficial tie to another employee can lead to a positive career move
    organizational level, the benefit might come in the form of faster access to needed knowledge by employees and, thus, faster task completion times, i.e. greater efficiencies, or, in some cases to faster innovation.
    three aspects of social capital: structural, relational and cognitive. All three aspects impact the individual’s behavior within the social structure.

    Social capital literature links high levels of social capital to a firm’s increased ability to innovate based on improved communication among employees.
    Organizational knowledge management systems, in essence, are designed to improve the knowledge flow inside of an organization to improve efficiencies of work streams and to increase the organization’s ability to be innovative in an economy where knowledge is the primary differentiator in a highly competitive market place.
    KM literature indicates a trend of moving away from technology centric, rigid information repositories agnostic of the social context they are to operate in towards people centric systems that are designed to naturally fit in the employees’ work streams and social context.
    Social communication technologies like the blog and the micro-blog have been introduced to improve organizational knowledge flow supplementing more traditional KM tools.

    Enabling employees to communicate easily and instantly across time zones and geographies, these technologies are far from the rigid document repositories of the past and need yet to be fully understood. The focus of this study can be found at the intersection of organizational social capital, knowledge management and the social communication tools: How do social communication technologies used to improve knowledge flow inside of an organization change the ways in which social capital is formed? The literature indicates a positive correlation between the ability to connect with others online and higher levels of social capital. This study explores this question with respect to the organizational blog and micro-blog used by employees of a large, high-tech organization.
  • Strategy on inquiry: case study methodology with multiple methods to collect data
    Satisfy the unique requirements of this research - two very specific situations at one organization in depth over a period of several months (Creswell, 2003, p. 15; Stake, 1995)

    The literature has indicated that organizational social capital research in the corporate environment uses case studies that observe and analyze relatively narrow environments to uncover trends that might hold true beyond the boundaries of the original study.
    Case study methodology supports the use of mixed methods to understand the issue under research better to examine processes, activities, or events (Creswell, 2003).
    Yin (1994) describes the case study methodology as observations of real life events that are not controlled
    Campbell and Fiske in 1959: combining data collection methods to counteract the limitations of each one of these methods (Creswell, 2003).

    Organizational social capital research has made successful use of case studies. A case study seeks understanding of current and complex social phenomena by posing ‘‘how’’ and ‘‘why’’ questions. According to Yin (1994), the use of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods allows for triangulation to compare and corroborate the evidence.

    Berkenkotter (2002) has advocated for the use of a number of sources to collect relevant data and has stressed that for a researcher, in order to understand how an organization operates, it is equally important to “follow the actors” in a particular organizational environment as it is to “follow the text” (p. 53).

    The blog and micro-blog allow for this via easy access to the written records of a multitude of actors facilitated by the digital archive of their textual interactions that span the spectrum of (almost) synchronous to asynchronous and ad hoc to planned interactions. These textual records are open for all employees to search, filter, or browse. They allow insight into the organization’s culture, jargon, processes, and the social action the text carries out.

    Highly relevant for the validity of my study’s mixed-methods approach are the following evaluations and conclusion by social capital researchers who call for multi-method approaches.
    Widen-Wulf and Ginman (2004) have examined the literature regarding the methods used to measure social capital and have concluded that there are several measures and getting one true measure is unlikely. They trace this back to the slightly varying dimensions and levels of social capital used and the differing perspectives used in analyses.
    Importantly, the authors have suggested a context-sensitive approach when examining knowledge sharing from a social capital perspective. These findings have been taken into account in my study which employs a holistic approach in the measurement of organizational social capital.
    Van Deth (2002) has called for strengthening the role of empirical evidence (knowledge gained by direct or indirect observation) in measuring social capital and has also stressed the need to develop multi-method research strategies. In addition, Van Deth has warned against relying too heavily on polling strategies to the detriment of other methods, such as experiments and content analyses, etc.
    Devine and Roberts (2003) have agreed with Van Deth’s assessment regarding the need for expanded methods to measure social capital that go beyond surveys and polls which traditionally have dominated the field. They have supported Van Deth’s call for multi-method approaches and have emphasized the need for incorporating qualitative methods into social capital research in order to fully understand the complexities at play. Baehr and Alex-Brown (2010) have advocated a mixed-methods approach within a case study setting to explore questions related to organizational social capital research. Based on the results of their study, they have concluded that a more holistic approach in terms of research methodology is better suited to provide valid conclusions. My study builds on learnings from Baehr and Alex-Brown’s study with respect to using a variety of data collection methods, albeit in a study that is upscaled in number of participants and data examined.

    The mixed-methods approach allows for robust data triangulation between qualitative (interviews and open-ended survey items) and quantitative data (web analytics and content analysis) as well as triangulation across methods collecting self-reported behavior and methods collecting actual behavior.
    data was collected over a 20-month period between July 2009 and February 2011.
    Specifically, interviews were conducted between August 2010 and February 2011;
    the online survey was open to collect responses between October 2010 and February 2011;
    and web analytics and content for the content
  • Dorothy Winsor (2006), in her long-term study on four engineers’ progression to positions of increased organizational power, Using Writing to Structure Agency: An Examination of Engineers’ Practice, used structured interviews to collect self-reported data on their perception of establishing agency through writing.
    interview method with self-reported writing behaviors a trustworthy instrument in an organizational setting within the realm of technical communication, even with a very small number of participants.

    The survey is a highly structured form of interviewing because all respondents encounter the same questions in the same form on an internet capable, electronic device, whereas the interview, as I define it for my study, is unstructured. The interview allowed me to probe further and to inject questions not in the original script. It was more flexible overall.

    In organizational social capital research, the interview as a data collection method has been used less frequently than is highly structured relative, the survey.
    Sherif et al. (2006, p. 799) conducted a case study at a single site to validate their hypotheses related to the positive influence of knowledge management systems (KMS) on an organization’s social capital
    collected data via 22 mostly open-ended employee interviews at different organizational levels of an IT consulting firm over a six month period.
    a priori coding by multiple coders organized under the three dimensions of social capital: structural, relational, and cognitive.
    successful use of open-ended interview questions as a data collection tool in the research of organizational social capital in an IT oriented firm. Theirs also investigated the impact of a communication technology on the formation of social capital, as does my study.

    The interview as a method of inquiry is among the most widely used qualitative methods in social research. In fields such as business, academia, and media, (Mann and Stewart, 2000, p. 75), the interview is dominant as a method for conducting systematic social research. Two main subdivisions of interviews are recognized: the standardized or structured interview, and the non-standardized or unstructured interview (Mann and Stewart, 2000).

    unstructured interview, there is variance depending on whether the interview is conducted face-to-face or electronically via email or instant message, for example. Often, as in my case, the researcher has to make choices depending on the availability, preference, or location of participants (Holstein and Gubrium, 2003, p.175).

    Purposeful sampling: important for this study was that I reach Dell employees who have used the internal blogs and the micro-blog, (Mann and Stewart, 2000, p. 78) rather than solely representative.

    Interviewees were recruited from the Global Corporate Communications team, the Marketing and Training teams, the CTO Office team, the HR team, the Product Group and several other functional teams via a recruitment email (see Appendix B). Those employees who agreed to be interviewed and fulfilled the criteria (use of the internal blogs and the micro-blog) had several means of letting me know of their decision to participate. They had the opportunity to email me at Konnie_Brown@dell.com, send me their agreement via instant message or tell me verbally by phone or in person. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, electronically via email or instant message depending on the employees’ availability, location and preference. Interviewees included individuals at different organizational levels with and without managerial responsibilities.
    The face-to-face interviews were conducted in Dell team rooms to guarantee privacy (room with door). I recorded the face-to-face interviews (audio only) for transcription purposes and safeguarded in a password protected folder on my Dell laptop. Once fully transcribed, these files were deleted. The transcription was stripped of any data that could identify the participant. All electronic interviews were conducted via the Dell email or instant messaging system with the data hosted on Dell servers within Dell’s firewall. All identifiers of the interviewee were removed.
  • Dorothy Winsor (2006), in her long-term study on four engineers’ progression to positions of increased organizational power, Using Writing to Structure Agency: An Examination of Engineers’ Practice, used structured interviews to collect self-reported data on their perception of establishing agency through writing.
    interview method with self-reported writing behaviors a trustworthy instrument in an organizational setting within the realm of technical communication, even with a very small number of participants.

    The survey is a highly structured form of interviewing because all respondents encounter the same questions in the same form on an internet capable, electronic device, whereas the interview, as I define it for my study, is unstructured. The interview allowed me to probe further and to inject questions not in the original script. It was more flexible overall.

    In organizational social capital research, the interview as a data collection method has been used less frequently than is highly structured relative, the survey.
    Sherif et al. (2006, p. 799) conducted a case study at a single site to validate their hypotheses related to the positive influence of knowledge management systems (KMS) on an organization’s social capital
    collected data via 22 mostly open-ended employee interviews at different organizational levels of an IT consulting firm over a six month period.
    a priori coding by multiple coders organized under the three dimensions of social capital: structural, relational, and cognitive.
    successful use of open-ended interview questions as a data collection tool in the research of organizational social capital in an IT oriented firm. Theirs also investigated the impact of a communication technology on the formation of social capital, as does my study.

    The interview as a method of inquiry is among the most widely used qualitative methods in social research. In fields such as business, academia, and media, (Mann and Stewart, 2000, p. 75), the interview is dominant as a method for conducting systematic social research. Two main subdivisions of interviews are recognized: the standardized or structured interview, and the non-standardized or unstructured interview (Mann and Stewart, 2000).

    unstructured interview, there is variance depending on whether the interview is conducted face-to-face or electronically via email or instant message, for example. Often, as in my case, the researcher has to make choices depending on the availability, preference, or location of participants (Holstein and Gubrium, 2003, p.175).

    Purposeful sampling: important for this study was that I reach Dell employees who have used the internal blogs and the micro-blog, (Mann and Stewart, 2000, p. 78) rather than solely representative.

    Interviewees were recruited from the Global Corporate Communications team, the Marketing and Training teams, the CTO Office team, the HR team, the Product Group and several other functional teams via a recruitment email (see Appendix B). Those employees who agreed to be interviewed and fulfilled the criteria (use of the internal blogs and the micro-blog) had several means of letting me know of their decision to participate. They had the opportunity to email me at Konnie_Brown@dell.com, send me their agreement via instant message or tell me verbally by phone or in person. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, electronically via email or instant message depending on the employees’ availability, location and preference. Interviewees included individuals at different organizational levels with and without managerial responsibilities.
    The face-to-face interviews were conducted in Dell team rooms to guarantee privacy (room with door). I recorded the face-to-face interviews (audio only) for transcription purposes and safeguarded in a password protected folder on my Dell laptop. Once fully transcribed, these files were deleted. The transcription was stripped of any data that could identify the participant. All electronic interviews were conducted via the Dell email or instant messaging system with the data hosted on Dell servers within Dell’s firewall. All identifiers of the interviewee were removed.

Transcript

  • 1. 1 Blogging and Micro-Blogging Inside a Large, High- Tech Corporation: Impacts on the Formation of Organizational Social Capital Konstanze Alex-Brown, PhD
  • 2. Results & discussion Relevance & outlook AGENDA Literature review Methodology Introduction 2 7/25/2014
  • 3. Changes in the formation of organizational social capital Case Study Research Corporate employee blog & micro-blog INTRODUCTION 3 7/25/2014
  • 4. INTRODUCTION 4 7/25/2014 Why this study? http://iphonasia.com/?p=2664 Research gap revealed in literature: How do social media communication technologies used for internal (employee) communication change the ways in which organizational social capital is formed? Few studies. Potential implications: Find new ways to facilitate the generation of organizational social capital Impact knowledge transfer efficiency Impact firm’s ability to innovate Change managers’ ability to foster the creation of organizational social capital Change employees’ ability to pursue common goals (M&A) Change employee online social networks The perfect storm: Unique opportunity for research collaboration between industry and academia (Spilka, Gurak and Hill Duin, Clark, Winsor) Opportunity to position TC practitioners as communication strategists / leverage industry insights in TC curriculum (Spilka, Gurak and Hill Duin, Clark, Salvo and Rosinski) Very recent introduction of social media tools for employee communication at Dell Dell at forefront of social media use not only in IT industry but also overall
  • 5. INTRODUCTION 5 7/25/2014 Questions guiding this research 1. How do the corporate blog and micro-blog change the ways in which organizational social capital is generated at Dell? 2. How is the existence of the three dimensions of organizational social capital reflected in the information product of the two tools? 3. What are other indicators (beyond those defined in current scholarship) for measuring an increase in organizational social capital generated by the blog and micro-blog? 4. How does the formation of social capital as well as information and knowledge sharing differ on the blog versus on the micro- blog? 5. From a business perspective, what aspects of the blog and micro-blog are valued most by Dell’s leadership?
  • 6. Network benefits & resources LITERATUREREVIEW 6 7/25/2014 Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus
  • 7. LITERATUREREVIEW 7 7/25/2014 • Complement f2f networks • Individualized networks vs. socialized communities • Social communication tools create ties via knowledge exchange • Archived information product • Benefits resulting from social network relationships • Firm’s ability to innovate via improved knowledge transfer • People-centric • Social context • Motivational factors ▪ Organizational knowledge management (Lesser, Prusak, Cohen, Davenport, Dalkir, Rao, Hackos, Rockley) ▪ Social capital ▪ Organizational social capital (Granovetter, Coleman, Putnam, Portes, Burt, Lin, Nahapiet and Ghoshal, Tsai and Ghoshal, Okoli and Oh) ▪ Online social structures (Dal Fiore, Wellman, Wellman and Gulia, Gruzd, Takhteyev, Resnick, Quan-Haase and Wellman, Hampton) ▪ Blog ▪ Micro-blog (Clark, Gurak and Antonijevic, Hsu and Lin, Okoli and Oh)
  • 8. 8 7/25/2014 Organizational social capital – three dimensions Changes in structure LITERATUREREVIEW (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998; Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998)
  • 9. 9 7/25/2014 Changes in relationships Changes in common paradigm/knowledge Changes in structure LITERATUREREVIEW (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998; Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998) Organizational social capital – three dimensions
  • 10. IRB-approved Signed NDA Multi- method case study METHODOLOGY 10 7/25/2014 Context- sensitive Mixed methods Holistic approach Not one measure
  • 11. Onlinesurvey Interviews Contentanalysis METHODOLOGY 11 7/25/2014 Web analytics STRUCTURAL DIMENSION RELATIONAL DIMENSION COGNITIVE DIMENSION Multi-method case study Follow the person and follow the text (Berkenkotter, 2006) • content evaluation between 2007 and 2011, final corpus assembly between Februrary and May 2011. • interviews were conducted between August 2010 and February 2011; • the online survey was open to collect responses between October 2010 and February 2011;
  • 12. RESULTS/Discussion 12 7/25/2014 Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus MICRO- BLOG Change Capital Surplus Change Capital Surplus BLOG
  • 13. 13 RESULTS/Discussion 7/25/2014 1. Both tools do change the ways in which organizational social capital is formed at Dell. 2. The tools do this in different ways. Different activity streams can facilitate different dimensions of social capital. 3. The content analysis is a valuable tool for the measurement of organizational social capital and communicative instances can be used as indicators for the generation of organizational social capital. 4. Results can be used as tools to improve employee social media communication strategies. 5. Lack in leaders’ ability to articulate the tools’ business value. Main trends in findings
  • 14. 14 7/25/2014 http://www.coeforict.org/resources/center-of-excellence-presentations-and-powerpoints/ Dell’s moderated blog: facilitating cognitive social capital So Steve is our expert on VIS! I will contact him. SteveVIS solves problems Great job, Steve! Excellent, Steve! Good talk, Steve! Steve, how does VIS relate to vStart 50? Controlled, moderated presentations Presentation-tied comments/cheering RESULTS/Discussion
  • 15. 15 7/25/2014 http://www.coeforict.org/resources/center-of-excellence-presentations-and-powerpoints/ SteveVIS solves problems Controlled, moderated presentations RESULTS/Discussion Dell’s moderated blog: facilitating cognitive social capital
  • 16. 16 7/25/2014 http://www.networksolutions.com/blog/2009/04/event-review-social-matchbox-dc/ Nick D: Does anybody know an expert in virtualization? (1) Sameer F: @Nick D check with @Carlos N from IT (2) Tom G: We sold a full data center solution to a new customer. (1) Gina A: @Tom G – Nice! (2) Nick D: @Sameer F thanks! @Carlos N was very helpful. (3) Katja B: @Sameer F your answer helped me too  (4) (3) (4) Dell’s un-moderated micro-blog: facilitating structural and relational social capitalRESULTS/Discussion
  • 17. 17 7/25/2014 http://www.networksolutions.com/blog/2009/04/event-review-social-matchbox-dc/ Dell’s un-moderated micro-blog: facilitating structural and relational social capitalRESULTS/Discussion
  • 18. 70 60 62 51 30 30 85 81 85 68 67 55 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Invited colleage to participate Contacted colleague based on their post Answered colleague's question Forwarded colleague's question Crowdsourced question Met f2f with online contact blog micro-blog 18 7/25/2014 RESULTS/Discussion Survey results – structural social capital
  • 19. RESULTS 57 68 60 80 62 54 47 80 84 78 85 80 76 69 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Provided needed information to colleague specifically because he/she helped me before Volunteered information to help others Revised posts to conform to expectations Cognizant of colleagues' varying cultural/linguistic backgrounds Engaged in discussions with colleagues Found colleagues with whom I share professional or personal interests Have built professional relationship with colleague based on online interactions blog micro-blog 19 7/25/2014 Survey results – relational social capital
  • 20. RESULTS 47 69 76 64 59 94 52 65 76 67 78 83 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Use Dell language and acronyms Reading tool content improves my familiarity with Dell jargon Reading tool content improves my familiarity with Dell culture Reading tool content improves my ability to do my job Posted best practices Found best practices blog micro-blog 20 7/25/2014 Survey results – cognitive social capital
  • 21. RESULTS 21 7/25/2014 89 61 72 78 72 100 67 85 62 71 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Have you actively participated in the tool by submitting a post or a comment? Have you connected with co-workers because of information you found in the tool? Does the tool help you to get to know your colleagues better? Has your knowledge about co-workers' expertise and job responsibilities changed since you started using the tool? Does participating in the tool help you gain insight into the Dell culture? Blog Micro-blog Interview results –structural, relational and cognitive social capital Structural SC Relational SC Cognitive SC
  • 22. structural 27% relational 9%cognitive 64% Content analysis results: Sample blog posts structural 80% relational 10% cognitive 10% Content analysis results: Micro- blog - daily activity stream structural 29% relational 52% cognitive 19% Content analysis results: Micro- blog - topic discussion stream Structural 39% relational 30% cognitive 31% Content analysis results: Micro-blog - event reporting stream 22 7/25/2014 Content analysis results: blog/micro-blog activity streams RESULTS/Discussion
  • 23. Future research opportunities Academia & industry RELEVANCE/OUTLOO K 23 7/25/2014 Beginnings More research Exciting frontier Beginnings More research Exciting frontier
  • 24. RELEVANCE/OUTLOO K 24 7/25/2014 Relevance of results for industry and academia Industry/Dell Warranted investment in tools that facilitate the generation of organizational social capital Tools are not redundant but fulfill different purposes Targeted improvements to internal social media communication strategies (activity streams) Equip managers with tools to foster all three dimensions of organizational social capital Improve infrastructure for knowledge sharing (innovation) Improved understanding of how the blog and micro-blog facilitate organizational social capital to improve new employee integration (M&A)
  • 25. RELEVANCE/OUTLOO K 25 7/25/2014 Relevance of results for industry and academia Academia/Technical Communication New knowledge regarding organizational social capital theory from the perspective of technical communication New knowledge regarding the use of social communications technologies inside of a global, high-tech organization. (Gurak and Hill Duin, 2004) Position the technical communication practitioner as communication strategist/leader in digital literacy/pioneer in the digital revolution (Spilka, 2010) First-hand insights into use of social communication technologies in industry help to prepare students for jobs Content analysis as viable tool for organizational social capital research New, early concept for positioning online social structures on a continuum between purely social and purely individual control
  • 26. RELEVANCE/OUTLOO K 26 7/25/2014 Study limitations & research opportunities Limitations Single case study at one organization Content analysis was experimental, categories need to be validated, single content rater Corpus of data is relatively small, different activity streams or different data parsing methods could yield different results Potential bias of researcher (Dell employee) Research opportunities Replicate the case study at another organization for validation Develop content analysis further, refine categories as viable tool for organizational social capital research Assess cultural and linguistic impact on tool use Further develop new concept for positioning online social structures on a continuum between purely social and purely individual control
  • 27. 27 7/25/2014 FutureResearch
  • 28. Anschuetz, L. & Rosenbaum, S. (2002) Chapter 9: Expanding roles for technical communicators. Reshaping technical communication: New directions and challenges for the 21st century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Baehr, C., & Alex-Brown, K. (2010b). Assessing the value of corporate blogs: A social capital perspective. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 53, 358-369. Berkenkotter, C. (2002). Chapter 3: Analysis Everyday Texts in Organizational Settings, 47-65. In Gurak, L. & Lay, M. (Eds.) (2002). Research in technical communication. Westport, CT: Praeger. Burt, R. (2005). Brokerage and closure : An introduction to social capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chen, D., & Hu, N. (2007). Corporate blogging and firm performance: An empirical study. International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing, 1-15, 6158-6161. Clark, D. (2010). Shaped and shaping tools: The rhetorical nature of technical communication technologies. Digital literacy for technical communication: 21st century theory and practice. Routledge. Cohen, D., & Prusak, L. (2001). In good company: How social capital makes organizations work. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. Coleman, J. (1988a). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 94, Supplement: Organizations and Institutions: Sociological and Economic Approaches to the Analysis of Social Structure (1988), 94, S95-S120. Dalkir, K. (2005). Knowledge management in theory and practice. Amterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. Davenport T. & Prusak, L. (2000). Working knowledge. How organizations manage what they know. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press. Davidson, E., & Vaast, E. (2007). Tech Talk: An investigation of blogging in technology innovation discourse. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 52(1), 40-60. Fiore, F. D. (2007). Communities versus networks: The implications on innovation and social change. American Behavioral Scientist, 50, 857-866. Granovetter, M. S. (1973) The strength of weak ties. The American Journal of Sociology, 78, 6, 1360-1380. Gruzd, A., Wellman, B., & Takhteyev, Y. (2011). A research primer for technical communication : methods, exemplars, and analyses. Special issue of the American Behavioral Scientist on Imagined Communities. Gurak, L., & Antonijevic, S. (2008c). The psychology of blogging: You, me, and everyone in between. American Behavioral Scientist, 52, 60-68. Gurak, L., & Duin, A. H. (2004). The impact of the internet and digital technologies on teaching and research in technical communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 13(2), 187-198. Hackos, J. (2007). Information development. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing Inc. Hampton, K., & Wellman, B. (2001). Long distance community in the network society: Contact and support beyond netville. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 476-495. Hsu, C., & Lin, J. (2007). Acceptance of blog usage: The roles of technology acceptance, social influence and knowledge sharing motivation. Information & Management, 45(1), 65-74. Lesser, E. & L. Prussak (Eds.) (2004). Creating value with knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press Lesser, E. (2000). Knowledge and social capital: Foundations and applications. Boston; Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. Lin, N. (2008). Social capital : A theory of social structure and action (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Longo, B. (2010). Human + machine culture: Where we work. Digital Literacy for Technical Communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice. Routledge. Miller, C. & Shepherd, D. (2003) Blogging as social action: A genre analysis of the weblog. Into the Blogsphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs. Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242-266. Ojala, M. (2005). Blogging: For knowledge sharing, management and dissemination. Business Information Review, 22(4), 269-276. Okoli, C., & Oh, W. (2007). Investigating recognition-based performance in an open content community: A social capital perspective. Information & Management, 44(3), 240-252. Portes, A. (1998) Social Capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1-24 Prusak, L. & Cohen, D. (2001) How to invest in social capital. Harvard Business Review, 79 (6), 86-93, 147. Prusak, L. (1997). Knowledge in organizations. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. Putnam, R. (2000) Blowing alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster: Rao, M. (Ed.) Knowledge management tools and techniques. (pp. 185-196) Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heineman.Rao, Madanmohan. (2005). Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heineman. Rockley, A. (2003). Managing enterprise content : A unified content strategy (1st ed.). Indianapolis IN.: New Riders. Spilka, Rachel. (2010). Digital literacy for technical communication : 21st century theory and practice. New York: Routledge. Tsai, W. & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. The Academy of Management Journal, 41(4), 464-476. Van Deth, J. (2003). Measuring social capital: Orthodoxies and continuing controversies. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(1), 79-92. Wellman, B. (2001). Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American Behavioral Scientist (45), 3, 436 – 455. Wellman, B., Haase, A. Q., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2001). Does the internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American Behavioral Scientist, 45, 436-455. Winsor, D. (2001). Learning to do knowledge work in systems of distributed cognition. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 15(1), 5-28.Texas Tech University28 References
  • 29. BACKUP Texas Tech University29 7/25/2014
  • 30. METHODOLOGY Texas Tech University30 7/25/2014 Dimensions of organizational social capital structuring research methods Dimension of Organizational Social Capital STRUCTURAL Examine whether connections to other employees can be made via the blog/micro-blog RELATIONAL Examine whether relational assets can change via the use of the blog/micro-blog COGNITIVE Examine how the blog/micro-blog helps to build a shared paradigm among users
  • 31. METHODOLOGY Texas Tech University31 7/25/2014 Research participants / data corpus Surveyparticipants Recruitment: Link to survey on blog and micro-blog Respondents - 60 Global Cross-functional Diverse Dell tenure Diverse seniority Interviewparticipants Recruitment: Via email Interviewees - Blog 18 - Micro-blog 15 Global Cross-functional Diverse Dell tenure Diverse seniority Informationproduct Blog - Subset of monthly activity stream Micro-blog - Daily activity stream - Topic discussion stream - Event reporting stream
  • 32. 1. How do the corporate blog and micro-blog change the ways in which organizational social capital is generated at Dell? – Survey, interviews and content analysis confirm changes in structural, relational and cognitive social capital › Structural ties are generated by use of both tools via communication based on content found in the information product › Relations change via use of both tools › Common knowledge is generated via use of both tools 2. How is the existence of the three dimensions of organizational social capital reflected in the information product of the two tools? – Content analysis shows patterns of communicative activity between employees that indicate that new connections are formed, relationships are deepened and common knowledge is created › directly addressing an individual, seeking a connection with another employee based on his/her comment or visible subject matter expertise, responding or acknowledging information being shared, forwarding a another user’s query to someone who might have the answer, answers to questions (crowdsourcing) Results: research questions Texas Tech University32 7/25/2014 RESULTS/Discussion
  • 33. 3. What are other indicators (beyond those defined in current scholarship) for measuring an increase in organizational social capital generated by the blog and micro-blog? – The content analysis is a valuable tool for the measurement of organizational social capital and communicative instances can be used as indicators for the generation of organizational social capital. – Patterns of instances of communicative activity allow for a very detailed assessment of specific usage models within the tools that cannot be extracted via survey or interview methods. 4. How does the formation of organizational social capital as well as information and knowledge sharing differ on the blog versus on the micro-blog? – Blog: information dissemination with limited author/audience and audience/audience engagement – great for diffusion of a common paradigm to aide the organization in enabling employees to pursue common goals – Micro-blog: making connections, deepening relationships with high employee engagement – very flexible tool with multiple usage models yielding different levels of organizational social capital formation 5. From a business perspective, what aspects of the blog and micro-blog are valued most by Dell’s leadership? – Very limited responses mostly due to limited understanding of the exact value of the tools. Assessing the value the leadership places on these tools will take further research. Results: research questions Texas Tech University33 7/25/2014 RESULTS/Discussion
  • 34. Texas Tech University34 7/25/2014 Structural 28% Relational 34% Cognitive 38% Survey results: Blog Structural 33% Relational 35% Cognitive 32% Survey results: Micro-blog Survey and interview results – relative distribution of structural, relational and cognitive social capital Structural 34% Relational 32% Cognitive 34% Interview results: Blog Structural 36% Relational 36% Cognitive 28% Interview results: Micro-blog RESULTS/Discussion