Analysis of the Effectiveness of Linked
In as Tool for Group Organization and
What kinds of organizations might find a website like
Business Service Providers
Sales & Marketing Professionals
Travel Service Providers
Printing/Publication Service Providers
Any organization organizing “virtual teams” to accomplish
What is a virtual team? What are the benefits.
Virtual team – is a group of individuals who work across time,
space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened
by webs of communications technology. (Wikipedia)
Small businesses, volunteer organizations organization and
other groups with small amounts of start up capital can utilize
a free virtual workspace.
Virtual teams allow members to contribute at their
convenience and from various locations which can cut back
on time lost to travel which increases productivity.
What are the key features of this website that differentiate
it from other similar sites?
Average user is well-educated professional business
Often “Decision Makers”
LinkedIn is geared toward professional use.
Document Sharing Applications
Blog and “Twitter” feeds are pulled and posted to
profile which allows user to showcase their
The LinkedIn Professional At A Glance
College Grad/Post Grad
Business Decision Maker
Source: @plan Summer 2008
LinkedIn is geared towards business
professionals and organizations.
LinkedIn has a more “professional look and feel” which is appreciated
by the more professional, mature audience. (Anderson)
The LinkedIn Blog advises business and professional
users on getting the most out of their account. (Nicole)
Ten Ways for Small Businesses to Use LinkedIn
Small Biz Nation: Helping small businesses help each other
LinkedIn for BlackBerry: Anytime, Anywhere
Now Available: Your Professional Network within Microsoft Outlook
LinkedIn is a direct path to many of the
“decision makers” in todays business
Business Decision Makers
50% Are Business Decision Makers In Their Companies
Purchased in The Last Year For Their Business:
Computer Software DM/Influencer:
Computer Hardware DM/Influencer:
Business Consulting Services:
IT Consulting DM/Influencer:
Office Supplies DM/Influencer:
Business Equipment DM/Influencer:
Travel Services DM/Influencer:
Source: @plan Summer 2008
Organizational / group related drawbacks
LinkedIn has fewer members than My Space or
Facebook but that membership is expanding.
April 2009: Linked in was mentioned in a list of theTop
Ten Social Networking and Blog Sites (Nielson)
October 2009: LinkedIn reports membership of “50
million professionals” (Weiner).
Website lacks a “real-time” chat or video
How could your group use LinkedIn?
Scenario One: Group Communication
Scenario Two: Event Planning
Scenario Three: Recruiting and Outsourcing
Group Communication Features
Group members may utilize discussion walls to
discuss topics posted by members.
Subgroups option for specific purposes.
Document sharing applications allow
collaboration and distribution of documents.
Groups increase marketing and advertising
potential of LinkedIn. (Ostrow)
Discussion groups facilitate group interaction and
Documents are visible on profile and easily
downloaded or viewed.
Group members can be invited to
collaborate as document editors.
Member can create events and invite
contacts to attend.
Invitees can RSVP for events via their
Contacts can see each other's events
which increases event visibility.
Event planners can keep track of events and are
able to see the number of expected attendees.
Upcoming events organized and accessible to
Event details are easily updated.
Using LinkedIn as a Recruiting and
Allows a member to search for job candidates and
service providers (ex. printing service) among their
contacts and companies with public profiles.
150,000 companies have a company profile on
LinkedIn, the “public profile” for companies.
Contacts can be sorted according to industry,
company, locations, and recent activity.
Establishing Roles and Tasks
Project Plan can easily be discussed and shared
with group members.
Group leaders can message all members of group
at once. (Kawasaki)
Individual discussion subgroups can be created
for each task.
Team leaders can assign tasks based on
expertise or previous experience of members .
Members are able to send private messages to personal
contacts thus maintaining or re-building personal
Other social networking venues such as blogs and Twitter
can be imported to member profiles to add personalized
Members can search for groups pertaining to their
Virtual team members are often more productive and
content because they can access workspace from various
locations at their convenience. (Jury)
“Virtual workspaces (an integrated set of tools that offer a
variety of communication support capabilities including a
well-organized and searchable common team repository
and group discussion forums) provide historical referents,
enhance situational awareness, and facilitate multichannel interactions.” (Majchrzak)
Using LinkedIn to Mitigate Conflict
Accountability: Members contributions are visible
to entire group.
Disputes over Ownership of Intellectual
Properties: Documents and “concepts” easily
linked back to original source. (Majchrzak)
Asynchronous discussion board may help to
eliminate “information overload” and lost e-mails.
Using LinkedIn in a Business Context
Linked in allows you to post specifics about your
past job experience and educational background.
Only members can post content on their profile.
LinkedIn allows you access to many group
created to provide members with valuable
Provides users instant access to your educational
and experiential background.
LinkedIn protects your public image.
No danger of being “tagged”
in that unfortunate “glamour
shot” from 1995.
Business contacts aren't
privy to personal information
which others might post on
your Facebook or My Space
profiles such as: “Wow!
Your boss really is a jerk.”
LinkedIn offers networking opportunities
with other entrepeneurs.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, what
rating would you give the website and why?
While quite useful for group
organization, LinkedIn would
benefit by a “real-time”
Complicated tasks may
require a platform by which
members can utilize “
such as videoconferencing
or groupware, in order to
develop greater role
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"Virtual Team." Wikipedia, 9 Mar 2010. Web. 14 Apr 2010.
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