Use Of Social Media In Islamic Organizations FDocument Transcript
During the last few decades information management techniques and open source software
movement has revolutionized the way organizational processes work in corporations. Processes have
become more centralized, connected and collaborative. Inter-connected databases, reports and
resources have been a key factor for faster production and communication within organizations
that are dispersed globally through web 2.0. Use of data centers, mail clients, security systems, e-
commerce, online processing and automated concatenated communication systems have been a
crucial factor in implementing efficient business processes. Oracle's Siebel, PeopleSoft and
PeachTree has successfully been implemented in organizational settings for digitalizing paperwork
and streamlining it to ensure faster access and efficient workforce management. These
technologies have been operational and successfully used for accounting, human resources and
customer services to manage the workforce in large enterprises.
On one hand these technological innovations and digital management of employee documents have
made corporate processing faster and lives of end-users easier. Credit card processing controls all
the processes that are part of a larger transaction e.g currency conversion, authentication, fund
transfers, credit limit management. DNA scanners ensure faster and reliable secure access.
Databases and its categorization mechanisms have made it easier to sort out employee and
customer databases in huge enterprises according to a specific criteria e.g month, date,
department, sale type, invoice number and purchase id. This inter connectedness can be found in
larger enterprises. Swedish centralized system of university admission Studera is a great example
of open, cost-efficient and paperless system of processing applications and disseminating it to
universities applied through its one-window process. Students can choose, read, and apply about
programs through the website with a single set of documents. According to student
choices, priorities are set, cover sheet is prepared which should be printed and required documents
should be attached and sent to Studera's address. These documents are then scanned by Studera
staff and disseminated to relevant universities. Once this process is complete, student accounts
are associated with their documents forever and you don't have to send documents again whenever
you want to apply to a degree program again in Sweden. Through Studera's application interface you
could apply to different programmes forever.
Islam values accountability, openness and responsibility. Technology, social media and web 2.0
revolution has made it easier to cross-check, compare and analyze the information with Islamic
principles and injunctions. Second Caliph Umar bin Khatab (Razi Allah Tallah Unho) has been a role
model for strict, efficient and pragmatic governance. He reigned over 2/3rd of the world and his
empire was highly centralized, egalitarian and systematic. This is the evidence of viability and
pragmatism of Islamic values and principles even in absence of sophisticated technology and
resources. With highly networked and intricate communication and management systems it is
increasingly possible to create an egalitarian networked and participatory system subjected to
public scrutiny according to Islamic values. In historical events, we find a case brought against
Caliph Umar (Razi Allah Tallah Unho) by an ordinary citizen. During the process of distribution of
clothes in the Mosque an ordinary citizen stood up and asked second caliph and the most powerful
ruler of his times about his right to have two pieces of cloth instead of one like everyone else.
Second Caliph asked his son to answer that question. His son stood up and said that since my father
is very tall and single piece and cloth would not cover his body, he gave his piece of cloth to his
father. This satisfied the question and also became an example of scrutiny, openness and
accountability for generations to come. Islamic history is replete with such examples. Prophet
Muhammad PBUH's refusal to condone the punishment of a woman who was punished for stealing
because she belong to a wealthy family, Hazrat Abu Bakar (Razi Allah Tallah Unho)'s selling clothes
in markets of Mecca inspite of being the ruler of a huge empire, and literally every ruler's incognito
inspection of markets, residential places and suburbs are evidence of Islamic upright principles and
Current human resource practices have been profit-oriented, capitalistic and commercialized.
Fortune 500 have been accused of worst human rights violations and worst workplace practices.
Different corporate research websites and watchdog groups have been following these corporations
for decades now. Crocodyl.org a famous and thorough corporate research wiki started in
collaboration with corpwatch.com has been a key resource for corporate research and exploitative
tactics. Many documentaries have unveiled the worst incidents of child abuse, harrassement, power
politics, overtime, unsafe work conditions and physical violence against women. Michael Moore's
'Sicko' 'Roger & Me' and 'The Big One' have been a serious blow to US corporate world and free
market myth as a whole. Roger & Me muckraked the CEO of Roger Smith for closing a Buick plant
and throwing out thousands of employees in different areas of US. It was released in 1988 and was
one of the earliest attempt to wage a journalistic war against corporate criminals. With increased
UN bullying and American military pressure on third world, outsourcing has become a cheap solution
for developed world to abuse foreign workers through unsafe working conditions, hard deadlines
and cheap wages. Moore's another attempt to cover an American corporate holocaust was 'The Big
One'. This time he took Phil Knight, CEO of Nike for his dirty practices and exploitation of
indonesian workforce in Nike's plant in Indonesia. His latest Academy Award winning documentary
'Sicko' run down drug companies for their greed-filled, indifference for human life. Symbiotic
relationship of politicians and drug companies made health care in US a living hell for ordinary
citizens with insurance companies and health care industry an eldorado.
McLibel was another attempt by Mcdonalds to intimidate two British citizens who were campaigning
McDonalds because of their unsafe food and below the belt marketing strategies. Campaigning in
schools, colleges and universities, convincing youth to use junk food and using monetary incentives
for that was one of the tricks. McDonalds sue two citizens for that and documentary is the story of
fight of two friends against McDonalds. British legal system did not provide defendants with a
lawyer so they had to fight their own case. Whole legal system was biased against citizens. Initially
they lost the case and were fined that they never paid. They sued the whole English legal system
for not providing defendants with lawyers in European Court of Human Rights and won against the
‘The Money Masters’ has been another documentary that analyzes the economic system based on
interest and fiat money in length chronologically from ancient times. It gradually travels from past
to present analyzing the effects of official decrees and timeline of global financial system and the
havoc it wreaked on human society.
‘Walmart – High Cost of Low Price’ is another eye opening documentary about Walmart stores,
world’s largest corporation. It was ranked 1 in profits in 2008. It has a history of unfair
workplace practices that includes harassment, anti-unionization, bullying, wage cuts, lay-offs and
Another heart touching documentary is ‘Santa’s Workshop’ about Chinese factories where children
make toys for children in developed world which are sold on Christmas. Injustice of today’s world on
how different children deserve different treatment because of their birthplaces is excruciating.
The Corporation was probably one of the best efforts in collecting corporate crime records and
analyzed the history of free market and capitalism that has been the flawed and defunct theory of
global business today. With interviews and case studies from reputed scholars like Noam Chomsky
and Naomi Klein, documentary was one of the best attempts to dissect the corporate culture and
Success of Islamic management of state affairs, human resources and western avarice and
materialism calls for an egalitarian, democratic system of human resources and corporate
governance according to Islamic principles. Technological advances and guidelines from Hadith,
Quran and Fiqa together will result in a technologically and spiritually a humanistic operational
system free of human flaws. With the advent of social media and open source applications
proliferation of information and centralized reporting and governance has been easier and more
functional. Globalized nature of today's business and the fact that geographically dispersed offices
around the globe are well connected and functional is an evidence of possibility of an open, fair, and
One of the technologies that can be used for dissemination of corporate records, financials, real-
time updates and corporate issues is Wiki. Corporations and businesses are a part of social sphere
owing to society and globe as a whole. Wiki structure of piped links and concatenated information
has been a solid reason for it to be used as corporate reporting and public relation blackboard.
Most of the information in corporate world about wages, laws, policies, procedures, financials,
employee contracts, resources, queries and strategies is not readily available for public scrutiny.
According to Islamic principles of openness and accountability, a business operating without
following Islamic ways of conducting business, knowledge, and fair practice has no right to operate
in Islamic jurisdiction. From packaging to marketing and from information sharing to service
delivery whole process of Islamic business is based on truth, trust and integrity. Complying with
normative and theoretical guidelines of Quran and Hadith it not only morally but professionally
unethical to conduct business using false promises and deceptive wordings. It is disrespectful of
people and their right to live in a society that operates on principles of trust, honesty and respect.
Wikis have been one of the most effective social collaborative tool of our times. With the huge
success and evolution of Wikipedia, Wikispaces, Wetpaint and WikiEducator, the MediaWiki
Software has been an open source application for the Wiki software. It is written in PHP and is
available in 100 languages. Developed by Brion Vibber in 2002 who works as Release Manager at
Wikimedia Foundation, it has came a long way from its initial release. The product logo was created
by Erik Moeller using a flower photograph taken by Florence Nibart-Devouard, and was originally
submitted to an international logo contest for a new Wikipedia logo held in summer 200. MediaWiki
supports rich content generated through specialized syntax. For example, the software comes with
support for rendering mathematical formulas using LaTeX and a special parser written in OCaml.
Similar functionality for other content, ranging from graphical timelines over mathematical plotting
and musical scores to Egyptian hieroglyphs, is available in the form of extensions and also aesthetic
sense has improved considerably. It is licensed under GPL General Public License and is open source
work that means everyone can collaborate and help in development of this software. More human
involvement means more sophistication, less flaws and continuous improvement in technology. Data is
stored in MySQL another open source project. Pages use MediaWiki's wikitext format, so that
users without knowledge of XHTML or CSS can edit them easily.
Wikipedia’s success as collaborative learning resource has been a phenomenonal evidence of the
viablility of a centralized database of information updated over time. This can be a repository for
organizational data too. From departmental records to financials to strategies can all be embedded
easily in wiki structure. Corporate researchers can easily match information against the laws and
standard practices. MediaWiki saves all versions and revisions made to a document and has a
chronological record of changes. This makes it easier to track updations and incongruences. This
information can later be used to ask questions about anomalies and non-standard practices. Pages
can be exported in pdf format through rich MediaWiki Extensions that can be viewed at its
website. Other social media tools helpful for reporting and multimedia support are available and can
be incorporated in wikis through a range of MediaWiki Extensions. MediaWiki can be made more
advanced and useful for various purposes through its extensions. Many of the available extensions
are simple scripts to allow embedding content such as Adobe Flash files or HTML forms. Others
add complex new behavior to the wiki syntax, such as Semantic MediaWiki which provides the
ability to add structured and searchable relations and attributes to wiki pages (cf. semantic web).
Examples of extensions that could improve a wiki are:
Category suggestion extension
RSS feed inclusion
The nature of corporate information makes it harder for it to keep this information
comprehensible, streamlined and learning process easy. Information overload can be a big problem
in organizational learning and performance. Wikis are optimized for heavy usage and robustness.
Because it is used to run one of the highest traffic sites on the Internet, Wikipedia, MediaWiki
performance and scalability have been highly optimized. MediaWiki supports Squid caches, load-
balanced database replication, client-side caching, memcached or table-based caching for
frequently accessed processing of query results, a simple static file cache, feature-reduced
operation, revision compression, and a job queue for database operations.
Corporate intranets are also a viable solution for disseminating information if public access is
available to corporate information on a secure and participatory level. Governmental controls and
scrutiny against laws and human rights can be monitored in real time if this information can be made
accessible to people who are stakeholders as end-users.
Bigger part of failure of corporations as customer-focused, honest businesses is its inability to
make its processes and policies open and accessible to public. This view is corroborated by
contemporary initiatives of some corporations employing open source and collaborative technologies.
Google Inc. could be one of the examples. Its strong suit is its participatory, friendly and word of
mouth strategies. It has outdone its rivals in almost every service launched by Google. Gmail, Google
Calendar, Google Documents and recent purchase of YouTube has been a great achievement and
workability of its Advertising based revenue model and participatory, open-access technologies. Its
information management and Knowledge management and design has been its core competency.
Although it has not gone open source and would have been more successful.
Information networks and social networking in facebook, largest social networking website can also
serve as the role model for open, connected and automated information handling system. Variables
are structurally connected to each other through mathematically analyzed permutations and
combinations. Comments, photos, status messages, contact details and activities can be centralized
and shared in real time. With contact detail import from email services like gmail, its even easier to
manage information networks. A similar platform can be designed for corporate information
dissemination and put out to public scrutiny. Stock exchanges can use similar public relations portal
and should be made responsible and accountable for information put online and to answer the
questions regarding any anomalies and deviations from the norm. Earnings, employee records, hiring
and firing data, customer databases, health and travel bills and transactions can all be stored and
can be made searchable. Search keywords could be categorized by name of employee, department,
month, week, year, location and designation. All variables can be made inter-connected with
mathematically connecting all possible combinations and permutations.
Well-connected, open and cross-checkable HRMSs is the way to create egalitarian workplace.
Accountability and transparency is a top priority for an Islamic organization and society as well.
More research and development is needed to further develop this theoretical model of