Jeff Pulver sent a request to a group of us in Facebook. Someone asked him for help on a research project. I don’t have anything written on this topic, but my recent librarian skills love a good challenge!
I’m taking a class in organizational behavior and I have to write a research paper. I would like to write about how new media is changing structure within organizations and how people manage. I would like to look at how recent grads with new media skills will possibly enter the workplace with greater skills in the area than their superiors and how this changes hierarchy within the org…
Social media has changed many things in regard to organizational behavior. I will use myself as an example. In August my employer decided to allow me to work remotely. Granted they have others working remotely, but it seems the exception rather than the rule. As Community Manager I work with customers externally, but also internally with all levels. That underlines one of the premises of social media is that siloes are leveled & people move to the fringe of the corporate membrane. (Robert Scoble I believe).
It has also leveled the playing field in networking & I’ve experienced this with my social networking in meeting people online. So, social media has changed the hierarchy within some organizations. My company started doing betas this past summer & will continue to do them. And there are case studies of companies like Dell where they’ve used social media to help their brand.
But I should clarify that I am not a ‘new grad’ and I don’t necessarily have greater skills than my superiors. I just have an intense interest in social media & it compliments the skills of those I work with (at all levels). My goal is share & teach my skills that can further the mission of our company.
To research this, I would recommend a couple of articles that Forrester Analyst, Jeremiah Owyang has written to get an overview.
- Outlines a timeframe for the integration of social media into the workplace. If anything the trend will be later than this. The article is an excellent overview of the upcoming changes.
- a video that talks about best practices for the adoption rates of social media ranging from digital natives (the recent grads) to existing employees needing to adapt (digital immigrants).
Then I would research the terms ‘digital natives’ & future. I started for you & it was interesting:
In ‘Digital Natives’ will drive web 2.0 into your business Gartner Analyst Anthony Bradley says this about digital natives:
They bring with them a set of expectations of how they will interact and the tools they’ll use to interact, and they can be woefully disappointed walking into organizations that don’t have some of the Web 2.0 tools that they’re used to using for building relationships and getting things done
In the same article Gartner analyst Tom Austin said
Enterprise 2.0 technologies need to be “free form,” or informal, messy and participatory, to make co-workers comfortable.
An interesting White Paper by Jon Husband: From Hierarchy to Wirearchy: The future of workplace dynamics (and mentions the Cluetrain Manifest – no surprise! It’s an interesting read)
Organization charts are still useful, but only as they become more fluid. Certainly, they appear in a much wider range of shapes than before, and often convey new messages about power, status and control. “Organigraphics,” or pictures of the ways organizations flow and operate, are clearly more pertinent, accurate and useful, according to strategy and organizational structure guru Henry Mintzberg.
And here’s a book for in-depth reading:
In The Future of Management by Gary Hamel, he suggests that management needs to be reinvented.
The underlying principles of hierarchy, bureaucratic control, and pay-for-performance worked well when the objective was efficiency. But today companies need to deliver on a broader set of objectives, and they need to be far more creative than their forebears.
So rather than force-fit our old management practices to the needs of today’s companies, we should actually develop a new set of practices – based on new principles such as community, variety, and creativity.
Do you think that would resonate with the new generations coming into the workforce? (I think I may need to read his book!).
So in going to Amazon to look for that book, I see a number of new books on leadership that may be good for your research (use your library!). This one looks particularly interesting: The Future of Human Resource Management: 64 Thought Leaders Explore the Critical HR Issues of Today and Tomorrow
Good luck with your research & let me know if you need more. The reference desk is always open!