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18-06-2019 | Originalarbeit | Issue 3/2019

e & i Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik 3/2019

Social media and corporate innovation management—Eight rules to form an innovative organisation

Journal:
e & i Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik > Issue 3/2019
Author:
Helmut Leopold
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Abstract

This paper explores the potential of using social media to achieve a higher degree of effectiveness in innovation management in a corporate context. When using online social media platforms to increase in-house communication effectiveness for innovation processes within corporations, two complementary worlds have to be considered separately, but have to be combined and harmonized as they are closely intertwined: the creative phase of flexible and uncontrolled information exchange, as well as the linear process world that is needed to steer the financial and business management issues of a company.
So far, the general discussion has mainly focused on certain aspects of social media, such as the mass-scale networking of users of different self-portrayal and interaction platforms, such as LinkedIn and Xing, or the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ effect for large scale idea platforms, or as a marketing tool to reach target groups with dedicated messages.
However, there are essential cultural and motivational issues, which have to be given due consideration as a prerequisite for the implementation of social media as an in-house communication platform in the context of corporate innovation management. Social media mechanisms are principally based on information sharing. In a corporate environment, however, shared information does not necessarily translate into equal benefits for all those involved. Such a mismatch could lead to significant drawbacks for staff members and consequently hinders effective innovation processes. Thus, the barriers to effective innovation performance have to be promptly identified and duly considered when implementing Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) tools based on online social media functions.
The findings of the study, described in this paper, which are based on the practical observation of the real-world behaviour of employees within an organisational context, will contribute to better understanding when and how to use online social media tools within organisations. They also clearly demonstrate that the implementation of new IT systems within organisations is not only a mere technology issue. The paper proposes as conclusion eight recommendations to form an innovation-supportive organisation culture as a prerequisite for an effective online social media usage within firms.

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