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Social Media Usage Leads To Innovative Employees

This is the conclusion of research conducted by TNO, a Dutch independent research organization, amongst 3,327 Dutch employees. The two interesting outcomes are that it positively affects innovative work behavior (IWB) without affecting emotional exhaustion due to information overload.

The condition to enable this behavior is not having captured and fixed too many processes in ICTs such as an ERP, which strongly standardize work. On the other hand, company-broad ICTs did not show such an effect.

Have a look at the results shown here more in depth of the research.

The results by TNO do raise interesting questions to ponder on:

  • Where to find the balance between the three axes, large companies have implemented ERP or workflow software to boost efficiency and effectivity?
  • Could this mean ERPs and workflow software should evolve incorporating social media usage effects?
  • Should social technologies evolve into inclusive collaboration on open platforms, where sharing is the default, not just an after-thought to be more efficient?

As elaborated by the Harmon.ie research on social media productivity loss, inclusive collaboration will unleash huge organizational potential for knowledge discovery with benefits including greater innovation, reducing time spent searching for information and elimination of duplicated effort.

Chicken-egg dilemma
As Social Media are just means to an end, and the openess, transparency of information (be it internal and/or external) is here to stay, it will be a matter of evolution and adaptation of needs and problems and where technology can help.

Secondly it’s not only a need-technology issue, as well as a behavioral/cultural and managerial, this is where policies and ‘new’ working kick in. Setting out what is and isn’t acceptable use of social media, but also a more qualitative instead of quantitative approach of spent time. Goal-oriented working environments will benefit more from social media and innovative working behavior, than the conservative and mistrusting ones.

Innovation comes also by multidisciplinary collaboration, social media are a means to this end, obstructing this opportunity will do more harm than good in the long term. Adaptation and transformation of people, processes and technology will have to occur sooner or later, because both the organization and the competitive landscape will demand this.

Originally posted on the Business Insider by Gianluigi Cuccureddu.