The most critical aspect of these systems is the ability to create a highly collaborative, communicative, trusting environment for workers (Bert, 2009). It is not the software that matters the most; it is the ability of a leader to bring lasting change into an organization and lead it to a transformational state over the long-term (Krishnan, 2004). That is the role of an excellent leader implementing these social network tools and propagating them throughout the company.
The statement that social network style tools may prove to be more effective in bringing out the performance of a boss is also predicated on how well they are aligned to the specific needs of the company, and more specifically, the employees. The focus needs to be on using these tools to increase the transparency and information velocity throughout a business if it is to be effective over the long-term. No amount of orders or directives can take the place of a leader who makes it clear that their goal is to lead a significant change in how a company works, ensuring a higher level of information and knowledge sharing (Krishnan, 2004).
The need for these social media tools to align with business processes, improve them, and lead to greater levels of trust while giving each person on a team greater autonomy, mastery and purpose of their roles is the most critical aspect of new software deployments. From this perspective the deployment of the software becomes secondary to the actual development of an overarching an cohesive strategy to make the software an indispensable part of how work gets done in the business. Only by integrating these aspects of performance can a company hope to excel and improve over time given the investments in these new applications.
4. O'Toole states: It has been said that Americans are increasingly overworked. Discuss whether social network type evaluations aid or hinder the overworked American. Justify your response.
Social network evaluations increase the pressure on American workers to excel on an entirely new dimension of performance, and that is their social network and social media use. It also forces them to be very specific in tailoring their responses to questions from friends, what they post to Twitter, Google+ or other social networks as well. In reality using social networking sites as a means to gain greater insights into performance is creating an entirely new set of tasks and dimension to any already packed schedule and series of action items as well (Bernoff, Li, 2008). They hinder the typical American worker because the pressure to perform will never stop once this is implemented.
Another aspect of this is that as social network analysis and the use of social media has shown, people tend to have multiple roles both in the professional and in their private lives (Bert, 2009). To use social media as a means to evaluate their performance is to look at the overlap of their roles without giving them the opportunity to differentiate on performance metrics. What results is a complete disconnect from a measurement standpoint, as the public social networks are not architected to measure job performance like an internal one would be (Bernoff, Li, 2008). The internal social networks on the other hand are designed for more focused collaboration and communication, often with an analytics layer included to evaluate performance over time (Bert, 2009).
All of these factors show how the use of social network-type evaluations are not as effective as ongoing transformational leadership (Krishnan, 2004). It is far better to have a manager very involved in their daily activities of a subordinate and not rely on these systems as a proxy for good management.
Bert, R. (2009). Driving results through social networks: How top organizations leverage networks for performance and growth. Civil Engineering, 79(6), 70.
Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing the power of the oh-so-social web. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 36-42.
Krishnan, V.R. (2004). Impact of transformational leadership on followers influence strategies. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 25(1), 58-72.
Mead, S.P. (2001). Using social network analysis to visualize project teams. Project Management Journal, 32(4), 32-38.