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LQD: Social Media Changing Business Organization

by ATinNM Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 12:19:36 PM EST

Here's an interesting article from Gartner:

Gartner Says Capitalism Going Social Will Require Organizations to Build Two-Way Relationships with the "99 Percent":

While capitalism won't collapse, there are fundamental changes under way as it morphs to a new form that is more in tune with the technology and attitudes of the 21st century," said Nigel Rayner, research vice president at Gartner. "The coming capitalist era is that of the Facebook generation, in which the values and behaviors that pervade the Internet and social media will also be adopted by innovative and disruptive businesses. With half the world's population under the age of 25, this may happen sooner than many think.

These changes won't impact all industries and businesses in the same way. Some will use them to create incremental business opportunities, but others may find their business model directly threatened, because they are seen by the 99 percent as the worst cases of exploitative business practices," said Mr. Rayner. "However, some innovative organizations will use capitalism going social to create new business models and disrupt their industries."


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Creative innovation in Communication Technology inevitably changes economic activity.  A case in point is the various Cloud Funding.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 12:30:23 PM EST
If there's a core to extract from social media, it's the potential for a 180 flip in polarity in the hierarchical model to bottom-up. This would be, in the short term, 'not a good thing'. What people want is often not what they need. But while 'want' can be simply measured, 'need' is harder to qualify. Beyond the short term, I guess want and need will tend to converge because the bottom-up flow also brings in more information.

And, while we're into decision and action dynamics, I would add in to this disruptive mix the slow but inevitable erosion of the middleman/rentier. Capitalism is about middlemen. Capitalism is about logistics.

I'd put the life of modern management theory as 1950 - 2010. It's dead, deceased.  What follows no-one knows.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 12:57:12 PM EST
Social Media enables an interrupted flow of information (knowledge?) from the consumer all the way to the President of the Board of Directors.  Whether it will be used that way, under the present business forms of organization, remains to be seen.  My bet is on this change:

The one thing we do know about large corporations is they can't get out of their own way.  Big Business succeeds in a market niche and grows to be able to survive only in that niche doing the things causing them to succeed.  IOW, it's like Henry Ford's customer service, "They can have any color of car they want.  As long as it is black."

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 02:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That kind of thing hardly ever happens in practice.

Big corps get bigger, then they start buying themselves bits of government. They don't die unless they're dismembered by governments or overtaken by competitors with a fresher business model.

And sometimes not even then.

How many corporations have been killed or significantly (i.e. not trivially) damaged by consumer action?

I'm all for killing corporations, but hopeful rhetoric isn't going to do it - not when they're multinational organisations with a direct influence on government policy.

The occasional token consumer campaign isn't going to do it either.

I have no idea what will. But there is zero evidence that Google, Amazon, etc are under any kind of threat from the Internet in the short to medium term.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 03:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Things change.  Witness the Dutch East India Company and East India Company.  Both of which were nasty little buggers "in their day."

I agree consumers, as such, are not the driving force.  Change will happen when the "Creative Class" (however one cares to define it) begins to grab a significant share of a country's GDP and the large corporations have to adjust or die.  

Granted, at the moment it's all in its infancy.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 at 08:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The East India Company was nationalised and turned into the Indian division of the Empire. Basically an informal arrangement between the aristos + 'investors' and the UK government was made official policy.

The Dutch East India Company was a direct predecessor of Shell and the other petro giants.

So neither of those are good examples.

Even if individual corporations die, their political influence lives on in the culture.

Corporate 'philosophy' and values are the single biggest influence on Western culture today. There's a bit of art and science going around the edges, but everyone else is busy buying and selling themselves and each other, competing, maximising their own value, and using 'It's just business' as an excuse for exploitation and thievery.

I suspect a moral attack would be more successful than a political one. It's not just that buying and selling are fundamentally dull and stupid, it's that the 'values' not only destroy the environment and blight individual billions of individual lives - and worse, they also destroy the collective intelligence humans need to think like an intelligent species with long-term goals.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2013 at 06:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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