Generally speaking, the paper "Knowledge, Work and Organization" is an outstanding example of management coursework. As social networking sites continue to thrive in popularity, interest and excitement also continue to build. Wauter (2009) notes that Facebook alone recorded about 200 million users in 2009. In simple terms, social networking can be described as the union of different types of technologies that enable people and organizations to easily converse, share information and establish new communities and associations online. Adler and Kwon (2002) define social networks as a system of patterned, sustained relationships between different actors, which cross and at times distort organizational boundaries.
They further highlight that social networks may be an integral part of a formal institution, in a purely formal or social manner. Significant amounts of literature reveal that social networks are today becoming essential factors in enabling organizations to learn and innovate. This is supported by the fact that social networks facilitate the organizations capacity to pool knowledge and resources, and are the mechanisms through which flexibility and adaptability are developed in an institution, through multi-stakeholder deliberation and variation of responses.
Considerately planned and expertly executed online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and my space among others can assist an organization to achieve such benefits as creation of an early warning system about organizational risks, ensuring that knowledge gets to the organizational management, building relationships across boundaries, amplify innovation, continuous exchange of knowledge among different organizations, continuous training process, and attracting and retaining employees by offering access to social capital accessible within the organization. In this essay, we explore some literature on social capital and open innovation and illustrate to what extent this literature supports the claim that social networks are becoming an important factor in enabling organizations to learn and innovate. Social capital Social capital is described as the norms, relationships and networks that permit collective action.
It simply refers to connections between and within different social networks, in this case, organizations, and incorporates features like norms and trust to facilitate cooperation and coordination for mutual benefit (Borgatti & Cross, 2003). Social capital functions through multiple channels, for instance, information flows, which promote the exchange of information and learning within and between different organizations.
Putnam (2000) highlights that the central ideas mainstreamed in the concept of social networking are reciprocity and relationships. He further notes that social capital is important in the organization because it allows both the employers and employees to resolve collective problems in an appropriate manner. Such an idea is important because it can help resolve modern organizational matters like change management, and enable the organization to embrace innovations and thrive. In his analysis, Putman suggests that strengthening social capital will help reduce crime, and promote the achievement of education and learning in the organization. Social capital also helps boost mutual trust.
Organizations need trust among its members in order to foster effectiveness. Research studies suggest that where social networks and trust flourish, organizations prosper economically. This is because social networks help eradicate the dangerous impacts of socio-economic disadvantage, as seen in the escalation of non-profit organizations in some areas, especially in rural areas (Brown & Duguid, 2000).