University of Maryland University College
IT support in many large institutions focuses primarily on maintaining infrastructure at an acceptable level. Often, they are not overly concerned with innovating and without urgings from leadership these institutions become quite stagnant. Thus, it is the responsibility of IT management to plan strategically to innovate their own internal processes through the use of technology. IT units can increase their strategic value to their organization through the strategic use and implementation of social media. This study is particularly concerned with the implementation of social media in the areas of knowledge management, project management, and the recruitment of talent and professional networks. The study will define social media, define its role within the given areas of study, and then give examples of implementation scenarios.
Social media is transforming the way business and service industries work, compete, and evolve. We see it in every aspect of our lives and it is never farther away from us than our pocket or our desktop. It has become engrained in our culture. We keep in touch with friends from high school that we have not seen in 30 years and stay in touch with relatives. We meet new people and learn true insights into people’s thoughts. As individuals, we can sometimes become overwhelmed by the fire hose of data that flows through social media, and often we just tune it out. Businesses and organizations cannot afford to tune out from social media. Whether they like social media or not, their brand is constantly being discussed and voted up or down without any input from them. If they do not pay attention, they can lose control of their own brand. Social media has gone from novelty to business essential. Universities are not impervious to this trend either. The Horizon Report identifies growing ubiquity of social media as one of its fast trends, impacting post-secondary institutions over the next 1-2 years (Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., 2014; W. Kelly, 2013). Universities have a brand and an image that must be maintained at the highest possible standards if they want to continue to attract quality students, faculty, and staff.
Every department within a university must plan for continual improvement and technology is often the lever used to implement change. While brand is a central issue for the university at large, it is equally important for universities departments to capitalize on the use of new technologies to improve the way work gets done. Ever tightening budgets place a premium on the ability of technology to improve efficiency of all members of the university community. Social media has the capability to fill this need as the lever for improving efficiency of IT workers in the areas of knowledge management and identifying internal expertise, project management, and recruiting and professional networks. Social media is a broad term and has come to mean many things to many people. In a business application the term social media refers to the use of web 2.0 technologies for organizational and business purposes (Turban, Volonino, Wood, & Sipior, 2012). Web 2.0 is commonly referred to as the read write web, where users not only consume content, but they also create content. The most ubiquitous examples of social media are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The focus of this research is the capability of social media in general and not on specific products, though products will be used for illustrative purposes.
Social Media in Knowledge Management and Identifying Internal Expertise Organizational knowledge is the collective knowledge of the organizational staff. This collection of knowledge is possibly the most valuable asset an organization can possess. Knowledge management is primarily concerned with facilitating the sharing of organizational knowledge. Sharing…