The Potential of Internal Social Media in Organisational Change Processes: Results of a Hermeneutic Interdisciplinary Literature Analysis and Selected Qualitative Interviews
EUPRERA Annual Congress 2015, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, October 1-3, 2015
20 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2015
"[…] to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." (Bergson, 1911: 7). Whilst these words were originally referring to "a conscious being" (Bergson, 2011: 7), they can also be applied to organisations. They are facing new threats and opportunities, and have to adapt to new market conditions.
Already in 1996, Kotter saw the need to anchor changes in the corporation’s culture (Kotter, 2007: 8), meaning to make it a routine. In the majority of works concerning change management during the last years, the authors claim that change has become the rule and is no exceptional event anymore. At the same time the literature suggests that the modern change process is a holistic one, meaning that it not only touches isolated problems, but also strategy, culture, and technology – in the end the organisation as a whole.
With this in mind, and knowing that social media has become an integral part of private life in a networked world, the question comes up whether and how social media cannot be used for internal purposes as a tool in change processes as well. In those processes, its interactive character based on the principle of user-generated content could bring in a new aspect and type of communication. In this paper, the authors examined the potential of internal social media in organisational change processes.
To answer the research question, the existing literature on change management and network theories was researched, to then compare principles with each other and apply them to social media. The findings served as a basis to build guidelines for six semi-structured expert interviews, which were analyzed in the following with the help of qualitative content analysis. This helped to continue the theory building and to better answer the research question, as the results from the interviews were then compared with the theoretical findings. All these heuristic results can hopefully serve as a basis for further research in this field.
Keywords: social media, organisational change, corporate culture, change management, internal communication
JEL Classification: Z10, M00
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