Describe about the risk minimization Stratagies and Identifying Business Risk?
There was a time when Human Resource Management was considered as a secondary function in the organization. With emergence of technology and spread of Internet, HRM has emerged as an important business function. Today, the social media has emerged as a crucial platform for organizations to manage the knowledge. The objective of HR managers is to establish a seamless integration among all the departments and functions of organizations and to ensure that knowledge management could be effective. It is somewhat difficult for large organizations to manage the internal knowledge. Multinational corporations have their presence in different geographies and they have skilled people across different locations. It is important that internal talent should be nurtured in order to develop and sustain a productive eco system. HR managers must realize that people are the biggest asset for organizations and knowledge sharing can help employees to learn from the experiences of others (Neuberg, 2010). The social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have provided a platform for multinational corporations to improve knowledge sharing and build social capital.
The objective of this paper is to discuss and analyze the ways social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter be used to improve knowledge sharing, build social capital, support innovation, and aid problem solving in multinational organizations. With the spread of Internet and smart phones social media platforms have reached a new place. Today most of the employees in an organization would have access to social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. These platforms could be used to foster growth and productivity for organizations with global reach. It would also provide an opportunity for employees to focus on innovation through collaboration.
Knowledge Sharing is an activity through which knowledge (i.e., information, skills, or expertise) is exchanged among people, friends, families, and communities. One of the most common and most important benefits of social media platforms for large organizations is the ability to share the knowledge. People are distributed in multiple geographies and all the employees would not have physical access to all other employees. Knowledge management could be effective only when it encompasses knowledge sharing. In turn, knowledge sharing would demand effective communication and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provides the channel for communication.
The knowledge sharing through social media platforms focuses on sharing, collaboration and communication. The social media networks like Facebook and Twitter provides a mean to employees to interact with each other. People can get to know about other employees through Facebook that is the first step towards collaboration. With Facebook and LinkedIn, employees get the option to create groups where they can chat and communicate (Heuvel, 2013). These groups can also act as a hub where knowledge could be shared. HR managers can use these groups to impart knowledge to new employees and to share the knowledge among existing employees.
With the spread of Facebook and LinkedIn the role of HR managers has also changed from being transactional in nature to transformational in nature. Today, HRM function is not only an internal function in the organization. Facebook and Twitter can also help employees to gain and share the knowledge with external world. It can be said that the social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook provides an opportunity to stay connected with all the stakeholders’ 24X7. With the establishment of these social platforms knowledge has become more volatile and knowledge management has been established as a culture. Multinational organizations find it easy to bring all the employees together in a single cluster on Facebook.
With social media platforms, organizations would have to the option to manage the knowledge in a dynamic way. It means that with the spread of these platforms, people would be able to spread and consume the knowledge at same time. These platforms also result in efficient communication links. With websites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn, organizations can spread the knowledge with a single click. It can be said that knowledge within an organization is managed best when it is spread best. The large organizations like Toyota, Wal-Mart, and Coca-Cola have their presence in almost every part of the world (McCaffrey, 2012). The knowledge management system of these firms should be equipped with real time information sharing and collaboration of ideas among the employees from different countries. For example, an engineer of Toyota in Sydney office should have the option to work in collaboration with Japanese employee. The social media platforms have provided a place where people can communicate and collaborate.
It can be said that employees are the biggest assets for any multinational organization. With time workforce or employees have also evolved with the evolution of businesses. There was a time when organizations used to operate only in domestic boundaries. With the evolution of businesses, organizations have expanded in different regions. The expansion of organizations has definitely opened new growth avenues for organizations. However, the concept of discrimination has also evolved. The laws are important steps to handle the discrimination and at the same time the policies and strategies of organization are also important (Ceulemans, 2014). It would be good if senior management can develop a culture where people accept each other and discrimination is not practiced in any of the ways. The social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook helps management to develop and establish this culture where social capital can be nurtured.
The social media platforms have accelerated the means of communication and interaction among employees. With these platforms management also remain connected with low-level employees. With these platforms, strategies and policies could be communicated to low-level employees easily and effectively. In a nutshell, it can be said that all the employees get a felling of self-belongingness with the spread of social media platforms and it results in development of social capital.
Multinational organizations have also realized that social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used for internal debates. The issues and development plans can be discussed in confrontational mode on these social networking platforms. Confrontational relationship could also be a healthy relationship between employer and employees. In fact, confrontational relationship can strengthen the partnership bond between employer and employees as both can speak up their mind. Confrontation could be productive, if the parties involved are willing to ‘brainstorm’ solutions together. Sometimes, the compromise can be better for business than either of the original ideas. Conflict of this kind often generates better work practices and initiates positive changes that would otherwise never have occurred. The social networking platforms provide a platform where different employees can brainstorm at the same time. The strength exists in the scalability of this platform. Thousands of employees can post about the discussion in a thread. People can do number of discussions with the same group with different members and at the same time. It has definitely improved the social development process of employees in a multinational organizational setting. One of the typical challenges that multinational organization faces is the delay in communication and limited spread of plans. The social media platforms can help multinational organizations to expedite the announcement processes and bring efficiency in the system by focusing on social capital of the firm.
(Valle, 2008) highlighted that the role of HR managers is to ensure that employees remain motivated and the issues of employee could be resolved without delay. In context of large organization, it can be said that motivation, working environment and knowledge of external environment is the driver for innovation and social media platforms can definitely help to improve the working condition. At the same time, employees can get to know about the competitors and industry best practices with the use of social media platforms.
The innovation in large organization has to be practices as a culture. Multinational organizations should realize that innovation couldn’t be a one time thing or activity. Companies have to innovate and evolve on continuous basis. There has to a system and drive for innovation at the workplace and systematic approach has to be a recurring organizational process (Millen, 2012). The business focused systemic approaches have to be developed based on the inputs from both internal and external stakeholders and it is the social media platforms that can bring internal and external stakeholders together. Managers in the large and multinational organization would have a key role to bring all the stakeholders together. Managers are also expected to develop a system of check and balances that would ensure that growth plan of the organization seems reasonable as per the capability of its resources. Managers can achieve this objective effectively with the support of social media tools like Facebook and LinkedIn. To develop an eco-system based on innovation, managers have to flexible in their approach. HR managers would have to learn to develop the change management process when they are asked to implement the change anytime soon. This may not provide them the window to develop a structured plan. This would be the time when flexibility would weigh in. an innovative working environment could be established only when employees are set free to think out of the box and come up with new ideas and solution. At the same time, it is also important that employees should be able to discuss the ideas with other employees and management. An early feedback always expedites innovation. Social networking platforms help to create a system where people can provide feedback and can discuss ideas with others. An executive working in Toronto can provide feedback to an engineer in Melbourne within hours on LinkedIn. Organizations have also started to focus on social media groups for research and development. The objective of these groups is to bring all the like-minded employees together to brainstorm of new and emerging technologies. Social media platforms have also fostered the innovation and information sharing among the firms. With the help of social networking sites such as LinkedIn, employees from different organizations can formally work together to focus on new product development.
Social media has definitely helped large organizations to streamline the issues and dispute resolution strategies. With social media platforms, employees are equipped to raise their concern and problems to right people. With LinkedIn, a low level worker can also stay connected with Vice President and he or she can bring upon his or her problem directly to VP. These platforms have helped to develop a system that is far more efficient. The social media platforms have also helped employees and employer of large companies to establish a system of efficient collective bargaining. Collective Bargaining is the process of negotiation between ‘firms’ and workers’ representatives for the purpose of establishing mutually agreeable conditions of employment to enhance the harmonies working status at the work places. These platforms have also increased the transparency in the system.
Multinational organizations would have to operate in developed countries as well as developing countries. Social media as a tool of problem solving can be more effective in developed world where all the employees have access to these platforms and employees are also active on these platforms. The relationship between employer and employees is less transparent in developing countries as compared to developed countries. In developing countries, employees may not be able to express themselves freely to management. It is important that management should be able to see a difference in the way social media platforms could be used as a tool of problem solving in developed countries and developing countries. For example, Microsoft can use a LinkedIn group or a Facebook group to address the problem of canteen workers of Australia. However, this may not be practically possible in India.
In this world of globalization and high competition, it can be said that human resource managers have to wear the hat of multiple organizational functions. The ‘change’ in the organization could be triggered from a business leader or sales head but the change could be implemented effectively only with the support of all the employees. Managers act as link between employees and management and social networking platforms enable managers to manage change in the organization (Heidenreich, 2014). Managers have to act as change agents and it would be correct to say that change management has emerged as a competency in large organizations. Any plan for development or any growth plan could have an associated change with itself. It is important for HR managers to realize and predict the magnitude of change that can come in with the implementation of plan. It is expected that HR managers would develop training and development programs to help employees to cope up with the change.
Social media platforms definitely offers a great deal of benefits. However there are certain threats or issues that have to be addressed by organizations. The privacy of employees and data security are the biggest threats. With the use of social networking websites, there exists a threat on the privacy of individuals. People may sometimes put the stuff on these channels that they are not supposed to write. It could also be possible that employees may end up leaking the confidential information about the company on Facebook.
The second threat is about the data security threat as it is difficult for large organizations to protect and safeguard the data of all the employees. With the use of social media, a large volume of data gets created every second. It is important for management of large organizations to ensure that data could be safeguarded and sensitive data is not shared in the public. There could be personal data of the employees and also the sensitive organizational data that could be leaked on these mediums.
There exist ways to overcome these threats. It requires set of standards and policies that should be implemented by top management in multinational organizations. At the same time, employees should also ensure that they have to be careful while using the Facebook for personal use and while using the Facebook for professional use. The training programs would also enable employees to minimize the threat levels. It is important that large organizations should have the concept of social media training.
The above paper discussed the ways social media can enable multinational corporations to establish knowledge management system and develop employees in the organization. The above paper also discussed the benefits of social media for large organizations in terms of innovation, problem solving and change management. Social media has a lot to offer to multinational organization. It is also important that leaders should have a plan in place to use social media to full extent. Managers to communicate freely with internal and external stakeholders can use these platforms. With these platforms, employees and customers could actually be the part of same discussion group. It would help employees to bridge the gap between customers’ expectations and management perception of customers’ expectations. The communication level also increases with social media platforms and employees are able to put their thoughts freely to higher management (Grabner, 2014). It aids management in effective decision-making and to solve the problems.
There was a time when social media channels were considered as informal channels and organizations restricted the use of these channels. Today, organizations have matured and organizations have realized that social media is a powerful tool that could be leveraged for internal development of employees and growth of the organization. It can be said that social media has enabled employers to come close to employees. With the social media platforms, managers can actually see from the level of all the employees and take the decision. These channels have provided a means to leaders to bring policies and strategies in a big bang manner. These platforms could definitely help the organizations, which have a very large number of employees located in different offices. The social media platforms provide a way that can help employees to interact with other employees in an informal manner. The platform like Facebook helps employees to break the ice and work together on a common agenda to reach organizational objective.
Grabner, I. (2014). Incentive system design in creativity-dependent firms. The Accounting Review, 89(5), 1729-1750.
Jiménez-Jiménez, D., & Sanz-Valle, R. (2008). Could HRM support organizational innovation?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(7), 1208-1221.
Kenrick, D. T., Neuberg, S. L., Griskevicius, V., Becker, D. V., & Schaller, M. (2010). Goal-Driven Cognition and Functional Behavior The Fundamental-Motives Framework. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(1), 63-67.
Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K., & Seatter, C. S. (2014). Teaching organisational change management for sustainability: designing and delivering a course at the University of Leeds to better prepare future sustainability change agents.Journal of Cleaner Production.
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