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Another week goes by and another study is released which highlights the strength of social media.

Last week, a survey by Ann Majchrzak, Christian Wagner and Dave Yates illustrated  that corporate internal wikis really make a difference within an organisation. It can be accessed here, and a take on it is provided by Hemma of Headshift.

The week before that, we were blessed by the publication of a study of the Inc. 500, which showed their adoption rate of social media is more than twice that of the Fortune 500. Professor Nora Barnes Director at the UMD Center for Marketing Research conducted the study with her co-author Eric Mattson. Inc 500 companies are those on Inc magazine's annual list of the 500 fastest growing privately owned companies.

With this in mind, and the fact that there is still a great deal of resistance to using any form of social media, I think we can assume that we are now seeing a split in organisational behaviour.

On the one hand, you have the traditional organisation with a command and control model, which has limits and restrictions on how employees can interact with the marketplace (and vice versa.) These firms are not comfortable about implementing social media tools and will use them as a last resort.

On the other hand, you have firms that have more of a de-centralised model and a fuller understanding of what collaboration is. Fundamentally, these firms support the use of blogs, wikis, and other social media tools.

To determine which type of organisation you are in, there are a number of variables at play, including size, type of industry, private vs. public, regulated or not and perhaps crucially, the age of the executives.

What side of the fence is your firm on?

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Justin Patten is Principal at Human Law .

Justin Patten

Published 22 January, 2007 by Justin Patten

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