Discussion: Personal Social Networks

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Discussion: Personal Social Networks

Discussion: Personal Social Networks

20 Hossam Galal, Donna Stoddard, Richard Nolan, and Jon Kao, “VeriFone: The Transaction Automation Company,” Harvard Business School Case Study 195–088, July 1994. 21 Cognizant, “The Future of Work Has Arrived: Time to Re‐Focus IT” (February 2011), 1–15, http://www.cognizant.com/SiteDocuments/CBC_FoW_ Time_to_Refocus_IT.pdf (accessed August 25, 2015). 22 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 2011 Findings, http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns1120/index.html#~2011 (accessed August 25, 2015). 23 “Air, Food, Water, Internet—Cisco Study Reveals Just How Important Internet and Networks Have Become as Fundamental Resources in Daily Life,” http://newsroom.cisco.com/press‐release‐content?type=webcontent&articleId=474852 (accessed August 25, 2015).

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84 Digital Systems and the Design of Work

Consider IBM ’ s SmallBlue—an opt‐in social network analysis tool that maps the knowledge and the connec- tions of IBM employees. SmallBlue can be used to fi nd employees with specifi c knowledge or skills, display employee networks on particular topics, validate a person ’ s expertise based on her or his corporate profi le, and display a visualization of an employees ’ personal social networks. IBM claims that SmallBlue has promoted inno- vation, effectiveness, and effi ciency. 24

The preceding examples show how technologies have become a key component in the design of work. IT has greatly changed day‐to‐day tasks, which in turn has changed the skills needed by employees. The examples show how adding IT to a work environment can change the way that work is done.

New Ways to Manage People New working arrangements create new challenges in how employees are supervised, evaluated, compensated, and even hired. When most work was performed individually in a central location, supervision and evaluation were relatively easy. A manager could directly observe the employee who spent much of his or her day in an offi ce. It was fairly simple to determine whether or not the employee was present and productive.

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