As we work on how to use social networking technologies in Gov 2.0, I thought this article from IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management might be of some interest to practitioners. “The Strategic Implications of Web Technologies: A Process Model of How Web Technologies Enhance Organizational Performance” answers two questions:
1) “How do Web technologies support the strategies of an organization?”
2) “How do Web technologies enhance organizational performance?”
The authors of the study argue that existing efforts to use Web technologies are not being effectively utilized because the organizations do not know how to align the technologies with the strategic goals of the organization due to a limited understanding of how to achieve such an alignment. Using a case study of a Singapore IT publication (Hardwarezone.com), the authors list the seven capabilities of Web technologies:
1) “Enable an organization to transcend geographical and temporal boundaries.”
2) “Facilitate improvements to processes in an organization’s value chain.”
3) “Provide an effective means of collecting customer information and feedback.”
4) “Enhance the timeliness of organizational information.”
5) “Reinforce offline business models and facilitate the creation of new business models.”
6) “Reduce the capital outlay involved in establishing and expanding a business.”
7) “Enable the development of virtual communities.”
None of the above should be surprising to Gov 2.0 practitioners. Having listed the seven capabilities, the authors then describe their process model which consists of the three core logics of strategic management and the two core logics of organizational sociology:
1) Strategic Management
a. Logic of Positioning – how a company strategically positions itself in the marketplace
b. Logic of Leverage – effectively using strategic resources and capabilities
c. Logic of Opportunity – innovating effectively in response to a changing external environment
2) Organizational Sociology
a. Logic of Optimality – creation of the optimal organizational form for the current environment
b. Logic of Social Congruence – organization harmonizes relationships with key stakeholders
So, what does this mean for Gov 2.0 practitioners? Even though the process model applies to business organizations, the same logics can be transformed into public administration equivalents. For example, when selling a new social networking technology to agency management, you can demonstrate how the technology’s capabilities can fulfill one of the logics.
Let’s say you want to start up a Twitter feed to publicize agency activities. The Twitter feed meets capabilities 1, 3, 4, and 7. These capabilities meet the logics of Positioning, Opportunity, and Social Congruence. By demonstrating how the new technology aligns with some of the strategic goals of the organization, Gov 2.0 practitioners can better sell these new technologies to upper agency management.
Tan, B.C.C., Pan, S.L., & Hackney, R. (2010). The strategic implications of web technologies: A process model of how web technologies enhance organizational performance. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 57: 2. 181-197.