THIS IS THE VIRTUAL
OTHER WEB PARTS
When considered broadly, it is clear that some of the common themes which have posed ongoing threats and complications for business have existed almost from its conception. Within my human resource study, the issues of flexibility, productivity, the work/home divide & inequality in perceptions of value of paid versus unpaid work, cross cultural communication, strategic change, organizational behavior, which we commonly looked to "culture" as a key to these processes. Across my studies and life learning in other arenas I’ve found that commonly, the issue experienced as A in one situation will then present itself as B in another. Much like that commonly explored concepts of connectivity which is intrinsic in the nature of a connected world. In this case, it stands to reason that by overlapping and integrating the perspectives common across a number of areas or disciplines within which a context is formed, the understandings of each of these separate arenas could in turn be enriched in understandings.
There are a multitude of characteristics and elements which have been identified within considerations of SNSs in this framework. There is a video included in this section which provides a brief outline of the varying considerations, along with Appendix B, which outlines previous considerations within this framework., These considerations include a more thorough reference list of the key elements to network theories. However for this particular case there are a few that were distinctive, first “human agency”, which presents a disadvantage as “our brains don’t adapt as quickly as the technology works, Humans have limited capacity to process information at any given time” (Rutledge, as cited in Greenstein, 2010).
Also considered relevant were various elements of connectivity, strength of ties, and risk of “homophily”, which has been referred to through notation photo form and further explored online. The research by Kolb (2002, 2008) is of particular interest in its reference to “requisite connectivity”, which has been particularly evident to me in the information overload experienced while collating research.
Whilst realistically covering two of the big three, for the purposes of maintaining simplicity, these have been grouped together going forward within this review. Whilst there have been extensive studies within the field of “small business” in the NZ context, particularly by public sector agencies, the majority of these do not focus on what would technically be considered as one. The majority of government initiatives and studies feature considerations of businesses with turnover of $1M+ or at least 6 employees (MED, 2009). Within the broader definition of ‘enterprise’, it is clear that despite our concerns for SMEs in NZ, who remain the focus of this review, potentially this calls for more direct consideration and discussion of micro business and entrepreneurial collaboration (NZTE, 2009).
This increasing trend towards casual and project based employment seems set to continue. If managed adequately this trend has potential to afford the SME, many of whom struggle to commit to the ongoing expense and added complications which arise from the employment arena, value efficiencies and benefits. By adequately utilising the tools and services afforded through SNSs, the ‘knowledge worker’ in a ‘digital economy’ is going to present a different type of employee and market. SMEs are well placed to handle such inevitable changes ongoing in markets. Considerations of NZ SMEs also hold particular relevance for SMEs internationally; the “representative sample” presented by our markets have long acted as “test markets” for large multinational corporations such as Vodafone.
As owner / managers largely reported a lack of time as a barrier to growth (Read, 2005), the short term orientation held by many (Knuckey & Johnston, 2002) and the aspirations for more personal time by attempting to achieve work life balance (NZTE, 2009) all clearly will be inevitably influenced as a result of ongoing changes. Furthermore, and with potentially more value (as well as potential hazards) to owners / managers is how time is managed both at an individual and also at organisational level when it comes to work. If the boundaries of work and life are irreversibly intertwined already for many workers, the stereotypically self reliant, over worked owner / manager types are understandably going to experience overload at some point.
For small businesses in New Zealand, while we are well practiced and comfortable with networks, the changes in SNSs have not yet been embraced. However, it appears, despite what one might expect, that the prolific members of micro businesses in our markets are not as dynamic and innovative as could be hoped. And this group is still not recognising or achieving anywhere near the kind of exponential opportunities it offers. The rare few have indicated some of this to be had. And the likes of Kim Crawford wines, a business which was established, operated and grown, almost entirely by tapping into and creating a variety of key networks.
There are a number of elements of each of these topics that demonstrate sustain influence on and the other elements also. In fact it was evident in the amount of extra additional pages added to the wiki. As SNSs alter the concepts and restrictions imposed by the limits of space and time, the “rules of the game” have ultimately changed. While we are now able to access markets from NZ which have never been accessible to service before now, even the difference of time zones demonstrates the critical need for considering the redefinition of “work hours”(nef, 2009). However this issue runs through the topics having substantial impact on varying levels in a complex manner, so has been widely in the past. Through our struggles to catch up with the ongoing changes in ICTs, which to reiterate once again, are anything but unique to us alone, the approach adopted widely from industry and community standpoint appears to put the user in the role of working for the technology. "It's about people first and technology serving people -it's their ability to connect individuals to things that matter to them" (Cunliffe, 2007).
“Businesses who ignore social networking are being left behind” (Jagger, in Shaw, 2008). Without adequate attention to SNSs, businesses may get “ripped up” on services like Twitter. Having a presence and “defending your company, fighting for it, listening to what people are saying about it, that’s reputation management” (Shaw, 2008, p27). Whilst many people report significant concerns about their information being online, the difference in a “digital environment’ is that regardless of whether you choose it to be or not, your personal information will inevitably be out there. Even if one withholds personal information, there are no effective strategies to prevent third parties from hosting information that they hold about you in a publicly accessible format. So, especially relevant to Millennials, who feel that restricting their exposure online will in some way protect them, we need to consider the new redefinition. The way to manage one’s reputation and perception in such a market can be widely strategized and explored, but put simply, “the best form of defence is a strong offence”. Consider the BP Gulf Coast oil spill disaster, where a “satirical” fake twitter account set up in the name ‘bpglobalpr’ features ten times more followers than the official BP America account, who have tried and failed to have the fake account shut down as BP navigates unknown PR territory. (Brown, 2010).