2 pages on the Effects of Leadership
write an Abstract for the paper below
“FACEMASH TO FACEBOOK: AN INNOVATIVE
JOURNEY FROM UNIVERSITY SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITE TO BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS”
On the 28th of October, 2003, Mark Zukerberg wrote Facemash in order to create a social networking website for the students of Harvard. At that time he was not aware that he was starting a whole new era of social networking innovation and creativity. What was started as a tool of social networking for the students of the university became the biggest social networking hub. The reason behind this unexpected and surprising success is the innovative
and fearless attitude of the Facebook leader. In this rapidly changing world, it has become necessary for each and every business to innovate and change in order to survive and operate profitability. To create examples of this kind requires leadership
hype in innovation, creativity, and change.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF FACEBOOK:
Thefacebook.com, as known at that time, was launched on 4th February, 2004 by Mark Zukerberg. Initially it was limited to the students and faculty of Harvard University, later it was extended to other universities located in Boston and then to all Universities of United States. In August 2005 it was named facebook.com, and from September 2005, the different High Schools of United States were also added into the network. The next milestone for Facebook was going global as it reached to universities of United Kingdom a month later (Phillips, 2007). The network was further expanded and extended to other people who had email id’s, apart from different educational institutions, in September 2006. The site was and is free of cost from the very start. Advertising is the main and major source of revenue for Facebook. In 2010 the company reported revenue of around two billion dollars (Womack, 2010).
Facebook is used by around 78% online households of United States (Hofstetter, 2009). In the year 2010 the Facebook reported around 500 million active users which is a big number (Chapman, 2010). Google and Yahoo are one of the companies which are interested in purchase of Facebook, but the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is not interested in selling Facebook.
Characteristics of Innovation and Change in an Organization
Innovation, creativity, and change have become essential to survive and succeed in today’s world. Everything is changing at a rapid pace, and in order to adopt and adjust to changing surroundings the organizations have to come up with new and innovative
ideas and concepts. In order to bring in continuous improvement and changes there should be a strong leadership
This kind of approach towards innovation requires transformational leadership
skills. The leader should be innovative
, creative, and ready to take risk. At the same time the leader should have the tendency and ability of motivating and encouraging the employees for innovation and change. One of the most effective and best instruments for change management for effective and successful leadership
is the innovation and creativity.
The process of change is not easy, it is important to manage the change process effectively and efficiently. Change is accompanied by high level of resistance both from inside the organization and from outside the organization. The responsibility and task of an effective leader is to minimize this resistance and bring in new ideas and innovation (BlessingWhite, 2007).
Innovation and creativity are critical for the success of organization, but the process of innovation should be smartly managed and controlled. One has to first assess the climate for bringing in innovation and change. In order to bring in continuous changes and innovation the climate of the organization should be such that it supports innovative
ideas and concepts (BlessingWhite, 2007).
The top management should involve employees in the process of change and encourage them to bring in new ideas and concepts in order to motivate them and reduce the level of resistance. In order to bring in effective change and innovation the employees should be involved in the day to day operational decisions and empower them and delegate authority to employees. This raise the confidence and motivation level of employees and encourage them to come up with innovative
ideas and concepts. There should be an informal and friendly environment in which employees can think about new ideas and elaborate and share them with each other. Moreover there should be support from top management and leadership
and the new ideas should be welcomed and discussed and if appropriate then they should be implemented. Apart from this the top management and leadership
of an innovative
organization should be ready to take risk and should have tolerance of uncertain and unexpected results which can accompany the innovation, creativity, and change (BlessingWhite, 2007).
Because of globalization and technological advancement the whole scenario of the business world is changing. In this changing context and situation, innovation, creativity, and change has become the main driver and source of attaining high performance, growth, and valuation (BlessingWhite, 2007). This is the main reason behind the growth and success of Facebook. Apart from this it is the leadership
that is most important in bringing in innovation and change, which is also visible from the case of Facebook’s success.
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to analyze the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business. Identifying SWOTs is vital to management, for future steps in the process of planning for achievement of the selected objective may be taken from the SWOTs. The essential elements of the SWOT analysis are as follows:
• Strengths: i.e., characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others.
• Weaknesses: i.e., characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to other players.
• Opportunities: i.e., external chances to make greater sales in the market.
• Threats: i.e., external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the firm.
According to researchers, there are a definite Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities or Threats facing Facebook currently.
• One of the top and leading social networking sites.
• It has a renowned name as a social networking website.
• Ranked as 2nd in Top 500 sites (2010).
• One of the fastest evolving and adopted website.
• It has more than 500 active users on its site, and contains around 900 million objects that the users interact with.
• Creates a virtual social network for the user that involves him at a personal level.
• The latest clean layout makes it more user-friendly and the user can easily and quickly see the profile of friends with a single click.
• The tabs make it more user friendly and easier to access and browse.
• Translated in more than 70 languages.
• The integrated Wall and mini feed feature is also a major reason for the likeability by its users.
• The main element that Facebook features and commends is that it realizes the real relations, and takes life to the next level of virtual reality.
• Sharing is very easy regarding the website; friends can easily shareand comments on photos, that also makes up for the fun element.
• Privacy options also includes the restriction and total control over one’s own profile page, as to who can access what content; it gives a secure feeling regarding the user.
• Features that make blogging easier and fun and the user never get to leave Facebook, which provides high time for the user.
• Notes feature has been regarded as a nice feature that doesn’t clutter like the other social networking sites, friends can tag in order to make them realize about the note and comment, and poetries or notices can be easily notified, the events also has a major impacts.
• Leverage of assets has a large tendency regarding the site.
• Communication level and expertise is highly appreciative and highly involves high impact.
• Innovation is yet another element that Facebook gets involved in.
• The growth of Facebook has had tremendous impact on the internetindustry, and it is known as the fastest growing social-networking site.
• Customers loyalty level is very high, due to the excellent alignment of Facebook that is almost according to the preference of its users.
• Leader in the industry regarding the market share.
• Management team is very strong with high adaptability regarding the technology.
• The financial position is very strong.
• The unique features make it a stand-alone product in the marketwith less competition.
• It has the notion of creating different communities in the internetworld and acts as a hub, it also derives individualistic approach in the social networking.
• The users are quite addictive to Facebook due to the factor of being less clutter and people seek social integrity and integration and Facebook offers features that regard almost all the elements.
• Applications also regarded as a means of entertainment in Facebook, and it also features games where friends compete with each other and that make it more.
• Features chat, in which groups are formed and the users in the group can also get involved in a private chat with exclusively with its members.
• Wall posts by friends also make up as a semi instant messaging feature and it also provides a feeling of realistically being attached to the other user.
• Regardless of the complexities in its mechanism of operations, the usage ability of a novice user is highly credible and anyone can easily start using and knowing facebook on day one.
• It offers a platform for different people and share ideas, applications, and get conversations.
• Has partnered a lot of application developers and 3rd party applications. Many companies regard Facebook as a major touch-point for their business such as the online gaming business and reached at a whole new level due to Facebook features.
•Marketing is also a major revenue generator regarding Facebook, as the overall communication and marketing of Facebook regarding other businesses is high and attention is high as well without making the user suffer which happens in most of the sites due to the high level of advertising and clutter.
• Facebook has created such a space for itself in the internet industry that the competition is looking up on it, and the tremendous growth has given into its profitability and its adaptability.
• Due to the innovative
steps changing in the look of Facebook, there are many liabilities regarding its use such as the bugs and problems that the users face in operating the website.
• The user gets an alien feeling as proper feedback is not being provided to him/her regarding his/her problem, mostly there are FAQs and options to choose from.
• Initially, Facebook had to face a lot of problems, specially when people easily deleted things and post on their profile.
• Customization is quite hard, and is almost annoying for most of the users as they want to look unique regarding their profile but are forced to use a uniform profile. Many applications made by the user are hard to find due to the boxes option which hides most of the things to create less clusters.
• The flash animation banners are quite distracting, and need to be positioned in such a ways that it does not get in the way of the user.
• Adding application on Facebook is quite a feat, and spamming friends to add the same application as well.
• The consistency of the applications and games and the experience held by the users hold importance but due to the high level of required space volume required to make the millions of people happy at the same time, Facebook has to be careful as to how to manage such operations.
• A lot of time is wasted when the user keeps on searching for the right application on Facebook and finds it after a lot of time wastage.
• Too many irrelevant and useless applications.
• The semi instant messaging service regarding the wall posts is not quite the same real-time instant messaging.
• There are still lots of opportunities for Facebook, the users specially can relate and share important information to their friends, business partners. they can easily create business partners.
• Facebook pages are easier to find and join, and the future possibilities of these pages are vast as the many organization has made a Page that acts as a introductory phase for the organization, and the advertising impact will be an opportunistic approach in reaching the target customers globally.
• Facebook has a wide use of collecting user data through polls andsurvey regarding different services for different businesses and collect valuable data that can be useful for different businesses before investing in any area.
• Regarding the popularity and the influence that Facebook holds on its customers, it has the opportunity to drive the people’s lives in a whole new direction. The users will be getting inter-connected without any variable expense of high cost, and can instantly derive meaning in the communication.
• Expansion in the international market and the flexibility of initiating the cultural aspect of the other countries will surely be a positive and more welcome approach.
• Facebook has room for innovation, and can regard more services that touch the social networking.
• They should invest in technology and provide feedback information regarding its users as there are also businesses operating in the Facebook community.
• Facebook can include services regarding program developments, navigational framework, financial structure, and also targeting specifications.
• Applications will be highly reputable if the structure and platform is strong and reliable with powerful marketing to reach its customers.
• To work in such a way that the long-term credibility is increased as well as the reputation of Facebook, i-e developing programs and engaging in hosting programs that will compete with high level program developers. But Facebook should mostly engage in developing online programs that can be used in sync with the user and their friends.
• Facebook offers an opportunity to make money regarding services that would touch up the customers and their small amount of transactions to their partners or friends.
• Can also be used a p2p portal where people can engage in any buy and sell approach, but the exchange and distribution channel should be invested upon, and it is valuable for Facebook in the future, or it can partner with companies like Amazon, eBay or Apple.
• The mobile engagement for Facebook has brought about a lot of significant changes in the lives of the users, as they can stay connected with their friends without being disconnected with their work or routine.
• Facebook privacy settings are time and again disrupted that made it leak millions of private photos of people over the internet, it is advisable that facebook should tight the security measures and devise such techniques that will not understate the privacy of the user.
• Spamming has become an issue due to the mini feed and wall merging, the more friends the user has, the more spammed will be the Feed, and the user will disregard in it and will engage only a selective or will not engage at all due to over-information.
• The major social-networking sites as well as the top popular sites on the web are actively taking measures to get a hold of Facebook.
• The configuration of different options in Facebook is quite time consuming, and most of the users who do not have sufficient knowledge will have their privacy being exploited.
• The applications and programs mature quickly and the users get bored quite easily after some attempts at using the applications. Most of the applications have a one-time usage and hence boring.
• The younger generation is quite vital for the exploitation of the full potential of Facebook, losing their interest will mean a crack-down.
• The digital trend that needs to be followed, and Facebook seeking its identity through communities and individuals of many cultures and specially the teenagers will take a high step at what will be able enough for it to get in the world of the internet. They must foresee the attractive sections regarding the users and get more engaging in customer feedback.
System for Case Study
Technological Innovation System: Facebook has relied on a Technological Innovation System, a concept developed within the scientific field of innovation studies which serves to explain the nature and rate of technological change. Facebook’s innovation is a dynamic network of agents interacting in a specific industrial area, under a particular institutional infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion, and utilization of technology.
I believe that Facebook must transition to the development of a new products system, i.e., changes in design of established products, in order to succeed. This will require new management and a new management structure. This hypothesis is backed up by opinions in the business literature. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, in the On Leadership
column, published on June 13, 2010, now is the time for change at the top of Facebook. The article was entitled, Facebook’s leadership
: Time for an update.
Application of the System
There are structural components to the Technological Innovation System that Facebook uses in order to utilize the system effectively. First they use the Technological Innovation System concept to stimulate knowledge to induce technological change and economic performance. In Facebook there is a need to exploit this knowledge in order to create new business opportunities. This stresses the importance of individuals as sources of innovation, something which is sometimes overseen in the, more macro-oriented, nationally or section oriented innovation system approaches. Second, Facebook uses the Technological Innovation System approach as a focus on system dynamics.
Challenges to Innovation and Their Solutions
Facebook requires never ending improvements and innovation to sustain it’s current status and to open new opportunities. They manage inputs on a global scale and across engineering disciplines in conjunction with all of their other business platforms. Facebook faces the challenge to manage information better and get more information to more people. This requires teamwork across the entire enterprise.
Innovation is a team sport. It depends on the understanding that they have an openness to technology and work openly across different groups, platforms and organizational lines. It takes real leadership
to start the course and inspire people to reach their highest level of performance. You first have to switch the emphasis from the individual to the team and make it an all-inclusive concept. Second, they have moved from the thought of innovation for innovations sake and moved it towards innovation that is customer inspired. A greater focus on the, in this instance, does not inhibit the flow of ideas or creativity, it actually has raised the bar.
Role of Ethics and Responsiblities
According to the Post, Amy L. Fraher is a retired Navy commander, naval aviator, former United Airlines pilot and director of the International Team Training Center at San Diego Miramar College, also had comments on Zuckerberg. “My issue is not with [Facebook chief executive Mark] Zuckerberg's age or business experience, per se. What I wonder is whether he possesses the team-building skills required to elicit the leadership
qualities from his employees needed to run the business long term,” said Fraher. “How did Facebook -- or its leader -- become fixated on such a complex non-user-friendly solution as the only possibility? Like the organizational culture at NASA in the 1980s, when managers overlooked potentially catastrophic flaws in the Challenger's O-ring design, has Zuckerberg's near-missionary zeal to create a networked world created a groupthink mentality, one that supersedes the transparency and open communication that Facebook cites as its core values? And has its brilliant co-founder been so seduced by his vision that he has forgotten the most important leadership
lesson -- always question your own assumptions?”
Yash Gupta, a professor and dean of the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, also commented on the change processes that need to be undertaken at Facebook. “The typical entrepreneurs generally don't ponder what their future management structure is going to look like. They're the kind of people who aren't happy dealing with bureaucracy, so they're not likely to envision how the bureaucracy of their own companies is going to be assembled,” said Gupta. “They tend to be people with big ideas and big passion; they're not very interested in maintenance. They're seed planters, not bean counters. In fact, research has shown differences between the brains of entrepreneurs and the brains of other kinds of business people. They're literally wired differently.” But,Gupta said, the transition from the entrepreneurial style of leadership
to the more managerial style is essential and must be handled with care.
“If it's done too soon or too late, then problems occur. Knowing when to make the shift isn't an exact science. The organization has to be careful not to stifle the culture that generated the initial success. Otherwise, there's a risk of ruining the brand,” said Gupta.
John Baldoni is a leadership
consultant, coach and regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online, also commented on Zuckerberg’s situation.
wisdom is something that accrues with age and experience. And so it is no wonder that Mark Zuckerberg is struggling with large issues. He's still in his 20s,” said Baldoni. “Youth does not preclude effective leadership
. Our military is led from the front by a very capable core of junior officers. They are supported by equally youthful noncommissioned officers. Both may lack the wisdom of years, but they make up for it with experience and a focus on mission. These men and women have learned to lead through their people, not over them, and in doing so they provide a strong leadership
example for the rest of us.” Zuckerberg needs to lead going forward, but pay close attention to where he has been, said Baldoni.
Jonathan Cowan, president and co-founder of Third Way, a think tank of the progressive movement, said that great leaders recognize that what it takes to get an idea off the ground is dramatically different from running and growing an aging organization. “Yet all too often, start-ups fail to make the shifts necessary to prosper and compete in this middle stage. Who knows? Perhaps the next leader of Facebook has "friended" the current CEO -- and he or she is just one click away from better navigating the company's meteoric but challenging rise.”
Thus, as averred earlier,we believe it would be best for Zuckerberg to stop down, and take a lesser title, and let a more experienced manager take the reigns as Facebook moves forward.
Core Aspects of Leadership
is the need of the time (BlessingWhite, 2007). Apart from this the companies who are able to come up with new innovative
ideas take advantages of first mover. The perfect example of this is Facebook. The leadership
of Facebook is not only creative and innovative
but also brings in new innovative
ideas and concepts on continuous basis. The leadership
of Facebook is aware of the fact that time is the most important and crucial factor in bringing in innovation and change. The innovation brought in wrong and inappropriate time can be dangerous for the organization and can leads to failure. On the other hand a timely innovation can help the organization to make way towards success and growth. The leadership
of Facebook is able to incorporate this principle in its innovative
strategies and at the same time is able to manage the all associated resistance and criticism about its aggressive approach towards innovation and creativity (Blodget , 2010).
The Facebook is a good example for companies and organization which are able to change and innovate. The leadership
of Facebook is good source of learning new and modern approach of leadership
towards innovation, creativity, and change. Mark Zukerberg is a source of motivation for new leaders who want to bring in innovation and change through their creative ideas. Mark has given a new definition to of an effective and efficient leader which is the need of this changing and challenging time.
Principles and Practices for Implementing Innovation
The main reason and cause of success the of Facebook is the innovation and creativity. The approach of Facebook towards innovation and creativity is the key of its success. The leader of Facebook is ready to take risk for bringing new ideas and concepts into practice. The creation of Facebook itself is the biggest example of the innovation and creativity part by its leader. Facebook is an innovative
organization and it keeps on bringing creative changes and innovation irrespective of their implications. The approach of Facebook is to first do it and then see what happens (Blodget , 2010). This approach is very much important for the success of any business in this changing world.
In the last five years, Facebook is believed to be the most successful online innovation. Facebook’s idea of innovation is aggressive but at the same time smart (Blodget , 2010). Mark, as a CEO, has the ability of coming up with new ideas and has the guts to implement them and take the risk. At the same time he has smart and clever enough to observe, judge, and predict surroundings and conditions effectively and correctly and bring innovations accordingly.
This approach towards innovation of Facebook has given the company a competitive edge over all other social networking websites Facebook has been started as an innovative
organization and is still proving to be a pioneer and leader in bringing in and trying new ideas and concepts.
Hindrance to Leading Innovation and Change
The latest trend is that for competitiveness and ongoing success the organization should be innovative
and creative. Despite of this trend many organizations are not able to bring in necessary innovation and changes according to the changing requirements and demands. The main reason behind this is the lack of effective and efficient leadership
(BlessingWhite, 2007). The innovation and creativity is dependent on the efficiency and abilities of the leader. The leader should be aware of the changing environment and situations and should have the ability to anticipate future and devise strategies accordingly. The modern leadership
should be aware of the ways and methods of bringing in effective innovation and implementing the innovation in the whole organization. It is important for the leader to be ready to take risk and at the same time he or she should be able to effectively manage and overcome the associated resistance with the change and innovation.
It is the leadership
on which the innovation, creativity, and change relies on. The leader should be creative and innovative
himself and at the same time should have the ability of motivating and encouraging the other people in the organization to bring in new innovative
ideas and concepts.
Facebook ??" Literature Review
Facebook is far and away the most popular and most heavily populated social networking site on the Internet. This paper reviews the literature on Facebook in terms of leadership
, challenges to innovation and change, and more.
An article in Bloomberg reports that sales on Facebook have risen faster than expected, and in fact while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was named Time magazine’ “Person of the Year,” the social networking site was expected to top $2 billion in sales (Womack, 2010, p. 1). Those sales, the article continues, include banners, videos and other promotions in graphic format, will “grab about 9.4 percent of that market” (Womack). If Facebook’s sale of ads reached 9.4 percent of that market, it boosted Facebook well over Google’s share of ads (6.7 percent) and closer to Yahoo (16.2 percent). The one negative point in the article relates to privacy concerns and criticisms; but Facebook pledged to make privacy control easier for users, Womack explains.
Henry Blodget outlines some of the latest attacks on Facebook in the Business Insider ??" attacks that are mainly related to privacy issues. Blodget explains, “Facebook often shares way more information with the world than its users know” (Blodget, 2010, p. 1). This problem is due in part to the fact that Zuckerberg (CEO) approaches innovation with a “do-it-first-and-then-see-what-happens attitude,” according to Blodget. Journalist Blodget asserts that Zuckerberg is “smart” to approach innovation fearlessly and even quasi-recklessly; look where he is now.
On July 20, 2010, Facebook hit the 500 million mark ??" and Zuckerberg is quoted by Glenn Chapman in Agence France-Presse (AFP) saying: “I could never have imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started 6 years ago” (Chapman, 2010).
Sarah Phillips in the Guardian presents a brief bio of Facebook CEO Zuckerberg; the article revisits the launch of Facebook in 2004 (originally called “The Facebook”) when Zuckerberg was attending Harvard University. Within 24 hours, 1,200 students at Harvard had already signed up. Originally intended for university students, Facebook was opened to high schools in the US in 2005, and in 2006 it “was extended beyond educational institutions” to any online person with a valid email address. Zuckerberg’s leadership
in guiding his business through the formative stages is impressive.
As of October, 2009, an estimated 78% of online U.S. households were on Facebook; at least that is the assertion of Wendy Hofstetter writing in Capture The Conversation. In order to show the flexibility and power of the Facebook format, Hofstetter set out to make the Travel Channel pages “more viral.” She did that by taking advantage of the “shared functionality accessible through Facebook’s API.” The pages became “more interactive,” “more targeted,” and more “informative.”
may be based on the ability of individuals to innovate, but in this article it explains that innovation “remains a mystery to most organizations” (www.Blessingwhite.com). The “core part” of the job for some employees is to “execute strategy” as well as “explore the challenges and best practices for leading innovation” according to the Blessingwhite narrative. There are five steps leaders can take if they wish to “remove innovation barrier” and become more creative. They have to be willing to take risks, in the first place. The five steps include: a) align terms; b) “inspire action”; c) be a coach and instill the “right behaviors” so employees can innovate; d) “trust and build trust”; and e) if you have to swim “against the cultural tide” in order to build a “culture of innovation” ??" then do it.
Adam N. Joinson writes in the Italian magazine CHI about the motives of those who use Facebook. Using 241 Facebook users in a survey, the author identified “seven unique uses and gratifications: social connection, shared identities, content, social investigation, social network surfing, and status updating” (Joinson, 2008). Those who use Facebook for “social connection gratifications” tend to use Facebook more than others, Joinson explains. In other words, feeling good about knowing new people and having frequent digital interaction with friends is a motivating factor vis-à-vis frequency of use.
Should faculty on a university campus have a presence on Facebook? That question (among others) was put to 136 students (77% of the students in the classes that were surveyed) in this research project. The authors actually conducted a two-year study, and after the first year, published their findings. The 136 student were enrolled in two undergraduate courses “whose professors had established Facebook profiles for at least six months” (Hewitt, et al, 2006). The answers to the question asked at the beginning of this paragraph turned out to be a mixed bag: of the 102 students (out of 136) that answered the question, 66% said faculty presence on Facebook was “acceptable.” The majority of the remaining 33% “raised identity management or privacy issues in written comments,” Hewitt wrote.
Meanwhile, students in this survey (who had seen the professors’ posts) gave the professors that were on Facebook a 4.7 out of 5 rating. Interestingly, students that had not seen their professors on Facebook also gave them a 4.7 rating, Hewitt explains. Having explained that, the authors admit there may have been a “ceiling effect” at play in this survey; that is, the professors that posted on Facebook were “highly respected and extremely well-liked by students regardless of their online activities,” Hewitt continues.
Male respondents were “twice as likely to condone faculty presence on Facebook” than females, Hewitt explained. The following comment came from the 33% that had mixed feelings about professors on Facebook: Facebook can “unfairly skew a professor’s perception of a student in a student environment”; that remark indicated to the editors that this female respondent believes Facebook is a place that is “owned” by students. It is also obvious that students that put racy or provocative images or narratives on their Facebook pages should understand that they could be judged ??" fairly or unfairly ??" by anyone in a position of authority, including faculty. Another couple comments from students in Hewitt’s research went like this: “It’s a social network for students”; “…Faculty & students should remain separate when it comes to social functions” (Hewitt).
Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Center for Leadership
and Change Management ??" at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School ??" published an editorial in The Washington Post that takes Zuckerberg to task for his alleged lack of leadership
qualities. Useem begins the editorial by praising General George Meade’s heroic actions in the Civil War. He sets up Zuckerberg perfectly by pointing out how efficiently and effectively Meade used his promotion to take charge of the Army of the Potomac (95,000 troops compared with the 10,000 he had previously lead). Three days after getting his promotion (thanks to President Lincoln), Meade’s (using his new position) “…engaged and then defeated the Confederate Army” which was led by the iconic General Robert E. Lee” at Gettysburg (Useem, 2010).
How does Zuckerberg fit into this matrix? Useem asserts that his “issue” is not with Zuckerberg’s youthful age or his “business experience.” What then, is Useem’s problem with Zuckerberg? Useem doubts that Zuckerberg has “the team-building skills required to elicit the leadership
qualities from hi employees needed to run the business long term” (p. 1). On page 2 of the article in the Post Useem wonders how Facebook ??" “or its leader” ??" became “fixated on such a complex non-user-friendly solution as the only possibility?” Non-user-friendly solution?
At this point in his attack on Zuckerberg, Useem loses the reader. What is Useem talking about? So far so good for Zuckerberg; in fact the exponential growth of Facebook ??" and Zuckerberg’s ability to fend off (or fix) the privacy criticisms, and to keep the company moving swiftly and surely ??" is nothing short of genius. Useem makes good points in this piece; there are transitions that growing companies must go through as a matter of course. Indeed, it is possible that Zuckerberg “needs” a “mentor,” as Useem suggests on page 2. And it is conceivable that Zuckerberg is a young executive that is not soliciting advice from the right people.
But beside the possibility that Useem sees something that isn’t obvious to the rest of the world, the writer seems to steer off course. “Great leaders recognize that what it takes to get an idea off the ground” is quite different from “running and growing an organization,” Useem asserts logically and succinctly. But where is the connect with Zuckerberg and Facebook?
Meanwhile, a research article that compares Facebook and MySpace provides some interesting perspectives from users of those networking sites. For example, the members of MySpace reported “significantly more experience using the site to meet new people” while Facebook members “expressed significantly greater trust in Facebook and its members” (Dwyer, et al, 2007). Facebook members also were “more willing to share identifying information” than were members of MySpace, Dwyer writes.
The research tapped into the opinions of 69 Facebook members (29 male; 40 female) and 48 MySpace members (29 males; 19 females) in 2006. To the question, “I feel that the privacy of my personal information is protected…” the Facebook mean was 3.884, “significantly higher than the MySpace mean of 3.292 (F = 4.663, p = 03),” Dwyer explains. But the widest gap between the two networking sites was found in response to the question, “I believe most of the profiles I view on [Facebook or MySpace] are exaggerated to make the person look more appealing.” The mean for this question was 4.29 for Facebook, and 5.125 for MySpace, “a gap of nearly one full point on a seven item scale (F = 8.243, p = .005) (Dwyer).
Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross conducted Facebook research to determine how concerned members of Facebook were regarding privacy and security. The survey used 147 males and 147 females ??" all Facebook members. What Acquisti and colleague found was that an individual’s privacy concerns “…are only a weak predictor of his membership to the network” (Acquisti, 2006, p. 1). In addition, they found that people who have intense privacy concerns join Facebook and “reveal great amounts of information” ??" an apparent contradiction. Moreover, some Facebook members simply trust their ability to control information and external access to their information, without truly knowing whether they can trust the security and privacy aspects.
A research article in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (Ellison, et al, 2007), the authors examined the relationship between Facebook users and “social capital” (the resources one accumulates by having friendships or “mutual acquaintances” with others). The “empirical results” of this study “contrasts” with what the “popular press” presents, Ellison asserts. An individual’s “…intensive use of Facebook” can translate into a long-term friendship with classmates from college and high school that otherwise might not be there. “Such connections could have strong payoffs in terms of jobs, internships, and other opportunities,” Ellison explains on page 22. Hence, Facebook indeed has a strong linkage to a person’s need for social capital.
Acquisti, Alessandro, and Gross, Ralph. (2006). Imagined Communities: Awareness,
Information Sharing, and Privacy on the Facebook. PET.
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