No Image Available

Views on HR News: HR’s Role in the Social Business


Jon Ingham trawls the net to provide his round-up of the great and the good of HR thought and opinion found on the web, so you don't have to. This month, he reviews HR’s role in the ‘social business’.


I have been writing this bulletin over the last six months or so to help address what I believe is an important opportunity that HR needs to understand.  This opportunity is based on the use of social media / web 2.0 technology within the enterprise (something that is often referred to as enterprise 2.0) but it is also much bigger than this.

Increasingly, the term ‘social business’ is being used to describe an organisation that take advantage of this opportunity.

One of the best definitions of social business (and how it differs to ‘enterprise 2.0’) is provided by Larry Hawes posting at Together, We Can!

“A business philosophy that emphasizes employee trust and autonomy as an alternative to hierarchical command-and-control management. Additionally, the philosophy views customers and business partners as trusted components of the organisation, not as external constituents. The philosophy should be supported by appropriate organizational design, culture, business process, and technology strategies and investments. Like any other business philosophy, Social Business produces results consistent with accepted definitions of a viable, on-going business.”

The amount of discussion on the social business has recently increased, largely as a result of the publication of presentations on ‘social business design’ by Dachis Group (Headshift in UK) – see for example David Armano’s posts at Logic + Emotion.

For more explanation on all of this, see the following blogs

 On social media / web 2.0:

On social business / enterprise 2.0:

You can also find comment on HR’s role in leading and supporting the creation of the social business on a number of blogs, for instance HR Marketer:

“HR is the bullied underdog, incapable of managing more than new employee processing, pushing benefits paperwork and conducting exit interviews. Forget understanding the business, marketing and managing social media initiatives. Let other departments that "get it" take care of that.”

Also see:

The new HR carnival, also at Social Advantage, also provides a round-up of recent posts from HR blogs, focusing on HR’s role in the social business.

Jon is executive consultant at Strategic Dynamics. He specialises in helping HR teams to become more strategic and to increase their impact, including through the use of social media. He has two blogs (Strategic HCM – which has recently been voted as one of the top global blogs focusing on talent management – and Social Advantage), as well as a podcast show (Talking HR). You can also follow him on Twitter @joningham.

No Image Available

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.