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Chapter 6: Cultural Barriers to Organiza... > PAVING THE WAY TO SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE - Pg. 96

96 Cultural Barriers to Organizational Social Media Adoption Andrew Miller, USA Chapter 6 ABSTRACT From telephones to fax machines to personal computers to email, most communication technology has been introduced with a business function in mind, prior to becoming a part of our social lives. However, social media is a technological anomaly; private individuals quickly adopted this technology as an extension of their personal life without any previous introduction to it through their workplace. Due to this reversal, many organizations are struggling to understand how this technology can benefit their mission, while many more worry that it will devastate productivity and security. Individuals who wield the power of expansive social media networks can significantly alter an organization's credibility and fiscal health. Organizations who harness the massive data warehouses behind these social media networks have the ability to significantly alter individual lives and society at large; for better or worse. With this backdrop, what cultural barriers are being raised against social media adoption and how can management re-align their understanding of social media to better utilize resources and take advantage of the opportunities this technology presents? PAVING THE WAY TO SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE Paul Otlet envisioned a mechanized system of shared knowledge back in the early twentieth century (Rayward, 1975). As a peace activist, he DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-203-1.ch006 believed strongly in the transformative nature of freely sharing all of the world's knowledge as a way of bringing understanding across the globe. Mr. Otlet had conceived of a system of hyperlinks, which not only bound information together but also expanded on the understanding of the information by providing context. Unfortunately, given the era, the mechanism he envisioned was purely analog. Copyright © 2011, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.