The Power of the Follower: the Arab Spring and Social Media

THE POWER OF THE FOLLOWER SAND011A MBL 921-S Leadership Assignment II Group Member Student Number Contribution Addison, B. 7078-516-3 100% Bheamadu, A 3285-589-3 100% Deonarain, N 7288-417-7 100% Deshmukh, A 7136-472-2 100% Jooste, D L 7276-682-4 100% Mahura, S 7300-632-7 100% Mavimbela, R 7294-314-9 100% Mnube, M 3326-099-0 100% Singh, Yashin 3667-383-8 100% Nkosi, N 7308-888-9100% Singh, Yeshvir 7308-490-5 100% Thuntsane, E 7294-747-0 100% Mulder, R7303-318-9100% Mkwanazi, S7288-373-1100%
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This assignment delves into the changing socio-dynamic landscape given the growing rate of mobile and IT connectivity as well as the growing number of users on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and the like. The recent political uprisings on the African continent have hinted towards the use of social media tools to bring about socio-political change and either directly or indirectly challenge the leadership status quo.
Many have refuted the claims of the impact of social media during the uprisings, such as Malcolm Gladwell who dismisses the relevant importance the media, academics and thought leaders have placed on its ability to influence leader behaviour or bring about any meaningful change (www. newyorker. com, 2010). However, the contrary views outweigh Gladwell’s views and, in our opinion, bare consideration. According to Fleishman (2003) “leadership is an attempt at influencing the activities of followers to willingly cooperate through the communication process toward the attainment of some goals. The traditional view of leadership is its ability to influence follower behaviour. Thus, this assignment aims to explore the role of neo-social dynamics (social media) to influence leader behaviour, i. e. follower upward management of leaders. The assignment begins with a case study to determine social media’s impact in Africa, contextualized but not limited to the Egyptian uprisings. It then proceeds to propose an alternative mind-map developed in assignment 1 and concludes with the development of an HR value proposition to generalize a leadership model for use by organizations. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. The Case Study| 4| | 1. 1 The Purpose of the Study| 4| | 1. 2 Background of the Study| 5| | 1. 3 Significance of the Study| 5| | 1. 4 Research Methodology| 6| | 1. 4. 1 Theoretical Framework| 6| | 1. 4. 2 Data Collection| 7| | 1. 4. 3 Research Hypothesis| 7| | 1. 4. 4 Key Research Questions| 7| | 1. 5 Conclusion| 10| | 1. 6 References| 11| 2. | Integration of the Case study Findings| 12| | 2. 1 Introduction| 12| | 2. 2 Assignment 1: Overview of the Leadership Model| 12| | 2. 3 Leadership Mind Map Recommendation| 14| | 2. 4 Conclusion| 18| 3. | The HR Value Proposition| 19| | 3. 1 Definition| 19| | 3. HR Value Proposition Objectives| 20| | 3. 3 A Systemic HR Mental Model| 20| | 3. 4 Organisation Challenges Proposed| 21| | 3. 5 Business Implications| 22| | 3. 6 The HR Value Proposition- Application| 22| | 3. 7 Conclusion| 25| | 3. 8 References ( section 2 and 3)| 26| I. THE CASE STUDY 1. 1Purpose of the Study Social media is a popular term to describe a variety of media tools that is suggested to have played an important role in recent political revolutions. In the recent events in North Africa, the role of social media has been best characterized as an enabler, facilitating rallies and galvanizing participants.
Despite limited access to the Internet and limited freedom of expression and information, social media penetration is on the increase in Africa. Social networks are spoken of in villages, schools, and fast-growing cities where the middle classes are now demanding access to quick information (Marieme Jamme, 2011). In the mid-1990s, as the use of mobile phones spread in much of the developed world, few thought of Africa as a potential market. Now, with more than 400 million subscribers, its market is larger than North America’s and is growing faster than in any other region.
The most common social media tools are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and relatively new social media sites like Diggs and Foursquare. The communication is in the form of status updates and ad hoc statements. While discussion may be limited, the dissemination of information has been seen as the most influential component of the upheavals in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region (uicifd. blogspot. com, 2011). The case study intends to explain the impact of neo-social dynamics on leadership within the context of the recent political uprisings. In doing so we propose three hypotheses: i.
Social media creates the leaderless revolution in the digital age. ii. Social Media creates Citizen Journalism – freedom of speech for the oppressed. iii. Social Media accelerates the rate of revolutions. 1. 2 Background of the Study The rate of technological and online communication advances suggest that organizations and governments can no longer suppress the spread of an idea, message, or of news occurring globally. The implication is that if one is able to connect to the Internet and express a view about a situation, then the information will be broadcasted.
The recent events in North Africa may signal a way forward for the rest of the continent as technology becomes more easily accessible to more Africans. Calls for socio-political transformation heard on the streets of Tunisia and Cairo were echoed globally, rousing sympathetic support internationally. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are extensively seen as being mobilized, organized, supported and driven through the use of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and mobile phone technology which allowed for extensive political expression and rallying against government corruption online and off the ground. . 3Significance of the Study Traditionally, the greatest power that governments have held over their people has been that of information/freedom of speech. The promise that Internet connectivity brings to Africa is that people are now using the abundance of information for oversight of government and more interaction with administrations (J. Gossier, 2008). New communication technologies, especially social media via the Internet, have become important resources for the mobilization of collective action and the subsequent creation, organization and implementation of social movements around the world.
Therefore, the impact of social media on current leadership dynamics requires exploration as the recent public demonstrations of rebellion have been underpinned by suggestions that social media has changed the status quo on how Africans engage and share their views and are no longer being silenced by oppressive leadership with these (social media) tools in hand. 1. 4RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The qualitative case study method is an effective tool for developing an understanding about a particular case, its features, and its impact.
According to Stake (1994), “case study is defined by individual cases, not by the methods of inquiry used. ” As such, the goal of case study research is to understand the complexity of a case in the most complete way possible. The richness of data gathered through this method complements the article’s theoretical framework and is required to answer the research questions. This case study will be an exploratory case study which is an attempt to understand what happened within cases by looking beyond descriptive features and studying the surrounding context. (www. capam. com)
We categorize the “Egyptian revolution” in this study as the activities and conditions that led to and defined the anti-government protests that occurred between 25 January and 11 February 2011, ultimately leading to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Case researchers examine both common and unique features of a case, with an emphasis on its defining features (Stake, 2005). 2. 4. 1 Theoretical Framework Researchers may study a single case or multiple cases. In multiple case studies, researchers study cases in depth individually as well as look across cases for similarities and differences. (RWJF, 2008)
Selected Cases a. Social Media in the Arab World (Ghannam, J. , 2011) b. Reasons Social Media contributed to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution (Chebib, N. & Sohail, R. 2011) 2. 4. 2 Data Collection The above literature was selected because of its relevance to social media, leadership, information technology and the considerations made regarding the plausible causes of changes in the socio-political landscape. Other secondary sources originating from published online news reports were also analysed. Such secondary data were appropriate for this study because of both the nature of our analysis and the wealth of information available.
The qualitative researcher often must use her or his judgment, based on a set of criteria, to decide how much and how long a case should be studied to aid in understanding (Creswell, 1998; Stake, 2005). 2. 4. 3 Research Hypothesis This case study explores the impact of neo-socio (social media) dynamics on leadership in Africa in order to understand contemporary social movements. In pursuit of this goal, the analysis specifically seeks to establish support for the following hypotheses, which will be verified through the case study: I. Social media: creates the leaderless revolution in the digital age.
II. Social media: creates Citizen Journalism – freedom of speech for the oppressed. III. Social media accelerates the rate of revolutions. 2. 4. 4 Key Research Questions Three questions have been identified to guide the approach in solving the hypotheses: i. Who led the protests in Egypt? ii. How was information regarding the revolt obtained and circulated? iii. What was the rate of protestor-mobilization and the speed of the outcome? i. Who led the protests in Egypt? To succeed, one of the essential characteristics of the revolution was that there were no leaders.
Had there been leaders, it would have been far easier for the existing powers to target them for arrest or worse and thus decapitate the revolution. The absence of leaders made such a response impossible. Instead of a revolutionary leadership – a Che, or a Lenin, or even a Walesa (who was imprisoned many times) – there was no one. The only way to have contained the revolts was bloody crackdown on everyone on the streets – a path that Syria’s Bachir al Asad seems to be following, perhaps imitating the grotesque example of his father, who had the town of Hama flattened after a rebellion there, killing perhaps 20,000. carneross. com) ii. How was information pertaining to the revolt obtained and shared both locally and internationally? The concept of citizen journalism (also known as “public”, “participatory”, “democratic”,”guerrilla”or “street” journalism) is based upon public citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing, and disseminating news and information (www. wikipedia. com). New Media technologies such as social networking and media-sharing websites in addition to the increasing prevalence of mobile phones have made citizen journalism more accessible to people worldwide.
Due to the availability of technology, citizens can often report breaking news more quickly than traditional media reporters. Notable examples of citizen journalism reporting from major world events are the Arab Spring. Hundreds of Arab activists, writers, and journalists have faced repercussions because of their online activities. (Gannum, 2011) In Egypt, blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman, known as Kareem Amer, was released in November 2010 after more than four years in prison and alleged torture for his writings that authorities said insulted Islam and defamed Mubarak. Soliman returned to writing his blog shortly after his release.
In Syria, 19-year-old Tal al-Mallouhi was said to be the youngest Internet prisoner of conscience in the region and in December 2010 marked her first year in prison, mostly incommunicado, for blogging through poetry about her yearning for freedom of expression. (Gannum, 2011) In Bahrain, a social networking campaign has called for the release of blogger Ali Abdulemam who was imprisoned for allegedly posting “false news” on his popular site BahrainOnline. org. These are merely three of the scores of Arab Internet users across the region that have faced arrest and incarceration and other repercussions stemming from their online writings.
Government challenges and other impediments, notably low broadband high-speed Internet penetration rates as a percentage of population, stand in the way of wider and faster Internet access. According to the Arab Advisors Group, the top three countries in broadband adoption in the region as a percentage of population are the United Arab Emirates at 14 percent, followed by Bahrain at 12 percent, and Qatar at eight percent as of late 2009. (Gannum, 2011) In 2009, the Arab region had 35,000 active blogs and 40,000 by late 2010.
Although Egypt’s interior ministry maintains a department of 45 people to monitor Facebook, nearly 5 million Egyptians use the social networking site among 17 million people in the region, including journalists, political leaders, political opposition figures, human rights activists, social activists, entertainers, and royalty who are engaging online in Arabic, English and French. (Gannum, 2011) 111. Rate of protestor mobilization and the speed of the outcome The Egyptian Revolution began on 25 January 2011 and ended on 11February 2011 lasting a total of 18 days, overthrowing the 30 year old rule of Mubarak.
The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, lasted 28 days. The Egyptian revolution succeeded in overthrowing the present regime in the shortest time period. (Chebbib and Sohail, 2011) As shown in figure 1 below, the Egyptian revolution is the second shortest revolution in terms of both the number of days it lasted and deaths. FIGURE 1: Days of Revolutions and Deaths that occurred during those Revolutions 1. 3 Conclusion Hypothesis 1: Creates a Leaderless Rebellion The analysis above clearly indicates the lack of emergence of significant leaders in any of the revolutions.
Revolutions ignited by passionate people having sufficient common ground and cause can mobilize a revolution which can be steered and sustained(without a leader) towards the achievement of the common goal. Hypothesis 2: Creates Citizen Journalism – freedom of speech for the oppressed There is a symbiotic relationship between social media and citizen journalism on the one hand and traditional media on the other hand, in that they play off each other. Traditional media remains an essential vehicle for reaching a domestic and international audience. n that while social media played a tremendous role, especially in empowering freedom of speech, the impact of citizen journalism was limited and interest in the cause was catapulted only through traditional media coverage. Hypothesis 3: Results in Rapid Mobilization and Swift Results Revolutions can be short and bloody, or slow and peaceful. Each is different. The Egyptian revolution was one of the quickest and swiftest revolutions in history. The facts and figures have indicated that it was also a revolution with one of the lowest death tolls.
The deaths and number of days for revolutions historically were far in excess of the Egyptian revolution; were deaths ranged in the 3000’s, the death toll in Egypt was documented at 300. III. REFERENCES 1. Ghannam, J (2011): Social Media in the Arab World 2. Chebib, N. and Sohail, R. (2011): The Reasons Social Media contributed to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution 3. Cogburn, D. and Espinoza-Vasquez F. (2011): From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation. 4. Abroms, L. and Lefebvre, R. (2009): Obama’s Wired Campaign: Lessons for public health communication 5. http://www. carneross. com/blog/2011/04/23/necessity-leaderless-revolutions) 6.
Yin, Robert K. , Applications of Case Study Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2003a, 2nd 7. edition. 8. Yin, Robert K. , Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2003b,3rd edition. 9. Yin, Robert K. , “The Abridged Version of Case Study Research,” in Leonard Bickman and Debra J. 10. Rog (eds. ), Handbook of Applied Social Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1998, pp. 229-259. 11. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds. ), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 12. Glesne, C. (2006) Becoming Qualitative Researchers (3rd ed. . Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 13. Gladwell M. 2010 http://www. newyorker. com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell(date accessed: 08/07/2012) 14. Bohler-Muller N. and van der Merwe, C. 2011 The potential of social media to influence socio-political change on the African Continent. Africa Institute of South Africa 15. Toni Ahlqvist, Asta Back, Sirkka Heinonen, Minna Halonen, (2010),”Road-mapping the societal transformation potential of social media”, foresight, Vol. 12 Iss: 5 pp. 3 16. Andre-Michel Essoungou, 2010 A social media boom begins in Africa, www. un. org/en/africarenewal/vol24no4/socialmediabom. tml (date accessed 17 July 2012) 17. Gossier, J. 2008 Social Media in Africa, Part 3: Democracy 18. carneross. com/blog/2011/04/23/necessity-leaderless-revolution section 2 2. integration of case study findings – Recommendations for Leaders Assessed in Assignment 1 2. 1 Introduction Emerging from an exploration of the likely impacts of social medial in the context of the political uprisings explored in question 1 above is the indirect threat neo-socio dynamics pose to autocratic governance, as was the case with Hosni Mubarak resigning from presidential office, a mere 18 days after the start of the Egyptian protests (bbc. o. uk 2011). This is in stark contrast to the rise of US President Barrack Obama, whose 2008 election campaign has been heralded as a win for social media, after a landslide victory which sought to “convert everyday people into engaged and empowered volunteers, donors and advocates through social media” (Edelman, 2009). Comparing these two leaders on the basis of their style of governance suggests polar opposite styles from democratic to autocratic leadership. Autocratic leaders are those who make unilateral decisions and issue instructions.
It is often criticized because it negates relationships between followers that allow decisions to be made by leaders and followers (Ehow. com), whereas democracy advocates inclusive and engaging governance. Following on from the mind map developed in assignment 1, we recommend an alternative leadership approach for the business leaders surveyed. 2. 2Assignment 1: Overview of the Leadership Model In the first leadership assignment, three leaders were surveyed and a leadership mind map was developed. The mind map sought to establish which leadership theory these three leaders subscribed to.
As per table 1 (below), all three leaders subscribe to the power and influence theory of leadership, path-goal theory, leader-member exchange theory (LMX), ethical leadership, transformational leadership, servant leadership, spiritual leadership and authentic leadership. A fundamental leadership trait amongst these surveyed leaders was found to be building and maintaining ‘trust’. THEORY| MS. MABUNDA| MS. GOVIND| MR. SIBEKO| 1. Power & Influence| Legitimate (Positional)Expert (Personal)| Reward (Positional)Referent + Expert (Personal)| Reward (Positional)Expert (Personal)| 2.
Path-goal| Supportive| Directive| Directive | 3. LMX| High LMX| High LMX| High LMX| 4. Transformational| Yes| Yes| Yes| 5. Ethical| Yes| Yes| Yes| 6. Servant | Yes| No| No| 7. Spiritual| Yes| Yes| Yes| 8. Authentic| Yes| Yes| No| Table 1 Leader Theory Summation of Surveyed Leaders (SAND011A, 2012) Image 1, below, provides a graphic of the leadership mind map that was developed in assignment one. The leaders used a combination of both positional and personal power. The mind map also showcased adaptations to this power and influence model, with various modes of leadership also complementing their primary leadership model.
Image [ 1 ] Assignment 1 Leadership Mind Map (SAND011A, 2012) Trust formed the core of their leadership character, without which these leaders believe that their effectiveness to lead would have been severely impeded. We believe this to be true as followers are more inclined to trust people when they understand their leader’s values and observe that their actions are congruent with those values because they can reliably predict how their leaders will act. As such, leaders of high character instil trust.
However, given their reliance on positional and personal power, an alternative leadership model is proposed below. 2. 3 Leadership mind-map Recommendation The demands of neo-socio dynamics on leadership is such that leaders must develop a broad range of personal and professional competencies in order to meet the challenges they will inevitably face. Tomorrow’s leaders must stay abreast of the impact of the social media curve. Primary and secondary stakeholders now have access through social media applications to mobilize and either do great harm to an organisation or support its efforts.
This was recently illustrated by the Woolworths vs. Frankies dispute. According to Frankies, Woolworths, had sabotaged its attempts to sell its product and claim ownership, by selling an imitation of its drink. Supporters of Frankies mobilized and retaliated on social media spaces such as Facebook and Twitter. The response by Woolworths was plagued by its inability to understand the social media playing field. Instead of engaging followers, Woolworth’s executives chose to release press statements that appeared to only exacerbate the situation.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled in favour of Frankies, and Woolworths was ordered to remove its ‘copy-cat’ version of the soft drink. (Moneyweb, 2012) In a recent Sunday Times Article (Aug, 2012) Woolworths CEO, Ian Moir notes that the company was surprised at how quickly outrage was spread in the Frankie’s soft drink saga. In response to his own leadership displayed during the communication crisis, he stated that it (the social media outrage) was a problem within an hour which made it difficult to manage(C. Barron, 2012).
It is safe to conclude that had Woolworth’s leadership endorsed a different response, strengthened its stakeholder engagement and understood the immediate impact of social networking, they would have adopted an alternative approach to engaging their stakeholders. i. Authentic-Transformational Leadership The case study (in section 1) and the preceding Woolworths example highlights the need for ‘open leadership’. According to Charlene li (2011) “By embracing social media, leaders can transform their organizations to become more effective, decisive, and ultimately more profitable in this new era of openness in the marketplace. Whilst no model and no list of leadership behaviours or competencies can fully capture all the critical components of stakeholder management; our group has selected the prescriptive, authentic-transformational leadership model, for leaders to align themselves to. Transformational leadership describes a leader who motivates followers to performance beyond expectations, but has often been attacked for its potential to be abused. Bass and Steidlmeier (1999) point out that the ethics of transformational leadership have been challenged.
For example, transformational leaders: (1) can use impression management behaviours that pave the way to immoral behaviour (Snyder,1987) and (2) manipulate followers into losing more than they gain (White & Wooten, 1986). To mitigate these shortcomings, an additional form of leadership has been proposed to complement transformational leadership i. e. authentic leadership (Nichols, Thomas W. , 2008). Authentic leadership is an over-arching concept that aims to include transformational leadership and all positive forms of leadership (Avolio and Gardner 2005). At the heart of authentic leadership is the concept of ethicality.
The concept of authenticity may contribute to the transformational leadership paradigm, producing an ideal form of leadership. Whilst many pseudo-transformational leaders are able to exert control over their followers, their lack of character and ethical behaviour ultimately bring harm to their followers. By acting on a core set of benevolent values, authentic transformational leaders, bring out the best in their followers and spur them on to do great things for society. ii. Behaviour of Authentic-Transformational Leaders Ethics are a basic component of authentic transformational leadership.
Image 2 (below), demonstrates that these kinds of leaders engage in: * Idealized influence:  Serving as examples of excellence and character; creating a climate of high standards for task performance and ethical choices. * Inspirational motivation:  Developing and communicating an ambitious, exciting and morally good vision for the group to achieve; involving followers, empowering them and encouraging their development. * Intellectual stimulation:  Fostering open discussion of the vision, its implementation and encouraging new ideas from their followers without criticizing them publicly for their mistakes. Individualized consideration:  Demonstrating genuine concern for followers’ development; provide coaching and mentoring and rewarding followers for creativity and innovation. Image 2 Transformational Leadership Model (Management Study Guide, 2009) iii. Advantages of Authentic Transformational Leaders The advantages become apparent when demonstrating ethical behaviour and personal character while performing the four types of leadership behaviours in Image 1. Many researchers have proposed outcomes relating to authentic, transformational, ethical, and charismatic behaviours.
These include trust (Robinson, 1996), organizational commitment (Conger, 1999), satisfaction (George & Jones, 1997), performance (Howell & Avolio, 1993) and organizational citizenship behaviour (Gardner & Schermerhorn, 2004). Additionally, the above authors suggest that: * These leaders develop higher levels of self-awareness. * They lead followers through personal development and organizational change. * They are able to persuade them to step out of their comfort zones, take a leap of faith and follow their leaders into the unknown.
These also support a recent HBR discussion amongst Harvard’s leadership academia, who advocate the need for an increased level of self-awareness amongst business leaders, effective diversity management and forging greater partnerships with ALL stakeholders, both consumers and suppliers alike in the age of a more connected and socially (pro) active business environment. 2. 4Conclusion Authentic-transformational leaders are those leaders who are able to intellectually stimulate, inspirationally motivate and ideally influence their followers in an ethical manner.
They are transparent in their dealings and ethical in their actions and it is their authenticity that removes the potential for them to abuse this leadership style. (Bass and Steidlmeier(1999). section 3 THE HR VALUE PROPOSITION-recommendations to mitigate the implications of the case study findings through the use of hr value propositions 3. HR Value Proposition 3. 1 Definition Human Resource, “HR”, professionals add value when their work aids an organization to achieve its goals. It is not the design of a program or declaration of policy that matters the most, but what recipients gain from these actions (Success360degree. com).
In a world of increasingly scarce resources, activities that fail to add value are not worth pursuing. The HR value proposition means that HR practices, departments and professionals produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders – employees, line managers, customers, and investors. (Amerin, 2005) According to David Ulrich (2005) HR needs to be able to show how their activities create value for key stakeholders. He asserts that HR must have a direct line of sight to the market place such as the customers who buy products and services and to the shareholders who provide capital and that HR must be framed as a source of competitive advantage.
He states that ultimately HR professionals need to be able to spell out how they provide a unique and powerful perspective of the linkages between employee commitment, customer attitudes and investor returns. (Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 2005) The role of a leader in an organisation is to lead change, lead transformation, lead teams and lead engagement. This process is often a learning on the part of the leader. For this reason, leadership branding is often part of the HR value proposition due to the fact that HR is the custodian of learning and development within an organisation. . 2HR Value Proposition Objectives * HR needs to be able to show how their activities create value for key stakeholders (i. e. the business, customers, employees, investors) * HR must have a direct line of sight to the market place such as the customers who buy products and services and to the shareholders who provide capital (a suggestion of a strong market orientation). * HR professionals must align practices with the requirements of internal and external stakeholders (operating in a silo is no longer suitable). HR professionals must acquire the personal knowledge and skills necessary to link HR activity to stakeholder value. * HR professionals need to be able to spell out how they provide a unique and powerful perspective of the linkages between employee commitment, customer attitudes and investor returns. 3. 3 A Systemic HR Mental Model HR needs to frame a new mental model that will make others take notice of and acknowledge the profound and sustainable benefits HR brings to organisations in the new economy.
Such a mental model must form the strategic framework that provides HR professionals with the evidence that HR is truly adding value to key stakeholders. Once developed, a systemic HR mental model will provide the strategic framework that enables HR professionals to make significant and tangible contributions to business performance. For instance, HR professionals will be able to use these models to economically justify their initiatives, advise where the business is at risk, highlight opportunities to continually improve performance and most importantly, show how they add to stakeholder value.
This conclave will provide a platform where eminent HR professionals will discuss the issues that organizations need to handle in order to transform the role of HR and aid organizations to gain and sustain competitive advantage. (www. ksom. ac. in) The HR Value Proposition, which was developed by Dave Ulrich in 2005,expressesfivekey elements for the value creation activities of HR, namely: 1. Knowing external business realities 2. Serving Internal and External Stakeholders 3. Creating HR Best Practices . Building HR Resources 5. Ensuring HR Professionalism Figure 1 HR Value Proposition Template (D. Ulrich 2005) 3. 4ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES PROPOSED The HR Value proposition mind map (Table 1) speaks to challenges organisations may be facing. Social media connectivity and activism can impact business relations both internally (employee relations) and externally (customer relations). We therefore propose two examples of this for a generic Company X: 1. Employees who are dissatisfied with utocratic, heavy-handed leadership within an organisation; and 2. customer online queries or complaints are being sluggishly attended to, resulting in poor customer service levels. 3. 5Business Implications 1. Employees could take to social media and discuss amongst themselves their dissatisfaction with their leaders resulting in lower levels of staff morale, productivity and insubordination (borne out of frustration and on-going discussions in and amongst disgruntled employees).
The recent Marikana Mining tragedy, although still under investigation, could potentially point toward employee mobilization (which may have been aided by social media interaction such as Blackberry messenger “BBM”, or possibly Facebook engagement) and possibly suggest how three thousand employees mobilized to the exclusion of their own union leaders, who purport not to have known about the impending strike action. . Customers who sense that company X is not engaging speedily and effectively to their q

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