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Social Media, Threat or Opportunity?

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A decision to be made at

Pragmaticase about the internet:

Restrict? Regulate? Or

Leave It Unrestricted.

Rosekathleen A. Sattar

Ms. Judith Mann

February 24, 2011

The Summary

Mr. Johan L., the CEO of pragmaticase is being confronted with a challenge that he usually isn't familiar with. In the last 18 months. That the company's profitability has been threatened by the way how the employees work with the internet, especially when Pragmaticase's board of directors asked Mr. Johan to find out what is killing the productivity of their employees. Obviously it points out to one source, the internet usage. Since most of these employees procrastinate their time with the use of external websites, particularly those social media, like when the employees at work access social networking sites examples of these are FacebookTM, Twitter TM, Youtube TM, LinkedIn TM. According to Mr. Johan's HR director, Ms. Tanya, D.

With the arrival of the internet, it has been redefined. Old habits like reading the newspaper and walking the halls have been replaced with surfing the web and connecting with friends over the internet most people are not capable of concentrating on specific task for an extended period...

Breaks are needed. And, in fact, research has shown that a moderate amount of social media usage and other similar "decompression" exercises can eventually increase productivity...

Another is that, the security and confidentiality of the company's clients are at risk. Knowing that employees, given with unrestricted access to the internet could give away important information not only to their competitors but it proves to be vulnerable not only to hackers but to viruses and bugs that can "accidentally" steal vital information the company has. Mr. Johan must come up with a decision on what to do with the current situation. Should he cut off the internet usage entirely? Or should he limit the use of the internet? Or should he leave the internet unrestricted? How will he motivate his employees to embrace his decision?

The Situation

Johan L., the CEO must make a decision on the matter. That will definitely change the way how employees work at Pragmaticase. Since there have been a decline in productivity in the company. Johan is taking into consideration three alternatives.

1. To block all use of external websites.

2. To leave these external websites unrestricted.

3. To limit the use of external website.

To make this decision, Mr. Johan should use three criteria.

1. To position their company in a strategic way that it would not affect not only staff but consumer.

2. To increase the productivity in the company without jeopardizing how the employee's way on achieving an effective working condition.

3. To maintain and promote an environment that would both benefit employees and upper level management.

The Analysis

Blocking the use of all external websites

Restricting external websites, has its good benefits for increasing productivity at Pragmaticase. It can make the employee work faster and that would make the employee concentrate more on the task he is assigned to. It would be easier on the IT department; they wouldn't have to deal with security breaches. But, this has a downside to this solution. Sure, the company could rake in wonderful benefits of increased productivity, and confidentiality, but it too can "burn out" an employee's morale. In today's generation , the internet is rapidly becoming a necessity, and it too is becoming a daily tool that this generation tends to exploit. Blocking all external sites can give the company a slight disadvantage. Sure, Mr. Johan has some contacts of his own from his collection of friends and colleagues. But blocking these external websites alone could cripple the company's chances it has of growing into a much larger scale. If Mr. Johan will block the use of all external websites, He could cut off the company's chances in obtaining new consumers and information. This too can be quite frustrating to those employees who tend to use the internet as a "tool". In today's society people social media is rapidly becoming the fastest mode and preferred way of communication. The social media is taking the majority of the population by storm. It has become another strategy of other companies to get ahead of the competition. Another downside to this plan is that it would limit also kill the chances of increasing new employees too. Since the newer generations have made the internet apart of their lives. It is hard to remove it from their "system" as it is hard to remove a habit once one is used to doing.

Uncontrolled use of external websites

If Mr. Johan decides to leave the situation untouched, clearly the company would lose its "profitability" with the unnecessary "procrastination" the employees would be doing. On the other hand an advantage of unrestricted internet is that the company would have numerous ways of obtaining new consumers. Sure, it could create and send out clear and understandable information to the public. Thus, increase the company's profitability, by increasing the company's consumers. Another advantage of uncontrolled use of external websites the employees and consumers could create and communicate their ideas to other employees and to their bosses without ever seeing face to face. Yet this also holds some disadvantages. Since the lack of meeting face to face, this could mean that the consumers and employees would need to have strong sense of discipline to finish a task that has been given to them. Another disadvantage is that employees tend to create a distortion of the boundaries of work and leisure and it would be difficult to maintain a balance between the two. Another drawback with this decision is that it would give access to these so called hackers to "plant" their viruses and bugs that could literately destroy the company's mainframe and security firewalls. This would greatly put the company at risk to lose the confidentiality



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