All In A Twitter Over Facebook? Social Internet Use At Pragmaticase Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

IMD-3-2138 © 2009
Peiperl, Maury; Jonsen, Karsten; Smit, Willem

Several firms have started to block employees from accessing Twitter™, Facebook™, YouTube™, LinkedIn™, flickr™, and other social networking applications from their workplace computers and networks. The issue has also seen increased coverage in the news media. Should the firm provide the goahead to block access to such sites to the IT section and merely prohibit all use of social websites?

Or should it choose not to fight this battle and let internet use be unrestricted? The case presents arguments as a way to make informed decisions on this divisive question a company must contemplate. Learning objectives: The objective of this case will be to raise a contemporary problem: Workers’ use of social networking websites. By means of this discussion some fundamental dichotomies could be exposed and discussed, for example work/life balance; control versus flexibility; inspect versus expect; results-just-work-environment versus conventional contracts; requirements of knowledge workers vis-à-vis conventional labour; views on people and direction (e.g. theory X vs. Theory Y).

The case provokes supervisors to consider positive and negative aspects of limiting access to social networking websites..

Subjects: Social media usage; Work/life balance; Control of employees; Productivity; HR Policies in the knowledge economy; IT; Facebook; Internet
Settings: International; Consulting; Mid-size; 2009

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