Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear

Findings from the 2013 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project.

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Chapter 1 Introduction: An Opportunity on the Immediate Horizon

  • More Industries Are Getting On Board
  • Market Drivers
  • Struggles with Social Business

Chapter 2 Snapshot: The State of Play

  • Divergent Paths to Social Maturity
  • Dell’s Path to Social Maturity

Chapter 3 Shifting Out of First: Focus on Business Challenges

  • Marketing and Sales — A Sharper Edge
  • Customer Service — A Step Change
  • Operations — Precision and Visibility
  • Recruitment — Advantage in the Talent War
  • Innovation — Top Management Buy-in
  • Plugging Into Other Technologies

Chapter 4 Shifting Out of Second: Spur the Effort

  • Leading a Social Culture
  • Measuring What Matters
  • Creating Meaningful Content
  • Changing the Way Work Gets Done

About the Research


Infographic: Social Business: Importance is Growing but Progress is Slow (PDF)


David Kiron is the executive editor of the Big Ideas Initiatives at MIT Sloan Management Review, which brings ideas from the world of thinkers to the executives and managers who use them.

Doug Palmer is a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of Deloitte’s Social Business practice.

Anh Nguyen Phillips is a senior manager within Deloitte’s U.S. Strategy, Brand & Innovation group, where she leads strategic thought leadership initiatives.

Robert Berkman is the contributing editor for the Big Ideas Social Business Initiative at MIT Sloan Management Review.


Natasha Buckley, Senior Manager, Deloitte Services LP
Jonathan Copulsky, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Alex Dea, Consultant, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Deb Gallagher, Director, Marketing & Operations, MIT Sloan Management Review
Martha E. Mangelsdorf, Editorial Director, MIT Sloan Management Review
Mark White, Principal and Global Consulting CTO, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Edward Ruehle, writer