Building a social business — how companies can harness technology to create social businesses that are more than just talk.


Companies believe becoming more social will boost their business in many ways, including the bottom line. New research from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte shows that companies have improved their usage of social tools, especially in interacting with customers. But they still face plenty of obstacles.

Companies tend to think of social media as something for marketing — and it is — but they miss the broader implications of the technology, says Doug Palmer, who leads Deloitte’s Social Business Practice. Anh Nguyen Phillips, a senior manager in Deloitte’s Strategy Brand and Innovation Group, agrees, noting that corporations often fail to recognize that that social business requires an effective corporate strategy. When company leaders get involved directly in social business, it makes a big difference in corporate acceptance of the technology, adds Gerald Kane, an associate professor of information systems at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, and guest editor for MIT Sloan Management Review’s Social Business Initiative. In this video interview with Michael Fitzgerald, MIT Sloan Management Review contributing editor, Palmer, Phillips and Kane discuss the research and its implications for social business.


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