Is social networking the future of project management?

Rachelle Furnell, Philip James Scott

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Abstract

Communication is the lifeblood of project management, but the increasing geographical dispersion of project teams and stakeholders creates a challenge. Project managers need to exploit a range of tools and methods to communicate effectively with their team, clients and subcontractors. Social networking is ever more widespread, both in the workplace and our personal lives. This paper studies project managers’ use of social networking, in an attempt to determine whether, and if so how, project managers could improve their communications by making effective use of social networking platforms. A literature review identified several potentially useful aspects: user profiles, professional networks, blogs and real time communication. A survey found that 74% (n=150) had already used social networking in the workplace. The most widely used sites were corporate platforms (38%) and LinkedIn (37%). The survey found that the most effective uses for social networking were promoting a project within an organization and for intra-project communication. Interviews suggested that the most useful applications of social networking sites in projects are to improve knowledge management, enable quick communications and to introduce new team members. Face-to-face meetings remain the preferred method of communication where possible. The main limitations are perceived security risks and concerns about time-wasting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-901
JournalInternational Journal for Digital Society
Volume5
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Social network
  • Project management
  • Communication

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