CGT581 Final Project

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Assignments
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It’s time to start thinking about your final project for this class. In fact, by next Tuesday, I’d like you to propose a topic for your final project.

I see a few options for final projects in this class – but if you have other ideas, please bring them on!

Option 1: Improve a work process

Identify a work process that could be improved with the use of social media. Describe the process, the participants, the types of tasks they perform, the type of organization, work culture, etc. Then, write a proposal for social media implementation. Explain what social media tools this group should use in their work, and how. Support your recommendations with arguments and citations. Create a plan for how to evaluate if social media is working well for this group, so in the future, you can fine tune the implementation based on the feedback you would get. Write in APA style, but format like a business report.

Option 2: Research project proposal (and pilot)

Write a proposal for an original research project you would conduct, on a topic related to social media and productivity and/or social media in organizations. The proposal should be complete, just like a proposal for a thesis or dissertation. It should include an introduction, review of literature, research question(s), methodology & instruments, and timeline for execution. If at all possible, pilot the study by collecting a few data points. Write in APA style, format like APA manuscript.

Option 3: In-depth review of literature

If you’re not yet sure what interests you, or would like to gain in-depth knowledge in one narrow area, write an extensive review of existing literature and research in an area of your choice. Please ask for help choosing or narrowing down the topic. Your review of existing literature should be extensive, and include relevant theoretical perspectives, academic research, business reports & research, as well as sources about the preferred research methods used to investigate the topic.

Off the top of my head, here are some examples of broad areas you may choose to investigate:

  • the relationship between organizational culture and social media adoption; the impact of social media adoption on organizational culture and/or organizational structure;
  • new modes of organizing facilitated by social media (Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody is an excellent starting point in this direction)
  • informal patterns of collaboration and cooperation facilitated by social media (i.e. using social media for productivity, outside the requirements of a formal institution – i.e. ad-hoc collaborative learning among students?)

How to submit your topic proposal:

Depending on how public or private you want to go with this (your choice) you can write a comment below, explaining your idea for your final project, or you can send me an email. Either way, if you have questions or need help, let me know and we’ll discuss. It would be nice to end up with a list of topics in the comments of this post, so you can see what everyone else is doing.

As always, let me know if you have questions.

  1. Huijun Suo says:

    Option 3 sounds good to me!
    I like the idea of “new modes of organizing facilitated by social media”. I am very interested in the collective actions facilitated by social media. i will read “here comes everyone” and throw out more specific ideas later!

  2. bfutterman says:

    Like Huijun, I’m most comfortable with Option 3, the literature review. The most appealing aspect of social media – or, as we defined last week, ’emergent media’ (versus emerging media) – is the way people and information can self-organize when provided with streamlined tools and a goal. This can mean big changes for culture, and so on to a point where work becomes more productive and an organization becomes a more cohesive unit instead of a ho-hum workplace.

    Since, to me, this lends itself very easily to a discussion of culture, collaboration, information sharing, and decision-making, I think I need to talk to you about just how broad the scope of this paper should be. You’ll be hearing from me!

  3. srenick says:

    I would like to work with option 1 and apply social media to improve the design iteration communication process for a live events production company.

    Hypothetical situation: Currently, design iterations are rendered and shared by email and Go To Meeting.

    Solution: Utilizing social media tools to distribute, organize, and discuss design options could potentially lean out the load on the mail server and the time that it takes to communicate between multiple parties.

  4. kmbaldau says:

    The idea I have bubbling in my head may be a cross between option 2 and option 3 – so i need some guidance. The general idea is to determine how businesses are allowing social media right now, what their policies are whether they ban social media sites or embrace them, etc. I’d love to get my hands on copies of actual company policy documents – but I’m not sure how possible that is. I’m still researching that idea. The other potential route or addition to this would be a survey asking people how they are allowed to use social media at work, and what their company policies are.