I'm in to the second week of data gathering for my MSc dissertation researching the effectiveness of Social Computing for Workplace Learning.
As the number of respondents starts to grow to a statistically meaningful magnitude I have noted a few facts that I find interesting, including:
1) Almost 80% of respondents are over 40 years of age, dispelling the myth that social computing use in the workplace is the fad of the bright twenty somethings joining the workplace as the early progeny of the facebook generation.
2) Nearly 40% of respondents find that their employer does not link an individuals performance to the use of social computing, this despite numerous studies from IBM (and others) in the past 3 years that identify the need to embrace the connected and collaborative world of social computing as a key business challenge. Perhaps it's easy for CEOs to identify the challenge, but less easy for line managers to link that to an employees performance.
3) Just over 30% of respondents claim that their employer has no guidelines (or none they know of) on the appropriate use of social computing. This I find very surprising, taking a browse through the email addresses of the respondents I see none who work for organisations that lack social computing guidelines.
My own view on appropriate use of social computing is that the golden rule applies here as elsewhere in life 'tweet about others as you would have them tweet about you'.
My research continues and if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a £50 (UKP) Amazon or iTunes voucher, I would appreciate your help in completing this questionnaire www.surveymonkey.com/s/3HD7JQW
The questionnaire will be available until 20th July 2012 and it takes about 10 mins to complete. Every participant who leaves an email address will receive a 'thank you' in the form of a $10 (USD) store credit to spend with National Geographic's partner www.novica.com - a great way to support artisans in developing nations.
Participation is anonymous (unless you wish to leave your email address), and all my findings, conclusions and recommendations will be published in October, and sent to those who wish to receive a copy.
Paul, I would be interested to see your findings once published. We are introducing a social collaboration tool and common to your notes above are finding some similar challenges.