Is Social Media A Management Breakthrough or a Fad?

BusinessWeek’s March 23-30, 2009 issue focuses on Smart Ideas for Tough Times which describes how managers are taking innovative approaches to weather the downturn.  The most interesting part of the series covers 11 breakthrough management ideas that are now the basics of any business school education.

This 4 part series will examine these breakthroughs alongside social media to see if we are witnessing a world-changing idea, or just another management fad.  First, here is the recap from BusinessWeek:

Some of the most powerful and lasting management methods were launched during tough times, when companies needed new ways to manage costs and grow. Here is a look back at some of the biggest ideas over the past 100 years.

1910 – The Assembly Line Explanation

1920 – Market SegmentationExplanation

1931 – Brand ManagementExplanation

1943 – Skunk WorksExplanation

1950s – Lean ManufacturingExplanation

1967 – Scenario PlanningExplanation

1973 – 360 ReviewExplanation

1987 – Six SigmaExplanation

1989 – OutsourcingExplanation

1990 – ReengineeringExplanation

2000s – Open InnovationExplanation

#1 – The Assembly Line

The Breakthrough: Ford dramatically lowered labor costs through standardized parts.  This made an expensive technology cheaper and therefore increased mass market demand.

The Question:  Can Social Media make expensive technologies more affordable for the Mass Market?

# 2 – Market Segmentation

The Breakthrough: GM divided customers into groups based on their unique needs and focused their products on meeting those needs.  This decreased competition and cannibalization between their brands.

The Question:  Can Social Media allow companies to better identify and meet distinct consumer needs?

# 3 – Brand Management

The Breakthrough: Organize brands into “mini-businesses” that must differentiate themselves from both internal and external competitors to survive.

The QuestionCan Social Media allow organizations to more effectively align their resources to maximize total profit?

Posted on March 24, 2009 at 8:55 am by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy · Tagged with: , , ,

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  1. […] 4 part series (See Part 1 here) will examine these ideas alongside social media to see if we are witnessing a world-changing idea, […]

  2. […] 4 part series (See Part 1 here, See Part 2 here) will examine these ideas alongside social media to see if we are witnessing a […]

  3. […] 4 part series (See Part 1 here, See Part 2 here, See Part 3 here) will examine these ideas alongside social media to see if we are […]

  4. […] we will have to stock price at those companies with good Social Media to understand whether or not Social Media is the management breakthrough we’re all hoping […]

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