Three Ways to Tweet Ideas for Business Impact
By Eoin Whelan, National University of Ireland, Galway
and Salvatore Parise, Babson College
As Pixar’s CEO, Steve Jobs instructed the architect of its new headquarters to design physical space that encouraged staff to get out of their offices and mingle, particularly with those whom they normally wouldn’t. Jobs believed these serendipitous exchanges released the creative juices that fueled innovation.
Possibly the greatest digital evangelist of all time, Jobs recognized the importance of social interaction for innovation. A multitude of empirical studies confirm what Jobs intuitively knew. The more diverse a person’s social network, the more likely they are to be innovative. A diverse network provides exposure to people from different fields who behave and think differently than ourselves. Good ideas emerge when the new information received is combined with what we already know.
But, in today’s digitally connected world, many social relationships are formed and maintained through social media platforms such as Twitter. So does having a greater diversity of virtual Twitter connections mean that good ideas are more likely to surface, as it does in the physical world? This is a question we addressed by analyzing the thousands of ideas submitted by employees of the EMC Corporation as part of their internal idea management system. Here’s what we found.
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About the Authors
Associate Professor of Information Systems
Salvatore Parise is an associate professor in the Technology, Operations, and Information Management Division at Babson College. He teaches multidisciplinary courses in information technology as well as an elective course on social technologies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He also teaches Executive Education courses involving social technologies and knowledge management.
Lecturer Above The Bar
Eoin Whelan is a lecturer in Business Information Systems at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also is a visiting professor at IESEG in France. His research interests focus on understanding how technologies such as social media and big data influence productivity, innovation, and decision making. His publications on these topics have appeared in the 3* journals MIT Sloan Management Review, Information Systems Journal, R&D Management, Journal of Information Technology, and Information & Organization. Prior to joining academia, Eoin worked as a business analyst in Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.S.