Web 2.0 and the productivity paradox

The Knowledge Board blog has an interesting post on the conflict between using Web 2.0 and being productive. The post called the "Web 2.0 and the productivity paradox" From the introduction to the post:

"The loudly trumpeted Web 2.0 business revolution has been frustrated by a powerful paradox. Advocates claim that Web 2.0 platforms, such as wikis, boost staff productivity by harnessing collective intelligence and fostering innovation. The hard reality, however, is that many corporate managers fear that these same tools will actually undermine productivity at the office. So how can the productivity paradox be reconciled?"

So how can the "productivity paradox" be reconciled. Well the post doesn't offer the solutions but it does take an interesting look at the concerns that are raised by IT departments as well as some of the benefits associated with using these tools.

Concerns range from"...security risks, legal liabilities, and privacy invasion. The most often cited problem with Facebook at the workplace, however, is time-wasting. There is a strong belief in many companies that, if you’re logged onto Facebook, you’re not working"

The post then looks at the many benefits of using Web 2.0 in an organisation. One of the benefits that stood out for me was the following;

"Web 2.0 software knocks down corporate silos, moats and walls by encouraging open communication and information sharing. Expertise and solutions to problems no longer remain “hidden”, they are actively sought out and exploited. Since Web 2.0 tools foster transparent communication visible to all, the collaborative input of any employee, even far down the formal hierarchy, will be known, recognised and perhaps rewarded. Status and prestige incentives are thus built into the collaborative process. When collaboration is a win-win for everybody, buy-in is universal."

This is a really interesting article, which highlights some of the concerns and benefits of using Web 2.0 tools in an organisation.

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    # by Unknown - Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    I think you know my feelings on this one James, but I think again this article misses a vital point. By lumping all social software into one big bucket called Web 2.0, they are comparing Facebook with internal blogs/wikis, which to me are worlds apart. Blocking Facebook doesn't mean you're anti-Web 2.0 or social software, just the social networking stuff that really is just social. An internal social network, LinkedIn, LegalOnRamp - all good for business. Facebook, Bebo etc.? Not so much.

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    # by Unknown - Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Damien I'm absolutely with you on this. Having Facebook inside the Enterprise could do massive damage to productivity levels but as you say people seem to persist with comparing Facebook with actually very useful tools like internal blogs, wikis and other social media tools.