Destination social business: exploring an organization's journey with social media, collaborative community and expressive individuality

This paper delineates the main characteristics of the evolution of the organization as a social business in response to the socially networked marketplace. We advance the notion that the modern day firm is increasingly organized as a community according to the principle of collaboration. The main message is that the prominence of organizational structure is not redundant but needs to be complemented by collaborative community in response to market demands. In order to fulfill this complementary role, the concept of organization is profoundly changing. Based on recent theorizing, we review the role of collaborative community as a key characteristic of social business, provide an overview of its principles, show how social media can effectively facilitate and support collaborative community, and introduce the concept of expressive individuality. We provide illustrative examples that feature Dell. We conclude by identifying an agenda for further academic inquiry, and by specifying a large number of issues that researchers may address.