Purposes to be Served

When we think about ICT that supports sociality, we are primarily talking about projection of self and collaborative work. There can be any number of motivations for reaching out and interacting with other people via ICT, including instruction, entertainment, and persuasion. We see people projecting various levels of insight into themselves as subjects, including their relationships at work, professional affiliations, and friends, as indications of their social networks. In the enterprise, there are many opinions about how much of this social insight is helpful, or even appropriate, but experience suggests that working relationships that have the personal dimension can produce enhanced productivity and innovation through a kind of mind meld based on shared interests and trust. The focus of interest for social networks includes cohort membership, such as alumni groups, and various activities, hobbies, and sports.

There is one additional point to be made about sociality. In the enterprise we are talking about the human interrelationships in formal and informal groups and communities. This is not a judgment on the worthiness of that behavior. There can be social interactions in enterprises that have asocial or even downright anti-social outcomes and consequences, depending on one’s point of view. An Army platoon behaves in a highly social manner in the middle of a firefight, but the enemy would not regard that behavior in a positive light.