Academic journal article Journal of Global Business and Technology

Social Media: A Strategic Decisionmaking Tool

Academic journal article Journal of Global Business and Technology

Social Media: A Strategic Decisionmaking Tool

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Decision making is required by all organisations; however, the approaches used to come to a decision will vary. Consequently, many books have been written on decision making, because of its importance to businesses and to organisational functioning (Hoy & Tarter, 2010; and Litchfield, 1956). Decision making is constraint by time and revisiting a decision is a bounded process that is also time-consuming (Hoy & Tarter, 2010). Decision making requires a degree of optimism and participation (Connolly & James, 2006; Gigerenzer, 2000; and Gigerenzer et al., 1999). However, other authors view decision making as a nonoptimistic process (Kahneman et al., 1982; and Kahneman & Tversky, 1973). This does beg the question: is social media more supportive of a particular approach to decision making or is social media's role in decision making unrelated to the decision-making approach? Decision-making requires the identification of patterns, and these patterns guide the individual especially in the formative years and they become ingrained (Calabrese & Zepeda, 1999).

Decision-making requires the identification of patterns, and these patterns guide the individual especially in the formative years and they become ingrained (Calabrese & Zepeda, 1999). Social media is a tool that can leverage the patterns and enhance the decision-making process. Decision-making assessment will require criteria referencing (Calabrese & Zepeda, 1999). Carroll and Johnson (1990) used criteria referencing to identify conflicting reference points. Examples of these reference points are purposeful versus nonpurposeful, consistent behaviour versus inconsistent behaviour, and reasoning versus prone to error. Calabrese and Zepeda (1999) suggest that a 'good' decision maker rarely makes a 'wrong' decision, because a good decision maker keeps an eye on the present and also on the future. This suggests the good decision maker has vision and can link current decisions to future decisions. They understand how decisions today could affect future decisions. Knowledge is a key influencer on decision-making and its ability to influence the cognitive pattern recognition is highly individualised (Calabrese & Zepeda, 1999). How the decision makers interact with the organisation to form a dynamic relationship is influential on the quality of decision-making (Saiti & Eliophotou-Menon, 2009). Collaborative approaches to decision making are not easy and simple (Connolly & James, 2006).

Social media and marketing are becoming a prevalent tool for developing and maintaining engagement of customers and they have been found to influence purchase shopping behaviour (Ruane & Wallace, 2013). Traditional marketing is viewed as a unidirectional process; however, social media is a multi-interaction process (Scott, 2010). Social media is more effective for pull-marketing strategies, thus using social media to provide communication of information, knowledge, values, and ethics about the product or service offerings (Lagrosen & Grundén, 2014). The literature on social media focuses on marketing aspects such as marketing communications (Mount & Martinez, 2014; Lagrosen & Grundén, 2014; Ruane & Wallace, 2013; LaPointe, 2012; Booth & Matic, 2011). Social media can be used as a strategic tool and thus can improve decision making, and leveraging social media to improve the level of decision making is scarcely covered in the literature. This conceptual paper contends that the application of social media as a strategic decision-making tool is neglected and social media has an important role in ensuring the robustness of decision making.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

Social Media

Research in social media became business-focused in 2006 and one of the first studies was by McAfee (2006, 2009). McAfee coined the term 'Enterprise 2.0' to identify social media within or between companies, their partners, or customers. …

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