February 22, 2011

Business hierarchy doesn’t affect online collaboration

For online collaboration to work, forget internal corporate structures, just build human relations

David SparkHere’s some of my coverage from the ICIS Conference in St. Louis. I was covering the event for Dice and Dice News.

When you’re collaborating online with a virtual team, which relationship dynamic works the best? A rigid internal structure of system roles or human relations?

The latter, discovered Nabila Jawadi, an assistant professor at Amiens School of Management, in her research paper, “Leader-Member Exchange in Virtual Team: Exploring the Effects of E-Leaders’ Behavioral Complexity.” The paper was co-authored by Mohamed Daassi at the University of Brest, Marc Favier at the University Pierre Mendes France and Michael Kalika at the EM Strasbourg Business School.

Jawadi and team tried to see what were the rules leaders used to facilitate communications and create a good e-collaboration environment. They found that internal system rules that deal with control and coordination don’t carry much weight in a virtual environment.

For those leaders looking to improve online collaboration, said Jawadi, have a suite of communications tools in place and use human relation rules, not power structure, for management and facilitation.

January 27, 2011

How to make your product go viral

 

Viral product design is far more effective for product adoption than email marketing or banner ads

David SparkHere’s some of my coverage from the ICIS Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I was covering the event for Dice and Dice News.

Can firms engineer products so they’re more likely to go viral, so there’s contagion and dispersion? This was the question Sinal Aral and Dylan Walker of the NYU Stern School of Business asked and answered in their research paper Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.”

What the two discovered is that firms can increase adoption of a product 400 to 500 percent by adding simple design elements to make it go viral. The two elements they tested were active personalized invites (e.g., “Hey Dave it’s Steve, check out this cool app”) and passive broadcast notifications (e.g., “Your friend Steve is using this new app”). Continue reading