The integration of virtual and real social networking: the need of managerial reconfiguration

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Most of the studies on social media activities are focused on how social networking web applications can be considered an autonomous virtual space (Mangold and Faulds, 2011). Social media can create a parallel way to the traditional one of experiencing services and social ties, that could substitute the offline connections (Mattei and Ball-Rokeach, 2001). Research indicates that there is a relationship between being social media users and the likelihood of being involved in the real world (Howard, Raine and Jones , 2010), although the existing evidence is still scarce and no addresses the core question of how to design and manage effective solutions where social relationships in either space (virtual and real) could interact. Our study seeks to fill this gap, considering social media as potential source of new and innovative ways of interactions to exploit daily real and virtual spaces. that reinforce the traditional face-to-face connections, through a process of reconfiguration. Technology needs to be designed to improve and We conducted a descriptive case study on Fubles. is a successful social networking website that brings football enthusiasts together to play matches and pursue their passion for the beautiful game combining real and virtual spaces. Fubles has a peer-to-peer rating system. After a game, players rate each other’s performance out of 10 – in the same way that newspapers routinely rate the professional players. After a game, players receive a message inviting them to go to the website to see how their performance was evaluated by the other players. These ratings also inform their Fubles playing card profile for other players to see. The ratings naturally give rise to post match analysis, banter, and punditry. It is this social networking element that is the key to Fubles’ success. People are encouraged to ‘real’ participation for their ‘virtual’ status and reward system. Our findings indicate that social media can generate value only if its three virtual key processes of sharing comments, status building and reward system are able to reinforce the traditional functioning of organizations and the quality of virtual and real relations among people. Conclusions and the theoretical arguments can be transferred to different contexts, inside and outside the organizations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaAdvanced Series in Management
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012


  • social media


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