Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Business Administration Walden University Fall 2012

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The rationale of the investigative study is to explore how social media impacts innovation and revenues for organizations in today’s market.  Data will be obtained through 20 interviews with business executives and social media authorities.  Initially the researcher will find 60 references to assist in the research. The scope of the study will be focused in Alberta.

Table of Contents

Abstract 2

Introduction. 3

Background of the Problem.. 4

Problem Statement 5

Purpose Statement 6

Research methods. 6

Definition and Terms. 6

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework. 7

Implications for Social Change. 7

Research methodology. 9

Introduction. 9

Secondary research. 9

Quantitative and qualitative data. 9

Questionnaires. 10

Interviews. 10

Research Validity and Reliability. 11

Ethical consideration. 11

Limitations of the research. 12

Data collection methods. 12

Conclusion. 13


The rationale of the degree of Doctor of Business Administration at Walden University is to introduce scholars to Walden University and to the necessities for effective participation in online curricular. Ethical issues associated to management and businesses are taught in this course. It offers a foundation for academic as well as professional success from the approach of a practitioner as well as an agent of social change. Course assignments center on handy application of critical-thinking and writing skills. The course assignments also uphold academic excellence and professional practice. Major assignments consist of the designing of a Professional Development Plan and curriculum of study (Walden University, 2011).

Background of the Problem

This dissertation proposal posits to provide a platform for further exploration on how social media impacts innovation and revenues for organizations in contemporary market. Data will be obtained through 20 interviews with business executives and social media experts. Initially I will find 60 references to assist in my research. The coverage of the study will be focused in Alberta. The paper shall execute an applied research in regard to the problem. Applied research is a type of systematic inquiry that entails the practical appliance of science. It employs and accesses some sections of the research communities’ accrued theories, knowledge, approaches, and techniques, for specific, business, state, or clientele driven purpose (Francis, 1996). Applied research entails finding solutions to practical problems and usually utilizes empirical methodologies. Since applied research involves the real world, austere research protocols would require being relaxed (Conroy, 2010). For instance, it may be impracticable to employ a random sample. Accordingly, precision in the methodology is critical (Best, 2008). Implications for interpretation of the results caused by relaxing an otherwise austere canon of methodology ought to be considered (Bayraktar, 2005).

            In the precedent times, Information technology development and infrastructures have facilitated and enabled growth as well as globalization of numerous organizations (Lusoli & Gibson, 2008). In the contemporary market we are at the juncture of innovative developments in information technology and business in the nature of social media and social software applications (Fisher & Barak, 2006). A lot of organizations as well as and researchers have started experimentation with the internal utilization of social software in workplaces (Brzozowski, 2010). The employment of these technologies is rapidly maturing and shifting to enterprise-level platforms and projects (Arthur, 2006). Consequently, the social software market is now beginning to attract big vendors in the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and Google (Gartner, 2009). In the perspective of these developments in the contemporary market, the intent of the study would be to provide a platform for further exploration on how social media impacts innovation and revenues for organizations in contemporary market (Wattenberg, 2007). The alignment of business and information technology strategies in organizations assists in the realization of more successful investments (Henderson, 2005).

However, the consequences of the new developments in social media on the business policy of organizations, and the manner in which an organization may manage the alignment are not fully known (Macbeth & Purchase, 2007). This stresses the necessity for strategic hypothesis for organizations to manage as well as coordinate these new systems and social technologies within the organization and with their pertinent environment (Frost, 2009). Since social media is currently shifting into the enterprise environment, business and information technology frameworks as well as theories ought to be developed to ease management decisions (Massey, 2009).

Problem Statement

Organizations trying to utilize and adopt social media applications in the business, introduces the problem of how organizations may employ these applications in extend to their business policies (Schneider & Valacich, 2009).

  1. How should social media be approached and how would organizations align these new social media developments with the organization strategy?

In answering this question the subsequent sub questions require to be answered:

  1. What is social media and what is the appropriate definition?
  2. How should social media be approached and employed by organizations?
  3. How would social media align with organizations’ business strategy?

The focus will be to investigate how social media impacts innovation and revenues for organizations in today’s market.

Purpose Statement

The research intends to explore how social media impacts innovation and revenues for organizations in today’s market. Data will be obtained through 20 interviews with business executives and social media experts. Initially the researcher will obtain 60 references to assist in the research. The scope of the study will be focused in Alberta.

Research methods

The research methods that will be applied in the research will qualitative as well as quantitative methods.

Definition and Terms

Social media may be defined as collective commodities created through computer-interceded collective action. According to Haenlein and Kaplan (2009), social media refers to Internet-based applications that facilitate consumers share views, experiences, insights and perspectives.  The Social media platforms provide important high quality content that is implanted in socially constructed repositories (Smith, 2009). Social media utilizes the potential of the web 2.0 structures to facilitate the social aspects of communication, collaboration, as well as media sharing (Bolter & Grusin, 2006).

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework

There are two theories that would emerge in exploring the impact of social media on innovation and revenues for organizations in contemporary market (Handfield, 2009). There is the social capital theory and dramaturgical theories. According to Bourdieu’s social capital theory, social networks generate a source of prosperity (Portes, 2006).  While, Goffman’s dramaturgical theory posits that the interactions of social actors results in a demonstration of diverse roles.  The theory illustrates that, social media forces individuals to play a multiplicity of roles simultaneously (Sandefur, 2008).

Implications for Social Change

There is a superfluity of stylish business press but incomplete academic research in the subject of social media. There is necessity for further research in this subject in order to grant marketing managers with a focus as to how best to incorporate this media into the organization’s Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) (Papacharissi, 2007).Research in the subject of digital and online communications is comparatively well established (Luxton, 2007). However, only a few of the insights may be superimposed onto the relatively new, raw concept of social media. This concept is in its formative years in regard to conceptual development (Shakeel, 2009). While numerous conflicting ideas have come up with regard to distinctions and similarities between Web 2.0, social media and user generated content (Calder, 2009). The research will adopt Haenlein and Kaplan (2010), definition of social media. The authors propose that social media refers to internet-based applications that facilitate consumers share views, perspectives, experiences, and insights. These applications may comprise collaborative projects, content communities, blogs, social networking sites, virtual social worlds, and virtual game worlds (Forrester Research, 2009).

The research on electronic strategies and business varieties indicate that organizations may have an external or internal focus. Rust (2007) argues that the conventional path of e-commerce has basically failed following the dot-com crash. He also posits that organizations must embrace e-service paradigm that would provide innovative types of competitive advantage.

The conventional path focuses on automation and effectiveness to decrease costs (Crane & Matten, 2006). While the e-service path is focuses on improving service and building beneficial customer relationships to enhance revenues (Inglehart, 2006). There is a move form focus on systems and technology towards focus on understanding the clientele. The social media environment facilitates outward and inward-looking perspective of e-commerce (Nezu, 2006). The e-service paradigm exploits the nature the social media environment with its flow of information relating to clientele, communication and engagement in long-term interaction to create customer equity (Sudweeks, 2006).

Research methodology


This section illustrates the methods and procedures that the researcher will utilize in accomplishing the objectives of the project as highlighted in the abstract section of this paper. Primary Research

Primary research refers to assemblage of data that are non existent (Barney & Hesterly, 2005). This will be achieved through the application of a several approaches such as the use of questionnaires, surveys, and interviews. As is appropriate to this project, the primary sources will likely to be found in organizations in Alberta. The foremost advantage with carrying out primary research is that it will be precise. However, the demerit of primary research is that it is lengthy and time consuming (Russell & Taylor, 2006).

Secondary research

Secondary research is the assemblage of accessible data. For instance, research on specific subjects or experiments. Its merit is that it is not time consuming. However, a demerit would be that the information retrieved may be extraneous (Keller, 2008).

Quantitative and qualitative data

There are two major ways investigated in the execution of the activities of any research, Qualitative research’ and ‘Quantitative research’. Qualitative data refers to data based on verbal implications or individual expressions from research respondents. Qualitative study of data is a major method for data collection and this may involve administration of interpersonal interviews (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Borodzicz, (2007), explains qualitative research as a positioned activity that places the researcher in the world. Barbour (2009) recognizes that qualitative method of research provides answers to dissimilar questions from those tackled by quantitative research method.  However, Albrecht, (2006) supposes that qualitative research method is useful in bringing up hypotheses, which can be tested more thoroughly by quantitative research method. Quantitative analysis of data is a method that is based on the quantity of data composed from the recognized materials or sources such as business (Liedtka, 2006).


This research will be undertaken by the use of a.............

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