Critical Thinking Case

Social Media, Online Expression, and Collaboration

Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, recently commented about the use of new communication channels. He specifically mentioned the use of social networking and the growing importance of Web 2.0 tools:

As my kids became teenagers, I started looking at Facebook a little more closely. It was a significant amount of collaboration. There was open understanding. They didn’t have a problem sharing their status. Nothing seemed to be secret, and they were living their lives very openly, and friends were commenting on each other and it was working. Here is my generation, which is very security-conscious and privacy-conscious, and I thought, what are the differences? This is the generation coming to work for us. It’s not my generation. So we started having people make their presentations and record them for our internal website. We open that for review to a 360-degree workshop, which means your subordinates will review it. Your managers will read it. Your peers will read it, and everybody will comment on it. I will be, or your manager will be, one of the many who read it. So, every presentation was reviewed by 300, 400 people. What happened? There were two very interesting lessons that I learned. One, because your subordinates are going to see the plan, you cannot lie. You have to be honest. Two, because your peers are going to see it, you are going to put your best work into it. Third, you didn’t learn from me. You learned by reviewing somebody else’s presentation. You learned from the comments somebody else gave you. For the 8,000 people who participated, there was a massive collaborative learning that took place.31

Based on Nayar’s comments and your own experiences, answer the following questions:

1. What are the potential personal and group benefits from using Web 2.0 communication channels?

2. What are some of the differing attitudes between generations about online expression? What impact might these differences have on workplace communication?

3. In what ways do online communications lead to more honesty and higher-quality work?

4. In what ways might online communications lead to less honesty and lower-quality work?


“8.3 Social Media, Online Expression and Collaboration” case on page 260 of your textbook.


The following sections should be included. You may add other sections, if needed. Be sure to use subheadings to help your reader navigate your report.

This is not a term paper. This case will test your critical thinking skills.

Introduction – Briefly describe the communication issue and give some background information about what happened. State the important details about Nayar’s comments.

Questions – Answer each of the 4 questions under the Nayar case. Letter each one for clarity A, B, C, D.

Conclusion –Write a brief conclusion about what you learned reading this issue. You may state your opinion of this case also.

Style: No format style is required. Critical thinking is the goal in these case studies. Write this as a simple business report with a diverse target audience of staff, employees, clients, potential customers, etc.

The final draft of the Case Study Report should be a minimum of 750 -1,000 words in length. Each Report should not be a simple summary of the case. The focus of the report should be an analysis of the issues and recommendations that are grounded in organizational communication theory

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