In the last two decades there has been a substantial increase in the amount of information available to the general public. You don’t need a research article to tell you that you can find most anything you want on the internet. The challenge with this vastly open concept of information availability poses is overall information accuracy. How do we know what we are reading and/or seeing is academically sound? In addition, in what way can we determine whether or not the information is biblically sound?
In a recent assignment from our LED 501 class we explored these concepts, as well as the role of leaders in filtering said information. Furthermore, we examined the right of organizations in filtering information and social media. Pasted below is my post with respect to these questions and topics. If there is anything you can add, update, or expound upon, please comment, and let me know!
Leaders must play a critical role in selecting and filtering information. Leaders, by definition, are the ones in charge of a group of people. They are responsible for the group’s successes, as well as the group’s failures. This is not to say followers don’t have a role in the group’s outcome, but rather that leaders definitely have a larger role.
Having asserted leaders have a vested interest on the success of the team, it would then follow that they must work within the dynamics of the team to ensure success. One way to help ensure success is to give your subordinates the tools necessary to accomplish their mission. Filtering information can be one of these tools.
Leaders can filter information by controlling which types of information and resources their employees have access to. Consider the example many of our classmates have used involving employees signing information technology (IT) contracts (Rodriguez, 2014). In this case, employees are only allowed to search a limited scope of websites and resources. Most of the time, IT excludes social media websites such as Facebook and Youtube. Blocking certain websites serves as a filter in order to sift out online babble, which can often times serve as a distraction, versus the information employees need to do their job.
From a biblical perspective, the best place we can go to filter out “babble” is the bible. Consider 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (ESV). The bible is God’s instruction manual to us as to what is legitimate and what is not. If we compare the worldly information around us to the bible, we can filter out what is relevant from what is not.
With respect to the academic world, we can also utilize the bible, but we also need to explore academic articles and journals. Scholarly information filters out babble by ensuring documents are from legitimate sources and are peer reviewed. Leaders can delineate which sources they want their followers to use in order to ensure the best grasp of relevant knowledge and material. According to Northouse, knowledge is the accumulation and organization of information (Northouse, 2013). Thus, providing a filter for this information allows leaders to provide the best chance for growth to their follower
Reflecting back to an earlier point in the discussion, it must be noted that all social media is not intrinsically bad. Social media can be a tool used for sharing collective values, common visions, and expounding on organizational benefits. Examples of this include Facebook groups such as “I am Christian”, or the website http://www.101christiansocialnetworks.org/. These social media sites can provide a collaborative arena for Christians such as us.
In today’s rapidly developing technology age, more companies and organizations than ever are utilizing social media in the workplace, and as a face for their organization. Company Facebook pages can be used as a means to broaden social perceptiveness and social performance as delineated by Northouse (2013). More specifically, company social media websites can allow employees to share their thoughts and experiences yielding higher insight and awareness for leaders on how others function or think within the organization (Northouse, 2013). Overall, social media can be used as a tool, rather than a hindrance, for furthering an organizations goals and vision.
ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. (ESV text ed.). (2007). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Bibles.
Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.
Rodriquez, A. (2014, July 7). Biblical Perspective [Msg 1]. Message posted to https://blackboard.ccu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp