With the multitude of varying definitions of social class, I want to start by summing it up to the simplest and most relevant definition for my post. Social classes are the hierarchical arrangements of people in society into groups. Social stratification is defined by unequal access to desirable resources.
Based on this simple definition, it is clear that organizations have a social class system which is arranged hierarchically into groups such as senior managers, middle managers, first line managers and regular staff. As you move up the hierarchy, decision making abilities and access to desirable resources increase. These desirable resources in relation to career development are exposure, information sharing and connections to the right people.
In the past, these resources were not accessible to all employees which was a significant barrier that made advancement within an organization challenging. With the rise of social media, exposure, access to information and good networks are no longer luxuries that are exclusive to the “upper class” in organizations.
Today, any employee now has access to online social media resources such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and several other communities that can be used to communicate thoughts and ideas increasing exposure, gain knowledge of an industry, competition, trends etc. and network with the right people.
Social media is helping to level the playing field and creates more opportunity for advancement in organizational social class. Are you leveraging your social media resources for your career development?
- Aleya Suleman