The problems of Unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, Starvation and a plethora of other challenging issues have long plagued developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America which was brought forth due the fluctuating global economy, changes in political structures, degrading environmental conditions and demographic pressures. To tackle the issues mentioned, the idea of Globalization was put forth by humanitarians and Visionaries. “Globalization” in a generic sense is a term which describes how people around the globe are inter-connected or networked to one another. Looking at this term from a business perspective, Globalization was brought about by mutual agreement between Governments of different Countries (both developed and developing) to encourage overseas business, foreign investments, insourcing and outsourcing which would not only help improve the economical condition of Countries, but would also help generate opportunities in terms of education, employment, eradicating poverty, improving communication and information exchange, innovative business strategies etc, to name a few. Information Technology by far has been a cornerstone in connecting all the Countries of the World together. Ever since its inception in the 1980's, the Internet or the World Wide web, a subset of Information Technology has connected people with people, business with business and business with people, and by doing so, translated the theory of Globalization into practical form. With the advancement in technology and the Internet, services which otherwise took hours, days and months, are now just a mouse click away. People today conduct, otherwise time consuming services and business like online banking, emails, online Hotel reservations, Voice and Video conferencing using the Internet's capabilities. Businesses rely on web based real-time systems for conducting everyday work like Electronic-purchasing, Enterprise resource planning (ERP), E-transactions etc, which goes to show how Globalized we have become in the 21st century. Credit is also due for Websites and business portals, which forms the interface within the Internet, on which content is written and published for viewing.
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They say “A picture tells a thousand words”, and it came as no surprise when “Youtube” made its introduction in 2005, to take the online Video world by storm.
Even though there were a few other companies offering similar video streaming content on the internet, what made Youtube stand out from its competitors was their innovativeness and capability to offer rich quality media to its users over Macromedia flash, the format on which the size of video files remains small yet the quality is retained. This function combined with other breakthrough features like video blogging, which was unheard of before Youtube's arrival, a Video-Servers, with a whopping storage capacity measured in Terabytes are some just of the spectacular services Youtube was equipped to deliver to the market. Youtube's business model reflects on their own mission statement that is to provide rich video content, innovative functionalities and features to enrich end users online video viewing experience and following its acquisition by Google, to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
In terms of a Globalized business Organization, Youtube definitely shows the attributes and intent which is required to reach and connect its millions of users. On arriving to their homepage “www.youtube.com”, we observe that there is a language selection tab on the top right corner which allows users from different parts of the Globe to access the Youtube content in their home language. Currently you can choose from 19 different languages. This service shows partly that Youtube does not want to restrict its site viewings to users from English speaking countries only, but give equal opportunity to other non-english speaking countries aswell, and partly this can be seen as a business strategy to hook up as many users as possible to Youtube to maintain its stronghold in the online Video business. Whatever it might be, this feature truly gives the site a unified feel. More in terms of equal opportunities, we can see that users from any part of the World, irrespective of caste, creed, can upload and share videos on Youtube. We can see videos from some users who are not entirely happy with their political system, some with their education system, some voicing their concerns over global warming issues, workplace rights etc. Thus Youtube can be seen as a true democratic portal which offers people a platform to voice their opinions, and with a viewership which includes Presidential campaigners like Barrack Obama, this sort of platform is a gift for any Countries future plans of developments.
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Knowledge Management System is a system for managing knowledge in organizations, supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of expertise and knowledge.
Managing knowledge includes several practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning. Within any Organization, Knowledge Management lends itself to the discipline in ways outlined below:
For Products and processes
Almost all of Engineering products and processes today are knowledge intensive, Processes like procurement of raw materials, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, logistics etc depend heavily on information/knowledge transmission. The efficiency of these processes also depends on reliable knowledge management systems.
As an Enterprise expands and becomes more complex, KMS helps sharing of modified and updated information with different sectors within the Organization.
In terms of communication and information exchange amongst users, Youtube takes care of both these important attributes of Globalization in by having an efficient knowledge system onboard their website. There is an email system for registered users (registration is free) through which users can write emails to one another. Through the idea of Video-blogging, users can speak their hearts out, no holds barred comments on different issues. Interaction between users is also made through video threads, where users can post their comments which again give rise to a healthy communication platform between people from different countries, all in one place.
In terms of the Organization's ethical standpoint, what needs notice is the pornographic and some extremely violent content shared by users on youtube, which gets the most views and are very essential for any video-streaming portal to draw maximum number of users to their sites and be successful in the long run. Though in today's developed, democratic world, both pornography and violence would not matter a lot, however in a globalized unified society, some of this content would be gauged under the scanner in other countries where content on sex and violence could give rise to civil and political agitations. Youtube infact has handled this issue very well through its Video Flagging policy. Users can flag video content which they feel inappropriate. If a repeated flag on a similar content is observed, Youtube reviews the content and removes it from their server if they are found to be violating their policies and copyright laws.
When we look at youtube's business strategy of generating revenue, it generates almost all its revenue from advertisements and mass collaborations with major broadcasting companies like BBC, CBS, NBA and many others, which form their own channels on youtube and upload their channel specific content for viewing.
As specified on their website and from the success we have seen Youtube enjoy since its inception in 2005, it can definitely be considered as a dynamic workplace which follows a very innovative, customer driven, non-bureaucratic culture and gives all its employees an equal opportunity to voice their opinions and suggestions, which is the main ingredient for any successful Organization to bring about continuous process efficiency and product improvements, as is proved from their overwhelming success.
In terms of creating job opportunities, which can be seen as another area to improve the economy of a nation, Youtube like almost all of today's business portals, have a jobs link at the bottom right hand side of the page, which displays job vacancies for talented and skilled Computer Engineers, Software professions, web page designers, marketing and advertising personnel. This is not only for people residing in the United States, but from other continents like Europe and Asia aswell, which shows how much Youtube has diversified its business. Since the continent of Africa was not mentioned anywhere on the page, we could presume that either they have not started their business in that continent, or maybe job positions have already been filled for the African region. A 2nd point to note is that unlike most of the other Global business portals who put in a “We are an equal opportunity Employer” sentence in the careers/jobs link which shows that it is open to both qualified applicants irrespective of sex, race, religion etc. Youtube has not made a mention of it anywhere which it needs to include in near future.
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Business Social responsibility is an ethical or ideological theory which tells that each Organization is directly or indirectly responsible to its society members. Indirectly, youtube has created a sense of social responsibility culture amongst youngsters and adults alike, where people are more worried of what others will think of their actions if it gets broadcasted on the web through mediums like youtube, and hence make every move carefully and in an ethically right way. A recent incident in Donut franchise ‘Dunkin Donuts” in New Jersey, USA where an employee risked his life to save his companies money from being stolen by a robber, just because he worried that his image might get tarnished if his cowardly act gets captured on the security camera and goes on to get uploaded on youtube, goes to show how socially responsible websites like youtube impact people's life in a positive way. Directly, even though youtube themselves do not make video content which carries a social message in it, it has provided a platform through which millions of its users can do so, and the initiative in itself shows that the Organization cares for the society. Awareness campaigns from World health Organization(WHO), Kidney health Australia and many other Not for profit, Health and Educational institutions are using Youtube as a medium to spread awareness about diseases, health, poverty, illeteracy etc.