Just like other companies, Facebook has faced a number of challenges that have affected its performance. One of the greatest encounters that Facebook has ever faced since it was founded happened in 2018. A political analytic firm by the name Cambridge Analytica acquired data of various Facebook users through a researcher who had collected it using a quiz app. The same firm was linked to Trump’s political campaigns during the 2016 elections where it used data in building psychological voter profiles before the due date of elections (Cadwalladr, 2017). Following the misuse of data belonging to over 50 million Facebook users, the company has been facing backlashes from regulators, users, lawmakers, as well as its employees. Federal prosecutors started investigations against Facebook. They were requesting Zuckerberg to address the issue by testifying before people.
Reputation and company brand name is one of the most important assets that any organisation should safeguard as it affects the profitability of any enterprise. This is because once the brand name of a company has been ruined, it becomes hard to gain new customers. The existing customers also feel betrayed, and their trust in the organisation may get lost, thereby making a company to face greater adverse implications (Kahne& Bowyer, 2018). Facebook’s scandal involving incorrect obtaining and use of data caused investors of the giant marketing social network to cut the value of the company by approximately $100 billion within two months. This would, in turn, affect the performance of the organisation directly since any investment that the company considers to take requires resources which are provided by investors. The withdrawal of investors implies that the amount of capital contribution as gotten lower thereby affecting the ability of the company to make substantial investments beyond its capabilities (Kalsnes, 2016). Although Zuckerberg gave an apology in relation to the breach of data, the effects of the scandal had already begun to take effect.
Facebook has given its users the mandate of having full control of their accounts. This trick has attracted firms which have taken advantage of it to solve their problems. Initially, the first Facebook model was mainly concerned with promoting change from a centralised setting to a decentralised one. However, such a change would require the company to install strict control systems that would ensure that users stick to some set guidelines. Any firm that would require any data from the company would only do so by following a particular channel. In addition, such control would ensure that any firm or individual would not use data belonging to the users without their prior consent and awareness (Roeber, Rehse, Knorrek& Thomsen, 2015). Lack of such organised control and security systems has made it easier and possible for individuals to go ahead and access data belonging to individual users, and use it for their benefit. The consequences of the data scandal are that users of Facebook have lost trust with the company and they fear that their information may be accessed any time even without their consent.
There are a variety of recommendations that Facebook could employ to enhance its healing and rebrand its services. To start with, the company needs to review and evaluate its security systems. The company should acknowledge that it stores personal data for millions of people across the world and it should understand that such information may be used to threaten the lives of users. Having understood that, the company is required to install effective security systems that would ensure that the data is stored safely and unauthorised individuals cannot access it. Among the steps that the company can take to ensure that the data of its users is securely stored is first to investigate and find out all the apps that link and connect with Facebook, and which could get access to a large volume of users’ data stored in it (Stragalas, 2010). The company can then limit the number of apps that can successfully link to Facebook and access a vast amount of data from it. The company can also employ new restrictions that can control the amount of data that will be accessed by other apps that link with Facebook (Magnúsdóttir, 2018). Lastly, any app that would be allowed to have access to a considerable amount of data should be alerted and be notified on the importance and need for them to be highly responsible and accountable for it.
The second security strategy that can be employed would be aimed at giving third-party developers limited access to data in a number of ways. One of the ways of limiting accessibility among developers’ apps is restricting their access of data. For instance, if a user has not used a given app for a considerable time, let say, a period of three months, then developer appsshould not be allowed to access his/herdata (Polański, 2018). Facebook should restrict developer apps that are not used by individuals from accessing their data. Facebook still permits some apps to access personal data of users who have been in the industry for some time. This, in some way, poses a threat to such a user (Isaak & Hanna, 2018). The company should try to monitor and analyse the developers’ apps that are consistently used by Facebook users and allow them to access their data.
Another great strategy that Facebook can employ to enhance safety and data security is that of change. Facebook needs to embrace change with the aim of rebuilding its brand. Having experienced various losses from its current organisation, the company needs to adopt a change in its management and structure. Facebook needs to set up a new structure that would be effective in promoting data security. Moreover, it should be responsive to any complaints and suggestions that are raised by users (Magnúsdóttir, 2018). Such a structure would include the formation of new data security departments as well as employing new security technologies and strategies. The company should allocate more resources to ensure that there are adequate and effective security measures.
Another significant change that Facebook can employ to promote data security is re-establishing its connections with other companies and apps. Recently, Facebook works in connection with many other companies such as Gmail, which also store profound amounts of personal data that belongs to their users (Roeber, Rehse, Knorrek& Thomsen, 2015). Facebook can enquire from other related companies that have not experienced any security-related scandals before to identify the different strategies that such firms employ to enhance data security. Moreover, Facebook should also re-evaluate and refrain from allowing direct access to significant amounts of data to the companies that have previously been associated with issues that are related to data security.
John Kotter highlighted different ways and steps that could be employed by organisations that could be used by managers to help them achieve transformational change. Change is typically opposed and resisted when it is introduced abruptly without any prior planning and strategies. He introduced an 8-step change model which focuses on assisting managers to successfully integrate change that would bear positive returns to their organisations (Magnúsdóttir, 2018). Facebook managers can employ Kotter’s change model to respond to their problem.
The first step involved creating a climate of change. Facebook managers can create a climate of change by creating awareness among its stakeholders regarding the company’s inability to administer its security functions effectively. They should increase the urgency by reminding stakeholders about the significance of adequate security measures and the implications that are associated with any data scandals that the company may face (Stragalas, 2010). Having established such a climate, managers are supposed to build and develop a guiding team that would be responsible for researching the effects that such a change would have on the organisation, as well as establishing the most convenient ways of adopting such a change.
Secondly, managers together with the guiding team should engage other stakeholdersin the organisation. Such goals can be achieved through empowerment as well as effective communication. The team should work together to create and achieve short-term goals in preparation for bigger changes. Having engaged the entire organisation and convinced them the need for modification, the next step involves implementing and sustaining the change (Magnúsdóttir, 2018). Managers have the responsibility to ensure that the proposed change is achieved and that any necessary amendments are corrected appropriately and accordingly.
In conclusion, Facebook has been a giant marketing social platform since its establishment (Dommett& Temple, 2018). Having gained enough popularity, the company has acquired millions of users across the world. However, its recent data scandals have had significant adverse implications on its reputation. Many users have lost their trust in the company as they fear that their data may be used by other firms in unscrupulous acts.This is because such issues have been experienced before where a British firm accessed data of Facebook users and employed it to manipulate voters during Trump’s campaigns. Investors have also lost their trust with the company, and within a short period after the occurrence of the scandal, they reduced the amount of financing they made to the firm.This significantly affected the investment ability of the company (Hackman, 2017). In response to such challenges, Facebook should try to find out long-term solutions that would ensure that the company is not faced with similar issues in the near future. Among the changes that the company can employ include strengthening its security systems through ways such as employment of new security strategies and staff. The company should also evaluate the various apps with which they link and only allow access to data to those apps that are secure and are less likely to get the company in any other security issues involving user data. Lastly, managers should review Kotter’s change model to help them to advocate and implement transformational change that would help the company to recover from its challenges.
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Magnúsdóttir, H.K., 2018. Implementing Strategy Using the Kotter 8-Step Change Process: A Case Study in a Large Consultancy Firm in Iceland (Doctoral dissertation).
Polański, P.P., 2018. Some thoughts on data portability in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, 7(4), pp.141-146.
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