Best Argument: Real
Viable and valuable
Dion Hinchcliffe: Social media began as a consumer phenomenon and has gone on to become one of the great communication and cultural shifts of our time. It's now clear that this revolution has moved into the workplace, affecting everything that companies do, from product development and customer support to marketing and sales. The numbers bear out that this is indeed happening: About half of enterprises employ social tools for their workforce. Data from McKinsey and others show that the numbers of large global firms that are socially networked inside and out is in the low hundreds.
Laughable, even ridiculous
Dennis Howlett: The notion of a social enterprise is at best laughable and at worst ridiculous.
Enterprises are artificial constructs designed with one purpose - the creation of wealth for the benefit of shareholders. The fact that such enterprises may employ people doesn't distract from the primary purpose. That's why we have hierarchies, rules, command and control. They serve to constrain people into behaving rationally and only for the benefit of the enterprise.
Some argue that the very fact enterprises require people makes them social. That is a logical fallacy. The notion of a social enterprise is merely the latest in a long line of fashion-driven management constructs designed to make employees believe that the enterprise cares. Which of course it doesn't. Instead it wants to suck more out of its employees. That's anti-social and makes the whole notion of a social enterprise impossible to achieve.