I started this post to report on the 2012 Academy of Management meetings, but as I waited in Dallas for the last leg home I heard about the protests going on in San Francisco. I couldn't read the twitter steam as the posts were coming in too quickly. The protest is over the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) shutting down cell service last week to squelch communication that might have enabled more crowd action. TechCrunch says it best, "BART Shuts Down Cell Service To Thwart Rumored Protests [8/11], Gets Actual Protests (And Has To Close Stations)." Technology is getting the focus, but people and organizing must be in the mix. Many have written about the role social media played in Egypt, London, Jerusalem, and now San Francisco (SF's small protest makes the list because it is in my backyard). Unfortunately much of the coverage on the role of social media is static or unidimensional: The implication is that social media is a single lever that causes these events, and by implication, that shutting off access to the Internet will stop them. This can't be. Just as a single tool being available in your organization won't cause a change in productivity, the mere availability of social media isn't causing these protests (see Ben Rooney of the WSJ for breadth and historical context). It's a mixture of people's views and abilities, organizational decisions, and the tools. No one piece would enable these events. These are times of protest and dramatic organizational change and our focus must go beyond single pieces of the broader system. My academic colleagues showed this breadth in their research presentations today and I hope we are on our way to developing clear advice for our students and clients.