Social Media: In the Work Place and Patterns of Usage

By Trevor Nesbit.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As the adoption of social media increases, a number of important themes have emerged. The two main themes that are investigated in this study are the perceived benefits and risks of using social media in the work place; and the patterns of usage of social media. The theme of the perceived benefits and risks of using social media in the workplace is investigated through a literature review and a survey of third year commerce students about their perceptions. The pattern of usage theme is also explored through the same survey of a group of third year commerce students.
The analysis and discussion of the results from the survey highlighted a number of interesting issues connected to the two themes. The two main issues relating to the perceived benefits and risks of using social media in the work place are firstly, that use of social media tools to enhance employee retention is not seen as being important by the group of respondents in this study in comparison with other benefits identified in the literature; and secondly, that the reduction of trust in an organisation and incompatibility with organisational culture are not seen as being amongst the significant risks and challenges when using social media in the work place by the group of respondents in the study.
The three main issues relating to the patterns of usage theme include that Facebook is the most frequently used social media tool by the students surveyed who were under the age of 30; that there is potentially a difference between the genders in the frequency with which Wikis are used; and that defining what constitutes frequent use of one social media tool may be different to what constitutes frequent use of another social media tool.
Other issues raised in this study include social media as an appropriate marketing tool to reach people under the age of 30 (and potentially other age groups), and has potential to be used as part of educational programmes, however some care would need to be taken over the choice of social media tool.

Keywords: Social Media, Work Place

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.61-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 723.121KB).

Trevor Nesbit

Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Information Systems, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Main teaching areas include eBusiness and computer programming. Has completed two double major bachelor degrees majoring in computer science, mathematics, accountancy and operations research, and has completed a masters degree in management. A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand; the New Zealand Computer Society; the New Zealand Knowledge Management Network and the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand. Recent research interests include communities of practice and the use of technology in higher education.

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