Effects of Social Media on Organizational Culture

Effects of Social Media on Organizational Culture

How does social media affect our workplace?

Going to the routes of each word, social media can be defined as an instrument that helps to communicate and interact. Media is a tool used for communication, like TV, newspaper, radio etc. Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2010) define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Businesses may also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). But social media is not only about communication, it includes as well interaction between users. The most important characteristics that social media has are:

Participation — everybody is continuously involved in this contribution process — to share news, to give feedback

Openness — the barriers are small; the content is reachable and opened to discuss into Conversation — the dialog is really important; you offer information but as well receive feedback or/and other information

Community — common interests, hobbies, passions are creating groups where you can share all these

Connectedness — permanent connection, links between people, resources, life styles etc. The main benefit of adding social media to your overall marketing communication strategy is to create a platform that attracts the attention of clients and prospects of products, services and capabilities, or prompts them to share their views on a topic of common interest.

Use of social media for recruitment

Facebook and LinkedIn are most popular among young professionals. In a study conducted on 430 employees, LinkedIn and Facebook use is highest among the employees who are aged 26 to 45. In addition, 52% of the people surveyed use LinkedIn, 49% use Facebook, 31% use MySpace, and 6% use Twitter (Skeels, 2009). Employers who use LinkedIn and Facebook, as a result, have the highest potential of reaching young professionals in the workplace.

The Impact on the workplace Possible Advantages:

Many hospitality companies have recently been experimenting with social media, and using it to help perform certain human resource functions. After surveying over 2,500 people, CareerBuilder found that 21% of employers use social networking sites to research and recruit potential employees (Leggatt, 2010). These new resources give employers the advantage of fast response. The employer who makes contact with the candidate right away “is the most likely to land them” (Berta, 2000). This gives employers the ability to find new candidates and move them through the interview process at a faster speed. It also helps employers filter out unqualified candidates. Alloro Restaurant uses primarily Facebook to recruit applicants. The general manager of the restaurant, Matteo Scaccabarozzi, messages friends and posts recruitment requirements to his Facebook page when he is looking for staff (Scaccabarozzi, 2007).

A social recruiting survey conducted by US based firm by Jobvite shows that social media has become an important tool for recruiting top talent. According to the survey, which asked over 600 HR and recruiting professionals as to how they use social networking in their recruiting process, 73.3% said they currently use social media to recruit candidates. The most commonly used medium is LinkedIn (78%), followed by Facebook (55%), Twitter (45%) and blogs ( 19%). Jobvite also found that 46% of respondents were spending more on social recruiting in 2010 than they were in 2009. Social media is being used more intensively for internal communications. A lot of networks like KinecticGlue, Yammer, and salesforce chatter are fast being adopted by companies so as to increase collaboration at work. This is being considered as a basic hygiene factor at work.

  • Social networking sites help employees remain focused on and aligned with corporate objectives.
  • People can share resources and information easily and effectively.
  • These tools flatten the corporate hierarchy, empower individual employees at all levels and provide a direct path to decision-makers and executors.
  • Internal social networking encourages people to connect and communicate with each other, cross pollinate ideas and develop valuable insights.
  • The ability to communicate issues, insights and solutions leads to generating new ideas.
  • The company can be more easily and effectively search for and consolidate employee skill-sets to match specific project requirements.

Possible Disadvantages:

  • Open up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.
  • Increase the risk of people to result in data and identity theft.
  • May result in negative comments from employees about the company or potential legal consequences if employees use these sites to view objectionable or offensive material.
  • Potentially result in lost productivity, especially if employees are busy updating profiles, etc.


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