Using social media at work: Effect depends on platform used, says research

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A new study by researchers in the U.S. suggests that the use of social media can sometimes have a negative impact on a work project and sometimes correlate positively with success. Writing in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, the team suggests that using one of the most well-known social media systems, Facebook, can have a negative effect on project success whereas LinkedIn has a positive effect.

Joseph Vithayathil of the School of Business at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Majid Dadgar of the School of Management at the University of San Francisco, and Kalu Osiri of the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, based their conclusions on an that analyzed the relationship between the at work and project success at work.

It is well known to employers and employees that workers somehow find time during working hours to use Facebook, LinkedIn, personal Google Mail, Youtube, and many other apps and services unrelated to their work. There are numerous examples of employees being fired for using during the working day for personal reasons, such as online shopping, sharing photos and updates, and simply chatting to friends. The rationale is that the use of such services will inevitably have a detrimental effect on work and project success, individual implications for morale aside. Social use continues unabated regardless of employer perception.

However, the US team has shown that for educated employees their use of LinkedIn, which is often considered a more business and work-related social media platform, correlates positively with project success at work. It may well be that this particular social media service is considered less flippant than others and is used for creating and building contacts at the as well as gaining information pertinent to one's employment.

More information: Joseph Vithayathil et al. Does social media use at work lower productivity, International Journal of Information Technology and Management (2020). DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2020.104504

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Citation: Using social media at work: Effect depends on platform used, says research (2020, January 21) retrieved 3 February 2023 from
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