Use of personal social media at work: Policies, cultural differences and impact

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
(Mikkeli) Bachelor’s Program in International Business
49 + 3
Objectives The main objectives of this study were to collect different ways of restricting or encouraging the use of personal social media at work, study what kind of impacts different policies and the increased use of social media have on employees, the employer and the workplace, and find out whether there are cultural differences in the perceptions of social media at work. Summary This research concentrated on the use of social media at work and how it has been restricted and encouraged and the impacts of it. The research was conducted through a qualitative study of 40 different internet articles. The results were analyzed through categorization. The study found four different types of policies that approach social media at work. These are beneficial policies, monitoring, Bring Your Own Devices and banning. The impacts of personal social media at work to the employer are more visibility online, better communication channels and happier employees. To the employees increased use of social media at work means closer work community and increased job satisfaction, but also technostress, difficulties in concentration and in separating personal and professional lives. Cultural differences were not found from the data collected, but hypothetical conclusions were drawn based on literature, data and Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Conclusions Social media continues to grow and is nearly impossible to keep out of the workplace. Therefore, companies should initiate social media policies that could benefit both the employer and the employee. However, employees can suffer from multiple negative consequences of the increased use of social media at work, including burnouts and constant interruptions, so the policies should strongly take employees’ wellbeing into account.
Thesis advisor
Charles, Mirjaliisa
social media, workplace, culture, management
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