Bridging the work/social divide: the emotional response to organizational social networking sites
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- Koch, H., Gonzalez, E. & Leidner, D. Eur J Inf Syst (2012) 21: 699. doi:10.1057/ejis.2012.18
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Organizations seem to be split on their policies governing social networking sites (SNSs) in the workplace. Recent surveys indicate that while many organizations severely restrict or ban SNSs (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) at work, a large majority are actively using, or evaluating the use of SNSs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the implementation of an internal SNS designed to help a large financial institution's IT new hire program. On the basis of a case study informed by boundary theory and the theory of positive emotions, the research describes the SNS, its uses and how it impacted both the employees and the organization. We found that SNSs blur the boundary between work life and social life and that this boundary blurring creates positive emotions for the employees that use the system. These emotions create personal resources, which then have organizational impacts. While some of the non-users of the system, the IT middle managers, experienced isolation, frustration and resentment, the executives overseeing this SNS attribute improved morale, better employee engagement and even reduced employee turnover to the internal SNS.