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Social Media and Employee Affiliation: Networks of Practice as New Supra-Organizational Entities

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Abstract

Through social media, companies can apply new forms of communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Employees rely more and more on web communities of practice that share the same experiences and interests, instead of getting input from colleagues. This paper discusses perceived changes in employee affiliation as caused by social media usage by company employees. An empirical evaluation surveyed 316 employees from 49 companies in southeastern Europe. Results indicate that employees who use social media regularly have greater perceived changes in affiliation, with this affiliation more related toward online communities of practice. Our findings can contribute towards developing a more elaborated model of the relationships between employee sense of affiliation and social media usage. This study is among the first to discuss organizational changes caused by social media in companies, namely their influence on changes in affiliation.

Keywords

  • Employee affiliation
  • Employee loyalty
  • Networks of practice
  • Social media

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Acknowledgments

This research is to be funded by Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Science and Technological Development, Infrastructure for Technology-Enhanced Learning in Serbia—Program of Basic Research 2011–2014 project 47003.

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Correspondence to Mladen Čudanov .

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Čudanov, M., Kirchner, K. (2016). Social Media and Employee Affiliation: Networks of Practice as New Supra-Organizational Entities. In: Razmerita, L., Phillips-Wren, G., Jain, L. (eds) Innovations in Knowledge Management. Intelligent Systems Reference Library, vol 95. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-47827-1_4

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