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SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION AND USE AMONG INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR LEADERSHIP

by

Eva Lundahl Philpot

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

March 2013
UMI Number: 3570894

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iv

Abstract

This sequential, mixed methods research addressed emerging social media use

practices among IT professionals and explored lived experiences of senior IT leaders

relative to successful organizational social media adoption and use. The study was

informed by structuration theory and elements from the universal technology adoption

and use (UTAUT) model, generation theory, and open leadership theory. In the first,

quantitative descriptive research phase, an online survey was administered to describe IT

professionals‘ uses of and attitudes toward social media in the workplace. Survey results

based on 406 responses from IT professionals in the greater Seattle area indicated

widespread use of different social media applications, and also showed that Millennial IT

professionals use social media more extensively and are have more positive opinions

about social media as compared to their older colleagues. Survey findings also indicated

that an increasing number of employers are developing formal social media strategies and

adopting policies and guidelines governing the use of social media in the workplace. The

second, qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological research phase built on survey results

and involved interviews with 13 senior IT leaders in the greater Seattle area. Findings

indicated that despite the inherent user-driven nature of social media, senior leadership

plays a key role in driving strategic social media adoption and in ensuring broad

participation across generational cohorts and employee groups. Findings from the

qualitative research phase further suggested that social media can help employees and

stakeholders communicate and collaborate more effectively and efficiently, and that

leaders can derive significant benefits from social media without compromising the

integrity of their organizations.


v

Dedication

I dedicate this dissertation to my son, Mark Lundahl Philpot, who reminds me

daily that anything is possible if you work hard, stay focused, and maintain a sense of

humor; to my husband Dan for his patience, and to my family and friends here and

overseas for their support, encouragement, and love through this journey.
vi

Acknowledgments

This dissertation could not have been completed without the expert guidance of

my chair, Dr. Debbie Ritter-Williams, who patiently held my hand through the proposal

and dissertation writing phases and faithfully read and commented on countless revisions.

I am very grateful for the unlimited access I enjoyed to such a highly qualified and

experienced chair who also happens to be a wonderful, compassionate, and supportive

person with a great sense of humor. I would also like to acknowledge my current and

former committee members. Dr. Jim Goes and Dr. Matthew Knight provided ongoing

counsel, encouragement, and detailed feedback, which helped me become a better

researcher and writer. Dr. Ruby Rouse kindly took over committee member duties from

Dr. Goes, when he left on Fulbright scholarship to India, and provided additional

feedback that resulted in a better dissertation. I owe everyone who took the time to either

complete my survey or participate in a personal interview my sincere thanks. Two local

organizations helped me recruit participants for the study: The Seattle Chapter of the

Society for Information Management and MW Research and Development. I am in

particular debt to Richard Shay, the current president of Seattle SIM for his enthusiasm

and considerable support, which enabled me to reach out to highly qualified study

participants. Nancy Truitt-Pierce also personally helped me recruit interview

participants, as did Dr. Manjari Wijenaike who also provided ongoing encouragement

and friendship. Wade Hatler, CEO of Palabra Software, gracefully allowed me to use his

company facilities for in-person interviews. Dr. Sandra Mikolaski was my external

auditor who helped me stay focused on my qualitative research objectives and also

offered personal support for which I am most grateful. My competent editor team, Janet
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and Troy Magennis, patiently edited hundreds of pages and corrected my grammar.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge several of my co-learners from the University of

Phoenix who helped me stay focused on the end goal and functioned as my personal

cheerleading team: Kat Strus, Jim Roy, Dasie Schulz, Amanda Gibson, Elaine Rose,

Diahann Maylor, LaShonda Jackson-Dean, and Alex Kwame Archine. Thank you all.
viii

Table of Contents

List of Tables .......................................................................................................... xvi

List of Figures ....................................................................................................... xxiv

Chapter 1: Introduction .............................................................................................. 1

Background of the Problem ....................................................................................... 2

Knowledge Worker Productivity........................................................................ 3

Introduction of Social Media in the Workplace ................................................. 4

Enterprise 2.0. ............................................................................................. 4

Benefits and risks of Enterprise 2.0. ........................................................... 5

Current adoption of Enterprise 2.0.............................................................. 6

Organizational users of social media. ......................................................... 7

Research Gap ...................................................................................................... 7

Statement of the Problem ........................................................................................... 8

Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................ 10

Mixed Methods Research ................................................................................. 11

Study Population .............................................................................................. 13

Significance of the Study ......................................................................................... 14

Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................ 16

Structuration Theory......................................................................................... 16

Generation Theory............................................................................................ 18

Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model ...... 19

Open Leadership Theory .................................................................................. 20

Summary of Study Variables and Themes ....................................................... 22


ix

Research Questions and Hypotheses ....................................................................... 23

Research Methods and Design Overview ................................................................ 27

Conceptual Research Model ............................................................................. 28

Content of Research Phases ............................................................................. 29

Definition of Terms.................................................................................................. 31

Assumptions ............................................................................................................. 34

Scope and Limitations.............................................................................................. 36

Delimitations ............................................................................................................ 37

Summary .................................................................................................................. 38

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature......................................................................... 39

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals .................................. 39

History of Information Systems Research ............................................................... 42

Prominent Theories in IS Research .................................................................. 42

Structuration Theory......................................................................................... 45

Information Technology as Catalyst for Organizational Change ..................... 49

Social Media ............................................................................................................ 51

Evolution of Social Media ................................................................................ 52

Taxonomy......................................................................................................... 56

Enterprise 2.0 Implementations ............................................................................... 59

Collaboration and Communication .................................................................. 59

Professional Networking and Community Building ........................................ 62

Innovation ......................................................................................................... 63

Knowledge Management and Learning ........................................................... 65


x

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management ........................... 67

Recruiting, Assimilation, and Employee Retention ......................................... 69

Social Media Governance and Control ............................................................ 71

Measuring the Benefits of Enterprise 2.0 ......................................................... 73

Summary of E2.0 Literature ............................................................................. 75

Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward and Organizational Uses of Social Media .. 76

Technology Acceptance Models, UTAUT ....................................................... 76

Social media research using UTAUT ....................................................... 78

Alternative technology adoption theories. ................................................ 79

Generation Theory............................................................................................ 81

Leadership Theories ......................................................................................... 85

Open leadership theory. ............................................................................ 86

Role of senior-level leadership in IT-induced organizational change. ..... 87

Management practice and employee participation in IT-induced

organizational change. .............................................................................. 88

Social media research on leadership and organizational change. ............. 89

Summary of the application of leadership theories to E2.0. ............................ 91

Research Methods .................................................................................................... 91

Survey Research ............................................................................................... 92

Hermeneutic Phenomenology .......................................................................... 93

Conclusions and Gaps in the Literature ................................................................... 94

Chapter Summary .................................................................................................... 95

Chapter 3: Method ................................................................................................... 97


xi

Research Method and Design Appropriateness ....................................................... 98

Research Questions and Hypotheses ..................................................................... 101

Population .............................................................................................................. 104

Sampling Design .................................................................................................... 105

Quantitative Sampling Design........................................................................ 105

Qualitative Sampling Design.......................................................................... 107

Informed Consent and Confidentiality................................................................... 108

Data Collection ...................................................................................................... 111

Quantitative Data ............................................................................................ 111

Qualitative Data.............................................................................................. 112

Instrumentation and Instrument Quality Measures ................................................ 112

Quantitative Data Collection Instrument ........................................................ 113

Quantitative Instrument Quality: Validity and Reliability ............................. 115

Qualitative Data Collection Protocol ............................................................. 116

Qualitative Data Collection Quality ............................................................... 118

Data Analysis ......................................................................................................... 119

Quantitative Data Analysis ............................................................................. 119

Qualitative Data Analysis ............................................................................... 121

Research Study Quality Measures ......................................................................... 124

Quantitative Study Phase: Internal Validity ................................................... 124

Quantitative Study Phase: External Validity .................................................. 125

Qualitative Study Phase: Credibility, Transferability, Dependability, and

Confirmability ................................................................................................ 126


xii

Summary ................................................................................................................ 128

Chapter 4: Results .................................................................................................. 130

Quantitative Research Phase .................................................................................. 130

Pilot Study ...................................................................................................... 131

SME review. ........................................................................................... 131

Pilot testing and re-testing of survey. ..................................................... 133

Data Collection ............................................................................................... 134

Demographic profiles of valid responses ................................................ 135

Results ............................................................................................................ 144

Research question 1 ................................................................................ 144

Research question 2. ............................................................................... 150

Research question 3. ............................................................................... 155

Research question 4 ................................................................................ 158

Research question 5. ............................................................................... 162

Qualitative Research Phase .................................................................................... 165

Interview Protocol Development.................................................................... 165

Pilot Study ...................................................................................................... 166

Data Collection ............................................................................................... 167

Results ............................................................................................................ 168

Theme: Driving social media adoption at the strategic level. ................. 169

Theme: Addressing operational-level implementation issues. ............... 184

Theme: Enhancing communication and collaboration through social

media. ...................................................................................................... 199


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Theme: Adapting leadership practices to Millennials. ........................... 213

Summary ................................................................................................................ 219

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations .................................................... 224

Summary of Findings and Conclusions ................................................................. 225

Quantitative Research Phase .......................................................................... 226

Demographic profiles of respondents. .................................................... 226

Current uses of social media. .................................................................. 227

Generational differences in current uses of social media. ...................... 231

Survey results showed............................................................................. 232

Occupational differences in current uses of social media. ...................... 233

Occupational differences in attitudes toward social media..................... 238

Qualitative Research Phase ............................................................................ 240

Driving social media adoption at the strategic level. .............................. 241

Addressing implementation issues at the operational level. ................... 247

Enhancing communication and collaboration through social media. ..... 251

Adapting leadership practices to Millennials. ......................................... 256

Implications............................................................................................................ 258

Theoretical Implications ................................................................................. 259

Implications of Social Media Adoption and Use to Leadership .................... 262

Limitations and Recommendations........................................................................ 266

Recommendations for Organizational Leaders .............................................. 267

Recommendations for Further Study ............................................................. 269

Summary ................................................................................................................ 272


xiv

References .............................................................................................................. 276

Appendix A: Permission to Use UTAUT Model ................................................... 328

Appendix B: Recruitment Email – Survey Participants ........................................ 329

Appendix C: Follow-up Recruitment Email – Survey Participants ....................... 330

Appendix D: Recruitment Email and Telephone Script – Interview Participants . 331

Appendix E: Follow-up Recruitment Email and Telephone Script – Interview

Participants............................................................................................................. 332

Appendix F: Informed Consent– Survey Participants ........................................... 333

Appendix G: Informed Consent – Interview Participants...................................... 335

Appendix H: Researcher‘s Signed Confidentiality Statement ............................... 337

Appendix I: Draft Survey Instrument, Screenshots from SurveyMonkey ............. 338

Appendix J: Final Survey Instrument, Screenshots from SurveyMonkey ............. 344

Appendix K: Draft Interview Protocol .................................................................. 347

Appendix L: Final Interview Protocol ................................................................... 348

Appendix M: Signed Non-Disclosure Agreement – External Auditor ................. 351

Appendix N: Research Journal Template .............................................................. 353

Appendix O: Research Journal Notes .................................................................... 354

Appendix P: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects – ........ 365

MW Research and Development ........................................................................... 365

Appendix Q: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects – ........ 366

The Society for Information Management - Seattle Chapter ................................. 366

Appendix R: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects – ....... 367

Palabra Software .................................................................................................... 367


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Appendix S: RQ1 - Social Media Application Usage, Detailed Findings ............. 368

Appendix T: RQ 2 - Social Media Application Usage by Generational Cohort,

Detailed Findings ................................................................................................... 378

Appendix U: RQ3 - Social Media Application Usage by Occupational Category,

Detailed Findings ................................................................................................... 384

Appendix V: RQ4 - Attitudes toward Social Media Usage by Generational

Cohort, Detailed Findings ...................................................................................... 390

Appendix W: RQ5 - Attitudes toward Social Media Usage by Occupational

Category, Detailed Findings .................................................................................. 411

Appendix X: Interview Coding Scheme ................................................................ 432

Appendix Y: External Auditor‘s Report for Qualitative Research Phase .............. 447
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List of Tables

Table 1 Study Variable and Themes, and Supporting Theories............................... 23

Table 2 Summary of References............................................................................... 41

Table 3 Comparison of Traditional IT and Social Computing in Organizations .... 55

Table 4 Types of Social Media Applications, Essential Features, and Examples ... 57

Table 5 Comparison of Three Generations in the Workplace ................................. 82

Table 6 Summary of SME Survey Review .............................................................. 132

Table 7 Evolution of Survey Instrument................................................................. 134

Table 8 Number of Survey Responses .................................................................... 135

Table 9 Survey Responses by Age Category .......................................................... 136

Table 10 Survey Responses by Gender .................................................................. 136

Table 11 Survey Responses by Educational Level ................................................. 137

Table 12 Survey Responses by Occupational Category - Details.......................... 137

Table 13 Survey Responses by Occupational Category – Manager/Non-manager138

Table 14 Survey Responses by Experience in IT Industry ..................................... 138

Table 15 Survey Responses by Company Size ....................................................... 139

Table 16 Survey respondents on whether their company has dedicated social

media strategy, percentages................................................................................... 140

Table 17 Survey respondents whose company has dedicated social media

strategy................................................................................................................... 141

Table 18 Survey respondents on whether their company has published social

media policies governing individual use................................................................ 142


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Table 19 Survey respondents whose company has published social media

policies governing individual use .......................................................................... 143

Table 20 RQ1 - Current uses of social media – all respondents, all applications 145

Table 21 RQ1 - Ranking of social media applications according to frequency of

use. ......................................................................................................................... 149

Table 22 RQ2- Results of t-tests............................................................................. 154

Table 23 RQ3 - Results of t-tests............................................................................ 157

Table 24 RQ4 – Results of t-tests. .......................................................................... 161

Table 25 RQ5 - Results of t-tests............................................................................ 164

Table 26 Themes Emerging from Qualitative Data Analysis ................................ 169

Table 27 Theme - Driving Social Media Adoption at the Strategic Level ............. 170

Table 28 ................................................................................................................. 185

Table 29 Theme - Enhancing Communication and Collaboration through Social

Media ..................................................................................................................... 200

Table 30 Theme – Adapting Leadership Practices to Millennials. ........................ 214

Table 31 Summary of Results from Quantitative Research Phase ........................ 221

Table 32 Survey Findings - Overview of Attitudinal Statements ........................... 236

Table 33 RQ1: Current uses of social media – all respondents, individual social

media applications. ................................................................................................ 368

Table 34 RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

communication and collaboration by generational cohorts .................................. 378

Table 35 RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for collaboration and

communication comparing two age groups ........................................................... 379


xviii

Table 36 RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

research and resource finding by generational cohorts ........................................ 379

Table 37 RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for research and resource

finding comparing two age groups ........................................................................ 380

Table 38 RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

knowledge management and learning by generational cohorts ............................ 381

Table 39 RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for knowledge

management and learning comparing two age groups.......................................... 382

Table 40 RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

the purpose of staying in touch by generational cohorts ....................................... 382

Table 41 RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for the purpose of staying

in touch comparing two age groups....................................................................... 383

Table 42 RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

communication and collaboration by occupational categories ............................. 384

Table 43 RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for collaboration and

communication comparing two occupational category groups ............................. 385

Table 44 RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

research and resource finding by occupational categories ................................... 385

Table 45 RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for research and resource

finding comparing two occupational category groups .......................................... 386

Table 46 RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

knowledge management and learning by occupational category .......................... 387


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Table 47 RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for knowledge

management and learning comparing two occupational category groups ........... 388

Table 48 RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for

the purpose of staying in touch by generational cohorts ....................................... 388

Table 49 RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for the purpose of staying

in touch comparing two occupational category groups ........................................ 389

Table 50 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 1 (Social

media encourage employees to participate more in discussions across my

company), by age groups ....................................................................................... 390

Table 51 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 1, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 391

Table 52 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 2 (Social

media have made my company more transparent and open), by generational

cohorts.................................................................................................................... 392

Table 53 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 2, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 393

Table 54 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 3 (Social

media have helped management in my company become more trusting of

employees), by age groups. .................................................................................... 394

Table 55 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 3, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 395

Table 56 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 4 (Social

media have helped me work more effectively), by age groups. ............................. 396
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Table 57 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 4, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 397

Table 58 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 5 (Social

media have helped me work more independently), by age groups. ....................... 398

Table 59 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 5, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 399

Table 60 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 6 (Social

media have helped break down barriers between management and professionals

in my company), by age groups. ............................................................................ 400

Table 61 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 6, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 401

Table 62 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 7 (Social

media promote team building and collaboration), by generational cohorts. ........ 402

Table 63 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 7, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 403

Table 64 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 8 (Social

media have improved my company's reputation), by generational cohorts. ......... 404

Table 65 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 8, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 405

Table 66 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 9 (Social

media have made my company a better place to work), by age groups. ............... 406

Table 67 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 9, comparing two age groups ................................................................ 407


xxi

Table 68 RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 10

(Social media pose a risk to my company's integrity), by age groups. .................. 408

Table 69 RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4,

Statement 10, comparing two age groups .............................................................. 409

Table 70 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 1 (Social

media encourage employees to participate more in discussions across my

company), by occupational category. .................................................................... 411

Table 71 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 1, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 412

Table 72 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 2 (Social

media have made my company more transparent and open), by occupational

category.................................................................................................................. 413

Table 73 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 2, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 414

Table 74 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 3 (Social

media have helped management in my company become more trusting of

employees), by occupational category. .................................................................. 415

Table 75 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 3, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 416

Table 76 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 4 (Social

media have helped me work more effectively), by occupational category. ........... 417

Table 77 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement XX, comparing manager and non-manager groups .............................. 418


xxii

Table 78 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 5 (Social

media have helped me work more independently), by occupational category. ..... 419

Table 79 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 5, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 420

Table 80 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 6 (Social

media have helped break down barriers between management and professionals

in my company), by occupational category. .......................................................... 421

Table 81 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 6, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 422

Table 82 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 7 (Social

media promote team building and collaboration), by occupational category. ...... 423

Table 83 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 7, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 424

Table 84 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 8 (Social

media have improved my company's reputation), by occupational category. ....... 425

Table 85 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 8, comparing manager and non-manager groups................................. 426

Table 86 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 9 (Social

media have made my company a better place to work), by occupational

category.................................................................................................................. 427

Table 87 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement XX, comparing manager and non-manager groups .............................. 428


xxiii

Table 88 RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 10

(Social media pose a risk to my company's integrity), by occupational category. 429

Table 89 RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5,

Statement 10, comparing manager and non-manager groups............................... 430


xxiv

List of Figures

Figure 1. Conceptual research model guiding the study, including research

questions. ................................................................................................................. 29

Figure 2. The UTAUT model. Adapted from Venkatesh, et al. (2003, p. 447). .... 77

Figure 3. Overview of research method. Adapted from Creswell (2009). ............. 99

Figure 4. Current uses of social media – all respondents, all applications

(n=406)................................................................................................................... 146

Figure 5. Distribution of all responses per purpose, all respondents (n=406). ...... 151

Figure 6. Attitudinal statements, all respondents (n=406). ................................... 159

Figure 7. Current uses of social networking applications, all respondents

(n=406)................................................................................................................... 369

Figure 8. Current uses of professional networking applications, all respondents

(n=406)................................................................................................................... 370

Figure 9. Current uses of multimedia sharing applications, all respondents

(n=406)................................................................................................................... 371

Figure 10. Current uses of blogs, all respondents (n=406).................................... 372

Figure 11. Current use of microblogs, all respondents (n=406). ........................... 373

Figure 12. Current use of location-based services, all respondents (n=406)......... 374

Figure 13. Current use of wikis, all respondents (n=406). .................................... 375

Figure 14. Current use of podcasts, videocasts, and RSS feeds, all respondents

(n=406)................................................................................................................... 376

Figure 15. Current use of online forums and chats, all respondents (n=406). ...... 377
xxv

Figure 16. Use of social media for communication and collaboration by

generational cohort................................................................................................. 378

Figure 17. Use of social media for research and resource finding by generational

cohort. .................................................................................................................... 380

Figure 18. Use of social media for knowledge management and learning by

generational cohort................................................................................................. 381

Figure 19. Use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch by

generational cohort................................................................................................. 383

Figure 20. Use of social media for communication and collaboration by

occupational category. ........................................................................................... 384

Figure 21. Use of social media for research and resource finding by

occupational category. ........................................................................................... 386

Figure 22. Use of social media for knowledge management and learning by

occupational category. ........................................................................................... 387

Figure 23. Use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch by

occupational category. ........................................................................................... 389

Figure 24. RQ4 Statement 1: ―Social media encourage employees to participate

more in discussions across my company‖. Percentages by age groups. ................ 391

Figure 25. RQ4 Statement 2. Social media have made my company more

transparent and open" - Percentages by age groups. .............................................. 393

Figure 26. RQ4 Statement 3 - Social media have helped management in my

company become more trusting of employees. Percentages by age groups. ......... 395
xxvi

Figure 27. RQ4 Statement 4 - Social media have helped me work more

effectively. Percentages by age groups. ................................................................. 397

Figure 28. RQ4 Statement 5 - Social media have helped me work more

independently. Percentages by age groups. ........................................................... 399

Figure 29. RQ4 Statement 6 - Social media have helped break down barriers

between management and professionals in my company. Percentages by age

groups. .................................................................................................................... 401

Figure 30. RQ4 Statement 7 - Social media promote team building and

collaboration. Percentages by age groups. ............................................................. 403

Figure 31. RQ4 Statement 8 - Social media have improved my company's

reputation. Percentages by age groups. .................................................................. 405

Figure 32. RQ4 Statement 9 - Social media have made my company a better

place to work. Percentages by age groups. ............................................................ 407

Figure 33. RQ4 Statement 10 - Social media pose a risk to my company's

integrity. Percentages by age groups. .................................................................... 409

Figure 34. RQ5 Statement 1 - Social media encourage employees to participate

more in discussions across my company. Percentages by occupational category. 412

Figure 35. RQ5 Statement 2 - Social media have made my company more

transparent and open. Percentages by occupational category. ............................... 414

Figure 36. RQ5 Statement 3 - Social media have helped management in my

company become more trusting of employees. Percentages by occupational

category. ................................................................................................................. 416


xxvii

Figure 37. RQ5 Statement 4 - Social media have helped me work more

effectively. Percentages by occupational category. ............................................... 418

Figure 38. RQ5 Statement 5 - Social media have helped me work more

independently. Percentages by occupational category........................................... 420

Figure 39. RQ5 Statement 6 - Social media have helped break down barriers

between management and professionals in my company. Percentages by

occupational category. ........................................................................................... 422

Figure 40. RQ5 Statement 7 - Social media promote team building and

collaboration. Percentages by occupational category. ........................................... 424

Figure 41. RQ5 Statement 8 - Social media have improved my company's

reputation. Percentages by occupational category. ................................................ 426

Figure 42. RQ5 Statement 9 - Social media have made my company a better

place to work. Percentages by occupational category. .......................................... 428

Figure 43. RQ5 Statement 10 - Social media pose a risk to my company's

integrity. Percentages by occupational category. ................................................... 430


1

Chapter 1: Introduction

Social media technologies have the potential to transform the ways companies do

business (McAfee, 2006, 2010; Roberts, 2010). Fueled by the enormous success of

social networks, blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 applications among consumers and

grassroots organizers worldwide, organizational leaders are joining the social media

movement in growing numbers (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009; Erickson, 2010a).

Emerging organizational practices involving social media technologies have been labeled

Enterprise 2.0 to signify a new version of participatory information technology

platforms, from which employees, suppliers, partners, customers, and other stakeholders

can effectively communicate, share knowledge, collaborate, and innovate (McNamee,

Schoch, Oelschlager, & Huskey, 2010). The goal of Enterprise 2.0 is to help companies

become more efficient, gain competitive advantages, and develop new business

opportunities (Clark & Roberts, 2010; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009; Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee,

2010; McAfee, 2006).

Adoption and use of social media in the Enterprise 2.0 paradigm represents a

fundamental shift in information systems (IS) toward a social organization, in which

users collaborate to develop use practices and guidelines (Bradley & McDonald, 2011)

and control content (Chen, 2009; McAfee, 2006, 2009). To benefit fully from social

media technologies, organizational practitioners and scholars have emphasized the need

for managers to relinquish controls, allowing users to collaboratively oversee content

creation and use, and collectively decide how to best use the tools (Burrus, 2010; De

Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011). This means organizations must abandon traditional

hierarchical ways of organizing work and control-based management practices in favor of


2

participatory approaches and open collaborative cultures (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009;

Chandra, 2010; Hamel, 2009; McAfee, 2010). Organizational leaders must also find new

ways of encouraging and rewarding employee participation across generational cohorts

(Coyle & Vaughn, 2009; Nair, 2009).

Little is known, however, about current successful uses of specific social media

technologies among knowledge workers in organizations, if social media adoption and

use have any significant benefits, and if leadership practices are affected by the

Enterprise 2.0 paradigm (Flowers, 2008; Oinas-Kukkonen, Lyytinen, & Yoo, 2010). The

purpose of the sequential mixed-methods study was therefore to determine current uses of

and attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes among professionals, and

understand if and how senior leaders adapt their leadership practices to the introduction

of user-driven and participatory social media technologies. Chapter 1 includes the

background of the study, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the

theoretical framework framing the research, the research questions guiding the inquiry,

an overview of the research design, and definitions of key terms.

Background of the Problem

Researchers have been interested in the relationship between technology and

organizational performance since the mid-1950‘s (Zammuto, Griffith, Majchrzak,

Dougherthy, & Faraj, 2007). A wide range of theories and studies exist to explain and

predict the impact of technology and information systems on a variety of organizational

issues, including employee productivity, organizational change, process optimization,

management governance and control, customer relationship management, and social

interaction in organizations (Bruque, Moyano, & Eisenberg, 2009; Cash, Earl, &
3

Morison, 2008; Clark & Roberts, 2010; Zhang, McCullough, & Wei, 2004). In the mid-

1980‘s, Harvard Professor Zuboff predicted that smart machines driven by advanced

information technology (IT) would fundamentally redistribute organizational power by

enabling equal access to knowledge and reducing the need for management control

(Zuboff, 1984). Over the past several decades, IT has transformed the way people

communicate and collaborate at work (Dutton, 2005; Gaimon, 2008; Kellogg, 2007).

Information technology in modern organizations has become a ―necessary condition for

effective performance and successful business operations‖ (Bruque, Moyano, &

Eisenberg, 2009, p. 178), and little work takes place without the use or support of IT

(Atkinson & McKay, 2007; Klainer & Hendrick, 2008). Until recently, however, IT was

primarily a management prerogative (Ansari & Munir, 2010; Li, 2010). IT has

effectively supported management efforts to govern organizational activities and improve

organizational efficiencies (Bansal, 2009; Davenport, 2005; Ramdani & Rajwani, 2010),

while Zuboff‘s prediction about reduced management control has remained largely

unfulfilled (Hamel & Labarre, 2011; Zammuto et al., 2007). The emergence of social

media requires a shift of technology control from management to users to allow the

collective intelligence and creativity of employees, collaboration partners, customers, and

the greater public to flourish and create business value (Bradley & McDonald, 2011).

Knowledge Worker Productivity

The rise of the global knowledge economy, in which organizations create value

from the exchange of information and knowledge goods (Peters, Marginson, & Murphy,

2009), has revived research interest in the effective adoption and use of IT in

organizations (Yang, Moon, & Rowley, 2009; Zhang, McCullough, & Wei, 2004). In
4

particular, information systems that enhance organizational performance by supporting

collaboration, communication, and information sharing processes among knowledge

workers have the potential to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency (Ansari

& Munir, 2010; Burrus, 2010; Daft, 2009; Kase, Paawe, & Zupan, 2009). Knowledge

workers now comprise over 60% of the American workforce (Matson & Prusak, 2010;

Wolff, 2005; 2006) and are increasingly responsible for creating innovative solutions and

competitive advantages for companies worldwide (Drucker, 1999; House, 2007).

Introduction of Social Media in the Workplace

In the past decade, a new generation of social Internet-based IT applications

commonly referred to as social media have emerged (Jones, 2008; O‘Reilly, 2005;

Veeramachaneni, 2009). These social applications empower users to easily create and

share content from a plethora of portable, wireless, and traditional web access platforms

(Füller, Mühlbacher, Matzler, & Jawecki, 2009; Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007).

Utilizing social media involves the adoption and use of a wide range of web-based

technologies that enable users to virtually connect and communicate, share knowledge

and opinions, and collaboratively create content (Correa, Hinslet, & de Zuniga, 2010;

Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010). Popular applications include wikis, blogs, microblogging,

social networks, podcasts, and social games (Causer, 2011b; Ramdani & Rajwani, 2010).

Enterprise 2.0. Strategic and intentional use of social media in organizations has

been labeled Enterprise 2.0, reflecting the adoption of the underlying collaborative and

participatory paradigm inherent to both Web 2.0 technologies underlying social media

and to the creation of knowledge goods (Peters, Marginson, & Murphy, 2009). MIT

professor McAfee, who invented the term Enterprise 2.0 in 2006, characterized its
5

purpose as ―knitting together an enterprise and facilitating knowledge work in ways that

were simply not possible previously‖ (McAfee, 2006, p. 22). Different social media

applications have a unique set of features which affect their popularity and adoption

among organizational users, although most revolve around social aspects of work

(Parameswaren & Whinston, 2007). For example, blogs are emerging as efficient tools

for connecting executives and employees (Wyld, 2008) because of the built-in

commentary feature (Fun & Wagner, 2008). Social networking applications are used for

professional networking and community building because of the friending feature that

allows individuals to identify and reach out to colleagues and professional contacts who

may possess specific knowledge (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008).

Benefits and risks of Enterprise 2.0. Many organizational leaders remain

skeptical about the benefits offered by social media and Enterprise 2.0. A recent study in

the UK revealed over half of the companies surveyed either block employees‘ access to

social media tools at work or enforce strict rules of access that essentially prevent

workers from utilizing the technologies (Tennant, 2010). Similar statistics have been

found in studies of American companies (Barnes & Mattson, 2009, 2010; Powell, 2010).

Leaders also struggle to balance employees‘ need to communicate and collaborate

effectively through social media applications while protecting the company‘s interests

(Kenny & Yen, 2009; ―USA Internet,‖ 2010a; Wilson, 2009). Fears of security breaches,

loss of staff productivity, and unauthorized data leakages hold companies back from

allowing social media and social computing to become part of the organization‘s business

strategy (Bernoff & Schadler, 2010; Moran, 2009; Williams & Williams, 2008). Despite

these concerns, less than one third of all American companies and less than 15% of
6

British companies that allow employees to use Web 2.0 tools have created formal policies

governing employee‘s use of social media applications during work hours, and even

fewer companies have a focused social media strategy (Stolley, 2009; Tennant, 2010;

―USA Internet,‖ 2010b).

Current adoption of Enterprise 2.0. Despite stated concerns and fears of

embracing Enterprise 2.0, social media use is growing in organizations, sometimes

spurred by employee initiatives (Arnold, 2009; Kohler-Kruner, 2009). Forrester

Research has predicted that social media use in and around the enterprise will grow by

over 40% annually for the next several years as businesses seek to improve effectiveness

across business units (Glick, 2010; Lindmark, 2009). Recent studies and practitioner

feedback indicate that widespread adoption of social media in organizations span industry

boundaries and organizational functions, include marketing, public relations, customer

support, human resource management, and business units (Bradley & McDonald, 2011;

Hersch, 2009; Jones, 2009; Pellet, 2010; Wilson, 2009). Uses of social media tools and

organizational practices are still emerging to support internal communication (Huy &

Shipilov, 2010; Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010), team collaboration (Berelowitz, 2009;

Flowers, 2008; Gholami & Safavi, 2010), and innovation, creativity and learning (De

Hertogh ,Viane & Dedene, 2011; Hafkesbrink & Schroll, 2010; Hamel, 2009). Despite

the difficulty of measuring the return on investment of social media use in organizations

(Roberts, 2010), early adopting -companies are reporting some measurable benefits.

According to a McKinsey study, company executives listed increased access to experts,

improved employee satisfaction, lower travel costs, and lower communication costs as

key performance indicators (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009).


7

Organizational users of social media. Reaching critical mass of adoption and

use is critical to successful social media implementations (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene,

2011; Galaskiewicz, 2007). Research has shown that only a small percentage of social

media consumers are active users who participate by contributing content (Koushik,

Birkinshaw & Crainer, 2009; Lindmark, 2009), and the same may be the case in

organizations. Not all employees may be skilled or motivated to adopt Web 2.0

technologies, and generational differences may exist that require dedicated management

attention (Flowers, 2008, 2009). Whereas younger members of the workforce (often

labeled Generation Y) are ―natives of the digital world‖ (Woodward, 2009, p. 47) who

naturally communicate and learn through social media (Dede, 2005; Dillon, 2007), older

employees may question the usefulness of Web 2.0 tools and Enterprise 2.0 principles

(LBS, 2009; Green, 2007). Creating a digital divide in the workforce will be detrimental

to the successful implementation of Enterprise 2.0, meaning leaders should be aware of

generational and attitudinal issues preventing full adoption (Ramdani & Rajwani, 2010).

Research Gap

Little research exists to document the ability of different social media applications

to help increase organizational performance and knowledge worker productivity, to

understand who uses social media tools for which purposes and under which

circumstance, or to explore the impact of Enterprise 2.0 on leadership (Fischer & Reuber,

2010; Kase, Paawe, & Zupan, 2009; Krebs, 2008; Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007;

Salz, 2007). Enterprise 2.0 implies a structural shift from top-down management control

of content and processes to bottom-up, user-driven content development and use (Burrus,

2010; Chen, 2009; McAfee, 2006, 2009). This shift has potentially significant impact on
8

organizational culture, policies, and practices (Brauner, 2009; De Hertogh, Viane, &

Dedene, 2011; Wilson, Guinan, Parise, & Weinberg, 2011). Enterprise 2.0 technologies

are user-driven and reduce unilateral management control (McAfee, 2006). Therefore,

organizational leaders must find new ways to empower, motivate and reward employee

participation and management support, while focusing on fostering strategic uses of Web

2.0 applications and minimizing risks (Hamel & Labarre, 2011). Gholami and Safavi

(2010) claimed that ―enhancing empowerment will result in gradual creation of a culture

of empowerment and accountability‖ (p. 244). Yet, ―there is very little knowledge as to

whether or how Enterprise 2.0 may enhance organizational democracy or what actual

rather than anticipated challenges may exist‖ (Flowers, 2008, p. 15).

Statement of the Problem

The general problem addressed by the sequential, mixed methods study was that

most organizational social media initiatives fail to deliver business value or attract broad

employee participation (Bradley & McDonald, 2011). Despite increased popularity and

emerging uses of social computing in some knowledge-intensive organizations for

collaboration, communication, and learning purposes, few companies have supporting

strategies and leadership practices in place to guide social media implementation and

management (Stolley, 2009; Tennant, 2010; ―USA Internet,‖ 2010b). Without an

understanding of the factors that lead to successful social media implementations,

organizations are unlikely to reap full benefits offered by social computing (Calder, 2008;

Mitchell, 2009; Wilson, Guinan, Parise, & Weinberg, 2011). Benefits may include

increased knowledge worker productivity, employee-driven innovations, access to an


9

extended knowledge-base, and improved overall organizational efficiency (Calder, 2008;

McAfee, 2006; Mitchell, 2009; Wilson, Guinan, Parise, & Weinberg, 2011). ,

Enticed by these alleged benefits of Enterprise 2.0, organizations are increasingly

adopting different social media applications that may have the potential to boost

employee productivity and creativity but require managers to lift constraints on and

relinquish control of content and use (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; Lin, 2010; Reid,

Gray & Honick, 2008). According to Bughin, Byers, and Chui (2011), social networking

software, blogs, and video shares have seen the biggest increases in adoption over the

past five years among professionals, for both internal and external communication

purposes, and for collaboration with external partners. Analysts predict that

organizational adoption of social media will continue to increase with 40% per year in the

next 3-5 years, as progressive companies fully integrate social media with work processes

and allow employees to pursue innovative ways of utilizing different kinds of social

media applications and other companies follow suit in the hope of reaping similar

benefits (Causer, 2011a; Glick, 2010).

The specific problem addressed by the study was that organizational leaders

currently lack understanding of which specific social media tools and applications may

bring value for which purposes or improve productivity under which circumstances, how

to measure success and mitigate inherent risks introduced by the technologies, how to

adjust leadership practices, and how to ensure broad employee participation (Chui,

Miller, & Roberts, 2009; Flowers, 2008; Reid, Gray, & Honick). As a result,

organizational decision makers may not reap significant benefits from social media

experimentation and adoption (Bughin, Byers, & Chui, 2011; McAfee, 2010), or run the
10

risk of experiencing unintended negative consequences of social media use (Calder,

2008; Mitchell, 2009; Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). Serious negative consequences

include uncoordinated efforts, lack of strategic focus, negative value creation,

misalignment with business strategies, data leakages, loss of employee privacy and

productivity, miscommunications with stakeholders, and damage to public image and

competitiveness (Burrus, 2010; Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009).

Purpose of the Study

Little research exists to provide reliable data on current uses of and attitudes

toward social media in knowledge-intensive organizations and the supporting leadership

practices that result in successful Enterprise 2.0 implementations (Calder, 2008; McAfee,

2010; Mitchell, 2009; Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). To address this gap, the

purpose of the proposed sequential, mixed methods inquiry was to

a) describe professionals‘ current uses of and attitudes toward social

media,

b) determine if current work-related uses of and attitudes toward social

media vary according to generational cohorts and manager/non-manager

professionals, and

c) explore and understand the leadership practices associated with

successful implementations of social media based on senior leaders‘

lived experiences with Enterprise 2.0.

The first two parts of the study purpose were addressed by a quantitative

descriptive research phase. In this first quantitative phase, IT professionals working for

different IT companies in the greater Seattle area were invited to participate in a web-
11

based survey addressing current uses of and attitudes toward social media in the

workplace. The third part of the study‘s purpose was addressed by a second, qualitative

hermeneutic phenomenological research phase. Hermeneutic phenomenology is the

discipline of studying how individuals interpret their lives and create meaning from their

lived experiences (Cohen, Kahn, & Steeves, 2000). In the study, 13 senior managers and

executives from different IT companies in the greater Seattle area were interviewed to

understand meanings related to leadership practices that may contribute to successful

social media adoption and use. Specific focus will be on practices that facilitate

employee participation across generational cohorts and occupational categories and the

balancing of measurable benefits with inherent risks introduced by social media.

Mixed Methods Research

A mixed-methods study is based on a pragmatic approach to research that

combines quantitative and qualitative methods in a manner that leads to a rich

understanding of the central research issue (McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager, & Huskey,

2010; Onwuegbuzie, Johnson, & Collins, 2009). In the first quantitative research phase

(P1) a web-based survey was used to document IT professionals‘ current uses of specific

social media applications and attitudes toward organizational use of social media. The

degree to which generational and occupational differences exist in individual use of and

attitudes toward social media applications in IT companies will be determined.

Descriptive statistics summarized data and were used to determine patterns and test

hypotheses.

A quantitative descriptive design is an appropriate and efficient way to sample a

large population of geographically dispersed participants (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).


12

Descriptive research often uses surveys to collect quantitative data, which enables the

researcher to ―describe and compare people‘s attitudes, knowledge, and behavior‖

(Miller, McIntire, & Lovler, 2011, p. 273). One of the key advantages of using surveys is

the rapid turnaround in data collection and the convenience offered to respondents

(Creswell, 2009), especially when using web-based surveys to collect information from

technology-savvy respondents (Wright, 2005).

Data from the first study phase revealed differences in IT professionals‘ current

uses of and attitudes toward social media in IT companies across generational cohorts

and manager/non-manager occupations. Quantitative data analysis formed the basis for

further exploration during the second, qualitative research phase of leadership practices

related to successful social media implementation in IT companies. Adding a qualitative

phase resulted in a deeper understanding of the leadership practices and organizational

issues associated with social media adoption and use, and provided a more robust set of

findings. Husserl (1970) stated that the aim of phenomenology is to study human

phenomena without considering questions of their causes, the objective reality, or even

their appearance.

A qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological research design was an appropriate

methodology to address the third part of the proposed study‘s purpose because the focus

was on individuals‘ lived experiences of a shared phenomenon, in this case leadership

practices associated with successful implementation of social media. Lived experiences

relative to balancing risks with organizational benefits of Enterprise 2.0 and promoting

participation across generational cohorts and manager/non-manager IT professionals

helped provide crucial insights into the unique leadership challenges and practices
13

associated with organizational adoption and use of social media in knowledge-intensive

companies.

Study Population

The targeted population for the study included software analysts, developers,

programmers, testers, and managers (collectively referred to as IT professionals), and

senior IT executives working in the IT industry in the greater Seattle metropolitan area.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 86,000 IT professionals

work in the greater Seattle area (USBLS, 2010), and at least half of these individuals

work in the IT industry (Greenwald & James, 2010). The exact number of senior

executives in Seattle-area IT companies is unknown but can be estimated to be

approximately 800 individuals based on data provided by the Society for Information

Management and the average manager-professional (1:10) and executive-manager (1:4)

ratios from the IT industry in the entire United States (SIM, personal communication,

July 28, 2011; USBLS, 2010).

IT professionals are knowledge workers whose jobs consist primarily of

knowledge creation, knowledge transfer, interactions with colleagues, customers, and

external stakeholders, and complex decision making based on knowledge and judgment

(Cash, Earl, & Morrison, 2008; Matson & Prusak, 2010). The IT industry is

characterized by a high dependence on effective communication and collaboration in

cross-functional teams that often consist of geographically dispersed members and

multiple internal and external stakeholders (Kotlarski, Oshri, & Willcocks, 2007; Pertusa-

Ortega, Molina-Azorin, & Claver-Cortes, 2010). IT organizations are also among the

early adopters of social media technologies (Barnes & Mattson, 2009; Bughin, Chui, &
14

Miller, 2009), and IT professionals are thus likely to provide valuable insights into the

usefulness of specific social media applications (Anantatmula, 2009). The greater Seattle

area was chosen because of its large cluster of mature IT companies that allows for richer

empirical grounding (Martin & Eisenhardt, 2010), and because the local IT industry in

Seattle likely represents a microcosm of the larger IT industry in the United States

(Sommers, Carlson, Stanger, Xue, & Miyasato, 2000).

Significance of the Study

Although social media were not developed specifically with knowledge worker or

organizational productivity in mind, social applications constitute the latest wave of

organizational technologies and information systems that offer the potential to improve

organizational performance. Because of the disruptive nature of social computing (Cook,

2008), introducing Enterprise 2.0 principles may have profound effects on organizational

leadership and employee participation practices (Li, 2010). The proposed study provided

additional insights into the degree to which social media adoption and use in

organizations can play a role in changing organizational cultures toward more

participatory ideals; a proposition suggested by social media proponents (Bughin & Chui,

2010; Calder, 2008; Hamel, 2011; McAfee, 2006, 2009, 2010; Newton, 2008) that has

yet to be empirically validated.

Because IT professionals are early adopters of new technologies (Reid, Gray, &

Honick, 2008), organizations employing other kinds of knowledge workers may learn

about emerging patterns of uses that benefit individual employees as well as companies.

Whereas traditional information technology applications are often implemented in a

controlled, top-down fashion, social media applications are dynamic, user-driven, and
15

content cannot be easily controlled by management or an IT organization (Kenny & Yen,

2009; Li, 2010; Wilson, 2009). The proposed study added new insights to the potential

implementation and leadership issues associated with Enterprise 2.0 and addressed

management and employee experiences and concerns regarding the uses of and attitudes

toward social media. Little research currently exists to understand and document

Enterprise 2.0 adoption, use, and management from multi-generational and manager/non-

manager perspectives (Jue, Marr, & Kassotakis, 2010; Keller, 2004; Marfleet, 2008).

Furthermore, while the literature indicates that knowledge workers are currently

experimenting with social media applications in support of work-related tasks, it was

unclear if organizational leaders are deliberately initiating social media implementation

projects to achieve organizational benefits, responding to employee-driven initiatives, or

allowing media-generated interest to set a social media agenda (Causer, 2011a). The

study helped to shed light on the implications of social media adoption and use on

management and leadership practices.

The study may benefit organizational leaders who are considering strategic

Enterprise 2.0 implementations by providing insight into the leadership practices required

to implement and manage social media technologies effectively. The lived experiences

relative to social media adoption and use shared by senior managers and executives from

IT companies may extend to leaders in other types of organizations because challenges

related to increasing knowledge worker productivity, innovativeness, and organizational

efficiencies through successful application of new technology transcend industry

boundaries (Anantatmula, 2009; Perrott, 2009). Finally, social media implementation

issues may lead to new models of organizational technology adoption and use that
16

consider the dynamic and user-driven nature of participatory and social media technology

platforms (Ansari & Munir, 2010).

Theoretical Framework

A theory can be defined as ―a statement predicting which actions will lead to

which results and why‖ (Christensen & Raynor, 2003, p. 68). The proposed sequential,

mixed methods study followed fundamental research principles outlined by structuration

theory and applied several other complementing theories to different areas of the study.

More specifically, the study incorporated key ideas from Strauss and Howe‘s

generational theory, technology adoption models, and participatory management/open

leadership theory to address the research purpose.

Structuration Theory

Since Woodward‘s seminal research on the impact of manufacturing technology

on organizational structure and function in the 1950‘s and 1960‘s, information systems

(IS) researchers have applied a variety of social theories to gain insight on organizational

technologies (Jones & Karsten, 2008; Orlikowski, 2010; Pentland & Feldman, 2007;

Zammuto et al., 2007). A particularly influential framework used to study organizational

technology adoption and use behaviors has been Giddens‘ structuration theory (Poole &

DeSanctis, 2004). Structuration theory is built on the idea that ―social structure is

continuously being created through the flow of everyday social practice‖ (Jones &

Karsten, 2008; p. 131). According to Giddens, material artifacts do not have embedded

or inherent structures, but only come to life; in an enabling or constraining manner when

human action is applied (Boudreau & Robey, 2005). Structure, in this context, is defined

as ―rules and resources, organized as properties of social systems‖ (Giddens, 1984, p. 25).
17

Structuration theory distinguishes between agency and structure to reflect the interactive

and ongoing process of human enactment of structures (Barley & Tolbert, 1997).

Agency refers to ―the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own

free choices‖ (Parag & Janda, 2010, p. 2). Human agents are assumed to be highly

knowledgeable and have ability to influence the activities of superiors (Orlikowski,

2010). Accounts of social practices thus need to focus on power relationships such as

those between managers and employees (Jones & Karsten, 2008,).

Several authors have proposed extending structuration models with the concept of

sociomateriality, which ―focuses on how meanings and materialities are enacted together

in everyday practice‖ (Orlikowski, 2010, p. 135). Practices are ―matters of

doings/actions that perform particular phenomena‖ (Barad, 2003, p. 815), and can be

interpreted as patterned actions between human agents and technology that define

structures of work. Practices emerge in the duality between human action and technology

and are neither predetermined, nor stable over time. For example, IS and management

researchers may examine how a particular technology (such as social media) ―is

integrated into everyday organizational practices and how this integration redistributes

the phenomenon of collaboration, and what implications this generates for inclusion and

exclusion, and for responsibility and control‖ (Orlikowski, 2010, p. 136).

The study was guided by the sociomaterial interpretation of structuration theory

(Barad, 2003; Orlikowski, 2010) because a) Enterprise 2.0 is an emerging social

phenomenon and little is known about its associated practices (Agarwal & Mital, 2009;

Morsing & Castello, 2011); b) the variety and rapid evolution of social media

technologies and applications preclude any predefined structures or uses (Flowers, 2008;
18

McAfee, 2006, 2009); c) user-driven generation of content and tool management evolve

naturally to fit specific uses and situations (Ansari & Munir, 2010); and d) the relational

concept of power in structuration theory aligns with the idea that social computing is

user-driven and that power relations are determined by peer review and change according

to context of use (Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). Structuration theory was used to

help explain user practices relative to current uses of different kinds of social media

applications for different purposes in conjunction with the unified theory of acceptance

and use of technology (UTAUT) model, and to identify supporting leadership practices in

conjunction with open leadership theory.

Generation Theory

Strauss and Howe proposed that ―society alternates between a cycle of growth,

conformity, decay, and divisiveness and that each cycle is driven by the changes in the

values and attitudes of each new generation‖ (Drago, 2006, p. 10). A generation is

defined as the ―aggregate of all people born over roughly the span of a phase of life who

share a common location in history and, hence, a common collective persona‖ (Strauss &

Howe, 1997, p. 16). According to Tapscott (1998, p. 19), generations share common

experiences and values, allowing researchers to make generalizations across generational

categories.

Currently, three generations work side by side in the workplace: Baby Boomers,

Generation X, and Generation Y, each with an assumed common set of core values that

may affect willingness to adopt new technologies (McMullin, Duerden, & Jovis, 2007).

Research on generational differences in attitudes toward new technology remains sparse,

and the common assumption that Millenials are more likely to use social media than their
19

Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues (e.g, Barker, 2008; Liu, 2010) has not been

extensively researched (Birkinshaw & Pass, 2008; Joshi, Dencker, Franz, & Martocchio,

2010), although some empirical evidence has emerged. Erickson (2008; 2010b)

suggested that Generation Y and X cohort members share core values related to

technology use and teamwork, and may thus be more likely to favor social media for

collaboration purposes than Baby Boomers. Onyechi and Abeysinghe (2009) surveyed

employees from two British companies and found that Generation Y employees are more

likely to favor using social media for work-related purposes than their older colleagues.

By contrast, Wattal, Racherla, and Mandviwalla (2010) found no significant differences

in the use of blogs for work-related purposes across generations. Hence, the degree to

which generation-specific values and cohort membership may affect acceptance and use

of specific social media applications at work remains unclear.

Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model

Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, and Davis (2003) integrated several technology

adoption models and research studies into a unified model that has been validated by

many researchers (Chtourou & Souiden, 2010; Thowfeek & Jafar, 2010). A fundamental

principle of the UTAUT model is that individuals‘ performance expectancy, defined as

―the degree to which an individual believes that using the system will help him or her to

attain gains in job performance‖ (Venkatesh et al., 2003, p. 447) is a key predictor of

adoption and use. Social influences and facilitating conditions also impact technology

adoption and use, including occupational categories (Krause, 2010). The study

incorporated the UTAUT concepts of occupational categories and performance

expectancy to address the purpose of P1. Performance expectancy was used to frame
20

survey questions about attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0. More specifically, attitudes

toward social media covered key issues outlined by the literature, including

organizational strategies, policies, benefits, risks, employee participation, and leadership

practices (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011; Marks &

Patel, 2010). Occupational categories were used to determine differences in uses of and

attitudes toward social media between managers and non-managers. Both manager and

non-manager IT professionals are knowledge workers with extensive communication and

collaboration needs that could be supported by social media tools (Cash, Earl, &

Morrison, 2008; Matson & Prusak, 2010).

Little research exists to examine differences in work-related adoption of social

media across manager/non-manager categories. The few studies that have been

conducted on occupational differences in use of social media for work-related purposes

have produced mixed results. Krause (2010) found no significant differences between

managers‘ and non-managers‘ use of social networking tools in engineering companies,

whereas McAfee (2009) suggested managers are slower to adopt social media than non-

managers. Thus, further inquiry was needed to understand if having management

responsibilities may affect the use of and attitudes toward social media in the workplace.

Open Leadership Theory

The notion of open leadership has been proposed as a necessary condition for

successful social media implementation in organizations. Open leadership is the practice

of inspiring followers to accomplish goals while delegating controls to others (Li, 2010).

Open leadership theory can be seen as an extension of participatory management theory,

which is based on principles such as employee empowerment, trust, and decentralized


21

decision-making (Guttman, 2009; Kotter, 2007). Ever since the human relations

perspective took root in management research in the 1930‘s, the idea of participatory

management and employee empowerment has been widely explored (e.g, Kanter, 2003;

Hoopes, 2003). Researchers have found that a participatory management style can help

companies through periods of change and result in more efficient and innovative

operations (Parish, Cadwaller, & Busch, 2008; Pipek & Wulf, 2009; Zhang & Bartol,

2010).

Open leadership theory extends participatory management theory by adding a

layer of leadership practice focused on open information sharing and open decision

making (Li, 2010). Open information sharing is enabled by technological openness

present in social media applications and supporting IT infrastructure, and consists of

capturing and exchanging information and knowledge freely across organizational

boundaries through ongoing dialogue, collaboration, and participation from all

stakeholders (Li, 2010). Open decision making involves following a transparent set of

decision-making principles across situations and organizational boundaries (Li, 2010).

Individuals and teams are empowered and inspired to make informed decisions within

specific parameters that call for centralized, democratic, consensus-based, or distributed

decision making (Kanter, 2003). The study considered the degree to which the

participatory paradigm of Enterprise 2.0 triggered changes to leadership practices such as

information sharing and decision making in IT companies that have embraced the

adoption and use of social media.


22

Summary of Study Variables and Themes

Theories can help frame a research study and explain findings (Goes, 2011). The

four selected theories each addresses different aspects of the sequential, mixed methods

study and therefore complement each other. Structuration theory was used to frame the

study in terms of IT professionals‘ use practices and senior managers‘ and executives‘

leadership practices associated with social media implementation in IT companies. The

UTAUT model was used to explain IT professionals‘ attitudes toward social media and

potential variances across occupational categories. Generation theory was used to

explain potential variance across generational cohorts in IT professionals‘ uses of and

attitudes toward social media in the workplace. Finally, open leadership theory was used

to help explain potential participatory adaptations to leadership practices among senior

managers and executives in support of implementation of user-driven social media

technologies in IT companies. Table 1 summarizes the study‗s variables (P1), themes

(P2), and theories of origin.


23

Table 1

Study Variable and Themes, and Supporting Theories

Variable / theme Study phase Supporting theories

Individuals‘ work use of social P1 Structuration theory (Giddens, 1984;


media application: (e.g, Orlikowski, 2010)
collaboration, communication, UTAUT (Venkatesh et al., 2003)
innovation, learning,
knowledge management)

Performance expectancy: P1 UTAUT (Venkatesh et al., 2003)


Attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0
adoption

Occupational category: P1 UTAUT (Venkatesh et al., 2003)


manager/non-manager

Generational cohort (Baby P1 Generation theory (Strauss & Howe,


Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y) 1991)

Leadership practice P2 Structuration theory (Giddens, 1984;


Orlikowski, 2010)
Open leadership theory (Li, 2010)

Variables and themes were incorporated into research questions and hypotheses for Phase

1 and Phase 2 respectively.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The research questions addressed by the sequential, mixed-methods study reflects

the dual purpose of the study. The purpose of the first quantitative descriptive study

phase was to describe IT professionals‘ current uses of and attitudes toward social media

in IT companies and to determine if current work-related uses of and attitudes toward

social media vary according to generational cohorts and manager/non-manager IT

professionals. The purpose of the second, qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological


24

study phase was to explore and understand the leadership practices associated with

successful implementations of social media based on senior leaders‘ lived experiences

with Enterprise 2.0 in IT companies.

The first quantitative research question was descriptive and sought to uncover

current uses of social media applications among IT professionals, including

communication, collaboration, professional networking, innovation, learning, knowledge

management, and other organizational uses as determined by the literature:

RQ1. What are the different uses of social media among IT professionals in IT

companies?

The second quantitative research question addressed differences across generation

cohort membership in current uses of social media in IT companies:

RQ2. To what extent does the use of social media in IT companies differ across

IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?

The practitioner literature suggests younger professionals are more naturally

inclined to use social media applications at work than their older colleagues, because

Generation Y cohort members already use social media tools extensively outside work

(Calder, 2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward, 2009). No current research exists to indicate if

Generation X cohort members are more or less likely to use social media at work than

their older and younger colleagues. Hence, the following hypotheses were stated:

H20: There is no difference in generational cohort use of social media among IT

professionals in IT companies.
25

H21: Generation Y IT professionals in IT companies are more likely to use

social media than Generation X and Baby Boomer IT professionals.

The third quantitative research question addressed differences across occupational

categories (manager/non-manager) of current uses of social media:

RQ3. To what extent do IT professionals’ uses of social media in IT companies

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

Both manager and non-manager IT professionals are knowledge workers with

extensive communication and collaboration needs that could be supported by social

media tools (Cash, Earl, & Morrison, 2008; Matson & Prusak, 2010). Little research

exists to examine differences in work-related uses of social media across occupational

categories, and the few studies that have been conducted on occupational differences in

use of social media for work-related purposes have produced conflicting results (Krause,

2010, McAfee, 2009). Thus, the following hypotheses were stated:

H30: There is no difference in managers‘ and non-managers‘ use of social

media among IT professionals in IT companies.

H31: There is a difference in managers‘ and non-managers use of social media

among IT professionals in IT companies.

The fourth quantitative research question addressed differences across generation

cohort membership in attitudes toward social media use in IT companies:

RQ4. To what extent do attitudes toward social media use in IT companies differ

across IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?
26

Although little scholarly research exists on generational differences in work-

related use of social media, emerging literature indicates younger professionals may have

more positive attitudes toward social media tools compared to their older colleagues

Generation Y (Calder, 2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward, 2009). No current research

exists to indicate if Generation X cohort members have more positive attitudes toward

organizational social media adoption and use as compared to their older and younger

colleagues. Hence, the following hypotheses were stated:

H40: There is no difference in IT professionals‘ generational cohort

membership and attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT

companies.

H41: IT professional Generation Y cohort members have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption and use in IT companies than Generation X

and Baby Boomer cohort member IT professionals.

The fifth and last quantitative research question addressed differences across

occupational categories and attitudes toward social media use in IT companies:

RQ5: To what extent do IT professionals’ attitudes toward social media adoption

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

The literature suggests that Enterprise 2.0 requires managers to relinquish control

of content and use (McAfee, 2006, 2010; Hamel, 2011). Hence, successful

organizational social media implementations require managers to empower non-manager

employees to take responsibility for content creation and tool use (Chui, Miller &

Roberts, 2009; Lin, 2010; Reid, Gray, & Honick, 2008). Managers may thus have more

negative attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0 adoption than non-managers because their
27

influence is diminished (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Li, 2010), resulting in the

following hypotheses:

H50: There is no difference in IT professional managers‘ and non-managers‘

attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.

H51: Non-manager IT professionals in IT companies have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption than managers.

Answers to the five quantitative research questions provided the foundation for

addressing the purpose of the second qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study

phase, which was to explore senior leaders‘ lived experiences with the adoption and use

of social media in organizations and to understand the leadership practices that may

contribute to the successful implementation of social media. Quantitative data informed

qualitative interview questions and provided input to answering the following qualitative

research question:

RQ6. What are senior leaders‘ lived experiences relative to organizational

adoption and use of social media in IT companies?

Qualitative data consisted of transcripts from semi-structured interviews with 13

senior managers and executives who had recent experience with Enterprise 2.0

implementation in IT companies.

Research Methods and Design Overview

Mixed methods studies represent a pragmatic approach to research in which

quantitative and qualitative analyses are integrated (Onwuegbuzie, Johnson, & Collins,

2009). In the sequential, mixed methods research study, a quantitative data collection

phase was completed first, and followed by a qualitative phase. This approach is
28

particularly useful when, a) quantitative data yield unexpected results or need further

clarification that can be obtained through qualitative inquiry (Creswell, 2009), or b) when

quantitative data can supplement or enhance the qualitative inquiry by providing data not

available from previous research (Onwugbuzie, Johnson, & Collins, 2009). Research

studies that examined social media in organizations have primarily used quantitative

methods to describe specific types of social media applications (e.g, Barnes & Mattson,

2010; Bughin, Chui & Miller, 2009; Kohler-Kruner, 2009; Zhang, Zhu, & Hildebrandt,

2009). Little qualitative research exists to determine a wider range of social media uses

and explore the potential impact of social media on leadership, despite predictions that

impacts could be significant (Hamel & Labarre, 2011; Li, 2010). Adding a qualitative

research phase focusing on leadership practices after quantitative data analysis indicating

current uses of and attitudes toward social media among IT professionals may help

strengthen the inquiry into Enterprise 2.0 by shedding light on the unique leadership

challenges faced by senior managers and executives in companies that seek to adopt

social media for strategic purposes (Creswell, 2009; McAfee, 2010). The selected

population of IT professionals had not previously received any attention in formal social

media or Enterprise 2.0 research, underscoring the need for more quantitative data. A

mixed methods study thus provided the most comprehensive approach to meeting

research objectives (McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager, & Huskey, 2010).

Conceptual Research Model

The research model that guided the study is shown in Figure 1 below.
29

Figure 1. Conceptual research model guiding the study, including research questions.

The model shows the sequential nature of the research. The weighting of the

phases was equal, meaning both sets of data were considered of equal importance.

Quantitative data from P1 were analyzed before P2 began to identify key issues and help

finalize qualitative interview questions. The lines between study variables in P1 indicate

the relationships examined. The line between P1 and P2 indicates that qualitative inquiry

into leadership practices was, in part, based on quantitative data.

Content of Research Phases

A descriptive design was appropriate for answering the research questions in P1.

An experimental design would entail random sampling and testing of directional

hypotheses to determine cause and effects between selected variables, while carefully

controlling for intervening variables (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Because of the complex

nature of Enterprise 2.0 and the lack of validated models to explain use behaviors of

social media, identifying all possible intervening variables is difficult. The unit of
30

analysis in P1 was individuals (IT professionals) working in IT companies in the greater

Seattle metropolitan area. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, this

total number of IT professionals in this area is approximately 86,000 (USBLS, 2010), and

at least half of these individuals work in the IT industry (Greenwald & James, 2010).

Achieving a sufficiently large and statistically significant sample from this

population for P1 involved applying a combination of purposive sampling techniques

using IT professional association membership lists with a snowball sampling scheme, in

which participants or participant candidates were asked to recruit others to join the study

(Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007). This sampling design is particularly useful when the

researcher lacks access to complete population membership registers, but can achieve the

needed responses by tapping into personal or professional networks (Neuman, 2006). IT

professionals were contacted via email, using email lists owned and provided by a local

nonprofit organization dedicated to education and IT and email lists owned and provided

by the Seattle chapter of the Society of Information Management (SIM). Candidates

were invited to participate in the survey (purposive sampling) and asked to help recruit

colleagues, professional contacts, and collaboration partners from other local IT

companies (snowball sampling). To increase the likelihood of achieving a representative

study sample, email recipients were asked to forward to individuals belonging to different

generational cohorts and occupational categories.

In the second, qualitative phase, the unit of analysis was individuals holding

positions as IT company executives or senior managers. The purpose of P2 was to

achieve an in-depth understanding of the leadership practices associated with adoption

and use of social media. A phenomenological approach was an appropriate method


31

because the study focused on individuals‘ lived experiences of a shared phenomenon, in

this case, the impact of organizational adoption of social media on leadership. In

contrast, a case study would have been more appropriate to study the phenomenon at the

organizational level, whereas an ethnography study would have been appropriate if the

focus of the study was on a single group of individuals sharing a culture. The sampling

design in P2 entailed combining a criterion-based selection scheme with a snowball

sampling scheme (Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007, p. 286). IT executives and senior

managers qualified for participation if they meet all of the following criteria: a)

individual had been personally involved in creating social media policies, b) individual

had experienced some changes to leadership practices as a result of social media adoption

and use, c) individual currently works for an IT company in the Seattle area, and d)

individual was willing to share his or her insights. The snowball sampling involved

tapping into the researcher‘s and interview candidates‘ extended professional networks to

identify additional individuals who met the selection criteria. A total of 13 senior IT

managers and executives working for different IT companies were interviewed for the

study.

Definition of Terms

Key terms used in the proposed study are defined as follows:

Blogs = short for weblogs, are personal commentaries on a particular subject,

written and published regularly by a blogger (Ansari & Munir, 2010).

E2.0 = abbreviation of Enterprise 2.0 (McAfee, 2006).

Enterprise 2.0 = the planned and strategic use of social media application in

organizations (McAfee, 2006, 2009).


32

Employee empowerment = the process of ―giving employees the power to make

decisions that influence organizational direction and performance‖ (Bowen & Lawler,

1992, p. 32).

Information systems =―the means by which people and organizations, utilizing

technologies, gather, process, store, use and disseminate information‖ (UKAIS, 1999, p.

1).

IS Research = interdisciplinary area of research that applies the study of

information systems to an organizational and business management context (Sahin,

2006).

Leadership = ―the process of influencing others to understand and agree about

what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and

collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives‖ (Yukl, 2010, p. 8).

Multimedia sharing = a social media application that facilitates the storage of

audio and video content produced by users (Lindmark, 2009).

Open leadership = the ability of a leader to ―have the confidence and humility to

give up the need to be in control while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish

goals‖ (Li, 2010, p. 14).

Podcasting = ―audio recordings or multimedia files distributed over the Internet

for later playback on portable devices or computers‖ (Lindmark, 2009, p. 15).

Rating = a feature of a social media application that involves assigning a

subjective score to a piece of social media content (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009).

Social computing = the practice of adopting, using, and managing social media

applications, and technologies (Ansari & Munir, 2010).


33

Social gaming = virtual worlds in which users communicate via avatars and

perform simulations (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009).

Social media = a collection of software applications that “allow users to connect,

communicate, and interact with each other and their mutual friends through instant

messaging, social networks, or other types of Web 2.0 technologies‖ (Correa, 2010, p.

248).

Social media applications include “blogs, wikis, tagging, multimedia sharing,

social networking sites, social gaming, podcasting, and other Web 2.0 based programs

and interactive websites accessed via the Internet‖ (Lindmark, 2009, p. 11).

Social media technologies include Internet communication technologies like

syndication, web feeds, tagging, rating, extensible markup language (XML), wiki engines

etc. (Lindmark, 2009).

Social media user roles refer to the type of engagement by a particular user,

including content supplier, content co-producer, innovator, or participant (Ansari &

Munir, 2010). Roles can shift over time and with different social media applications.

Social network = the ―pattern of ties linking a defined set of persons or social

actors‖ (Vithessonthi, 2010, p. 101) through ―interpersonal means, including friendship,

common interests, or ideas‖ (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008, p. 13).

Social networking services = Web 2.0 applications that ―allow people to stay

connected with other people in online communities‖ (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010, p.

215), commonly abbreviated SNS.


34

Tagging = a feature of a social media application that involves assigning

keywords and key phrases to user-generated content, which enables collection,

classification, and aggregation of that content (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009).

Web 1.0 describes conventional Internet websites owned and managed by

organizations (Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007).

Web 2.0 indicates a second phase of the Internet and is ―composed of a set of

Internet applications, technologies, and user roles that together allow users to participate

in content development‖ (Lindmark, 2009, p. 15).

Wikis = websites that ―allow users to write and edit content collectively. A wiki is

essentially a database for creating, browsing, and searching through information‖

(Lindmark, 2009, p. 16).

Assumptions

According to Neuman (2003), social theories contain built-in assumptions, which

are ―parts of social theories that are not tested, but act as starting points or basic beliefs

about the world. Assumptions are necessary to make other theoretical statements and to

build social theory‖ (p. 529). Acknowledging and sharing assumptions is important to

situate the study in a research context from a clear starting point and serve as a

foundation for data collection and analysis. Five assumptions about participants in the

quantitative and qualitative research phases were made: a) participants would voluntarily

participate in the study, b) participants would answer questions honestly and completely,

c) participants were proficient in the English language, d) participants had a basic

understanding of social media technologies, and e) participants had an email address.


35

Participants in both quantitative and qualitative research phases were informed

that their participation was voluntary and that they could withdraw from the study at any

time without repercussions (Simon, 2011). Survey respondents‘ anonymity was be

preserved by eliminating any personal information from the questionnaire and by

removing any identifying information (TCPIP address) from downloaded SurveyMonkey

data. Transcripts from interviews were coded to remove interview participants‘ names

and organizational affiliation. The survey measured uses of and attitudes toward social

media among IT professionals and compared differences across generational cohorts and

manager/non-manager occupational categories. It was assumed that generational cohort

and managerial status were independent variables.

A further assumption to this study was the ability to acquire enough responses to

the web survey to secure the minimum number required for reliable statistical analysis.

A combination of purposive and snowballing sampling techniques was used to obtain the

necessary responses. Similarly, it was assumed that enough senior managers and

executives working in IT companies in the Seattle area would participate to achieve

saturation of data in the qualitative phenomenological research phase. A combination of

criteria-based and snowball sampling scheme was used to secure a sufficient number of

interview participants.

Two assumptions were made about data collection instruments. First, it was

assumed that the survey data collection instrument effectively measured variables

included in the first, quantitative research phase study (Miller, McIntire, & Lovler, 2011).

A thorough review of the survey instrument by a group of social media subject matter

experts and subsequent pilot testing of the web-based survey by a group of IT


36

professionals was included in the study to increase the likelihood that the survey

measured what it intended to measure (Litwin, 1992). Second, it was assumed that the

researcher acted as an effective and unbiased data collection instrument in the second,

qualitative research phase (Creswell, 2009). A review of the interview protocol by an

outside auditor was completed, and a subsequent pilot interview was conducted to

minimize bias and ensure interview questions were clear and would yield quality

descriptions of senior managers and executives lived experiences relative to social media

implementations in IT companies (Creswell, 2007).

Scope and Limitations

The sequential, mixed methods study included a quantitative descriptive phase

(P1) followed by a qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological phase (P2). In P1, an

appropriate sample of IT professionals from IT companies in the greater Seattle

metropolitan area participated in an online survey administered through SurveyMonkey.

Survey participants were identified through a combination of purposive and snowballing

sampling techniques (Onwuegbuzi & Collins, 2007), utilizing a professional association

and an educational research non-profit organization in Seattle. In P2, company

executives and senior managers from different IT companies in the greater Seattle area

were invited to participate in interviews. Individuals were selected for P2 using criteria-

based sampling to increase the likelihood of collecting quality data. A total of 13 senior

managers and executives were interviewed. The number of interview participants was

determined by saturation of the data. Saturation is reached when new information that

adds to the understanding of the research subject is no longer discovered (Creswell,

2007).
37

The limitations of a study help identify any areas of potential weakness (Creswell,

2009), and reflect study conditions beyond the researcher‘s control (Simon, 2011). A

major limitation of the sequential, mixed methods study was the lack of a randomized

sample in the first, quantitative research phase, which may pose a significant limitation in

terms of the ability to generalize the findings to not only the study population but also the

population in general (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Delimitations

Creswell (2009) defined delimitations as identifying factors that narrow the scope

of the research and define research boundaries. Delimitations thus identify what is not

included or intended in the study (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). As opposed to limitations,

delimitations are within the researcher‘s scope of control (Simon, 2011). The research

focused on the adoption and use of social media by Seattle-based IT professionals

working for IT companies and the associated leadership practices as experienced by IT

executives and senior managers. Hence, a significant delimitation of the proposed study

was the selected study population. Other professional job categories and types of

organizations were omitted, as was social media leadership issues pertaining to sales,

marketing, recruitment, and customer relationship management. The selection of

interview participants through the researcher‘s extended professional network may have

introduced bias to the study. Finally, the focused geographic setting delimited the study

to the greater Seattle area. As a result of these delimitations, findings may not be

generalizable to the study population and the population in general (Leedy & Ormrod,

2010).
38

Summary

Chapter 1 covered the introduction to social media adoption and use in

organizations and provided an overview of the current state of Enterprise 2.0. Despite

widespread practitioner wisdom praising the potential of E2.0 to boost organizational

effectiveness and enhance collaboration, communication, innovation, and learning, few

empirical studies exist to document implications of E2.0 on leadership practices. Chapter

1 also included the statement of the problem, purpose statement, research questions, and a

discussion of the significance of the proposed study. A theoretical framework and

research model guiding the proposed research were also provided along with definitions

of key terms, assumptions, scope, limitations, and delimitations. Chapter 2 will provide a

review of existing practitioner and academic literature on social media adoption and use

in organizations and summarize gaps in the literature to be addressed by the study.


39

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature

The purpose of the literature review is to examine the existing relevant research

on Enterprise 2.0 and to situate the proposed study in the literature. Little previous

qualitative research exists to examine adoption and use of social media, so this literature

review will consider both relevant academic research and practitioner sources that

support the background of the problem and provides a foundation for the proposed study.

The literature review is thematic and begins with a historical discussion of theoretical

frameworks and models used for IS research and the emergence of structuration theory as

an IS research paradigm. Second, the evolution of social computing is described and a

taxonomy containing different kinds of social media applications is proposed.

Organizational social media implementations are discussed next, including

sections on a) collaboration and communication, b) professional networking and

community building, c) innovation, d) training and learning, e) knowledge management;

f) marketing, sales, and customer relationship management, g) recruiting, assimilation,

and retention, h) governance and control, and i) measuring benefits. Fourth, factors

influencing attitudes toward and use of social media are described, including technology

acceptance models, generation theory, and leadership theories. Fifth, applicable research

methods are discussed based on previous studies and best practices. A summary of the

gaps in the literature pertaining to the proposed study will conclude this chapter.

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals

A wide variety of scholarly, academic, and professional resources, including

industry peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and other professional

references were reviewed to locate books, articles, and related materials. The majority of
40

research materials were found through online database resources and library services, and

through membership access to professional organization websites, journals, and social

networks. Journal articles were supplemented with books obtained via University of

Phoenix‘ library as well as from online bookstores to obtain the breadth of knowledge

necessary to present the in-depth literature review contained in this chapter.

Keywords, phrases, and combinations of keywords were applied to article

searches in an effort to conduct a thorough and complete search of the literature

pertaining to the current state of the topic under investigation. For example, keywords

included Enterprise 2.0, E2.0, social computing, social media, Web 2.0, social

networking, social networking sites, social networking systems, social collaboration,

structuration theory, technology acceptance model, UTAUT, diffusion of innovation

theory, knowledge organization, knowledge intensive organization, knowledge worker

productivity, employee empowerment, participatory management, participative

management, open leadership.

Table 2 summarizes references used according to topic and type of source:


41

Table 2

Summary of References

Topic Peer- Book/ Newspaper Website Conf. Other1


reviewed book article/ / paper
article chapter online blog
magazine
Social media/E2.0, 86 10 16 13 6 20
general and specific
applications
Structuration theory and 10 3 2 1
related theories
Technology adoption 19 4 2 3 2
models, history of IS
research
Organizational studies on 21 6 2 2
Technology adoption/
management
Generation theory; 14 4 2 2 3
technology adoption
IT-induced organizational 15 2 1
change
Employee empowerment 8 1
Management and 19 19 1
leadership
Knowledge work, 20 5 1 1
organizational learning
IT workforce 5 2 2
Research methods: 26 30 5 1 8
general, phenomenology,
surveys
Total / 243 83 19 25 16 37
percentage 59% 19% 4% 6% 4% 8%

1
Other category includes technical reports, white papers, unpublished research reports and papers,

dissertations, theses, manuals, and statistical databases.


42

History of Information Systems Research

Over the years, scholars have proposed a variety of theoretical frameworks to

explain the impact of technology on organizational form and function (Orlikowski, 2010;

Zammuto et al., 2007). Technology adoption models and IS theories have been proposed

in parallel with research perspectives on management, leadership, and organizational

change under the information systems research paradigm since the 1950‘s (Coy, 2004;

Volkoff, Strong, & Elmes, 2007; Zammuto et al.). These models and theories are built on

different research philosophies and traditions, consider different levels of analysis, place

varying degree of importance on technology versus social use patterns, and have different

application foci. As with the history of science, the evolution of IS research frameworks

has been neither linear nor cumulative (Kuhn, 1996). Each theory has strengths and

limitations and address different aspects of IT in relation to organizational issues.

Prominent Theories in IS Research

Since the 1950‘s, researchers have studied the interaction between technology and

organizations. Among the first important IS research was Woodward‘s study of the

impact of manufacturing technology on organizational structure (Woodward, 1958; 1965)

and Tavistock Institute researchers‘ development of socio-technical system theory (Trist

& Bamford, 1951). The key tenet of socio-technical system approach was the

assumption that ongoing joint optimization of the social and technical subsystems in

organizations will maximize organizational performance (Akbari & Land, 2005). Such

optimization is said to be best performed through a bottom-up participatory approach in

which work teams are given the autonomy to self-regulate (Rollag, 2010). Sociotechnical

systems theory resulted in substantial research documenting the positive effects of end-
43

user participation in IS design (Scacchi, 2004). The weakness of the sociotechnical

approach is that the theory ignores potential political and power-changing consequences

of technology adoption and use and assumes that social and technical subsystems can be

brought to equilibrium (Biazzo, 2002; Dutton, 2005; Herrmann, Loser, & Jahnke, 2007).

Before the personal computers and local area networks made their way into

organizations in the 1980‘s, organizational information technology was considered a

centralized resource typically run on mainframe systems administered by experts

(Iandoli, 2009). IS researchers in the 1970‘s and early 1980‘s developed a variety of

alternative theories and models to explain the impact of larger-scale, centralized

information technology on organizational systems, structures, and practices. Galbraith

(1973, 1977) proposed focusing on an organization‘s ability to process information

through the use of IT-enabled communication, but ignored other uses of IT. Media

richness technology theory similarly focused on IT as a communication medium but

omitted other areas of use (Daft & Lengel, 1984; Huber & Daft, 1987). Kling and Dutton

(1982) and Kling and Scacchi (1982) developed a web-based model of computing

focusing on the interplay between individuals, technology, infrastructure, processes, and

social relations. This model considers both technical and social aspects of IT but

assumes technology is static (Leahmann & Fernandez, 2007). Barney (1986; 1991)

followed the resource-based view (RBV) of organizations and suggested that technology

constitutes a valuable resource that should be managed as a competitive advantage. The

RBV perspective assigns value to technology itself but ignores value created by

applications of technology (Wade & Hulland, 2004).


44

After the widespread adoption of personal computers in organizations in the

1990‘s, the role of end-users became of interest to IS researchers. In 1989, Davis,

Bagozzi, and Warshaw developed the first technology acceptance model focusing on

individual factors leading to decisions to adopt and use certain technologies. This model

was tested extensively and several extensions and enhancements were proposed (e.g, Lin,

2003; Kim, 2009), culminating in the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology

(UTAUT) model (Venkatesh, et al., 2003). The UTAUT model integrates individual and

social level factors useful for predicting technology adoption and use but needs to be

integrated or supplemented with other models to account for organizational variables and

use patterns (Lin, 2003). A few authors have used a modified technology acceptance

model to explain individuals‘ adoption of social media in organizations, including Guo

(2009) and Krause (2010). Although results lacked exploratory, qualitative components

to address emerging organizational issues related to Enterprise 2.0, both authors

contributed to the ongoing validation of the UTAUT model.

Another strand of important IS research emerged from diffusion of innovation

theory, proposed by Rogers (1995). Rogers‘ theory equates technology with innovation,

and explains individual adoption over time, through available communication channels,

under the influence of organizational social systems (Sahin, 2006). Adoption typically

follows a S-curve, in which early adopters slowly accept a new technology and influence

others, causing adoption rates to rapidly increase (Lundblad, 2003). Other researchers

have also focused on the social influence processes driving individual adoption of IT.

Actor network theory, for example, considers human and non-human actors engaging in

mutual and dynamic exchanges related to technology (Law, 1992). DePauw (2008)
45

argued that actor network theory constitutes an appropriate research framework for social

computing research, while Rossi (2010) applied actor-network theory to explain the

adoption of the social networking site MySpace in the underground music industry. A

major limitation of actor network theory, however, is the exclusion of existing

organizational structures, processes, and culture to explain individuals‘ positive attitudes

toward certain technologies (Orlikowski, 2010).

To address the shortcomings of actor-network theory, some researchers have

turned to structuration theory to explain interactions between users and technology in the

context of both organizational and individual factors (Orlikowski, 2000; Poole &

DeSanctis, 2004). Although structuration theory was not developed with IS research in

mind (Orlikowski, 2000), one of the key principles is to consider technology a cultural

artifact through which users can attribute meaning from ongoing use (Orlikowski, 2010).

This notion makes structuration theory a particularly valid framework for E2.0 research

(De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011). Veeramachaneni (2009) adapted a structuration

perspective to explore technology enablers of and barriers to virtual team

communications, and De Hertogh, Viane, and Dedene (2011) developed a set of guiding

principles for Enterprise 2.0 implementations based on the assumption from structuration

theory that use patterns emerge and change dynamically in parallel with organizational

and management structures.

Structuration Theory

According to Jones and Karsten (2008), structuration theory is built on the idea

that everyday social practices result in the creation of structures, or behavioral patterns

involving physical artifacts. Initially proposed by Giddens in the 1980‘s, structuration


46

theory addresses the interaction between material artifacts and human actors based on the

premise that artifacts do not have embedded or inherent structures, but only come to life –

in an enabling or constraining manner - when human action is applied (Boudreau &

Robey, 2005). From the perspective of structuration theory, information technology is

viewed as an organizational artifact, which reflects prevailing culture and organizational

identity (Rafaeli & Vilnai-Yavetz, 2004). Structuration theory distinguishes between

agency and structure to reflect the interactive and ongoing process of human enactment

of artifact structures (Barley & Tolbert, 1997). Structures represent properties of social

systems related to behavioral rules and available resources (Giddens, 1984). Agency

refers to the ability to make decisions and act independently from others (Parag & Janda,

2010). Human agents are assumed to be highly knowledgeable and have ability to

influence the activities of superiors (Orlikowski, 2010). Studies of social practices thus

need to ―give particular attention to the operation of power relationships‖ (Jones &

Karsten, p. 135).

Because structuration theory is a broad social theory sometimes referred to as a

meta-theory (Weaver & Gioia, 1994), researchers exploring the impact of technology in

organizations have developed technology-specific research models and terminology

based on interpretations of Giddens‘ ideas. Poole and DeSanctis (2004) proposed the

notion of structural appropriations; Boudreau and Robey (2005) suggested improvised

learning, Pentland and Feldman (2007) discussed narrative networks, and Orlikowski

introduced the concept of technology-in-practice ―to understand the multiple ways in

which work practices and social structures mediate and are mediated by engagement with

new technology‖ (Orlikowski, 2010, p. 132). Common to these models is the assumption
47

that humans are powerful and knowledgeable ―constituting structures in their recurrent

use of technology artifacts‖ (Orlikowski, 2000, p. 407). Through activities, tasks, and

events involving IT, ―actors may construct beneficial outcomes themselves as they

emerge from the interactions‖ (Sutherland & Gosling, 2010, p. 21).

According to Lamproulis (2007, pp. 39-41), information technology plays an

important role as an artifact to a) enhance creation of knowledge, b) enhance staff efforts,

c) increase the speed and efficiency of work, d) help people visualize ideas, and e)

support experimentation. This means that users of technology ―enact a set of rules and

resources, which structures their ongoing interactions with a particular technology‖

(Orlikowski, 2000, p. 407), in particular ways, under particular circumstances. For

example, users of social networking sites may post public politically-laden comments and

links to certain friends‘ pages but not to others based on an assumption that a particular

subgroup of friends will be more receptive to the information than others. Personal, non-

political messages may be posted for everyone to see, or sent as private messages,

meaning that the user interprets his or her social networking presence as a means to

communicate political and personal messages to different audiences for different reasons,

using the same technology platform. Other users may use the same social networking

site for very different reasons (e.g, posting photos, blogging, searching for jobs, sending

birthday cards, or playing games), which is made possible by the lack of pre-imposed use

structures imbedded in the technology.

Use of technology by human agents is likely to affect social and contextual

elements in organizations, including management, leadership, and employee participation

(Flynn, 2001). As noted by Belanger and Allport (2009), structuration theory can help
48

explain how and why users of social media technologies select the features they find most

useful in completing a particular task or solving a particular problem and mold the

implementation of that technology according to their own needs. This view of

technology use in organizations is compatible with the notion from social media that

users drive applications and can be trusted to make good decisions regarding content and

tool management (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011; Parameswaran & Whinston,

2007).

Technology implementation models based on structuration theory have been

criticized for ignoring each technology‘s distinctive characteristics and for treating

technologies as black boxes (DePauw, 2008; Orlikowski, 2010; Volkoff, Strong, &

Elmes, 2007). To address this limitation, several authors have proposed extending

structuration models with the concept of sociomateriality, which ―focuses on how

meanings and materialities are enacted together in everyday practice‖ (Orlikowski, 2010,

p. 135). The idea behind sociomateriality is adopted from the metaphysical concept that

things, entities, or relations do not have inherent boundaries and properties (Orlikowski,

2010). For example, a hammer does not pre-impose a requirement on the owner to use it

for driving nails into wood; the hammer and its owner may define new applications in

different situations (killing spiders, spreading butter on bread, rolling dough etc).

Similarly, a particular technology can be used in ways that were not originally intended

by the creator (McAfee, 2006); leading to creative and new (sometimes destructive)

applications.

According to Barad (2007, p. 20), the study of organizational technology should

therefore reject the notion that technology has inherent structures, properties, and
49

boundaries and instead focus on emerging patterns of organizational practices and their

potential implications for organizational and management structures. Practices are

patterns of behavior or actions designed to perform tasks or address certain phenomena

arising from the environment (Barad, 2003). Practices can thus be interpreted as

patterned actions between human agents and technology that define structures of work.

Practices emerge in the duality between human action and technology and are neither

predetermined, nor stable over time. One advantage of applying sociomaterial

structuration theory to IS research is that the framework implies that the meanings

attributed to a particular technology by users emerge from experimentation with features

and the eventual integration into work processes. This technology adoption process

affects social interaction patterns and organizational processes and practices, and the

benefits of using the technology thus depends on how users interact with the technology

and attribute meaning to associated social patterns (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011).

Sociomaterial structuration theory was thus particularly relevant to studying

social computing in organizations because Web 2.0 technologies are a) inherently

structure-free, allowing users and user communities to collaboratively develop content in

a manner that fits workflows naturally (McAfee, 2006; McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager,

& Huskey, 2010); and b) social media introduces change to the organization in the form

of new interactive social patterns (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011; McAfee, 2009b).

Information Technology as Catalyst for Organizational Change

IT has long been seen as a catalyst for or enabler of organizational change (Cash,

Earl, & Morison, 2008). Organizational change alters work processes and establishes

power relationships in organizations (Bolman & Deal, 2008) and affects organizational
50

culture. Schein noted that culture helps make organizational practices meaningful and

predictable. Yukl (2009) similarly posited that organizational culture ―helps us

understand the environment and determine how to respond to it, thereby reducing

anxiety, uncertainty, and confusion‖ (p. 327). Higgins, McAllister, and Certo (2006)

proposed that one of the most effective ways to change elements of an organization‘s

culture is through the introduction of new artifacts. The notion from structuration theory

that technologies constitute cultural artifacts thus implies that introducing a new IT

system or tool requires users and managers to create new shared meaning through the

interaction with the technologies and integration with existing workflows, organization

structure, systems, processes, and leadership style (Higgins & McAllister, 2004;

Lamproulis, 2007).

Researchers have studied the role of IT in organizational change endeavors for

decades. Despite well-documented cases, solid management advice, and published best

practices (e.g, Kotter, 2007; Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008; Lawler & Worley, 2009), 70%

of IT-enabled change projects still fail (Iveroth, 2010). Most recent authors agree the key

to successful IT-enabled change lies in the dual focus on and management of IT itself and

its social and organizational implications (Barrett, Grant, & Wailes, 2006; Orlikowski &

Yates, 2006). Earlier research focused on the high-level implication of IT on strategy and

organizational structure but largely ignored individual actors. Benjamin and Levinson

(1993) proposed a framework for managing IT-enabled change focusing on information

and control processes between organizational units and supply chains, but did not

consider process flows between individuals. In a similar fashion, Tsoukas and Chia

(2002) suggested focusing on continual ―synoptic and performative‖ (p. 572) IT-enabled
51

processes through which ―institutionalized categories‖ (p. 577), or organizational

structures, are changed. By (2005) agreed with the continuous approach to change

management, but suggested aligning change with business strategy.

Other authors have focused on the different types of changes introduced by IT,

referring to the magnitude of disruption to workflows and organizational culture. Burnes

(2004) distinguished between incremental and continuous change, whereas Christensen

(1992a, b) highlighted the differences between disruptive and non-disruptive

technologies, and Senior (2002) suggested differentiating organizational responses

according to radical or modular transformations. Change of the former, radical/disruptive

types, are more difficult to manage because the effects of the new technology is profound

and requires changing not only workflows, but also underlying norms, values, and basic

assumption of the organization (Schein, 2010). Emerging research indicates that social

media are disruptive technologies that require radical changes to organizational culture

and leadership (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009; McAfee, 2010). However, little research

exists to document the change effects of social media on leadership practices, or

determine if participatory social technologies may lead to power shifts and increased

employee participation in decision making.

Social Media

Social media evolved from other technologies supporting communication and

collaborative work. Emerging from the dot.com bust in the early 1990‘s, open web-based

applications have enabled a shift from management- to user-driven use of IT. A widely

agreed-upon taxonomy of social media applications does not currently exist in the

literature, but one will be assembled based on input from various sources to serve as the
52

basis for further inquiry. Categories of applications along with distinguishing features

and examples will be provided.

Evolution of Social Media

The concept of social media and social computing can be traced back to 1945 and

Bush‘s seminal article As We May Think (Bush, 1945). In this article, Bush discussed an

invention called the memex, a communication device designed to support collaborative

work and knowledge exchanges between humans. In the 1960‘s, the Head of the United

States Department of Defense‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Licklider

and his research partner Taylor elaborated on Bush‘s ideas and developed methods for

computer-enabled collaborations that eventually led to the ARPANET, the predecessor to

the Internet (Licklider & Taylor, 1968; Waldrop, 2002). During the 1970‘s, the first

collaboration software emerged and evolved into groupware in the 1980‘s (Allen, 2004).

Early versions of groupware focused on group processes and often used simulation

engines to facilitate the study of organizational and social behaviors (Cook, 2008; Wang,

Zeng, Carley, & Mao, 2007). Other social early computing technologies include Plato,

an early computer-based education delivery platform developed by researchers at the

University of Illinois in the 1960‘s (Bitzer, 2011), and the Usenet, developed by

researchers from Duke University in the late 1970‘s to facilitate open discussions among

pioneer Internet users worldwide (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). The invention of the

World Wide Web (WWW) and hypertext in the early 1990‘s by researchers at CERN

(Berners-Lee, 1999) created a flurry of social media software such as weblogs (blogs),

wikis, and interactive websites, including the world‘s first web-based social network

sixdegrees.com launched in 1997 (Boyd & Ellison, 2008).


53

Now commonly referred to as Web 1.0, the first web-based technologies spurred

the infamous dot.com boom in the late 1990‘s and subsequent bust in 2002

(Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). Many Web 1.0 technologies were incompatible and

prevented users from easily manipulating content from a variety of sources (Zhai & Liu,

2007). Furthermore, content was published from website owners to users without reverse

data streams or communications (Ansari & Munir, 2010). In the past decade, a global

push for open standards combined with a number of technological innovations that

increased interoperability and usability of web application have resulted in a new-

generation Internet, often referred to as Web 2.0. (Armbrust et al., 2009; Kaplan &

Haenlein, 2010). This new version of the Internet is built on a principle of equal

participation opportunities that ―allow everyday Internet users to act as suppliers, co-

producers, or even innovators of products and services‖ (Ansari & Munir, p. 80).

In organizations, the employer-owned content mentality of the Web 1.0 era that has

permeated organizational IT management for decades is currently being replaced by a

dynamic Web 2.0 reality, where everyone, in theory, can publish and manage content

(Lindmark, 2009).

Social computing is a term frequently used to describe the adoption and use of

social applications, associated technologies, and user roles characterized by a)

applications that ―place very few rules or constraints on their users – no predefined

workflows, differentiated roles and privileges, membership criteria, or standard operating

procedures‖ (McAfee, 2010, para 6); b) applications that evolve into orderly

environments despite not being dictated by management or an IT department, ―in which


54

users can find what they are looking for; patterns and structures appear over time‖

(McAfee, 2010, para 11); and c) user interfaces that are visually pleasing and easy to use.

Guo (2009), Parameswaran, and Whinston (2007), and Zhai and Liu (2007)

compared aspects of traditional organizational IT management and social computing, as

summarized in Table 3.
55

Table 3

Comparison of Traditional IT and Social Computing in Organizations

Traditional IT Attribute Social Computing

Centralized Organization, governance Decentralized

Well-defined Structure Loosely defined

Local, within organizational Scope Global, fluid boundaries


boundaries

Low Ease of use High

System-level, management- Content ownership User-controlled


controlled

Limited Portability Highly portable

Low Interoperability High

Low, well-tested Risk High, little testing

Standardized process Quality assurance Peer-feedback, unstructured

Relatively static Content Highly dynamic

Proprietary Development tools Open-source

High Cost of purchase Low

High Cost of maintenance Lower

Well—defined standards Standards for use Few standards

Geeks Domain of… Mass amateurization

The effects of social computing on organizational systems, workflows, value

creation, and management practices are currently not well-understood, although some

authors claim these effects will be profound (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; Newton,

2008). Salz (2007) noted that ―the rise of user-generated content represents a seismic

shift to a participatory culture in which each individual can co-create the content they
56

consume‖ (p. 28). Social media is changing management models and expanding

organizational boundaries to include external stakeholders because companies and

managers have less control over published information (Ansari & Munir, 2010).

According to several authors, the balance that managers choose to strike between giving

users control while protecting company interests will determine the degree to which

social computing will positively impact organizational performance (Fischer & Reuber,

2010; Girard & Girard, 2009; McAfee, 2010).

Taxonomy

Social computing involves the practice of adopting, using, and managing Web 2.0

applications, technologies, and user roles (Lindmark, 2009). Social media applications

allow easy publishing, information sharing, networking, and collaboration; although there

is no definitive typology and features emerging, it is common to distinguish between the

following types and essential features shown in Table 4.


57

Table 4

Types of Social Media Applications, Essential Features, and Examples

Type of application Essential features Examples


Social and professional Personal profiles, content sharing, Facebook
networking expressing opinions, friending LinkedIn
others, commenting on others‘ Google+
posts, user ratings, tagging
Yammer
Multimedia sharing Storage and sharing of audio, Flickr
video, photos YouTube
Instagram
Pinterest
Blogs User created posts expressing Blogger
opinions, and sharing information Tumblr
or personal diary entries
Tagging
Microblogging Personal profiles, brief expression Twitter
of opinions or comments (typically Jaiku
200 characters or less), following, Tumblr
commenting on others‘ posts
Mobile, location-based Locating people and places Foursquare
services through real-time global Hummingbird
positioning systems (GPS)
Wikis A web database for searching Wikipedia
through information created Wetpaint
collectively by users, tagging
Aggregators Gather information from various iTunes
sources and publish in one place Pinterest
Virtual worlds and online Simulated environments, user World of Warcraft
games interaction via avatars Second Life

Note. Adapted from Chui, Miller and Roberts (2009), Fischer and Reuber (2010), Fun &

Wagner (2008), Kaplan and Haenlein (2009, 2011), Lindmark (2009), McAfee (2010);

and Warr (2008).


58

New social media applications are constantly emerging on the Internet and

existing ones are evolving quickly, blurring the lines between distinguishing features

(Beer, 2008). In addition, most Web 2.0 software and vendors are moving targets as

numbers and types of users fluctuate with ever-changing features (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee,

2010, p. 216). The fluid social media landscape makes it difficult for organizational

leaders to choose the best applications and assess the viability of solution providers,

complicating the strategic integration of Web 2.0 technologies into existing portfolios

(Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010).

Social media technologies are based on interoperable, user-friendly web

applications (Lindmark, 2009), including syndication, web feeds, RSS, XML, CSS, and

wiki engines (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009). Most organizational and recreational users

do not need to be concerned with underlying social computing technologies, but

companies that wish to integrate social media into their IT portfolio must develop the

necessary technical expertise, or hire outside social computing technical experts (Huy &

Shipilov, 2010).

User roles indicate levels of participation in social media application use.

Forrester Research identified a ladder of organizational user roles, from inactives,

through spectators, joiners, collectors, critics, to creators, wherein the latter category of

users comprise the highly involved individual (Bernoff, 2008). Almond (2010) provided

a similar set of social media user profiles, also based on five stages of involvement, from

occasional user, through connector, filter, creator to thought leader, wherein the latter

represents the most engaged and future-thinking individual (p. 38). No research exists to

indicate percentages of organizational users in each category for different kinds of social
59

media applications or across age groups, or the degree to which more participative user

roles may affect sense of empowerment or productivity (Salz, 2007).

Enterprise 2.0 Implementations

Companies that have embraced social computing are using social media

applications for a variety of organizational, team, and individual purposes. This section

summarizes practitioner and academic literature pertaining to specific implementations of

Enterprise 2.0. Gaps in the literature will also be identified. The organizational uses of

specific social media applications for specific purposes will be included in the summary.

Sophisticated applications of Web 2.0 technologies may include a mix of tools (Bughin,

Chui & Miller, 2009), involve a wide range of audiences (Almond, 2010), cover a variety

of contents (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010), and facilitate both internal and external

collaborations (McAfee, 2006).

Collaboration and Communication

A key tenet of Web 2.0 is the facilitation of mass participation and collaboration

(Tapscott & Williams, 2007) and many social media tools are used specifically for

communication and collaboration purposes (Tye, 2010). According to Karp (2005),

―dialogue is the unit of work in knowledge-based organizations, and organizational

dialogue is a process for building common understanding‖ (p. 94). Social media enables

organizational dialogue through fast and easy applications used by members to

communicate effectively with peers and stakeholders (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010). For

example, social ties captured by a social networking tool can enable collaborative work

through the sharing of ideas and knowledge in a quick and convenient manner (Coyle &

Vaughn, 2008; Kratzer, Leenders, Roger, & Van Engelen, 2010; Vithessonthi, 2010).
60

Social networking applications also allow employees to quickly find information about

who knows what, and who knows who, in a large organization (Brandel, 2008). Recently

formed teams can use employee profiles as a means of getting to know each other and

finding common ground before a project has even started (Turek, Wierzbicki, Nielek, &

Datta, 2011).

Blogs and subscription to blogs also provide an opportunity for employees to

share information and knowledge about a current work issue (Brandel, 2008). Emerging

research shows employees find blogs to be more effective than more traditional

communication media such as newsletters or emails because of the ability of readers to

comment and express ideas publically which can facilitate discussions and brainstorming

within work teams, or within the entire organization (Lindmark, 2009; Zhang, Zhu, &

Hildebrandt, 2009). Studies have shown blogs can improve dialogue between upper

management and employees by providing an open and more spontaneous communication

channel that did not previously exist (Flowers, 2008; Gloor, Paasivaara, Schoder, &

Willems, 2008; Wyld, 2008). This practice has been used by executives at Dell, Cisco,

Vistaprint and other knowledge-based companies for some time with positive outcomes

in the form of more open and direct dialogue (Bennett, 2009; Marks & Patel, 2010;

McAfee, 2006; Woodward, 2009). However, some employees may feel uncomfortable

expressing honest opinions through blogs if management is monitoring and retaliating

against negative feedback (Flowers, 2009).

The practice of group editing (McAfee, 2009b), or peer production (Tapscott &

Williams, 2007), in which a number of individuals collaborate on content development

can be facilitated by E2.0 tools such as wikis and cloud-based word processing
61

applications (e.g, Google docs). According to McAfee (2009b), group editing is often

―the main thrust of Enterprise 2.0 efforts‖ (p. 131), because applications allow close

collaboration while maintaining version and access control. Berelowitz (2009) posited

that cloud computing is part of a trend that pushes Enterprise 2.0 adoption because

companies must accept loss of control of basic computing resources and associated

applications and content.

Organizations can extend their Web 2.0-enabled communication and

collaboration practices to include external stakeholders. Because social computing

promotes ―a shift from the broadcast model of communication to a many-to-many model

that is rooted in conversations and the wisdom of crowds‖ (Williams & Williams, 2008,

p. 34), companies can use RSS feeds, podcasts, and microblogging to push content such

as PR announcements and technical updates to subscribers to a wide audience (Barnes &

Matson, 2009, 2010; Fischer & Reuber, 2010; Ramdani & Rajwani, 2010; Zeisser, 2010).

Furthermore, group editing and peer production facilitated by Web 2.0 tools can extend

beyond the boundaries of an organization and include geographically dispersed

customers, partners, and industry experts (Lamproulis, 2007). Peer-produced content

creates new sources of collective knowledge, which can enable employees and their

collaborators to participate in cohesive communities of practice. In an organizational

context, content hosted by social media applications may include Q&A, project activity,

status updates, opinions, product development discussions, instructional videos, and

announcements, all of which can be saved, retransmitted, commented or voted on, and

spun off to other discussion threads and initiatives by individuals in the community (Kim,

Ok-Ran & Lee, 2010).


62

Professional Networking and Community Building

The popular social network site LinkedIn was created to help professionals

connect and expand their professional circle of contacts (Brandel, 2008; Clarke, 2010).

Research shows that 65% of all business professionals connect via a social networking

site (Lindmark, 2009, p. 44). Companies are beginning to allow employees to use

LinkedIn and other similar social media tools to enable community building and access to

experts (McAfee, 2009; Soekijad, van den Hooff, Agterberg, & Huysman, 2011). 30% of

respondents to a study on Enterprise 2.0 adoption among companies worldwide cited

effective access to outside experts as a reason for introducing social networking tools in

the organization (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). This finding is consistent with a study

by Lindmark (2009), who found that IT professionals can save time looking for answers

when they use online communities.

Proponents of using Web 2.0 tools for professional networking purposes also

claim social networking and blogging applications helps foster a sense of belonging,

community and fun, which may positively affect productivity (Derven, 2008; Roberts,

2008) but these perceptions have not been validated by empirical research. Establishing

and nurturing personal and professional relationships across an organization has,

however, been shown to increase retention among knowledge workers (Brandel, 2008).

Furthermore, employee blogs and posts on social networks may reflect attitudes and

opinions about workplace issues that managers may consider when taking the company‘s

pulse and assessing employee loyalty (Parise, 2009; ―Social Networks,‖ 2007). If

everyone uses company sanctioned Web 2.0 tools, employees can express their personal

digital identities and use the tools‘ features to collect referrals and testimonials, which
63

add to the feeling of belonging to the organization and the sense of camaraderie

(Brandel). For example, the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston

writes a blog to communicate health care and community issues, share company

decisions, and boost employee morale (Pellet, 2010, p. 3).

According to Bughin and Chui (2010), Enterprise 2.0 implementations that focus

on ―connecting the internal efforts of employees and extending the organization‘s reach

to customers, partners, and suppliers‖ (para 3) represent the networked enterprise. This

kind of organization is characterized by being democratic and by disseminating power

directly to employees (Mintzberg, 2003). In this type of environment, employees are

assumed to be self-motivated and self-managed (Mintzberg, 2003). The degree to which

social computing helps create a democratic organization has not been previously

investigated by research and it is possible that other organizational factors play a role in

the democratization of the workplace.

Innovation

Tidd and Bessant (2009) defined innovation as ―driven by the ability to see

connections, to spot opportunities, and to take advantage of them‖ (p. 3). Research has

shown that employees‘ social interactions are positively related to an organization‘s

ability to innovate (Molian-Morales & Martinez-Fernandez, 2010). Effective social

interactions may evolve into innovation networks, which ―can be an important source of

new insights, competencies, and relationships for the firm as it attempts to make sense of

the changes affecting its industry‖ (Birkinshaw, Bessant, & Delbridge, 2007, p. 69).

Hence, technologies that facilitate social interactions and emerging innovation networks

may have a positive impact on organizational innovation (Lindmark, 2009; Matson &
64

Prusak, 2010). Knowledge workers, in particular, may benefit from the support of social

media applications in their efforts to access pieces of knowledge fromdifferent

stakeholders (Molian-Morales & Martinez-Fernandez, 2010), which can create new ideas

(Wild & Griggs, 2008; Yang, Moon, & Rowley, 2009) and help facilitate co-opetition

(Lindmark, 2009).

Social media also have the potential to facilitate customer-driven innovations by

enabling closer communications between employees and the company‘s customer base

(Cook, 2008) and by tapping into industry-specific wisdom, advice, and expertise

(Wilson, 2009). Customers are increasingly seen as a critical part of an organization‘s

human assets used to accomplish goals (Krebs, 2008), including the ability to create

innovative products and services (Cash, Earl, & Morison, 2008). Engaging customers

(and potentially non-customers) through social media in organizational innovation

projects may shorten product development cycles and result in higher quality products,

which ultimately can give companies a competitive advantage (Bughin & Chui, 2010;

―The revolution,‖ 2011). The emerging practice of involving customers and other

external constituents in innovation projects is sometimes referred to as crowdsourcing

(Howe, 2008), or social innovation (Howaldt & Schwarz, 2010). A key principle of

crowdsourcing is that creative ideas and solutions can come from individuals outside the

organizations and social media can facilitate outreach to this formerly difficult to reach

group of individuals (―The revolution,‖ 2011). Research does not currently exist to link

social computing to increased innovativeness, however, although Tapscott and Williams

(2007) claimed that ―ecosystems that harness a shared foundation of technology and

knowledge [can] accelerate growth and innovation‖ (p. 59).


65

Knowledge Management and Learning

A study by McKinsey indicated that over two thirds of respondents found that

their companies had gained better access to knowledge as a result of Web 2.0 use

(Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). Knowledge is a key factor in building organizational

competence, innovation, and learning and must be shared across work teams and

organizational units to constitute a strategic resource (Kersiene, 2009). Despite

widespread recognition of the importance of strategically managing organizational

knowledge (Gumus, 2007), traditional knowledge management systems have largely

failed to produce the desired effects (Girard & Girard, 2009). The structures imposed by

centralized knowledge repositories enabled retention of explicit knowledge but have

often been deemed counterintuitive to the way knowledge workers transfer tacit

knowledge and build new knowledge through collaboration (McNamee, Schoch,

Oelschlager, & Huskey, 2010).

One of the key tenets of Enterprise 2.0 is the ability of social media tools to

exploit social connections and facilitate collaborative knowledge building and the

effective transfer of knowledge (Kase, Paawe, & Zupan, 2009; Kim, Ok-Ran & Lee,

2010; McAfee, 2009a; McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager, & Huskey, 2010). Organizations

can tap into social media features, such as personal profiles, communication updates,

shared content, and pieces of expertise, and allow users to develop appropriate structures

and content that reflect how people interact, think, search for information, and collaborate

(McAfee, 2009a; Vithessonthi, 2010). Research has shown that collaborative

technologies provide the most value when users are not required to adapt to features of

the technology (Onyechi & Abeysinghe, 2009), but are allowed to mold the technologies
66

into natural workflows (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). For example, wikis are emerging

as affordable and effective knowledge management and information sharing tools

(Gholami & Safavi, 2010; Tapscott & Williams, 2007), while blogs, podcasts, social

networks, and other social media encourage users to learn and creatively construct new

meaning and knowledge (Zhang, Zhu, & Hildebrandt, 2009). Newton (2008) offered the

suggestion that Web 2.0 tools may enable organizations to better capture essential

knowledge held by Baby Boomers before they retire, possibly preventing critical

expertise from vanishing.

Bughin and Chui (2010) suggested that Enterprise 2.0 will lead to the learning

organization; in which employees at all levels are engaged in community building and

ongoing collaborative knowledge creation and learning (Huy & Shipilov, 2010). Molian-

Morales and Martinez-Fernandez (2010) posited that individuals learn through

engagement in social practices, indicating that social media technologies such as social

networks are suitable for facilitating the learning process (Lamproulis, 2007;

Vithessonthi, 2010). Galagan (2009a) suggested that Web 2.0 tools are particularly

useful for supporting informal learning inside organizations. Informal learning occurs

outside formal and dedicated learning environments (Riaz, Rambli, Salleh, & Mushtaq,

2010) and can be an effective knowledge acquisition strategy in organizations when it

occurs within daily interactions and through social networks (De Vries & Lukosch,

2010).

Social media is also used for formal learning in organizations. Training programs

built around social media are said to be more intuitive, interactive, and user-friendly than

traditional web-based training (Bixby, 2010). Companies are beginning to use a


67

combination of social media applications for training purposes and for sharing best

practices in an organization, including videocasts, podcasts, virtual world games, and

social networking sites (Grensing-Pophal, 2010; Hall, 2008; Leidner, Koch, & Gonzalez,

2010). To support formal and informal learning through social computing, organizational

leaders must first create an environment conducive to learning (Kaplan & Haenlein,

2009) and realize that ―tools alone may not produce desired results‖ (Anantatmula, 2007,

p. 236).

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management

Pellet (2010) cited research showing that 63% of companies increased their social

media marketing budgets in 2010, and Qualman (2011) declared social media based

marketing as ubiquitous. Marketing has, indeed, been the first frontier of social

computing in organizations (Jones, 2009), with more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies

currently engaging in some level of social media based marketing (Barnes & Matson,

2009; ―Harnessing the power,‖ 2010). Social media provides companies with additional

channels for extending marketing and customer relationship management, (Wilson,

2009). According to research by The Economist, marketing expenses are increasingly

covering maintenance of branded profile pages on social media sites (US Internet,

2010a). Microblogging, in particular, is emerging as an efficient avenue for marketing

communication and customer service (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011, p. 108). For example,

Dell attributed an addition $3 million in revenue between 2007 and 2008 to Twitter use,

after the company started posting coupons and product announcements on the

microblogging site (Miller, 2009). Forrester Research found that more than one third of

Twitter users are employed professionals in their 30‘ies (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011),
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making Twitter an attractive marketing vehicle option for many consumer-oriented

companies.

Social media based marketing has the advantage of allowing customers and non-

customers to publically share their experiences about particular products and services

(Jones, 2009). Engaging customers in dialogue to foster more sales requires companies

to manage their social media marketing initiatives professionally, which means

companies must dedicate qualified employees to oversee social media presence and

handle user interactions (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010). Negative word-of-mouth feedback

and comments posted on public social media sites can have devastating effects on a

company‘s reputation and PR efforts (Lyncheski, 2010), and companies must be prepared

to address this risk (Lindmark, 2009). Practitioners gaining experience with social media

based marketing emphasize the need for an integrated approach to ensure cross-linking

between social media, traditional web sites, and other web-based marketing efforts

(Cook, 2008; Hersch, 2009). Nair (2009) suggested merging social networking tools

with existing customer relation management and marketing applications to achieve

seamless and comprehensive solutions for developing and maintaining positive

relationships with new and existing customers.

Social media may also prove to be useful for collecting marketing research data

and competitor information (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011). Asur and Huberman (2010)

suggested that ―the enormity and high variance of the information that propagates

through large user communities presents an interesting opportunity for harnessing that

data into a form that allows for specific predictions about particular outcomes‖ (p. 492).

Third party tools can help mine social media sites for customer feedback, opinions, and
69

market trends, which may be an inexpensive alternative or supplement to traditional

marketing research and competitor analyses (Wilson, 2009). Despite indications from the

practitioner literature, only a few cases exist to empirically document the ways

organizational leaders attribute business value to social media marketing and E2.0-driven

customer relationship management efforts.

Recruiting, Assimilation, and Employee Retention

In 2009, almost half of Fortune 500 companies used social media for recruitment

purposes (Barnes & Mattson, 2009), and the number is growing. Recruiters scour social

networking sites for personal background information about candidates and also post

available jobs on public sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (Lindmark, 2009;

Wilson, 2009). This increasingly common practice has received criticism for blurring the

lines between an individual‘s privacy, the right to self-express, and someone‘s

professional image (Clark & Roberts, 2010; Devitt, 2009; Genova, 2009). More

companies are combining traditional recruitment methods with social media based hiring

strategies (Brennan, 2010). For example, Wal-Mart and UPS announce hiring events on

its Facebook and Twitter pages in addition to posting jobs on its corporate website to

engage potential candidates (Elmore, 2009). Job applicants are responding well to the

social networking way of connecting with potential employers. A recent study of college

graduate students revealed that 73% had used social networks to search for internships or

jobs (Elmore, 2009, p. 27). Social media may be particularly useful to recruiting

members of Generation Y, because younger individuals naturally rely on social

networking and web-based communication (Flowers, 2008; Leidner, Koch, & Gonzalez,

2010; ―Social networks,‖ 2007; Woodward, 2009).


70

Social media may also provide an effective means to assimilate and retain new

employees (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010). Leidner, Koch, and Gonzalez (2010) conducted

a case study at USAA and found that internal social media applications helped new hires

feel part of the USAA family and also helped create a sense of participation and fun.

Adding a dimension of fun and entertainment has been shown to help increase

participation in peer production (Tapscott & Williams, 2007), and may even help boost

productivity (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Roberts, 2008). Drucker (1999) famously

stated that ―the most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st

century is to increase the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers‖ (p.

79). Erickson (2010a) posited that offsite and virtual employees may work more

effectively when an organization uses social media applications as a management tool to

monitor progress. However, no empirical evidence supports this use of social media in

organizations and some critics fear that allowing employees to use social media at work

will instead lower productivity (Derven, 2009; Marshall et al., 2008), but currently no

empirical research exists to document a relationship between social computing and

employee productivity.

Another emerging human relations use of social media is performance appraisals.

Galagan (2009b) suggested social media applications like wikis and blogs provide an

opportunity for companies to expand sources personal feedback and allow managers to

collect peer reviews. Marks and Patel (2010) similarly contended that social media posts

enable HR managers to gauge a particular individual‘s commitment to the organization.

Some authors, however, caution that tying the use of social media applications to

performance appraisals may be counterproductive and cause unnecessary anxiety among


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individuals whose ―participation in a web 2.0 experience goes against a natural instinct to

protect their own ideas, or a reluctance to put their ideas and opinions to the test of

collective judgment‖ (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011, p. 130). The practice of

instituting reward systems to help motivate employees to participate in social media

initiatives while retaining company loyalty is not well researched (Iandoli, 2009), and it

remains unclear how social media may play a role in employee retention.

Social Media Governance and Control

Most practitioners and scholars agree that Enterprise 2.0 cannot succeed without

governance processes and use policies (e.g, Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; Devitt, 2009;

Farkas, 2009; Grensing-Pophal, 2010; Kenny & Yen, 2009; Lazar, 2010; Moran, 2009;

Roberts, 2008). However, authors disagree on the content and extent of social media

governance. Some recommend very strict policies and control mechanisms that require

management to pre-approve all posts on social media sites and continually monitor use

for security breaches and inappropriate content (Lyncheski, 2010; Moran, 2009). Others

state that management must learn to trust employees to make good decisions while

engaged in social computing practices and that too many formal policies can act as a

barrier to employee participation (Powell, 2010). From the perspective of structuration

theory, Enterprise 2.0 initiatives are more likely to be successful and yield measurable

benefits when organizational leaders adopt a bottom-up, collaborative, user-driven

approach to defining organizational processes and use practices (De Hertogh, Viane, &

Dedene, 2011).

Research has shown that if social media policies are too strict, open dialogue and

collaboration is unlikely to happen (Flowers, 2009), minimizing the potential benefits


72

offered by social media technologies (McAfee, 2009; Tennant, 2010). Managers should

find a balance between protecting the company‘s interests and allowing employees to

self-monitor and follow social norms enforced by peers (Calder, 2008; Chui, Miller, &

Roberts, 2009; Li, 2010). Finding this balance between control and access may require

experimentation and a shift toward a more pragmatic and decentralized approach to

technology management (Grensing-Pophal, 2010). De Hertogh, Viane, and Dedene

(2011) recommended that the ―focus on governance is to enable desirable use rather than

have users comply with a pre-specified set of rules to counter a priori notions of

unwanted use‖ (p. 127). Researchers have found little empirical evidence of internal

organizational misuses of social media technologies threatening the integrity of the

company (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011; McAfee,

2009). Instead, these authors emphasized the need for empowerment of users within a

broad set of user guidelines to address official and personal uses of social media by

employees. Clemmitt (2010) emphasized the need to resolve privacy issues and separate

personal social media use from professional, while Kaplan and Haenlein (2011)

suggested resolving ownership of content issues on public social media sites before

allowing employees to post content and participate in open discussions.

Threats may arise from the external environment as well. Imposter attacks can

severely harm a company‘s reputation and cyber attacks may jeopardize the integrity of

proprietary data and employee privacy (Akpose, 2011; Lindmark, 2009; Mitchell, 2009).

Organizations using public social media sites should also be careful to follow guidelines

set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requiring companies ―to disclose any

material connections between the user and any products or services being described in a
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posting‖ (Lazar, 2010, p. 20). Unmediated public social media sites may be particularly

vulnerable to astroturfing, which is the unethical and illegal process of hiding special

interests behind seemingly neutral and trustworthy user identities (Mackie, 2009).

Hence, organizations should have policies in place to prevent legal ramifications from

deliberate or inadvertent posts on social media sites by employees endorsing particular

products and services (Lazar, 2010; Reynolds, 2011).

Measuring the Benefits of Enterprise 2.0

Some researchers claim traditional economic measures may not apply to

Enterprise 2.0 because of the difficulty of assigning a dollar value on social computing

practices (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011; Roberts, 2010). DeHertogh, Viane, and Dedene

(2011) cautioned that any investment in IT must be matched with appropriate

organizational processes, uses, and cultural changes to yield measurable benefits. Thus,

assigning value to the technology alone without considering the softer and more

ambiguous organizational complements is likely to give a false picture of realized

benefits. Still, executives embarking on Enterprise 2.0 implementation projects are likely

interested in developing performance metrics to accurately measure (Marks & Patel,

2010) the value added by social computing.

Emerging research from early adopter organizations indicate that some

measurable returns on investment (ROI) may be possible to identify. Gholami and Safavi

(2010) argued that fast, user-friendly, and rich social media applications contribute to

bottom-line financial performance by reducing costs. Social computing technologies are,

indeed, both easy and inexpensive to install compared to traditional corporate software

packages (Lindmark, 2009), but the quality and richness of the applications may still be
74

subjective to interpretations and yield non-quantifiable benefits or possibly negative

value (Lyncheski, 2010; Sena, 2008). For example, McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager, and

Huskey (2010) found that the value of Enterprise 2.0 lie in the difficult-to-quantify

leverage of tacit knowledge and exploitation of informal social connections. Flowers

(2008) found the following user-determined benefits of E2.0: a) adaptation to workgroup

structures, b) facilitation of collaborative teaming, c) support of self organizing work, d)

facilitation of community participation, and e) the ability of users to reach experts quickly

for effective problem solving.

Berelowitz (2009) stated similar non-quantifiable benefits of Enterprise 2.0,

including increased ability to innovate, more engaged employees, better communication

and social relationships, and more agility within the organization (p. 51). These

perceived E2.0 benefits are difficult to measure and compare to other, more traditional

collaboration technologies, and little research exists to confirm effects of social

computing on organizational performance (Fischer & Reuber, 2010). One of the few

existing survey research studies documenting the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 adoption and

use uncovered the three broad areas of measurable ROI (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009).

First, E2.0 creates value within organizations, including greater ability to share ideas,

faster cross-departmental access to experts, reduced costs of communications, travel, and

operations, decreased time-to-market, and improved employee satisfaction Second, E2.0

creates value from customers and clients, including increased revenues from better

customer interactions and generation of more leads through social media applications.

Third, E2.0 creates value in relation to suppliers, partners, and outside experts by

increasing employees‘ ability to gain access to expertise outside company walls, lowering
75

costs of communications with business partners, and increasing potential for

collaborations.

Across these three benefit-producing areas of E2.0 use, about two thirds of the

respondents (corporate executives from several countries) in the study reported achieving

at least one measurable benefit, although overall satisfaction rates with Web 2.0 tools was

still below information and collaboration technologies provided and managed by

traditional corporate IT departments (Bughin & Chui, 2010; Bughin, Chui, & Miller,

2009). The authors of another survey conducted among Fortune 500 companies found

that some companies measure value from Enterprise 2.0 initiatives through hits on

corporate social media sites, the number of comments added by users and followers, and

leads or sales generated through E2.0 marketing efforts (Barnes & Mattson, 2009).

Ultimately, the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 may require radical change to an organization‘s

governance and leadership systems (Flowers, 2008).

Summary of E2.0 Literature

Current E2.0 literature highlights the potential of social media to enhance

collaboration, communication, innovation, learning, and several other strategic and

operational purposes in knowledge-intensive organizations. Missing from the emerging

research, however, is documentation of actual, measured effectiveness of various social

media applications and in-depth inquiry into who uses which applications for what

purposes in organizations. Hence, it remains unclear if social media help boost

knowledge workers‘ productivity and overall organizational effectiveness, and which

organizational areas should may provide the best return on social media implementation

investments.
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Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward and Organizational Uses of Social Media

Individuals‘ attitudes toward social media adoption and use in organizations may

vary across generation cohorts and hierarchical position in an organization. Theories and

models addressing these influencing factors include technology acceptance models and

generation theory. IT-induced organizational change in relation to management and

leadership practice include will be discussed from the perspective of open leadership

theory and related participatory management theories.

Technology Acceptance Models, UTAUT

Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw (1989) developed the first widely used technology

acceptance model (TAM) with the goal of ―providing an explanation of the determinants

of computer acceptance that is general, capable of explaining user behavior across a wide

range of technologies and user populations‖ (p. 985). The TAM was built on the premise

that individuals‘ perception of the ease of use and perception of usefulness will positively

influence acceptance decisions and actual use. Researchers have successfully validated

the TAM through a wide range of empirical studies. For example, Wahid (2007) used the

TAM to explain Internet adoption among men and women in Indonesia, and Hu, Chau,

Sheng, and Tam (1999) used the model to predict telemedicine adoption among

physicians. Ngai, Poon, and Chan (2007) also used the TAM to explain the adoption of

Web Course Tools in higher education.

Several extensions to the TAM exist. Chtourou and Souiden (2010) proposed

augmenting the model with a construct called fun to accommodate younger users

accessing social media and social gaming applications from mobile devices. Thowfeek

and Jaafar (2010) proposed integrating national culture characteristics into the TAM, and
77

Vannoy and Palvia (2010) suggested prefixing perceived ease of use/usefulness with

social influences. None of these three proposed extensions has been empirically

validated. The most commonly used alternative to the TAM to predict and explain

technology adoption among individuals is the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of

Technology (UTAUT), proposed by Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, and Davis (2003). The

UTAUT integrates constructs from TAM with theories of motivation, and social

cognitive theory resulting in model shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. The UTAUT model. Adapted from Venkatesh, et al. (2003, p. 447)2.

Performance expectancy is defined as the degree to which individuals believe

using technology will increase job performance. Effort expectancy is related to the ease

of use, and social influences address occupational, age group, and gender categories,

race, educational levels, and peer pressures stemming from a person‘s networks and other

sources of social influence. These three constructs affect behavioral intention to adopt a

technology. Facilitating conditions reflect individuals‘ perceptions of the organization‘s

2
Appendix A contains email permission from one of the authors to use UTAUT model.
78

technical support system. Use behaviors reflect actual use of a technology. The UTAUT

model is a vast improvement over the original TAM and has been found to explain 70%

of the variance in technology usage intention among individuals in organizations (Usluel

& Mazman, 2009).

Organizational research grounded in the UTAUT as the theoretical framework has

investigated a wide range of technologies including cellular phones (Koivumäki, Ristola,

& Kesti, 2006), e-government portals (Alawadhi & Morris, 2008), and Internet banking

(Abu Shanab & Pearson, 2007). Some criticism of the model exists and is directed at the

lack of a wider range of organizational factors (Lin, 2003). Despite this criticism, the

UTAUT provides a well-tested framework for individual-level analysis of IT adoption

and categorical uses (Guo, 2009). Hence, UTAUT is a relevant model for testing

occupational and age group differences in attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0 adoption and

current uses of social media applications, but is too narrow of a framework for

understanding management, leadership, and employee participation implications at the

organizational level.

Social media research using UTAUT. Research on social media adoption and

use patterns in organizations using the UTAUT model is sparse. Li and Kishore (2006)

tested adoption and use of blogs across gender, general computing knowledge, and blog-

specific knowledge, and found some support for the performance expectancy predictor

construct. Guo (2009) researched differences of adoption and use of social networking

services (SNS) across age, gender, and Internet experience, using the UTAUT model and

found no correlation between SNS use and gender or age, but significant correlation

between SNS use and Internet experience. Study respondents were college or university
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students and 97% were 24 years or younger, making it difficult to generalize the findings

to a more mixed age group population. Krause (2010) used UTAUT to determine

attitudes, perceptions, and behavioral intentions of engineers toward Web 2.0 tools in the

workplace and found a significant positive correlation between performance expectancy,

effort expectancy, and behavioral intention when engineers had previous experience with

Web 2.0 tools; but no correlation between occupational disciplines and behavioral

intention to adopt the technologies. Occupational disciplines in Krause‘s study were

limited to managers/non-managers, indicating that managers were equally likely to adopt

and use Web 2.0 tools for work related purposes than non-manager engineers. Usluel and

Mazman (2009) concluded that the UTAUT was too narrow to study Web 2.0 use in

distance education and proposed combining the model with diffusion of innovation

theory and constructs from other relevant frameworks to achieve a more holistic view on

use patterns. Social media rely on user-generated content and do not impose any pre-

defined use practices on employees as opposed to traditional information technologies

(Flowers, 2008; McAfee, 2006, 2009). Hence, the UTAUT may be too restrictive a

model to predict social media use behaviors but no empirically validated alternative

currently exists to study individual‘s social media adoption and use.

Alternative technology adoption theories. The diffusion of innovation theory

developed by Rogers (1995) reflects years of empirical research and is concerned with

the spread and adoption of innovations and technologies among individual consumers.

Rogers used the term diffusion to describe ―the process by which an innovation is

communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social

system‖ (Rogers, 1995, p. 5). Hence, innovation diffusion is ―the adoption and
80

implementation of new ideas, processes, products, or services within and across

organizations‖ (Lundblad, 2003, p. 51). Technologies that meet five criteria (relative

advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability) are likely to be

adopted and diffused faster as compared to technologies that do not meet these criteria

(Rogers, pp. 15-16). Social media technologies offer several advantages over traditional

organizational IT and communication systems (such as email, intranet, repository-based

knowledge management systems) that may help explain fast adoption and diffusion rates,

including affordability, ease of use, low complexity, and low costs (Comin, & Hobijn,

2010; Jones, 2008).

Rogers‘ theoretical framework has four core elements: a) the innovation itself, b)

communication channels, c) time, and d) the social system across which the innovation is

diffused (Rogers, 1995, p. 10). The temporal element includes a set of adopter categories

(innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards), which follow

predictable adoption rates, defined as ―the relative speed with which an innovation is

adopted by members of a social system‖ (Sahin, 2006, p. 17). Adoption rates follow an

S-curve, indicating that adoption rates are slow in the beginning but increases as more

individuals start using the technology. (Lundblad, p. 54). According to research by

Bughin and Chui (2010), the pattern of adoption of social media in organizations does

seem follow a predictable S-curve, in which early adopters are currently learning to use

new social media technologies and applications for work-related purposes (Armano,

2009). Adoption rates are expected to increase rapidly over the next few years as other

organizations begin to recognize the value of social computing (Ansari & Munir, 2010;

Clemmitt, 2010). Forrester Research has predicted social media applications will grow
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by 43% worldwide per year through 2013 (Lindmark, 2009), and 2010 data from a global

McKinsey study show that nearly two-thirds of companies will increase investments in

Web 2.0 technologies, compared with just over 50% in 2009 (Bughin & Chui, 2010;

Zeisser, 2010).

Some critics of Rogers‘ diffusion of innovation theory point out the model

focuses on technology adoption by individuals rather than within organizations (e.g,

Lundblad, p. 59) and that organizational technology adoption may not always follow a S-

curve (Christensen, 1992a). Through extensive research of different kinds of

technological innovations, Christensen and his research partners concluded not all

innovations are equal, and that sustaining and disruptive technologies have different

adoption and diffusion patterns (Christensen & Raynor, 2003). Social media

technologies meet the definition of a disruptive innovation, which redefines the trajectory

of the market by offering ―simpler, more convenient, and less expensive products‖

(Christensen & Raynor, 2003, p. 34). Disruptive innovations pose significant challenges

to organizational management because of their less predictable adoption patterns,

especially when existing technologies exist to address specific uses and applications

(Christensen, 1992b). To address this issue, Benjamin, Archibold, and Suarez (2004)

provided documentation showing that expert panels and case studies more accurately

predict organizational technology adoption and identify management challenges than

using diffusion models.

Generation Theory

Generation theory is founded on the notion that members of each generation share

certain values and attitudes, which allows researchers to make generalizations across
82

generational categories (Strauss & Howe, 1997; Tapscott, 1998). The three generations

that currently work can thus be characterized based on a unique set of shared core values,

as seen in Table 5 below.

Table 5

Comparison of Three Generations in the Workplace

Generation Approximate Core values


year of birth
Baby Boomers 1943-1960 Idealism, optimism, team orientation,
personal growth, personal
gratification, self-expressive
Generation X 1961-1981 Change adept, global awareness,
techno-literacy, individualism, lifelong
learning, diversity, informality,
pragmatists, self-reliance
Generation Y / Millenials 1982-2005 Optimism, confidence, media &
entertainment overloaded, diversity,
networkers, civic duty, ethical
consumption, achievement, techno-
savvy, global citizens with a multi-
everything view

Note. Adapted from Codrington (2008), Drago (2006), Erickson (2008), and Howe and

Strauss (2007).

Ng and Feldman (2010) conducted research on the differences in job attitudes

across generational categories and found support for the above categories and values.

The authors also found that older workers have more favorable work attitudes toward

both tasks and people than younger workers, regardless of moderating factors such as

tenure, gender, or educational levels, indicating that age is a predictor of job satisfaction.

Erickson (2008, 2010b) cited research showing older employees tend to be more willing

to put in an extra effort at work and remain loyal to their current employer as compared
83

to Generation X and Y. By contrast, Davis, Pawlowski, and Houston (2006) found few

differences between Generation X and Baby Boomer attitudes toward work commitment

in IT companies, and suggested that IT professionals constitute a homogeneous

population across generational cohorts. This conclusion was not supported by qualitative

research conducted by McMullin, Duerden, and Jovic (2007), who found that younger IT

professionals were more likely to immerse themselves in new technologies, leading to

different generation-based subcultures in IT companies.

Regardless of industry, Baby Boomers are retiring in increasing numbers,

Generation X‘ers are taking over board rooms, and Generation Y‘ers are entering the

professional workforce at a high pace (Gergen & Vanourek, 2009). Hence, workforce

demographics are changing, adding pressure on organizational leaders to accommodate

and motivate three generations simultaneously (Gilburg, 2008; Leidner, Koch, &

Gonzalez, 2010). Managers faced with balancing the different needs of generations can

seek inspiration from socioemotional selectivity theory, which posits that adults have two

key goals in life: knowledge acquisition and emotional regulation (Carstensen, 1992;

Carstensen, Isaacowitz, & Charles, 1999). According to Ng and Feldman (2010), young

adults tend to prioritize knowledge-acquisition goals to a higher degree than older adults,

who tend to prioritize emotion-regulation goals. As individuals age and become highly

experienced, the importance they place on acquiring additional knowledge diminishes.

This characterization of generational differences in goal priorities suggests Millenials

may be more likely to use IT for professional networking, learning, and personal

promotion purposes, while older employees may be more inclined to use IT that supports

or enables communication, collaboration, and personal networking.


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Research on generational differences in attitudes toward new technology also

remains inconclusive, and the common assumption that Millenials are more likely to use

new technology than their Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues (e.g, Barker, 2008;

Liu, 2010) has not been extensively researched or correlated with characteristics of

management culture and reward systems (Birkinshaw & Pass, 2008; Joshi, Dencker,

Franz, & Martocchio, 2010). Researchers have found that human resource managers are

increasingly motivated to engage in social computing to attract and retain Millenials, who

may prefer social media-based communication over traditional IT systems such as email,

instant messaging, or face-to-face meetings favored by Generation X and Baby Boomers

(Berelowitz, 2009; Liu, 2010; Martin, Reddington, & Kneafsey, 2009; Sago, 2010).

Leidner, Koch, and Gonzalez (2010) found that Generation Y employees expect to use

the same social media tools at work that they use outside work, and are more likely to

leave an organization that has rigid communication systems in place (Woodward, 2009).

Onyechi and Abeysinghe (2009) surveyed employees from two British companies and

found a negative correlation between the age of employees and acceptance of

organizational adoption and use of social media, leading to a growing gap of

understanding between younger employees and senior management.

In contrast to findings indicating wider adoption and use of social media among

younger individuals, Wattal, Racherla, and Mandviwalla (2010) found no significant

differences in the use of blogs for work-related purposes across generations. This finding

is consistent with recent research that shows a trend toward wider adoption of social

media across generations. According to the Pew Research Center, social networking use

by individuals age 50 or older increased from 22% in 2009 to 42% 2010 (Madden, 2010).
85

Forrester Research data show that almost 35% of Twitter users are 35 years and older

(Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011), and the number is growing (Culnan, McHugh, & Zubillaga,

2010; Mostaghin, 2011). These numbers indicate that Generation X and Baby Boomers

are embracing social media as effective personal communication tools, but the degree to

which the acceptance of social computing practices in the workplace is growing among

older generations is not known. Thus, it becomes imperative to study generational

differences in the use of and attitudes toward social media in the workplace to identify

potential employee participation issues and understand the leadership practices that may

help minimize generational gaps.

Leadership Theories

Researchers have been studying organizational leadership for decades, and a large

number of leadership theories have been developed addressing various aspects of

managing and leading others in the workplace (Yukl, 2010). Few leadership theories

have been developed specifically with information technology adoption and use in mind,

although it is widely agreed that effective organizations blend leadership, technologies,

management practices, and structures into a dynamic and change-adept, strategy-focused

culture (Galbraith, 2003). According to Luftman (2004), leadership practices related to

IT implementation are mainly concerned with leading project teams and external

stakeholders through periods of change using best practices from a variety of leadership

theories and management. Fickenscher and Bakerman (2011) posited that leadership in

relation to IT is a matter of integrating change processes, project management, and

governing technology implementation. Sincar (2009) similarly notes that information

technology triggers systemic changes that demand leadership. Walker, Armanakis, and
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Berneth (2007) further suggested that the success of IT change efforts may ultimately

depend on individuals‘ psychological change dispositions, and Miles (2010) cited

research suggesting that an open and participatory management approach to change

management has greater chances of success.

The consistent focus on change leadership in relation to IT adoption and use in the

literature suggests that Enterprise 2.0 calls for a participative approach to change that

embolden employees to experiment and provide leadership (Kotter, 2007). Hence,

employees‘ positive responses and active involvement in social media-induced change

initiatives are likely to determine the success of the project (Luther & Bruckman, 2011).

Adopting a leadership theory or model consistent with this participatory principle to

guide Enterprise 2.0 efforts are equally likely to impact the success or failure of

organizational social media adoption and use (Auffermann, 2010).

Open leadership theory. Several authors have advocated distributed and open

leadership models in lieu of the introduction of participatory technologies like social

media and subsequent organizational changes to policies and practices. Li (2010)

characterized open leadership as the practice maintaining focus on inspiring others to

reach organizational goals while relinquishing controls to experts. The rationale behind

open leadership is that because of the pace of business and the creativity needed to

succeed in a global knowledge economy, executives and managers are unlikely to be able

to control much of the organization‘s activities (Auffermann, 2010). Hence, employees

should be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the organizations within broad,

transparent, and strategic boundaries set by upper management (Ketter & Ellis, 2010;

Kotter, 2007). This notion is similar to shared leadership (Carson, Tesluk, & Marrone,
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2007; Lawler & Worley, 2009; Parker, 2008), self-leadership (Manz, 1986; Manz &

Sims, 2001; Norris, 2008), participative management (Kanter, 2003; Thompson, 2008),

and related ideas from management scholars emphasizing employee-driven change and

decision-making, and the cease of top-down management controls. Translated to IT

adoption and use, this means that employees should be entrusted to lead themselves and

their teams of collaborators to select which technology applications work best under

which circumstances, how content should be structured and managed, and what tool

implementations or experimentations should be pursued in an attempt to boost

productivity, communication, collaboration, innovation, and learning (Molian-Morales &

Martinez-Fernandez, 2010).

Role of senior-level leadership in IT-induced organizational change.

According to Kahai and Avolio (2008, p. 241), ―successful IT assimilation requires

complementary changes in an organization‘s leadership‖ to ensure alignment of culture,

rewards, and structures, and to exercise social influence to change people‘s attitudes,

emotions, thinking, behavior, and performance. Many companies have appointed a Chief

Information Officer (CIO) to be responsible for IT leadership and drive innovation and

change. Yet, research shows that the role of the CIO is often ambiguous and that change

leadership more frequently comes from the company‘s CEO or CFO (Martin & Huq,

2008; Peppard, Edwards, & Lampert, 2011), or from a dominant coalition consisting of

powerful internal and external stakeholders (Scott & Davis, 2007). Furthermore,

technically-oriented CIOs are sometimes accused of lacking strategic focus and business

communication and influencing skills (Bansal, 2009; Peppard, 2010), while non-technical

CIOs may be criticized for not understanding the deeper technical aspects of IT (Austin,
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Nolan, & O‘Donnell, 2009). IT and IT-enabled change leadership requires striking ―the

right balance between hard factors (for example, technological, economical, and

structural issues) and soft factors (for example, people, social, and organizational issues)‖

(Iveroth, 2010, p. 139). In the age of social media, appointed leadership may play a

subordinate role to organizational members acting as connectors who facilitate

communication and maintain network linkages (Azua, 2010).

Management practice and employee participation in IT-induced

organizational change. Information systems have traditionally been viewed as tools for

management to coordinate activities, control workflows, and improve efficiencies (Ansari

& Munir, 2010; Grabski, Leech, & Schmidt, 2011; Li, 2010). In larger organizations, IT

departments are responsible for technology installations, integrations with other tools and

applications, defining user access and security policies, and continuously monitoring use,

while content stored in applications, processes, and databases is governed and approved

by management (Luftman, 2004). Managers align formal work routines, reports,

processes, and reward systems with IT to maintain order and efficiency (Gebhardt,

Carpenter, & Sherry, 2006; Thompson, 2008). End-user and stakeholder participation in

IT development projects to define user interfaces and workflows has been demonstrated

to improve adoption rates, satisfaction, and sustained use in several decades of

management and IS research (e.g, Fitzgerald, Russo, & Stolterman, 2002; Franz &

Robey, 1986; Kolfschoten & De Vreede, 2009; Mumford & Weir, 1979). However,

employee and stakeholder participation is often bound by management‘s agenda, limited

capabilities and knowledge by participants, and lack of empowerment of user participants

to make decisions (Puri & Sahay, 2007).


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Participatory management has long been advocated as an effective means to

greater employee empowerment. Scholars linked to the human relations movement in

management theory have firmly established a link between participatory management and

organizational efficiency and effectiveness (Hackler & Saxton, 2007; Hamel & Prahalad,

2003; Kanter, 2003; Pipek & Wulf, 2009), employee satisfaction and participation

(Hennestad, 2000; Kanter, 1983; 2003; Miller & Vaughan, 2001), innovation and

creativity (Thompson, 2008; Zhang & Bartol, 2010), change readiness (Abernathy, 1998;

Parish, Cadwaller, & Busch, 2008), and lower absenteeism and turnover (Kanter, 1983;

2003; Yohe & Hatfield, 2003). Some management scholars even claim organizational

democracy is inevitable (Collins, 1997; Benson, 2008) despite evidence that ―broader

more egalitarian sharing of power is resisted worldwide‖ (Bolman & Deal, 2008, p. 157).

Command-and-control based management still flourishes inside company walls despite

evidence that this kind of management philosophy will be detrimental to organizational

survival in the postindustrial global economy (Guttman, 2008, 2009; Lawler & Worley,

2009; Yohe & Hatfield, 2003). Although no research exists to compare implementations

of user-driven social computing in organizations with lower versus higher degrees of

participatory management, practitioner wisdom suggests these technologies are a better

fit with the latter (Flowers, 2008; Hafkesbrink & Schroll, 2010; Hamel, 2009).

Social media research on leadership and organizational change. Research is

emerging on the implications of the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 on organizational

management and leadership. While many authors discuss the necessity to create more

open and participatory management and leadership cultures to reap the benefits from

social computing (e.g, Hamel, 2009; Hamel & Labarre, 2011; Woodward, 2009), only a
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few studies exist to document this organizational change process and associated issues.

Focus group research conducted by Smith and McKeen (2008) indicated that use of

social media had required managers to better trust employees‘ ability to share and

manage content. Daley (2010) similarly found that the focus of managers working in

E2.0 enabled environments had shifted from governance and control to maintaining high

levels of employee engagement; a key issue based on data that suggest less than one third

of employees are actively engaged in E2.0 initiatives (Koushik, Birkinshaw, & Crainer,

2009). Case studies conducted by McAfee (2009b) suggested Enterprise 2.0 adoption

must lead to changes in the organizational reward and recognition systems and associated

leadership behaviors ―to demonstrate that contributions to social computing practices are

valued‖ (p. 194). De Hertogh, Viane, and Dedene (2011) similarly found that the role of

managers overseeing successful E2.0 implementations is to encourage and stimulate

participation rather than to coerce or enforce particular standards of use.

Reaching critical mass is clearly important to achieve benefits from Web 2.0

technologies, which means that managers must pay great attention to ensuring that social

media tools and practices are integrated into workflows in a manner that speeds up work

rather than slowing it down (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). This may require

organizational managers and leaders to draw upon their personal networks and power

base to secure the necessary resources and organization-wide commitment to Enterprise

2.0 – a role that has traditionally been bestowed upon senior management (Kotter, 2007),

but increasingly falls upon visionary leaders throughout the organization (Li, 2010).

Case studies conducted at Dell, Cisco, HP, and other E2.0 leaders show that executive

and senior managers still must act as culture change czars, ensure strategic fit between
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business goals and technologies, and lead the way by using social media applications

extensively themselves (Bennett, 2009; Lyncheski, 2010; Marks & Patel, 2010).

Summary of the application of leadership theories to E2.0. Open leadership

theory and years of literature on participatory management appear to be a natural fit with

the collaborative and user-driven paradigm behind E2.0 (Hamel, 2009; Li, 2010).

However, the degree to which leadership practices change during or after social media

adoption in organizations remains under-researched and unclear. Organizational social

adoption and use may have little effect on leadership practices, and organizations that

already adhere to open leadership principles may be more likely to adopt social media as

a strategic performance-enhancing tool for its knowledge workers (Armano, 2009).

Emerging research either implicitly carries the assumptions that leadership practices

follow social media adoption (e.g, Huy & Shipilov, 2010; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011), or

focuses on narrow aspects of leadership or management practices such as technology

governance (e.g, Grensing-Pophal, 2010; Kenny & Yen, 2009), levels of trust (Smith &

McKeen, 2008), or employee reward systems (McAfee, 2009b). More research was

therefore needed to better understand the dynamics between broader leadership practices

and E2.0.

Research Methods

Existing research on social media, Web 2.0, and Enterprise 2.0 is predominantly

descriptive. Authors choosing a quantitative research method have used web-based

surveys for data collection (e.g, Guo, 2009; Herring et al., 2007; Lewis & George, 2008;

Marshall et al., 2008; 2009; Wattal, Racherla, & Mandviwalla, 2010). Qualitative

methods used to study social media include content analysis (Ahn, Kwon, & Sung, 2010),
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phenomenology (Cho, 2010; Guo, 2009), ethnography (Chapman & Lahav, 2008), and

case study analysis at the organizational or work team level (e.g, Barker, 2008; Iveroth,

2010; Onyechi & Abeysinghe, 2009; Ramdani, & Rajwani, 2010). Only a few studies

have employed mixed methods research (Cho, 2010; Guo, 2009). Combining

quantitative and qualitative research methods can lead to richer understanding of research

issues (Onwuegbuzie, Johnson, & Collins, 2009). In sequential mixed methods research

starting with the quantitative phase, researchers can first study a phenomenon within

broad boundaries using quantitative methods and subsequently use qualitative data to

further define boundaries for the qualitative phase (Creswell, 2009).

Survey Research

Survey research refers to the method of collecting data about a group of people

―by asking them questions and tabulating their answers‖ (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p.

187). Survey research is an effective and common way to collect information from larger

populations and may lead to both quantitative and qualitative data, depending on how

questions are asked (Creswell, 2009). Quantitative survey questions are closed-ended in

nature and may involve the use of five-point Likert-type scales to quantify attitudinal and

behavioral information (Black, 1999). The careful design of a survey instrument is

critical to obtaining quality data because ambiguity and vagueness in questions can result

in misinterpretations and unintentional answers (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Hence, all

surveys must meet standard quantitative research criteria of reliability, referring to the

instrument‘s ―stability over time, representativeness across subgroups, and equivalence

across indicators‖ (Neuman, 2006, p. 193), and validity, which is reflection of how
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closely an ―empirical indicator and the conceptual definition of the construct that the

indicator is supposed to measure ‗fit‘ together‖ (Neuman, p. 192).

Hermeneutic Phenomenology

Hermeneutic phenomenology is a variation of phenomenological research

philosophy (Moustakas, 1994), which is the study of lived experience (Laverty, 2003).

Initially developed by Husserl, hermeneutic phenomenology evolved significantly

through the works of Heidegger and Gadamer, and today represents the discipline of

studying how individuals interpret their lives and create meaning from their lived

experiences (Cohen, Kahn, & Steeves, 2000). According to Koch (1996), a key premise

of hermeneutic phenomenology is that individuals engage in an ongoing process of

interpreting, creating understanding, and constructing reality. Central to this process is

the hermeneutic circle of understanding, or hermeneutic dialectic, in which meaning is

created ―from alternating between considering a phenomenon as a whole and as

something composed of individual parts‖ (Cohen, Kahn, & Steeves, 2000, p. 119).

Hermeneutic phenomenological researchers develop descriptions of the phenomenon

under study and should consider both the phenomenon in its contextual entirety as well as

its structural elements and their interrelationships (Hein & Austin, 2001). This central

principle of hermeneutic phenomenology aligns well with structuration theory, which

also acknowledges the existence of patterns and contextualized realities (Jones &

Karsten, 2008; Onwugebuzie & Collins, 2007).

Hermeneutic phenomenological researchers adopting sociomaterial structuration

theory must recognize the contextual and inherently biased nature of their studies,

because the choice of a particular boundary-making research lens includes certain


94

phenomena, but excludes others (Scott & Orlikowski, 2009). Structuration theory further

requires researchers to disclose their frame of reference, carefully define research

boundaries for each study phase, and frame findings within the research context

(Orlikowski, 2010). Most qualitative research studies involve using the researcher as the

main data collection instrument (Creswell, 2009). Hermeneutical phenomenology in

particular requires the researcher to disclose and maintain awareness of any preconceived

notions and biases that may influence the quality of the collected data and subsequent

data analysis (Krauss, 2005; Polkinghorne, 2005).

Conclusions and Gaps in the Literature

While Enterprise 2.0 is enticing to many organizational leaders, current research

shows that organizations still have a way to go before benefits are fully realized (Bughin,

Byers, & Chui, 2011; De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011, p. 130). Early social media

adopter companies have reported some quantifiable and unquantifiable benefits from

social computing in relation to employee collaboration, communication, innovation, and

learning (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009), but research into social media metrics is still

sparse, and many social media implementation projects still fail (Bradley & McDonald,

2011). The reasons for failures may include low employee satisfaction with social media

tools, differences in employee participation across generational cohorts (Onyechi &

Abeysinghe, 2009) and occupational categories (McAfee, 2009), and lack of alignment

with organizational leadership practices (Hamel & LaBarre, 2011). However, studies that

examine and compare knowledge worker attitudes toward the usefulness of social media

with leaders‘ experiences of the value creation from social media do not currently exist.

Hence, the conditions under which social media can produce organizational benefits
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remain only sporadically documented in the literature. Furthermore, emerging research

has not produced conclusive evidence about the ways in which social media are

successfully adopted and used in organizations, and it remains unknown if existing

technology adoption theories adequately address the specific issues raised by the

introduction of social technologies in the workplace.

Emerging research and practitioner literature suggest that companies with open,

flexible, and participatory leadership cultures may reap the benefits of Enterprise 2.0

more quickly and to a greater extent than companies with more rigid control systems and

management practices (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011; Hamel, 2009). Still, little

research existed to provide a foundational understanding of the uses that may lead to

successful Enterprise 2.0 implementations and the implications of social media adoption

on broad employee participation across generational cohorts and occupational categories,

and associated leadership practices. Existing literature also fails to shed light on whether

an organization‘s culture becomes more open and collaborative as a result of social

media, or if social media act like a reinforcement agent of existing collaborative cultures.

More research was therefore needed to address these gaps and conflicting findings in the

literature.

Chapter Summary

Chapter 2 presented a review of existing practitioner and research literature on

social media in organizations. First, social media research was discussed in the context

of a long tradition of information systems (IS) research, including prominent IS theories.

The emergence of social media technologies was discussed next, and a taxonomy was

proposed based on current practitioner literature. Research on Enterprise 2.0


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implementations were discussed next, including using tools for collaboration and

communication, professional networking, innovation, knowledge management, learning,

marketing, sales, and customer relationship management, and recruitment and retention.

Literature on social media governance and control and the measurement of benefits was

also reviewed. Next, factors influencing attitudes toward organizational adoption and use

of social media were summarized, and relevant theories were reviewed. The role of

information technology as a catalyst for change was also discussed along with a review of

research on the impact of social media on leadership and organizational change. Finally,

relevant research methods were discussed as they relate to the proposed study, and

Chapter 2 was concluded with a summary of gaps in Enterprise 2.0 literature supporting

further research addressed by the mixed methods study.

Chapter 3 presents the methodology of the proposed sequential mixed methods

study. Chapter 3 includes a discussion of the population and sample, sampling methods,

a description of the survey instrument, and data analysis. An explanation of reliability,

validity, and qualitative research criteria will also be presented.


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Chapter 3: Method

The purpose of the sequential mixed methods study was two-fold. The purpose of

the first quantitative descriptive study phase was to:

a) describe current uses of and attitudes toward social media in IT

companies;

b) determine if current work-related uses of and attitudes toward social media

vary according to generation cohorts and manager/non-manager IT

professionals.

The purpose of the second qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study phase was to

explore and understand the leadership practices associated with successful

implementations of social media based on senior leaders‘ lived experiences with

Enterprise 2.0. The study may help organizational leaders understand key leadership

issues associated with social media across generational cohorts and occupational

categories, and lead to policies and practices that enable employees to better

communicate and collaborate, while protecting the company‘s interests.

In chapter 1 the theoretical framework and significance of the study were

presented. In chapter 2, the relevant literature was reviewed, revealing significant gaps in

practitioner and scholar understanding of the potential impact of social media on

leadership and employee participation practices. Chapter 3 contains an explanation of the

sequential, mixed methods study (Creswell, 2009) to confirm or disconfirm the

hypotheses and answer the research questions. The research method and design

appropriateness will be presented, followed by an explanation of the population,

sampling techniques, and data collection procedures and rationale for each of the two
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study phases. Data analysis and a discussion of the factors affecting reliability and

validity in the quantitative study phase, and trustworthiness in the qualitative phase will

also be included in this chapter.

Research Method and Design Appropriateness

The research method reflected a sequential, explanatory, two-phase mixed design,

commencing with a descriptive, quantitative study followed by qualitative, hermeneutic

phenomenological research. A mixed methods design refers to ―the use of more than one

investigative approach in a single study, resulting in the collection and analysis of more

than one type of data‖ (Von Zweck, Paterson, & Pentland, 2008, p. 120). According to

Di Pofi (2000), an integration of quantitative and qualitative research methods captures a

broader view of organizational issues. A two-phase sequential study beginning with the

quantitative phase (P1) provides a general depiction of the research problem through

quantitative data, followed by an analysis, refinement, and explanation of the findings

through a qualitative data collection in the second phase (P2) (Creswell, 2009). This

approach is particularly useful when qualitative inquiry can enhance quantitative data by

providing supplementary data not available from previous research (Onwugbuzie,

Johnson, & Collins, 2009). The study was suitable for application of this two-phase

explanatory research design strategy because reliable quantitative data describing current

uses of social media in IT companies did not exist and was needed to provide the

foundation for achieving an in-depth understanding of the leadership practices associated

with successful social media implementations (Barnes & Matson, 2009; Bughin, Chui, &

Miller, 2009). Qualitative data on senior managers‘ and executives‘ lived experiences

provided crucial leadership perspectives relative to organizational social media adoption


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and use, which will complement and enhance the explanation and interpretation of

quantitative results focusing on professionals (Creswell, 2009).

Quantitative data were analyzed before qualitative data was collected. Qualitative

data analysis and data collection proceeded in parallel until saturation was reached. The

final step entailed interpretation and summary of findings from both quantitative and

qualitative research phases. The research method is illustrated in Figure 3:

Figure 3. Overview of research method. Adapted from Creswell (2009).

The research design addressed quantitative and qualitative research questions and

helped uncover current uses of and attitudes toward social media in IT companies and

related leadership practices. A descriptive design was appropriate for answering the

research questions in P1. An experimental design would entail random sampling and

testing of directional hypotheses to determine cause and effects between selected

variables, while carefully controlling for intervening variables (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Because of the complex nature of Enterprise 2.0 and the lack of validated models to

explain use behaviors of social media, identifying all possible intervening variables was

difficult. The hypotheses for the quantitative phase examined variations in uses of and

attitudes toward social media across occupational categories and generation cohorts.

Data were collected through a web-based survey, which was an appropriate and effective
100

method for gathering data from a large population (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Descriptive

statistics summarized data and were used to determine variations between variables and

test quantitative hypotheses.

Quantitative data provided input to interview questions for the second, qualitative

phase, which explored leadership and employee participation practices surrounding

implementation of social media in IT companies. Data were gathered in person or via

Skype through semi-structured interviews with senior managers and executives in IT

companies in the greater Seattle area. P2 employed hermeneutic phenomenological

research to understand leadership and employee participation practices in relation to

organizational social media use. A phenomenological approach was an appropriate

research method to address the qualitative study purpose because the inquiry focused on

individuals‘ experiences of a shared phenomenon, in this case, the impact of use of social

media among IT professionals on leadership. In contrast, a case study would have been

more appropriate to study the phenomenon at the organizational level, whereas an

ethnography study would have been appropriate if the focus of the study was on a single

group of individuals sharing a culture. The hermeneutic approach to phenomenology

involves a circular approach to knowledge building, in which ―what is understood forms

the basis for grasping that which still remains to be understood‖ (Bontekoe, 1996, p. 2).

Consistent with the hermeneutic circle of understanding, P2 was built on data analysis

results from P1 and added insights about specific components of the study phenomenon

based on knowledge built from the contextual whole achieved in P1 (Von Zweck,

Paterson, & Pentland, 2008).


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Research Questions and Hypotheses

The research questions addressed by the sequential, mixed-methods study

reflected the dual purpose of the study. Five research questions guided the first,

quantitative descriptive research phase, and one research question guided the second,

qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological research phase. The first quantitative research

question was descriptive and sought to uncover current uses of social media applications

among IT professionals. Types of uses included communication, collaboration,

professional networking, innovation, learning, and knowledge management, and other

organizational uses as determined by the literature:

RQ1. What are the different uses of social media among IT professionals in IT

companies?

The second quantitative research question addressed differences across generation

cohort membership in current uses of social media in IT companies:

RQ2. To what extent does the use of social media in IT companies differ across

IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?

RQ2 led to the following hypotheses, which was tested at the 95% significance level to

determine if there was a statistically significant variance between generation cohort

membership and use of social media in IT companies:

H20: There is no difference in generational cohort use of social media among IT

professionals in IT companies.

H21: Generation Y IT professionals in IT companies are more likely to use

social media than Generation X and Baby Boomer IT professionals.


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The third quantitative research question addresses differences across occupational

categories (manager/non-manager) in current uses of social media:

RQ3. To what extent do IT professionals’ uses of social media in IT companies

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

RQ3 led to the following hypotheses, which was tested at the 95% significance level to

determine if there was a statistically significant variance between occupational category

and the use of social media in IT companies:

H30: There is no difference in managers‘ and non-managers‘ use of social

media among IT professionals in IT companies.

H31: There is a difference in managers‘ and non-managers use of social media

among IT professionals in IT companies.

The fourth quantitative research question addressed differences across generation

cohort membership in attitudes toward social media use in IT companies:

RQ4. To what extent do the attitudes toward social media use in IT companies

differ across IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation

X, Generation Y)?

RQ4 led to the following hypotheses, which was tested at the 95% significance level to

determine if there is a statistically significant variance between generation cohort

membership and attitudes toward use of social media in IT companies:

H40: There is no difference in IT professionals‘ generation cohort membership

and attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.


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H41: IT professional Generation Y cohort members have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption and use in IT companies than Generation X

and Baby Boomer cohort member employees.

The fifth and last quantitative research question addressed variance between

occupational categories and attitudes toward social media use in IT companies:

RQ5: To what extent do attitudes toward social media adoption differ across

occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

RQ5 led to the following hypotheses, which was tested at the 95% significance level to

determine if there was a statistically significant variance between occupational category

and attitudes toward adoption and use of social media in IT companies

H50: There is no difference in IT professional managers‘ and non-managers‘

attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.

H51: Non-managers IT professionals in IT companies have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption than managers.

Answers to the five quantitative research questions provided the foundation for

addressing the purpose of the second qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study

phase, which was to explore senior leaders‘ lived experiences with the adoption and use

of social media in organizations and understand the leadership practices that may

contribute to the successful implementation of social media. Quantitative data helped

finalize qualitative interview questions and provided input to answering the following

qualitative research question:

RQ6. What are senior leaders‘ lived experiences relative to organization adoption

and use of social media?


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Qualitative data consisted of transcripts from semi-structured interviews with

senior leaders who had recent experience with Enterprise 2.0 implementation in IT

companies.

Population

The general population for the proposed study consisted of IT professionals (P1)

and IT company senior managers and executives (P2). IT professionals cover several job

descriptions and roles, including software programmers, database administrators,

software testers, non-executive software managers, and project managers. Senior

managers and executives in IT companies include chief technology officers (CTOs), chief

information officers (CIOs), senior vice presidents, and other executive-level job

categories that may vary by company.

The total IT workforce in the United States is comprised of approximately 3.6

million people3 (USBLS, 2010) but the study population was delimited to IT

professionals and senior managers/executives working for IT companies in the greater

Seattle area. This region was chosen because of its large cluster of mature IT companies

that allow for richer empirical grounding (Martin & Eisenhardt, 2010), and because the

local IT industry in Seattle may represent a microcosm of the larger IT industry in the

United States (Sommers, Carlson, Stanger, Xue, & Miyasato, 2000). According to the

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 86,000 IT professionals work in the

3
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 287,210 individuals were

employed in IT management, and 3.3+ million were employed as IT professionals at the

end of 2009 in the United States.


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greater Seattle area (USBLS, 2010), and at least half of these individuals work in the IT

industry (Greenwald & James, 2010). The exact number of senior executives in Seattle-

area IT companies is unknown but can be estimated to approximately 800 individuals

based on data provided by the Society for Information Management and the average

manager-professional (1:10) and executive-manager (1:4) ratios from the IT industry in

the entire United States (SIM, personal communication, July 28, 2011; USBLS, 2010).

Sampling Design

Onwuegbuzie and Collins (2007, p. 283) defined sampling schemes as ―specific

strategies used to select units,‖ whereas sampling designs ―represent the framework

within which the sampling takes place, including the number and types of sampling

schemes as well as the sample size.‖ Different sampling designs will be used for the

quantitative and qualitative phases of the study.

Quantitative Sampling Design

The quantitative study phase, P1, entailed non-random sampling schemes. Using

non-random sampling is common in quantitative descriptive research (Leech &

Onwuegbuzie, 2002) and represents a purposive method of selecting study participants.

The method of selecting a non-probability research sample permits the researcher to

choose participants that are likely to provide quality data (Cooper & Schindler, 2008).

Although this approach may expose the sample selection to possible biases, non-

probability sampling might be the only viable alternative when the total population is not

available for sampling (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). This is the case of IT professionals

in a specific area because no public registers exist to identify these individuals.


106

The research sample for the quantitative study phase consisted of 406 IT

professionals working for IT companies in the greater Seattle area. The minimum sample

size was calculated to 396 individuals. This sample size reflects the goals of a) achieving

a 95% statistical confidence level of the total population of approximately 40,000

individuals, and b) reducing sampling errors. Confidence levels reflect degree of

reliability with statistical results and estimates (NIST, 2011). A 95% statistical

confidence level thus indicates that the researcher can be 95% sure that ―if the same

population is sampled on numerous occasions and interval estimates are made on each

occasion, the resulting intervals would bracket the true population parameter in

approximately 95% of the cases‖ (NIST, 2011, para 2). The minimum research sample

size was calculated based on the following equation (Israel, 2009):

Where n = sample size, N = estimated population size, and e = precision level

(5%).

Study participants were asked to complete a web-based survey about their current

use of and attitudes toward social media in the workplace. To obtain the needed survey

responses in P1, a combination of purposive and snowball sampling techniques was

applied. Purposive sampling means choosing IT professionals in the Seattle area that are

available and willing to participate in the study (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Snowball

sampling involves asking initial study participants to recruit or recommend others to

participate (Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007). IT professionals were invited to participate

in the study via email from email lists provided by a local nonprofit research organization

dedicated to education and IT and from email lists provided by the Seattle chapter of the
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Society for Information Management. Candidate survey participants were encouraged to

invite colleagues in their professional network to participate as well. To increase the

likelihood of collecting data from a diverse and representative sample, participants were

asked to invite colleagues or acquaintances from different occupational categories and

generation cohorts, and from different Seattle-based IT companies. The survey

participant recruitment email can be found in Appendix B. One week after the initial

recruitment email or contact, a reminder email was sent out to help increase response

rates and secure an adequate number of valid responses (Appendix C).

Qualitative Sampling Design

The research sample for the qualitative study phase consisted of 13 senior

managers and executives working for IT companies in the greater Seattle area. This

sample size reflected the goal of achieving an in-depth understanding of the leadership

and employee participation practices affected by social media adoption and use in the

workplace. Study participants were interviewed in person, or via Skype for 30-60

minutes. New study participants were recruited until saturation was reached. Data

saturation occurs when the researcher no longer finds new information that adds to the

understanding of the research subject (Creswell, 2007).

The qualitative study phase, P2, involved using a combination of criterion-based

and snowball sampling schemes. Criterion-based sampling involves choosing individuals

who are available and willing to participate and who meet certain criteria (Onwuegbuzie

& Collins, 2007). To address the purpose of P2, executives and senior-level managers

working in different IT companies in the greater Seattle area were invited to participate in

the qualitative phase. Sampling based criteria included a) participant candidates with
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recent personal experience with social media implementation from their current

organization, and b) individuals who were willing to participate in the study and share

insights about their company‘s approach to social media use. These criteria helped

ensure that P2 study participants provided in-depth insights on the potential impact of

social media on leadership and employee participation practices.

Interview candidates were identified from the researcher‘s personal contacts and

by extended professional networking (snowball sampling) through already identified

interview candidates. Candidates were invited to participate via email, telephone, or in-

person, depending on the point of contact. The interview participant email and script

used for telephone recruitment conversations can be found in Appendix D. Two weeks

after the initial contact, candidates who did not yet respond with a yes or no received a

follow-up email or telephone call, depending on their personal communication

preferences (Appendix E).

Informed Consent and Confidentiality

Obtaining informed consent from study participants is a fundamental part of

ethical principles guiding research (Neuman, 2006). The informed consent is a two-part

process that necessitates study participants‘ signatory and willing participation. The first

part, the signatory, required an explicit act of consent by the participant, indicating that

the participant is 18 years of age or older. The second part, the willing participation,

entailed a voluntary and active involvement in providing responses to the research by

answering a survey (P1) or interview questions (P2). Participants were informed of the

purpose, intended use, and consequences of the research before participating (Creswell,

2009). Everyone who was asked to participate in the quantitative or qualitative phases of
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the study had the right to remain anonymous, and maintain the right to refuse to

participate in or withdraw from the research at any time without repercussions. The

participants also had the right to respond to the survey and interview questions with any

response or expression that reflected their personal opinions.

The web-based survey in P1 was administered through SurveyMonkey and

included a front page section that captures each participant‘s informed and voluntary

consent electronically before being directed to a URL containing the survey. The consent

referred to each participant‘s privacy and confidentiality of the responses (Cooper &

Schindler, 2008), and explicitly mentioned that no other employees or managers of a

participant‘s company will have access to responses (Appendix F). If a participant did

not agree to sign the informed consent, he or she was not given the URL to the survey

questions but was instead shown a thank you page before exiting the survey. In P2, a

separate paper-based consent form (Appendix G) was emailed to interview participants in

advance, and signed paper copies were collected before interviews were scheduled.

Participants who did not wish to provide informed consent were not interviewed for the

study. None of the interview participants withdrew from the study during or after

interviews, so all interview data were included in the study.

Participants in P1 and P2 were protected from any possible physical harm,

psychological abuse, stress, legal litigation, deception, and coercion (Neuman, 2006) by

maintaining confidentiality, obtaining informed consent, and by adhering to a strict

records maintenance protocol. Research ethics were monitored on a continuous basis

throughout the research process to ensure that the ethical parameters and code of ethics

are upheld in every stage and phase of the research (Cone & Foster, 2006). Research
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ethics are moral norms and standards upheld by a study (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). To

protect study participants, the researcher signed a confidentiality agreement (Appendix

H).

SurveyMonkey has a built-in feature that eliminates the possibility of getting

multiple responses from the same IP address (SurveyMonkey, 2011). To allow survey

participants to withdraw from the study data after they had completed the questionnaire, a

unique password chosen by the participant was used to identify each respondent in

SurveyMonkey. Multiple answers from the same password were considered invalid and

were omitted from data analysis. To protect respondents‘ anonymity in downloaded data,

IP addresses were by the researcher. Codes were stored on a password protected

computer in Seattle, WA with no possibility of linking the information and responses to

the participants‘ identities.

In P2, participants‘ names on interview transcripts were also stored on a password

protected computer in Seattle, WA as coded numbers with no possibility of linking the

information and responses to the subjects‘ identities. Interviews were audio recorded and

original audio tapes were kept in a bank safe in Seattle, WA after data was transcribed

into electronic written format. Except for interview summaries used to verify accuracy of

transcripts by interview participants, no results were reported with any identifying

information of the interviewees. After three years of securing privacy of storage, all

original and backup versions of electronic records pertaining to the research will be

deleted, and audio tapes will be shredded. Following the research code of ethics will

ensure the elimination of any possible falsification or distortion of data, research fraud,

plagiarism, and abuse of power (Neuman, 2006).


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Data Collection

Quality research data form the basis for meaningful analysis and interpretation

(Creswell, 2009). The sequential, mixed methods study entailed two sequential phases of

data collection, starting with the collection of quantitative data. Quantitative data

collection relies on proper sampling techniques to yield data that is representative of the

population under study (Black, 1999). In qualitative research, the data collection process

should be ―transparent, systematic, and rigorous‖ (Baker, 2006, p. 530); and yield data

that is contextually rich and eventually lead to ―illumination, insight, and understanding‖

(Shank, 2006, p. 14) once a saturation point is reached (Creswell, 2009). The study

combined quantitative and qualitative research philosophies to achieve a more

comprehensive understanding of social media adoption and use in IT companies (Di Pofi,

2000).

Quantitative Data

Survey data addressing quantitative research questions were collected

electronically via SurveyMonkey through a three-part questionnaire. The first part

established personal characteristics related to study variables, including generation cohort

membership, manager/non-manager status, and size of the participant‘s company. This

data were used as the basis for statistical analysis. The second part of the survey

determined current uses of social media applications according to pre-determined

categories. The third part involved a series of questions about each respondent‘s attitudes

toward the use of social media for work-related purposes. A five-point Likert-type scale

was used to record responses to attitudinal questions because this scale is easy to

construct, reliable, and can manage large volumes of data (Cooper & Schindler, 2008),
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unlike other scales, including the numeric and constant-sum scales (Burgess, 2001). The

survey underwent a series of reviews and updates, as part of SME review and a pilot

study.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data collection involved interviewing 13 senior IT managers and

executives in-person or via Skype, about their experiences with social media use and

associated effects on leadership and employee involvement practices. Interviews were

semi-structured and included open-ended questions to allow participants to offer their

personal opinions and experiences with social media from an executive-level perspective.

Interview data were audio-recorded and transcribed for coding and identification of

themes and patterns. Transcripts of audio recording were saved electronically in MS

Word format.

Instrumentation and Instrument Quality Measures

A mixed methods study involves the development of both quantitative and

qualitative data collection instruments (Creswell, 2009). The research involved

developing a survey instrument for P1 and an interview protocol for P2. Data collection

instruments yielded quality data that were analyzed and interpreted to answer quantitative

and qualitative research questions. Different quality criteria apply to quantitative and

qualitative research (Polkinghorne, 2005). Mixed methods research must therefore

consider both types of criteria. A quantitative data collection instrument must yield valid

and reliable data, whereas qualitative data collection should reflect the goal of achieving

rich data through an exploratory process that uses the researcher as the main instrument

(Creswell, 2007).
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Quantitative Data Collection Instrument

A survey instrument must operationalize study variables and result in quantifiable

data (Black, 1999). The survey instrument used in the first, quantitative phase

documented current individual uses of social media in IT companies and explored

differences in the uses of and attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0 across occupational

categories and generation cohorts, defined as follows:

Occupational categories. This variable is nominal and reflects IT professional‘s

manager/non-manager employment status.

Generation cohorts. This variable is nominal and reflects membership of the Baby

Boomer generation (born between 1943-1960), Generation X (born between 1961-1981),

or Generation Y (born between 1982-2003) (Strauss & Howe, 1997).

Individual uses of social media. Uses of social media were measured by five-

point Likert-type scales and reflected the degree to which IT professionals used different

social media applications for different purposes, as determined by existing literature and

emerging social media research. Use categories included communication (Kim, Ok-Ran,

& Lee, 2010; Tapscott & Williams, 2007) , collaboration (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008;

Kratzer, Leenders, Roger, & Van Engelen, 2010; Vithessonthi, 2010), professional

networking (Brandel, 2008; Clarke, 2010), innovation (Lindmark, 2009; Matson &

Prusak, 2010; Molian-Morales & Martinez-Fernandez, 2010), and knowledge

management and learning (Bughin, Chui & Miller, 2009; Kase, Paawe, & Zupan, 2009);

marketing, sales, and customer relationship management (Barnes & Matson, 2009;

Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011; Pellet, 2010); as well as employee recruitment, assimilation,

and retention (Clark & Roberts, 2010; Devitt, 2009).


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Attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0. Attitudes were measured by five-point Likert-

type scales and reflected the degree to which IT professionals believe social media

contribute positively or negatively to organizational issues related to leadership practices,

as determined by the literature and existing research. Key issues include social media

policies and strategies (McAfee, 2009; Tennant, 2010), risk management (Burrus, 2010;

Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009), employee participation (Flowers, 2008; Hafkesbrink &

Schroll, 2010; Hamel & Labarre, 2011), productivity (Derven, 2008; Roberts, 2008; Salz,

2007), participatory management and open leadership (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene,

2011; Li, 2010).

Electronic questionnaires designed in SurveyMonkey are easy to implement and

distribute to geographically dispersed participants, making data collection faster and

more convenient than mail-based surveys (Burgess, 2001). A key survey design concern

is to avoid controversial, vague, or ambiguous statements and asking questions that

indicate researcher bias or are too personal (Black, 1999). Respondents may be less

likely to fill out the survey if they feel their privacy is jeopardized (Fanning, 2005).

Another design goal is to create a questionnaire that looks professional and has visual

appeal as well as being clear and easy to complete in a timely fashion (Burgess, 2001).

Five-point Likert-type scales were used to measure degree of agreement/disagreement

with survey questions that goes beyond yes/no answers. A middle point option will be

included to provide a realistic range of answers (Black, 1999) and allow participants who

may not have positive or negative opinions about social media to select the neutral

answer. The final data collection instrument can be found in Appendix J.


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Quantitative Instrument Quality: Validity and Reliability

The main quality criteria for quantitative research instruments are validity and

reliability. Validity refers to extent to which a data collection instrument ―measures what

it is intended to measure‖ (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 28). Instrument validity was

considered in P1 through the enhancement of content validity (Litwin, 1995) and

construct validity. Content validity is an assessment by expert reviewers of the

appropriateness of survey items (Litwin, 1995). Construct validity is ―the extent to which

an instrument measures a characteristic that cannot be directly observed but is assumed to

exist based on patterns in people‘s behaviors‖ (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 92).

Enhancing content and construct validity of the P1 survey instrument entailed having the

draft questionnaire (Appendix I) reviewed by a small group of social media experts and

incorporating feedback on survey design and content into the pilot version of the

SurveyMonkey questionnaire. The following pilot study included the participation of 20

IT professionals to measure possible weaknesses, errors, and improper controls in the

survey and data collection processes (Coopers & Schindler, 2008).

Reliability of a quantitative data collection instrument refers to ―a statistical

measure of how reproducible a survey instrument‘s data are‖ (Litwin, 1995, p. 6). A

reliable survey produces similar results every time it is used (Miller, McIntire & Lovler,

2011). To enhance survey reliability in P1, a test-retest strategy was applied to determine

the degree to which pilot study participants answered survey questions consistently.

Reliability is high when a survey item produces stable results over a moderate time

period (Litwin, 1992). Hence, pilot testers were asked to complete the same survey

twice, with a ten day intermission between the first and second set of survey responses.
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Correlation coefficients were calculated to evaluate the reliability of survey items. To

increase reliability, SurveyMonkey‘s randomization feature was used to change order of

the questions in each section, as was the order of the Likert-scale. A coefficient of at

least 0.70 indicated acceptable reliability. In addition to testing-retesting of the survey,

pilot study participants were encouraged to submit feedback on survey items that

appeared unclear. Feedback was incorporated into the final version of the survey

(Appendix J).

Qualitative Data Collection Protocol

Interviewing is a technique used in qualitative phenomenological research that

provides the researcher a way to gather descriptions and interpret the meaning of a

particular phenomenon in a specific context (Kvale, 1983; Seidman, 2006). Face-to-face

(FTF) interviews have the advantage of providing the researcher with non-verbal and

social cues not readily available in phone interviews (Opdenakker, 2009). These cues

can provide the researcher with opportunities to probe and ask follow-up questions,

which can lead to a richer understanding of the research phenomenon (Kvale, 1983). In

the study, FTF interviews in P2 were conducted in person or via Skype, guided by an

interview protocol that was fully developed following the conclusion of P1; seeking to

answer the qualitative research question. The preliminary version of the interview

protocol for P2 can be found in Appendix K, and the final version is in Appendix L.

According to Kvale and Brinkman (2009), qualitative phenomenological

interviews should be structured according to high-level themes based on the researcher‘s

knowledge about the subject under investigation and the research question. In P2, major

themes were determined by the purpose of the study and include a) leadership, b)
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employee participation across generational cohorts and occupational categories, and c)

balancing of risks posed by social media technologies with benefits. Interviews were

semi-structured, which allowed the researcher to probe while maintaining focus on the

central issue (Creswell, 2009). Asking open-ended, unbiased questions allows

participants the opportunity to fully reflect on and express their personal lived

experiences (Creswell, 2009). Using open-ended interviews with the selected

participants helped derive embedded patterns and themes pertinent to the qualitative

research question, and also helped address the central phenomenon leadership practices

associated with the adoption of and use of social media in IT companies.

Interviews also employed the use of probes and sub-questions to extract in-depth

data and allow participants to share opinions, knowledge, uncovered feelings, and inner

expressions (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). After introducing the study and its purpose, and

addressing any questions or concerns the participant may have, the researcher asked a

series of questions pertaining to central themes. The sequencing of interview questions

followed guidelines outlined by Kvale (1996), including a) introducing questions will be

used for each new theme, b) probing questions will be used to achieve more in-depth

understanding of the participant‘s lived experiences, c) interpreting questions will be used

to clarify the participant‘s experiences or beliefs, d) the end of one theme and the

beginning of another will be clearly indicated, e) factual questions will be interspersed

with opinion-based questions, and f) participants were given the opportunity at the end of

an interview to provide any additional information and share impressions of the

interview.
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Qualitative Data Collection Quality

Qualitative research involves using the researcher as the main data collection

instrument (Morse, 2006; Sinkovics, 2008). The researcher must therefore strive to

maximize the trustworthiness of collected data and minimize personal bias by ―refraining

from imposing his or her views, setting aside any preconceived knowledge, and

remaining open, sensitive, and empathetic to participants‘ responses‖ (Krauss, 2005, p.

764). The ability of the of interviewer to reflect on information provided and consciously

unmask preconceived ideas and assumptions that may stem from embeddedness in the

research context is therefore crucial to collecting quality data during the interview

process (Sands & Krumer-Nevo, 2006). Conducting a quality interview also requires

interviewers to balance focus on addressing the purpose of the study and answering

research questions with the ongoing adaptation to the interview situation and responses

provided by participants (Sommer & Sommer, 1997). Knowing when to probe and when

to move the conversation in a new direction demands that the interviewer a) pays close

attention to verbal and non-verbal signs, b) carefully manages the allotted time, c)

exercises good listening skills, and d) conducts the interviews in a friendly, tactful, and

diplomatic manner (Sommer & Sommer, 1997; Warren & Karner, 2005). In addition to

following these guidelines to minimize researcher bias during data collection, a pilot

interview was conducted with one senior IT leader matching the participant selection

criteria. The purpose of the pilot interview was to apply the draft interview protocol and

update phrasing and sequencing of questions following the interview and feedback from

the pilot participant. The final interview protocol can be found in Appendix L.
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Data Analysis

Mixed methods research involves analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data

(Creswell, 2009). In the study, quantitative data were collected and analyzed first;

followed by qualitative data collection and analysis. Quantitative data analysis is

associated with predetermined variables, whereas qualitative phenomenological data

analysis is concentrated on experiences and the identification of emerging patterns and

themes (Onwuegbuzie, Johnson, & Collins, 2009). Thus, different data analysis

techniques were deployed to examine data collected in P1 and P2.

Quantitative Data Analysis

Quantitative data were in the form of survey data extracted from participant

responses in SurveyMonkey. Data were exported into MS Excel for further analysis and

visualization. The process of quantitative data analysis included summarizing,

examining, and describing patterns in the survey data, as well as evaluating research

hypotheses statistically (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). Analysis of quantitative data

required descriptive statistical analysis of the numeric data collected by examining the

mean and standard deviation of the data. T-tests were performed to confirm or disconfirm

the study‘s hypotheses (Creswell, 2009), and Cohen‘s d was subsequently calculated for

statistically significant t-tests to measure effect of relationship (Becker, 2000). The

selected minimum level of significance was 95% –.05, which is a common value used to

reject the null hypothesis (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). The analysis of the data assessed

whether the probability value is a) less than or equal to, or b) more than, the level of

significance to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis and conclude that research

findings are a) statistically significant, or b) not statistically significant (Creswell, 2009).


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Comparison research involves comparing two groups that belong to the same

population, which means that they share one or more characteristics (Black, 1999). A t-

test is appropriate for comparing two independent samples when the sample data follow a

normal distribution and the population standard deviation is unknown (Black, 1999). A

two-sample t-test is used to compare the difference between the means of two

independent samples that differ on a specific trait, such as mutually exclusive age

categories or occupational categories (Trochim, 2006a). The researcher tests the null

hypotheses stating there is no difference between the two samples by assessing the degree

to which the difference between the mean values can be attributed to the treatment or

sampling error (Steinberg, 2008). The directionality of hypotheses determines if the t-test

should be one-tailed (directional), or two-tailed (non-directional) (Steinberg, 2008). In

both cases, the calculated statistical difference between the means of the two samples (the

t value) must be compared to critical t values that indicate the minimum value that t must

take to support the research hypothesis at a particular Type 1 error level, in this case 5%.

Research involving large sample sizes should include a measure of effect, which

is a gauge of the strength of a relationship between variables (Wilkinson, 1999). Effect

complements t-testing and indicates if a statistically significant result is the result of a

strong or weak relationship (Simon & Goes, 2012). Relative effect of a relationship

between variables can be measured using Cohen‘s d and reported as small (d<=0.49),

medium (d=0.5-0.79), or large (d>=0.8) (Cohen, 1988). Cohen‘s d is calculated as the as

the standardized difference between two means and is appropriate for comparison

research involving different sized, independent samples (Becker, 2000).


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Qualitative Data Analysis

The goal of phenomenological data analysis is to provide a ―thick description that

accurately captures and communicates the meaning of the lived experience for the

informants‖ (Cohen, Kahn & Stevens, 2000, p. 72). According to Ricoeur (1981),

analysis in the hermeneutics phenomenological approach involves translating collected

qualitative data into a narrative text that addresses the central research question. Cohen,

Kahn and Stevens (2000) outlined a 4-step hermeneutic phenomenological analysis

process that was followed in P2:

1. Immersion in the data.

2. Data reduction.

3. Thematic analysis.

4. Narrative writing.

The first analysis step, immersion in data, involves establishing an initial

representation and understanding of the data that will help drive coding of data in

subsequent steps (Cohen, Kahn & Stevens, 2000). In this step, the researcher attempts to

bring lived experiences and meanings expressed by study participants into presence

within the context and purpose of the study (Giorgi, 2006). Conscious awareness of

researcher bias and potential implicit assumptions affecting data immersion in this step is

essential to achieving clarity and proceeding with the analysis (Giorgi, 2006).

In the second analysis step, data reduction, the researcher a) determines the unit

of analysis and b) edits the interview transcripts to eliminate off-topic and verbal

digressions and may reorganize the data to group sections belonging to the same topic

together within each unit of analysis (Cohen, Kahn & Stevens, 2000). Determining the
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unit of analysis involves deciding the major entity to be analyzed in the study (Trochim,

2006b). According to Graneheim and Lundman (2004), whole interviews are a suitable

unit of analysis as long as they are ―large enough to be considered a whole‖ (p. 106),

which will likely be the case in P2. Grouping data into content areas within each unit of

analysis (interview) helps structure the data and enables detailed coding in the next

analysis step. Content areas may reflect high-level themes used to structure the

interviews or grouping of topics emerging from the interviews (Graneheim & Lundman,

2004).

The third step, thematic analysis, comprises the central element of hermeneutic

phenomenological data analysis and is aimed at inferring meanings from narrative

interview data through inductive explorations that ground the identification of themes and

patterns in the data (Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009, p. 1). A theme is a common thread of

meaning, as interpreted by the researcher (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004). Themes may

be broken into subthemes and are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Meaning units are

defined as ―the constellation of words, sentences or paragraphs containing aspects related

to each other through their content and context‖ (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004, p. 106).

Meaning units are the basis for all further coding and identification of themes. Identifying

meaning units involves highlighting key words, sentences or paragraphs.

A basic issue to consider in the thematic analysis step is the type of coding used to

identify themes (Taylor-Powell & Renner, 2003). Thematic analysis may involve

manifest coding or latent coding. Manifest coding includes ―visible, obvious

components‖ in the text (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004, p. 106), and answers the

question what does the data say? The disadvantage of manifest coding is that it does not
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take the context of words and phrases into account (Neuman, 2006). Understanding the

research context is central to capturing the meaning behind the words in a text in

hermeneutics phenomenological research (Laverty, 2002). The researcher uncovered the

latent content through interpretive (latent) coding. Therefore, thematic analysis in P2

involved latent coding of the data line-by-line and documenting tentative theme names in

memo format.

Before the latent coding process can start, the researcher developed an initial

coding scheme, consisting of rules for assigning codes (labels to meaning units),

definition of themes and subthemes, and examples. The coding scheme evolved and

changed as more meanings were uncovered in the analysis of subsequent interview

transcripts; causing the researcher to revise previously coded materials (Creswell, 2007).

The researcher passed through the data within each unit of analysis several times, using

constant comparison for updating and refining themes and subthemes, and updating the

coding scheme as needed. Constant comparison is the iterative process of systematically

comparing new themes to already identified themes and distinguishing one theme from

another (Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009). The process ended ―when new cases do not bring

any new information to light and themes can be described as saturated‖ (Boeije, 2002, p.

393). The final outcome of step 3 in the hermeneutics phenomenological analysis

process was thus a description of themes and subthemes across P2 interview data.

The fourth and final step in the hermeneutics phenomenological analysis process

is writing a narrative translating identified themes to ―a coherent picture of the whole‖

(Cohen, Kahn & Stevens, 2000, p. 81). The essential task in step 4 is reflective writing

and rewriting based on the three previous steps, triangulation of data, and focus on
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research context and the research question (Giorgi, 2006). The final result of data

analysis in P2 was thus a comprehensive, contextualized description of themes, which

was verified by study participants and the external QA reviewer.

Qualitative data analysis was conducted using the software package NVivo 10, a

tool specifically designed for effectively analyzing large amounts of textual data (Di

Gregorio & Davidson, 2008). First, transcribed data from interview audio recordings

were loaded into NVivo. Second, NVivo was used to code interview transcripts and to

identify themes in the data (―Using NVivo,‖ 2008). Third, NVivo‘s reporting and memo

features were used to summarize data during narrative writing.

Research Study Quality Measures

In addition to addressing the quality of data collection instruments, researchers

must also apply quality criteria to the study itself and the research method used.

Quantitative research methods must address internal and external validity (Leedy &

Ormrod, 2010), whereas qualitative research methods must be subjected to

trustworthiness criteria (Morse, 2006), such as credibility, transferability, dependability,

and confirmability (Hoyt & Bhati, 2007, p. 202). In mixed methods research, both types

of quality measures must be considered.

Quantitative Study Phase: Internal Validity

The internal validity of a study refers to ―the extent to which its design and the

data it yields allow the researcher to draw accurate conclusions about relationships within

the data‖ (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 97). Increasing the internal validity of quantitative

research involves minimizing the possibility of alternative explanations (Litwin, 1995).

Survey research relies entirely on self-reported data from participants, which means that
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conclusions based on the data are only as valid as the degree to which questions are

answered truthfully. Another threat to internal validity includes collusion among

participants to skew answers in a particular manner. The study sought to enhance the

possibility of achieving truthful answers in P1 by ensuring participants‘ confidentiality,

sharing the purpose of the study, and informing participants that there are no incentives

for answering questions in a particular way. The piloting of the quantitative survey

instrument in P1 further helped minimize bias, misunderstandings, and design issues that

may have yielded untruthful or unintended answers.

Quantitative Study Phase: External Validity

The external validity of a quantitative study is the degree to which results can be

generalized to situations beyond the study itself (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The main

strategy for enhancing external validity of P1 was to apply sampling strategies that

maximize the potential for achieving a representative sample from the identified

population (IT professionals in the greater Seattle area). By extending invitations to

participate in the survey to a large number of IT professionals of all ages and

occupational categories working in different IT companies across the greater Seattle area,

the data was more likely to reflect a variety of opinions, experiences, and current

practices with social media. Additional demographic data were collected to determine if

the actual sample is representative of the larger population of IT professionals in the

greater Seattle area.


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Qualitative Study Phase: Credibility, Transferability, Dependability, and

Confirmability

The goal of qualitative phenomenological research studies is to uncover meanings

as experienced by participants and expressed by the researcher (Giorgi, 2006). The focus

of qualitative research is on ―rich and complex explorations of the experiences of a small

number of individuals‖ (Hoyt & Bhati, 2007, p. 202) rather than obtaining statistically

representative samples, leading to a focus on trustworthiness rather than validity and

reliability. The aim of trustworthiness in a qualitative inquiry is ―to support the argument

that the inquiry‘s findings are worth paying attention to‖ (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 290).

According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), criteria for qualitative research method

trustworthiness include credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.

Credibility of findings indicate the ―confidence in the truth of findings‖ (Cohen &

Crabtree, 2006, para 1). To enhance the credibility of P2 findings, the study involved

member checking, which is the process of sharing identified themes in collected data with

interview participants and providing participants an opportunity to provide feedback and

ask questions (Creswell, 2009). Furthermore, the credibility of findings will be increased

by triangulating collected data with a) existing research on social media adoption and use

in organizations, and b) negative evidence, which include ―absent events, empty intervals,

[and] disconfirming instances‖ (Duffey, 1993, para 1). Negative evidence can be essential

for uncovering meanings and understanding key issues in qualitative research, including

hermeneutic phenomenology (Sokolowski, 2000).

Transferability of findings indicates the degree to which findings ―have

applicability in other contexts‖ (Cohen & Crabtree, 2006, para 1). Transferability can be
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enhanced by basing data analysis on solid and thick descriptive data of participant

experiences (Giorgi, 2006). Enhancing transferability of P2 findings in the study

involved collecting in-depth information from study participants about the implications of

social media on leadership and employee participation by asking open-ended questions

and following up with additional probes as warranted by each interview situation. To

further increase transferability, the draft interview protocol (Appendix K) was piloted

with one executive from the IT industry to verify that interview questions were clear and

unbiased, and yielded meaningful information (Creswell, 2007). Data from pilot

interviews were not included in data analysis but did result in expansion, rewording, and

reordering of questions (Appendix L).

Dependability refers to the degree to which research findings ―are consistent and

could be repeated‖ (Cohen & Crabtree, 2006, para 1). Confirmability is a ―degree of

neutrality, or the extent to which the findings of a study are shaped by the respondents

and not researcher bias, motivation, or interest‖ (Cohen & Crabtree, 2006, para 1).

Dependability and confirmability are often determined through a formal external research

audit (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The study involved engaging a qualified independent

external auditor to review coding of interview transcripts and verify that coding and

identification of themes were void of researcher bias. The external auditor signed a non-

disclosure agreement to protect participants‘ identity (Appendix M).

In addition to the external audit, the study sought to enhance dependability of

findings through the consistent application of proper hermeneutic phenomenological data

analysis techniques, whereas confirmability was enhanced through careful records

management of all taped interviews, notes from interviews, and electronic copies of
128

transcripts. Furthermore, a research journal was maintained to a) document coding rules

and decisions made during P2, b) allow the researcher to reflect on the research process

and the role of the interviewer; and c) articulate any observations and insights that may

affect the outcome of the study (Krysik & Finn, 2010). The research journal template can

be found in Appendix N and research notes from each interview can be found in

Appendix O. In addition to keeping a research journal, NVivo‘s memo function was used

to document notes and ideas for later use in the coding process.

Summary

Chapter 3 included an explanation of the research method used in the sequential,

mixed methodology study. The first phase was quantitative and encompassed a

descriptive survey design to confirm or disconfirm the quantitative research questions

and hypotheses. Closed-ended and Likert-type questions were used in a web-based

survey to collect quantitative data about IT professionals‘ uses of and attitudes toward

social media in the workplace. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests

to determine variances of social media use and attitudes across generational cohorts and

occupational categories. The second study phase was qualitative and involved a

hermeneutic phenomenological design to answer the qualitative research question.

Qualitative data were collected using face-to-face interviews to address leadership

practices associated with the introduction of social media in IT companies. Interviews

explored the lived experiences of executives and senior-level managers in relation to

Enterprise 2.0 with particular focus on employee participation practices across

generational cohorts and occupational categories.


129

The quality of the completed study was addressed in several ways in chapter 3.

First, the validity and reliability of the quantitative data collection instrument was

discussed. Second, measures to enhance the quality of the qualitative interview protocol

were outlined. Third, the quality of the entire research study was discussed, including

enhancing internal and external validity of the quantitative research phase, and enhancing

trustworthiness of the qualitative research phase. The data from the study are analyzed in

Chapter 4.
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Chapter 4: Results

This mixed-method study consisted of two sequential research phases. The

purpose of the first quantitative descriptive study phase was to describe current uses of

and attitudes toward social media in IT companies, and to determine if current work-

related uses of and attitudes toward social media varied according to generation cohorts

and manager/non-manager IT professionals. The purpose of the second qualitative

hermeneutic phenomenological study phase was to explore senior leaders‘ lived

experiences with the adoption and use of social media in organizations and understand

the leadership practices that may contribute to the successful implementation of social

media. Survey results from the first descriptive study phase informed the interview

questions for the second qualitative study phase. Both research phases included a pilot

study.

Quantitative Research Phase

In the first, quantitative descriptive research phase, IT professionals from the

greater Seattle, WA, area were invited to participate in a web-based questionnaire,

consisting of a series of questions related to participants‘ current uses of and attitudes

toward social media in the workplace. A pilot study preceded the invitation to participate

in the questionnaire to ensure validity and reliability of the survey instrument. The final

survey instrument was administered through SurveyMonkey and distributed through MW

Research and Development, a local technology research nonprofit organization and

through the Seattle chapter of the Society for Information Management (Seattle SIM).

Appendices O and P contain signed permission to use premises, names, and/or subjects

forms from these two organizations.


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Pilot Study

The purpose of the pilot study was to enhance reliability and internal validity of

the survey instrument. Internal validity was enhanced by asking a panel of three social

media experts (SMEs) to review the draft survey instrument in Appendix I with the goals

of minimizing researcher bias and avoiding misunderstandings and design issues that

may have yielded untruthful or unintended answers to survey questions.

Reliability of a quantitative data collection instrument refers to ―the consistency

of scores obtained by the same persons when re-examined with the same test on different

occasions‖ (Marx, Menezes, Horovitz, Jones, & Warren, 2003, p. 730). A reliable survey

thus produces similar results every time it is used (Miller, McIntire, & Lovler, 2011). To

enhance the survey reliability, a group of 20 pilot testers were asked to complete the

SME-reviewed survey with a two week interval, and the test-retest correlation coefficient

was subsequently calculated from each participant‘s set of responses. In addition to

completing the survey twice, pilot testers were also asked to submit feedback on survey

design and content, which were then considered for the final survey design.

SME review. Three social media subject matter experts (SMEs) were invited to

submit structured feedback to the draft survey instrument (Appendix I). Each content

item on the draft survey was marked by SMEs as unchanged, changed with suggestions,

or unnecessary/duplicative. Table 6 summarizes SME feedback and subsequent changes


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Table 6

Summary of SME Survey Review

# SMEs marking items as Question Phrasing

Unchanged

suggestions
Changed with

duplicative
Unnecessary/
Item Retained Revised

1. Participant 3 
screening
2. Participant 2 1 
information
3. Use of 3 
social
media
4a. Attitudes – 3 
social
media
strategies
4b. Attitudes – 1 1 
social
media
policies
4c. Attitudes – 1 2 
risks and
benefits
5. Attitudes - 1 2 
Usefulness

All three SMEs suggested inclusion of respondents working for companies with

less than 200 employees. Examples of specific social media applications were provided

as well. After incorporating specific phrasing suggestions from the SMEs, the survey

was sent back to the same three SMEs for re-review. The SME approved survey version
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was then sent to a group of 24 IT professionals in the Seattle area for pilot testing and re-

testing.

Pilot testing and re-testing of survey. A total of 24 IT professionals currently

employed by IT companies in the greater Seattle area identified from the researcher‘s

extended professional network were invited to pilot test the survey instrument for optimal

reliability. Twenty of the invited individuals agreed to participate in the pilot study,

which was based on testing-retesting of the survey, with a ten day wait period in between

the first and the second set of responses. The wait period between testing and retesting

was deemed appropriate because ten days is long enough to make participants forget

precisely what they answered before on the survey, promoting honest answers over

answers from memory (Marx et al., 2003). Ten work days are also a short enough period

to prevent that any significant changes in participants‘ current uses of and attitudes

toward social media affect responses.

To increase the reliability of the test-retest process, SurveyMonkey‘s

randomization feature was used to change order of the items appearing under each

section on the survey, as was the order of the Likert-scale. The testing-retesting of the

SME approved survey instrument by the twenty pilot testers yielded correlation

coefficients for all questions but one between 0.76 and 0.91, indicating that survey

questions had acceptable-to-good reliability. One question asking participants to answer

if social media has made their companies more open yielded a correlation coefficient of

0.68 and was discarded in the final survey version (Appendix J). Three pilot testers

offered specific suggestions for improvements to the survey, resulting in a change to the

phrasing of attitudinal questions about social media strategies and policies. Also, several
134

pilot testers suggested that a comment field was added to each question to gather

additional valuable input for the second, qualitative research phase. Other suggestions

were deemed outside the scope of the study and were not included. Table 7 summarizes

the evolution of the survey instrument.

Table 7

Evolution of Survey Instrument

Version Content Appendix


1 Researcher‘s first draft Appendix I
2 SME reviewed
3 Pilot tested-retested
4 Final version for data collection Appendix J

Data Collection

Survey participants were recruited via email, using email lists owned and

provided by Seattle SIM, a professional organization for IT professional and MW

Research, a Seattle-based nonprofit technology research organization. A total of 2993

email addresses 4 received invitations from the researcher with a link to the final

SurveyMonkey questionnaire (Appendix B). The exact total number of invitees is

unknown because initial email recipients were asked to forward the recruitment email and

link to survey to colleagues and professional contacts. Reminder emails were sent a

week after the initial email. After 18 days, 450 IT professionals had completed the

4
863 email invitations were sent using Seattle SIM contact lists, and 2130 email

invitations were sent using MW Research contact lists. Overlap between the two lists was

not considered.
135

survey, yielding a sufficient number of valid responses for statistical analysis, as

indicated in Table 8.

Table 8

Number of Survey Responses

# Responses Percentage

Total 450 100

Invalid – duplicate passwords 2 0.4

Invalid – did not accept informed consent 7 1.6

Invalid – did not finish survey 35 7.8

Valid responses 406 90.2

Two respondents had chosen the same password, invalidating both responses.

Seven respondents chose to not accept the informed consent, and 35 respondents opted to

close the survey before answering all the required questions yielding 406 valid responses.

Data was downloaded from SurveyMonkey into MS Excel and organized according to

survey questions.

Demographic profiles of valid responses. The first part of the survey collected

data about participants‘ demographic profile, including age category (generational

cohort), gender, educational level, size of company, occupational category (manager/non

manager IT professional), and years of experience in the IT industry. Tables 9-15 show

frequencies of responses by demographic data.


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Table 9

Survey Responses by Age Category

Age Category f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
30 or under 46 11.3 11.3
31-50 201 49.5 60.8
Over 50 159 39.2 100
Total 406 100 100

Table 10 shows responses by gender.

Table 10

Survey Responses by Gender

Gender f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
Male 264 65.0 65.0
Female 142 35.0 100
Total 406 100 100

As seen in Table 10, a little more than one third of survey respondents were female, and a

little under two thirds were male.

Table 11 shows responses by educational level.


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Table 11

Survey Responses by Educational Level

Educational level f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
High school diploma 67 16.5 16.5
Associate‘s degree 64 15.8 32.3
Bachelor‘s degree 178 43.8 76.1
Master‘s degree 88 21.2 97.8
Doctorate degree 9 2.2 100
Total 406 100 100

Table 11 shows that 43.8% of survey respondents had a bachelor‘s degree, 21.2% had a

master‘s degree, 16.5% had a high school diploma, 15.8% had an associate‘s degree, and

2.2% had a doctoral degree.

Table 12 shows the detailed occupational categories of survey respondents.

Table 12

Survey Responses by Occupational Category - Details

Occupational Category f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
IT professional, no current 216 53.2 53.2
management responsibilities
IT professional with current 104 25.6 78.8
management responsibilities
IT professional – 39 9.6 88.4
freelancer/consultant
Manager of managers 23 5.7 94.1
Student/intern/other 24 5.9 100
Total 406 100 100
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Table 12 shows over half of survey respondents were IT professionals without

management responsibilities, 9.6% were consultants or freelancers, and 5.9% were

students. Management respondents included IT professionals with management

responsibilities (25.6%) and managers of managers (5.7%). Data in Table 12 can be

grouped into management/non-management categories. Two of the five occupational

categories are managers, and three of the categories are non-managers, as summarized in

Table 13

Survey Responses by Occupational Category – Manager/Non-manager

Occupational Category – f Percentage Cumulative


Manager/Non-manager Percent
n=406
IT professional – non-manager 279 68.7 68.7
IT professional – manager 127 31.3 31.3
Total 406 100 100

Table 13 shows a little more than two thirds of respondents were non-manager IT

professionals, and a little less than one third were managers.

Table 14 shows the number of years each participant has from IT industry.

Table 14

Survey Responses by Experience in IT Industry

Years of experience f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
Less than 5 years 43 10.5 10.5
5-10 years 66 16.3 26.8
More than 10 years 297 73.2 100
Total 406 100 100
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Table 14 indicates the majority of survey respondents (73.2%) had more than 10 years of

experience from the IT industry, 16.3% had 5-10 years experience, and 10.5% had less

than 5 years experience.

Table 15 shows the size of the company where the survey respondents currently work.

Table 15

Survey Responses by Company Size

Company size f Percentage Cumulative


Percent
n=406
1-20 employees 59 14.5 14.5
21-100 employees 34 8.4 22.9
101-200 employees 27 6.7 29.6
201-2000 employees 115 28.3 57.9
More than 2000 171 42.1 100
employees
Total 406 100 100

As shown in Table 15, survey respondents worked for IT companies of all sizes.

Most respondents (42.1%) worked for companies with more than 2000 employees; 28.3%

worked for companies with 201-2000 employees; 6.7% worked for companies with 101-

200 employees; 8.4% worked for companies with 21-100 employees; and 14.5% worked

for small companies with 20 or fewer employees.

Respondents were asked if their company had a dedicated social media strategy.

Survey results are shown in Table 16.


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Table 16

Survey respondents on whether their company has dedicated social media strategy,

percentages.

Yes No Unsure Total


Company size Percent Percentage Percentage Percentage
age

1-20 employees 45.8 42.4 11.9 100

21-100 employees 55.9 41.2 2.9 100

101-200 employees 48.1 40.7 11.1 100

201-2000 employees 47.0 28.7 24.3 100

2000+ employees 58.5 18.1 23.4 100

Average 51.0 34.2 14.7 100

As seen in Table 16, an average of 51% of the respondents‘ employers currently have a

dedicated social media strategy. Those respondents whose companies did have a social

media strategy were asked to answer two follow-up questions, as indicated in Table 17.
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Table 17

Survey respondents whose company has dedicated social media strategy

I know the details of my My company's social media


company's social media strategy aligns well with the
strategy company's overall strategy and
vision

Yes No Unsure Yes No Unsure


Company size % % % % % %

1-20 employees 92.6 3.7 3.7 85.2 3.7 11.1

21-100 employees 78.9 15.8 5.3 84.2 5.3 10.5

101-200 employees 53.8 38.5 7.7 69.2 7.7 23.1

201-2000 employees 68.5 24.1 7.4 68.5 3.7 27.8

2000+ employees 57.0 30.0 13.0 65.0 6.0 29.0

Average 70.2 22.4 7.4 74.4 5.3 20.3

An average of 70 percent of the respondents reported they know the details of their

company‘s social media strategy and almost three quarters of respondents agreed that

their employer‘s social media strategy aligns with the overall strategy and vision of the

company.

Survey respondents were also asked if their employer had dedicated policies in

place governing individual use of social media. The results are shown in Table 18.
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Table 18

Survey respondents on whether their company has published social media policies

governing individual use

Company size Yes No Unsure Total


Percentage Percentage Percentage Percentage

1-20 employees 44.1 45.8 10.2 100

21-100 employees 52.9 32.4 14.7 100

101-200 employees 70.4 14.8 14.8 100

201-2000 employees 60.9 24.3 14.8 100

2000 employees 76.6 11.1 12.3 100

Average 61.0 25.7 13.4 100

The survey data in Table 18 show larger companies are more likely to publish formal

policies governing employees‘ use of social media than smaller companies. Respondents

whose companies have formal social media policies in place were asked three additional

questions about these policies, as shown in Table 19.


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Table 19

Survey respondents whose company has published social media policies governing

individual use

I know the details of I follow the guidelines My company's social


my company's social in my company's media policies prevent
media policies social media policies me from using social
media applications
optimally for work-
related purposes

Yes No Unsure Yes No Unsure Yes No Unsure


Company % % % % % % % % %
size

1-20 100 0 0 100 0 0 46.2 50.0 3.8


employees

21-100 94.4 0 5.6 94.7 0 5.3 16.7 66.7 16.7


employees

101-200 94.7 0 5.7 94.7 5.3 0 26.3 68.4 5.3


employees

201-2000 82.9 8.6 8.6 87.1 4.3 8.6 37.1 55.7 7.1
employees

More than 83.2 9.2 7.6 86.3 6.9 6.9 36.6 53.4 9.9
2000
employees

Average 91.0 3.5 5.4 91.4 5.5 3.1 32.6 58.8 8.6

Most respondents report knowing the details of their company‘s social media policies and

follow the provided guidelines. Over a third of the respondents felt, however, that their

employer‘s social media policies prevented them from using social media optimally.
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Results

Results are reported according to the research questions. The quantitative

descriptive research phase encompassed five RQs related to IT professionals‘ uses of and

attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes. For each research questions,

collected data are presented in table and graphical format. Results of statistical testing

will be presented to test hypotheses.

Research question 1. The first research question asked,

RQ1. What are the different uses of social media among IT professionals in IT

companies?

To answer this research question, survey participants were asked about their current

personal uses of different types of social media applications for different purposes,

identified by the literature and validated by SMEs in the pilot study. Survey respondents

could check more than one purpose per social media application and indicate the degree

of current usage on a scale from 1-5, in which 1=no use, 2=very limited use; 3=limited

use; 4= regular use; 5=very frequent use. The results showing use of at least one social

media application versus non-use or very limited use are displayed in Table 20 and

Figure 4.
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Table 20

RQ1 - Current uses of social media – all respondents, all applications

Use social media Very limited or no use of


social media

f Percentage f Percentage
(n=406) (n=406)
Communicating, 332 81.2 74 18.2
collaborating
Research, finding resources 282 69.5 124 30.5
Knowledge management, 310 76.4 96 23.6
learning
Marketing, sales, customer 122 30.0 284 70.0
resources management
Recruitment, assimilation, 130 32.0 276 68.0
retention
Staying in touch 321 79.1 85 20.9

The use of social media in this summary includes use of at least one social media

applications, as indicated by the respondents by a 3, 4, or 5 rating on the Likert-type

scale. Non-use means respondents did not use any social media applications for the

stated purpose, or indicated that their use was very limited by rating the usage a 1 or 2 on

the Likert-type scale. The results are shown in bar graph format in Figure 4.
146

81.8%
79.1%
76.4%
69.5% 70.0% 68.0%

30.5% 30.0% 32.0%


23.6%
20.9%
18.2%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Use % Very limited or no use %

Figure 4. Current uses of social media – all respondents, all applications (n=406).

As seen in Figure 4, the two most common uses of social media among IT

professionals include communication/collaboration, and staying in touch with others. A

third close usage is knowledge management and learning, and research/finding resources.

The least common uses of social media among IT professionals include marketing and

recruitment, with less than a third reporting using any social media tools for these

purposes.

Current uses of different social media applications for all respondents can be

found in Appendix S in table and graph formats. Types of applications were determined

by the literature and validated by SMEs. Specific examples of applications were

provided in the final survey (Appendix J). Survey data show more than half of

respondents use a variety of social media applications, including professional networking

tools, wikis, online forums and chats, social networking applications, and multi-media
147

sharing tools. Less than half of the respondents use blogs, microblogs, and location-

based services. The most commonly used type of social media application is professional

networking tools, such as LinkedIn. Two-thirds of all respondents use professional

networking applications for staying in touch, and for collaboration and communication.

Almost as equally used are wikis, which are most commonly used for knowledge

management and learning purposes, as well as for research and resource finding. The

third most type of social media applications are online forums and chats, such as Skype

and Instant Messenger. Nearly half of respondents use these social media applications to

communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Nearly one fifth reported using online

forums and chats for research and learning purposes, while other types of uses were not

common.

Podcasts, videocasts, and RSS feeds were mainly used for research and

knowledge management/learning purposes. Nearly half of respondents reported using

these types of social media applications for knowledge management and learning

purposes and a little more than one fourth used podcasts for research. Social networking

applications such as Yammer, Facebook, and Google+ are used by 59% of IT

professionals for work-related purposes. Staying in touch and communicating and

collaborating with colleagues are the most frequently cited uses of social networking

applications.

Current usage of multimedia sharing applications, such as Flickr and YouTube is

not widespread among IT professionals. Only about one fourth of the respondents

indicated that they use multimedia sharing tools for learning or knowledge management

purposes, but other types of uses were not widespread. A little less than one fourth of
148

respondents reported using blogs for knowledge management and learning purposes, and

a little over one fifth used blogs to conduct research or find resources. Other types of use

were not widespread for blogs. The current work-related use of microblogs, such as

Twitter, is also minimal, with only 12% of respondents indicating any use of such tools.

Finally, location-based services such as Foursquare and Hummingbird were the least

used type of social media application by IT professionals, with less than a tenth of

respondents indicating use for any kind of purpose.

Table 21 shows a ranking by use of different social media applications and the

most common uses for each type of application.


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Table 21

RQ1 - Ranking of social media applications according to frequency of use.

Type of social media Ranking Used by Most common types of


application based on percentage of uses
frequency of IT
use professionals

Professional networking 1 74.9 Staying in touch,


communication and
collaboration

Wikis 2 74.4 Knowledge management


and learning; research
and finding resources

Online forums and chats 3 69.0 Communication and


collaboration;
Knowledge management
and learning

Podcasts, videocasts, RSS 4 64.8 Knowledge management


feeds and learning; research
and finding resources

Social networking 5 59.6 Staying in touch,


communication and
collaboration

Multimedia sharing 6 50.0 Knowledge management


and learning; research
and finding resources

Blogs 7 48.5 Knowledge management


and learning; research
and finding resources

Microblogs 8 40.4 None

Location-based services 9 31.5 None

As seen in Table 21, professional networking applications (such as LinkedIn) are

the most commonly used social media technology by IT professionals, with 74.9%
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reporting use. The most common types of uses of professional networking applications

include staying in touch, and communication and collaboration. The second most used

social media application is wikis, which are used by 74.4% of IT professionals for either

knowledge management or learning purposes, or for research and resource finding.

Third, online forums and chats (such as IM and Skype) are used by 69% of survey

respondents to communicate and collaborate and to enable organizational knowledge

management and learning. The fourth most used social media application was podcasts,

videocasts, RSS feeds, used by 64.8% of respondents to for the purposes of knowledge

management and learning; and for research and finding resources. Next social

networking applications like Yammer or Facebook are used by 59.6% of IT professionals

to stay in touch and to communicate and collaborate. Multimedia sharing applications

(such as Pinterest and Flickr) are used by half of the respondents for knowledge

management and learning purposes and for research and finding resources. The three

least used types of social media applications include blogs (48.5%), microblogs (such as

Twitter, 40.4%), and location-based services (such as Hummingbird, 31.5%).

Research question 2. The second quantitative research question addresses

differences across generational cohort membership in current uses of social media in IT

companies:

RQ2. To what extent does the use of social media in IT companies differ across

IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?

The practitioner literature indicated that Generation Y cohort members are more likely to

use social media for work-related purposes as compared to their older colleagues (Calder,
151

2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward, 2009). However, no current research exists to indicate

if Generation X cohort members are more or less likely to use social media at work than

their older and younger colleagues, leading to the following hypotheses. :

H20: There is no difference in generational cohort use of social media among IT

professionals in IT companies.

H21: Generation Y IT professionals in IT companies are more likely to use

social media than Generation X and Baby Boomer IT professionals.

The hypotheses were tested at a 95% significance level or higher to determine if there

was a statistically significant variance between generation cohort membership and use of

social media among IT professionals in IT companies. To test the null hypothesis,

respondent ratings of current uses of social media applications were used to assess if

scores followed a normal distribution, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Distribution of all responses per purpose, all respondents (n=406).


152

Two types of uses, recruitment, assimilation and retention; and marketing, sales,

and customer relationship management follow a bimodal distribution, indicating that

respondents fall in two distinct categories: those IT professionals who never use social

media for these purposes and those who use social media for these purposes in a limited

manner. IT professionals may not be extensively involved in marketing activities or

recruitment and retention activities. These two types of uses will therefore be excluded

from further analysis to focus on the remaining four types of uses that do follow a normal

distribution, which allows t-testing of comparison research hypotheses (Park, 2008).

Survey participants ranked their current use of social media for different purposes

according to a five-point Likert-type scale, in which 1=never use; 2=very limited use; 3=

limited use; 4=regular use; and 5=very frequent use. As noted above, two types of uses

(marketing, sales, and customer relationship management; and recruitment, assimilation,

and retention) did not follow a normal distribution curve and were omitted from further

analysis. The remaining four use categories were tested separately to reflect variations in

uses of different types of social media uncovered by RQ1. To test H20, the two age

groups 31-50 and over 50 were combined and a t-test was conducted comparing the 30

and under group with the combined over 31 group. Because the null hypothesis was

directional, the t-test was one-tailed. Table 22 below summarizes results of t-tests,

comparing the 30 and under age group with the combined over 31 age group. Means (M)

and standard deviation (s) are shown for each type of usage, as are t-values (t), degrees of

freedom (df), and the probability that the difference between the two groups is due to

Type 1 error (p). Cohen‘s d was calculated for statistically significant results to indicate

effect, and interpreted relative to effect size (small, medium, large). An asterisk (*)
153

indicates whether a t-test yielded a statistically significant result at the indicated p-level,

which means the null hypothesis was rejected and that % significance level. The smallest

statistical significance threshold was 95% (p=0.05) and the largest was 99.95%

(p=0.0005). Detailed t-tests and accompanying bar graphs for data related to RQ2 can be

found in Appendix T.
154

Table 22

RQ2- Results of t-tests.


155

The t-tests showed Generation Y cohort members are significantly more likely to

use social media for communication and collaboration purposes as compared to their

older colleagues. The effect size of this relationship was large. T-tests also showed that

Generation Y cohort members are significantly more likely to use social media for

knowledge management and learning, as compared to their older colleagues. The effect

size of this relationship was medium. There was no statistically significant difference

across age groups in the use of social media for research and resource finding, and for

staying in touch.

Research question 3. The third quantitative research question addresses

differences across occupational categories (manager/non-manager) in current uses of

social media:

RQ3. To what extent do IT professionals’ uses of social media in IT companies

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

RQ3 leads to the following hypotheses, which was tested at the 95% significance level or

higher to determine if there was a statistically significant variance between occupational

category and the use of social media in IT companies:

H30: There is no difference in managers‘ and non-managers‘ use of social

media among IT professionals in IT companies.

H31: There is a difference in managers‘ and non-managers use of social media

among IT professionals in IT companies.

Survey participants ranked their current use of social media for different purposes

according to a five-point Likert-type scale, in which 1=never use; 2=very limited use; 3=

limited use; 4=regular use; and 5=very frequent use. As noted above, two types of uses
156

(marketing, sales, and customer relationship management; and recruitment, assimilation,

and retention) did not follow a normal distribution curve and were omitted from further

analysis. The remaining four use categories were tested separately to reflect variations in

uses of different types of social media uncovered by RQ1.

A t-test was conducted to confirm or reject H30, comparing the two occupational

groups. Because the null hypothesis was non-directional, the t-test was two-tailed. Table

23 below summarizes results of t-tests, comparing the manager and non-manager groups.

Means (M) and standard deviation (s) are shown for each type of usage, as are t-values

(t), degrees of freedom (df), and the probability that the difference between the two

groups is due to Type 1 error (p). Cohen‘s d was calculated for statistically significant

results to indicate effect, and interpreted relative to effect size (small, medium, large).

An asterisk (*) indicates whether a t-test yielded a statistically significant result at the

indicated p-level, which means the null hypothesis was rejected at that % significance

level. The largest statistical significance threshold was 95% (p=0.05). Detailed t-tests

and accompanying bar graphs for data related to RQ3 can be found in Appendix U.
157

Table 23

RQ3 - Results of t-tests


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Results of t-tests show the only type of use that yielded a significantly different

result between manager and non-manager IT professionals was knowledge management

and learning. The significance level was 95%, and the effect size was small. All other

types of uses yielded no statistically different results, indicating that there is no

statistically significant difference in the use of social media for communication and

collaboration, research and resource finding, and for staying in touch across

manager/non-manager occupational categories.

Research question 4. The fourth quantitative research question addresses

differences across generation cohort membership in attitudes toward social media use in

IT companies:

RQ4. To what extent do the attitudes toward social media use in IT companies

differ across IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation

X, Generation Y)?

The practitioner literature indicated that Generation Y cohort members are more likely to

have more positive attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes as compared

to their older colleagues (Calder, 2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward, 2009). However, no

current research exists to indicate if Generation X cohort members are more or less likely

to have positive or negative attitudes toward social media at work than their older and

younger colleagues. Hence, RQ4 led to the following hypotheses, which was tested at

the 95% significance level or higher to determine if there was a statistically significant

variance between generation cohort membership and attitudes toward use of social media

in IT companies:
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H40: There is no difference in IT professionals‘ generation cohort membership

and attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.

H41: IT professional Generation Y cohort members have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption and use in IT companies than Generation X

and Baby Boomer cohort member employees.

A series of ten attitudinal questions was presented to survey participants who

were asked to rank their opinions about the impact of social media on their organization

according to a five-point Likert-type scale, in which 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=

no opinion/not sure; 4=agree; and 5= strongly agree. Responses from all respondents are

shown in Figure 6, indicating that responses follow a normal distribution, which allows

for t-testing of hypotheses (Steinberg, 2008).

50.0% Encourage
participation
45.0%
More open
40.0%
Managers more
35.0% trusting
30.0% More effective work

25.0% More independent


work
20.0%
Break down barriers
15.0%
Promote collab
10.0%

5.0% Improved reputation

0.0% Better workplace


1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No 4=Agree 5=Strongly
disagree opinion/ agree Pose risk
Not sure

Figure 6. Attitudinal statements, all respondents (n=406).


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The tall bell curves shown in Figure 6 imply a high degree of uncertainty in the

responses, with most responses reflecting a no/opinion or not sure answer. Responses to

each statement were analyzed and tested separately. To test H40, the two age groups 31-

50 and over 50 were combined and a t-test was conducted comparing the 30 and under

group with the combined over 31 group. Because the null hypothesis was directional, all

t-tests related to RQ4 were one-tailed. Table 24 below summarizes results of t-tests,

comparing the manager and non-manager groups. Means (M) and standard deviation (s)

are shown for each type of usage, as are t-values (t), degrees of freedom (df), and the

probability that the difference between the two groups is due to Type 1 error (p).

Cohen‘s d was calculated for statistically significant results to indicate effect, and

interpreted relative to effect size (small, medium, large). An asterisk (*) indicates

whether a t-test yielded a statistically significant result at the indicated p-level, which

means the null hypothesis was rejected and that % significance level. The largest

statistical significance threshold was 95% (p=0.05), and the smallest was 99.95% (p=

0.0005%). Detailed t-tests and accompanying bar graphs for data related to RQ4 can be

found in Appendix V.
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Table 24

RQ4 – Results of t-tests.


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Results from t-tests show that in all of the positively-phrased attitudinal

statements (1-9), Generation Y cohort members were statistically significantly more

likely to agree with each of these statements in comparison with their older IT

professional colleagues. The largest significance level was 99.95% (p=0.0005), and the

smallest was 97.5% (p=0.025). However, only two of the statements (6 and 8) reflected a

medium effect, whereas the other positively worded statements signified a small effect.

The tenth statement was worded negatively and yielded a statistically non-significant

result, indicating that younger IT professionals are not more likely than their older

colleagues to believe social media pose a risk to their companies‘ integrity. In summary,

millennial IT professionals have statistically significant more positive attitudes toward

social media adoption and use in IT companies as compared to their older IT professional

colleagues, but the effects were only small to medium.

Research question 5. The fifth and last quantitative research question addressed

variance between occupational categories and attitudes toward social media use in IT

companies:

RQ5: To what extent do attitudes toward social media adoption differ across

occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

Existing literature on organizational social media adoption and use suggests

managers may have more negative attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0 adoption than non-

managers because their influence is diminished when users control content (Chui, Miller

& Roberts, 2009; Li, 2010). Hence, RQ5 resulted in the following hypotheses, which

was tested at a minimum 95% significance level to determine if there was a statistically
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significant variance between occupational category and attitudes toward adoption and use

of social media in IT companies

H50: There is no difference in IT professional managers‘ and non-managers‘

attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.

H51: Non-manager IT professionals in IT companies have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption than managers.

The same set of ten attitudinal statements used to answer RQ4 was used for RQ5.

Responses to each statement were analyzed and tested separately. Because the null

hypothesis was directional, the t-test was one-tailed. Table 26 below summarizes results

of t-tests, comparing the manager and non-manager groups. Means (M) and standard

deviation (s) are shown for each type of usage, as are t-values (t), degrees of freedom

(df), and the probability that the difference between the two groups is due to Type 1 error

(p). Cohen‘s d was calculated for statistically significant results to indicate effect, and

interpreted relative to effect size (small, medium, large). An asterisk (*) indicates

whether a t-test yielded a statistically significant result at the indicated p-level, which

means the null hypothesis was rejected and that % significance level. The largest p

threshold was 95% (p=0.05), and the smallest was 99.95% (p= 0.0005%)
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Table 25

RQ5 - Results of t-tests


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Results from t-tests were mixed. Non-manager IT professionals were statistically more

likely to agree with statements 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9, as compared to their manager colleagues.

However, the effects of these relationships were small. The other half of the attitudinal

statements yielded no statistically significant differences between manager and non-

manager IT professionals.

Qualitative Research Phase

The purpose of the second qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study phase

was to explore senior IT leaders‘ lived experiences with the adoption and use of social

media in organizations and understand the leadership practices that may contribute to the

successful implementation of social media. The central qualitative research question

was: What are senior leaders’ lived experiences relative to organizational adoption and

use of social media in IT companies? Interview participants included senior IT leaders in

the Greater Seattle area who had recent personal experiences with successful social media

implementations in their respective organizations. A pilot study preceded the interviews

with the purpose of reviewing and updating the interview protocol, and testing audio

recording equipment.

Interview Protocol Development

Answers to the five quantitative research questions provided the foundation for

addressing the purpose of the second qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological study

phase. The researcher‘s first draft interview protocol was updated based on survey

findings, which provided additional context and wording of questions. Different types of

uses of social media reflected in survey data resulted in an interview question related to

the strategic value of social media. Findings related to generational differences in uses of
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and attitudes toward social media resulted in an update to the wording of questions

related to leadership challenges associated with ensuring participation across different

age groups. Also, mixed findings relative to manager/non-manager differences in uses of

and attitudes toward social media led to the rewording of an interview question related to

manager and non-manager participation.

In addition to closed-ended survey items, participants were given the option to

comment on survey content in free text. A few individuals provided useful comments,

which were used to clarify interview questions. In particular, comments regarding risks

and benefits resulted in updated interview questions about the leadership challenges

associated with balancing risks and benefits. As noted by one survey participant,

I consider social media use mandatory both professionally and personally. Lines

of demarcation are blurry, and some choose arcane tools to try and distinguish

themselves. Currently, few understand the limits, risks and proper configuration

of the tools. (Survey participant # 109)

Other survey participants highlighted leadership issues related to ensuring participation,

protecting company assets, and implementing social media guidelines, leading to an

update of related interview questions.

Pilot Study

The pilot study involved one senior IT leader matching the participant selection

criteria. The pilot participant signed the informed consent form but was informed that

data from the pilot interview would not be included in final data analysis. The pilot

interview took place via Skype with the main purpose of verifying the interview protocol,

including phrasing and sequencing of questions, testing audio recording equipment, and
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timing the entire interview. The pilot interview lasted for 33 minutes and resulted in a

final update of the interview protocol, including clarification of the wording on several

questions and the addition of two more questions. The final interview protocol used for

interviews can be found in Appendix L. Audio recordings from the pilot interview were

transcribed into MS Word to time the transcription process and to establish an NVivo-

compatible format for transcribed data.

Data Collection

A total of thirteen senior IT leaders working at different companies in the greater

Seattle area were interviewed for the study. Eleven of these interviews were held in

person, and two were conducted via Skype. Participants‘ job titles included CIO, CTO,

VP of software engineering, VP of architecture and technology, Director of E-commerce,

and Senior VP of IT, and Director of Communications and Technology. Interview

participants were recruited through the researcher‘s professional network and through

participants‘ extended networks. A recruitment and a reminder email and a telephone

script were used to describe the purpose of the study at the initial point of contact

(Appendices D and E). Before interviews were scheduled, participants were sent an

informed consent form (Appendix G) and asked to sign and return to the researcher.

Once forms were received, participants were contacted by phone or email to schedule

interviews. Interviews lasted between 33 and 48 minutes and were audio recorded.

Audio recordings were transcribed into MS Word using participant codes. Before

interview transcripts were loaded into NVivo, the researcher completed a data reduction

process in which all identifying information was removed from the transcripts, including

participants‘ names and organizational affiliations. Data reduction also resulted in the
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removal of extraneous information deemed irrelevant to the interview purpose, including

private conversations and distractions from third parties that took place during the

interviews. Once data reduction was completed, interview transcripts were sent to

interview participants for verification. An email from each participant verified

correctness of transcriptions, which were loaded into NVivo 10 for thematic analysis and

coding. After the first interview, and initial coding scheme was developed, using

NVivo‘s hierarchical node structure and note taking features. The coding scheme

containing topics, themes, and subthemes and associated coding instructions was

reviewed after each interview, and all previously coded interviews were then re-coded

using constant comparison. Notes taken after interviews and documented in the research

journal notes (cf. Appendix O) informed latent coding. The final coding scheme

(Appendix X) was applied to all thirteen interviews, and final coding results were

validated by an external auditor. The auditor‘s report can be found in Appendix Y.

Saturation was reached after the interview, when no new topics, themes, or subthemes

emerged after coding.

Results

Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts revealed a number of themes and

patterns in the data. Particular emphasis was given during interviews to leadership

experiences with social media adoption and use relative to balancing risks and benefits,

and to ensuring participation across generational cohorts and occupational categories.

However, other key leadership issues related to social media adoption and use were

discussed, including reasons for initial adoption of social media, organizational players

and roles, current uses of social media applications, value proposition, and promising
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practices. Themes representing the essence of interview participants‘ lived experiences

are shown in Table 26 along with brief explanations of each theme.

Table 26

Themes Emerging from Qualitative Data Analysis

Theme Explanation

Driving social media Interview participants‘ experiences from leading social


adoption at the strategic media adoption and use and defining strategies
level

Addressing operational- Leadership and implementation issues related to utilizing


level implementation issues unique features of social media, managing risks, and
overcoming operational-level issues arising from social
media adoption

Enhancing communication Supporting employee communication, team collaboration,


and collaboration through and crowdsourcing through use of social media
social media

Adapting leadership Addressing the needs to Generation Y employees and using


practices to Millennials social media to recruit and retain Millennials

Each of these themes was broken into subthemes identified during the coding

process. The final coding scheme can be found in Appendix X. Selected quotes

illustrating the essence of interview participants‘ lived experienced are reported for each

subtheme next.

Theme: Driving social media adoption at the strategic level. Table 27 shows

the subthemes associated with the theme of driving social media adoption at the strategic

level and provides the number and percentage of participants who addressed each

subtheme.
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Table 27

Theme - Driving Social Media Adoption at the Strategic Level

Subthemes Addressed by Percentage of


Number of Participants
Participants

Define and measure success 12 92%

Cross-organizational approach to adoption 10 77%

Social media as cultural glue 9 69%

Define social media strategy and create a vision 8 62%

Personal use of social media by senior executives 7 54%

Push open leadership philosophy 7 54%

Prepare for technology future 7 54%

Manage change 4 31%

Define and measure success. This subtheme addresses interview participants‘

experiences relative to defining success with and measuring value of social media use

and covers both internal and external use practices. Defining success criteria helps set

expectations for social media outcomes. This subtheme was mentioned by 92% of the

interview participants. Participant 2 stated,

I would define success [with social media] as extracting the maximum values

from our intellectual assets, which include our employees. In terms of customer

side, success would be generating more leads, and essentially marketing dollar

relative to what we‘re putting into marketing.

Participant 9 noted,
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Our role on social media is to inspire, and to extend the human connection, and to

educate. And that‘s how we measure [success with social media], we recognize

that there will eventually be a growth in sales but our main goal is to foster a love

affair.

Participant 8 stated, ―Success with social media equals success of the business.

Ultimately, it‘s about survival in a very competitive industry.‖

Participant 8 stated,

If we‘re trying to attract customers using word of mouth and through social

media, we have to be able to act social internally. So it‘s about the external image

of your company translating to your internal culture, and in our case, it‘s about

being relevant no matter what we do.

Building solid cases for social media was mentioned by a few interview

participants as a way to solidify the value proposition. Participant 3 noted,

for us, the business case of social media is more anecdotal – like, hey, we were

able to connect these people because of these social media tools, so the

storytelling aspect of social media is just as important as having some numbers to

back it up with – which makes sense because social media support a social

environment.

Regarding assigning metrics to internal uses of social media, Participant 12

stated, ―Social media does add business value but I haven‘t seen any maturity at all in

terms of measuring ROI. It would be really difficult to measure.‖

Also speaking of measuring value of social media, Participant 10 stated,


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We do not measure value of social media, that would be really hard to do … We

build social software, that‘s what we do – so we obviously believe social media

has value. We use the survey application and other social applications every day,

so they obviously have value and there‘s no point assigning a dollar figure to that.

Speaking of metrics, Facebook

Participant 3 stated,

We‘ve actually been doing some research on how to monitor benefits and track

metrics. We find that there really aren‘t any compelling metrics for social media,

you either end up with a business case that‘s skewed so dramatically that you‘re

going to end up with millions of dollars in savings that no one will believe in

anyway, or you end up with figuring out the levers you have to pull. Social media

is difficult to measure because if you make one bad assumption, your logic fails.

You can try to go down that route, but we‘ve found that this won‘t work for us.

And we haven‘t seen a push from our CEO to produce metrics for social media.

Participant 7 shared one approach to applying metrics to social media and noted,

We measure comments and re-tweets. We do a survey every 6-12 months, and the

one thing that killed us initially was that employees didn‘t feel that IT leadership

communicated with them, they didn‘t understand what the corporate mission was,

or agreed that they had the information they needed to do their job properly. We

scored low in those categories. No one in the US was used to including them in

the corporate goals or communications. Twitter made them feel they got the

information the exact same time as everyone in North America increased the
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satisfaction score immensely – we went from a 2-3 to 6-7 within 6 months and it

was very low maintenance for us.

Regarding external uses of social media such as customer relationship management,

sales, and stakeholder engagement, Participant 9 noted,

There‘s a lot of discussion about tracking dollar value to social media. A lot of it

is silly. If you just have a friend and they hit you for money, that‘s not a love

affair. My approach is, we‘re building a love affair with our customers, not a one-

night stand.

Participant 9 further noted,

We do measure activity on the domestic channels, such as our website, Flickr,

YouTube, our Facebook page, Pinterest, Twitter, we have a blog, and in addition

to those channels we have similar channels in many other countries. I came here

about 14 months ago to identify how we could social media to engage our fans.

Before that, we hadn‘t done anything. A year ago we had 13000 fans on

Facebook, now we have 170000 fans. We had 3000 followers on Twitter and now

we have 40000. Our blog reader is 10x what it was a year ago; we also didn‘t

have a YouTube channel then and now we have over 500000 organic views, and

have gotten 50-60000 views per month in the past 6 months. (I9)

We see a huge response. With Twitter, we see that when they tweet us a question

and we reply, they‘ll reply to our replies, and they‘ll like or favor our message, or

they‘ll re-tweet it. We measure all that (customer activity on social media) using

analytics tools.

Participant 4 talked about a different way to measure value of social media and noted,
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We measure the effect of social media by audience participation in our webinars;

we also measure it through how many re-tweets we get, we also look at if we‘re

getting an uptake in customer engagement or sales or inquiries, people calling us.

We are going to be a little bit more sophisticated, as we‘re building tracking into

our new website that we‘re launching capabilities to enhance the search engine

and see if we can build tracking into that website.

Summarizing the feelings of many of the interview participants regarding value

measurement, Participant 2 stated, ―We have not put a dollar figure on social media – it‘s

really about branding.‖

Cross-organizational approach to adoption. This subtheme was mentioned by

77% of the interview participants. Driving social media adoption by taking a cross-

organizational approach to social media adoption helps overcome barriers, engages a

broad audience, and allows for collaborative development of user guidelines. Participant

11 noted,

We have taken a collaborative approach to social media. The groups involved

were marketing, IT, and other business units that started using Confluence as a

way to track workflows and for task management and for sharing project

documents, so everything is integrated. This integrated approach to using social

media has worked very effectively.

Participant 8 noted, ―The push for social media has come from collaboration between IT

and marketing… We represent the case where the CIO and the CMO are BFFs.‖

Participant 7 stated,
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IT has an incentive to use social media to get the message out and build bridges to

other parts of the company. Social media can help bridge gaps between IT and the

business by educating users both ways. Because we are better communicating

across the organization, people can learn more about each other in a convenient

way. And that again helps adoption.

Several interview participants commented on the importance of having social media

usage guidelines and policies that span the entire organization. Participant 11 said,

We developed [the social media guidelines] with participation from key

stakeholder groups, including the customer-facing employee teams. I had a lot of

input from them, because they (customer facing employee teams) had the biggest

concerns about productivity.

Participant 5 noted, ―Our social media user guidelines have been collaboratively

developed among key internal stakeholders to ensure everyone‘s voices are heard.‖

In many companies, internal use of social media transcends to external constituents or

vice versa. Participant 12 commented on the increasing use of social media for

marketing purposes and said,

Our marketing team is doing a significant amount of work using Facebook as a

marketing tool and also analyzing the data that‘s coming in from the company‘s

Facebook page. So the company is heavily involved in using social media, both

Facebook and Twitter for external and internal purposes.

Social media as cultural glue. Social media acting as a means to strengthening

organizational culture was mentioned by 69% of interview participants. Participant 8

also said, ―I see social media as a way to strengthen our culture.‖ Participant 3 voiced the
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same sentiment and said, ―Social media act as a reinforcing agent of organizational

practices.‖ Participant 3 further stated, ―We have identified that there is this common

need to connect, so we use Yammer and other social media tools to reinforce those

connections and to reinforce our culture.‖ Participant 6 commented on leaders‘ role in

shaping organization culture and stated,

Leaders of companies should decide on and shape the culture of the organization

and I think the use of social media both internally and externally should be

thought of another way to reinforce the culture that you‘re trying to build and

nourish.

Some participants used the metaphor glue to describe the role of social media in

this context. Participant 1 noted, ―social media have become that cultural glue that holds

our organization together… the geographical lines have disappeared, you can be home or

here, it doesn‘t matter, that‘s huge.‖ Participant 5 similarly noted, ―If we can pull all the

different players together and have them use the same interface to talk to each other and

have conversations, social media will become the glue that holds the organization

together... social media act as a amplifier of our culture.‖

Participant 11 compared social media to a virtual water cooler for remote employees and

stated,

I started talking about how MySite could become an important employee

engagement tool, we want our employees - who are increasingly remote from

each other – to engage and how do you build community and how do you build

cohesiveness into the organizational culture? And how do you do that if you don‘t

have a physical place to connect? It used to be a water cooler, or the hallway, or


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paper newsletters – how are we doing that today? We started talking about how

we could use MySite internally to build a virtual water cooler.

Define social media strategy and create a vision. This subtheme was mentioned

by 62% of the participants and addresses the need to create a strategy and a vision for

internal social media use. A strategy helps leaders overcome adoption challenges related

to lack of strategic priority of social media and lack of time to actively engage in social

media. A social media strategy also helps the company maintain relevance and improve

governance.

Participant 6 stated, ―If you don‘t take a strategic approach to social media,

grassroots initiatives may get squashed quickly or die a quiet death because people are so

busy making their monthly targets.‖

Participant 13 cautioned against the urge to react quickly on social media instead of

taking the time to decide on the most strategic course of action:

One of the things we have to be careful of is the tendency to respond to

everything that‘s happening in the world, and social media compounds this

problem. Many leaders are trying to figure out how to respond to social media –

how can I make my little comment in 144 words and how can I react quickly to

this and that? We‘ve lost an essential element of leadership, which is when a

person takes the time to think about things, analyze, and understand and see

patterns and then come up with a strategy to solve problems overall. If we

approach social media from the point of blindly following our PR department

rather than by our policy or strategic thinking skills, the result is very likely that

we make short-term, reactive decisions that have disastrous consequences.


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Participant 5 noted that a strategic approach to social media adoption and use is necessary

because ―strategically, what we‘re thinking is if we can enable our people, operations,

and customers to participate together in activity streams, we empower our customers and

get them to participate in operations, and we enable our people to work together to be

more efficient.‖

Participant 6 mentioned lack of time as a barrier to social media adoption and

noted,

People are very busy in their day jobs and if what we are asking them to do isn‘t

part of their day job, they really have to burn for social media, or they may not

bother taking the time to participate.

Participant 12 similarly stated, ―I also look at my own overall amount of energy…

looking at all the different communication avenues, you only have so much energy total.‖

Participant 1 said that the need for a social media strategy came from a desire to

improve governance of social media, ―We want to improve our governance – we have

internal governance, but we need to improve the external governance, and having a

strategy helps.‖

Several participants said their social media strategy emerged from a need to stay abreast

with the latest technologies and remain relevant as a company. Participant 12 noted,

…we‘ve done a pretty good job keeping up with the general desktop and

applications. For example, I can almost do my entire job on my iPad – all the

executives have iPads now, and various people in the field have iPads and mobile

devices and access to social media. And I completely support that strategic
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direction to maintain a relevant and current technology platform, and that means

taking a strategic approach to social media use inside the company.‖

Participant 4 said, ―Our social media strategy came from IT - it started out because IT

knew about more the tools than the marketing people.‖

Some leaders said their strategy only covered external uses of social media, such as

marketing and customer relationship management. Participant 8 said,

We have a social media strategy but it mostly covers our external social media

presence and approach. Our internal social media is more driven by a cultural

interest translated into IT. To be able to support your external social media efforts

you need a certain internal culture and a social technology infrastructure.

A couple of the interview participants spoke of articulating a clear vision for

organizational social media usage to help lead organizational efforts in a unifying

manner. According to Participant 4, the vision of organizational use of social media is to

―connect people across the company to achieve greater impact.‖ Participant 5 articulated

the vision for social media as ―crossing the streams to make our operations, customers,

and employees better connected and enabling small company feel through lose

connections and breaking down silos.‖

Personal use of social media by senior executives. Personal use of social media

by senior leaders set an example for employees and may encourage broad participation,

and was mentioned by a little more than half (54%) of the interview participants.

Participant 12 noted,

My ex-boss here was an expert in social media communications – he was the CIO

and he would tweet throughout the day and his LinkedIn page is phenomenal. He
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used Tweet Deck and wanted to be the ambassador of social media, so it shows

that as a technology leader, we should be the ambassador of social media and

become early adopters ourselves and try to illustrate the power of social media.

Participant 3 noted, ―Because of the founder‘s imperative on social media and visible

presence on our social media platform, we all get better at social media, and can better

leverage the new tools.‖ Participant 7 noted,

The leader in of our overseas offices did start putting pictures up of himself on a

surfboard, which helped break down barriers between management and

employees, so people started to one-up him by uploading pictures of themselves.

By setting the scene of making it fun and informal he made it look approachable.

Participant 3 further said, ―When the CEO made a push to get onto Yammer and got on

there himself, there was a spike in adoption.‖ Participant 6 said, ―It‘s a leadership

challenge to support people who participate on social media to foster more participation

and you can do that by participating yourself.‖

Push open leadership philosophy. The notion of open leadership was mentioned

by a little over half (54%) of the interview participant and had to do with using social

media to institute a sense of transparency, collaboration, and dialogue, and with

reinforcing an existing open leadership culture. Speaking of practicing open leadership,

Participant 8 noted, ―We trust our employees to do the right thing, to participate in

decision-making and dialogue, and to exercise sound judgment. That‘s our management

philosophy.‖ Participant 6 similarly stated, ―As a leader, you want to encourage a

collaborative democratic culture within your company and social media can help you do

that.‖
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Participant 7 explained,

We use social media to gauge support in the organization for a particular decision.

20% of decisions are firm, typically related to standards, no negotiation possible.

Then there‘s the 60% of decision, where you have to make a really good case in

order for me to change my mind. The rest are the flexible decisions, where my

stance is, I don‘t really care, surprise me, let‘s discuss. We can see how much

noise a tweet creates. Twitter helps us cultivate the feeling that people are part of

the decision making process.

Also speaking of enabling open leadership through dialogue and engagement, Participant

6 said, ―Social media give people a voice, in an informal and bottom-up fashion that

couldn‘t have happened through email and other old technologies, because it doesn‘t

scale to so many employees.‖

Participant 13 also spoke of openness and transparency and said,

My leadership philosophy is that I‘m a results person, I want my employees to be

creative and I want them to engage, and it‘s what we‘re accomplishing that

matters, it‘s not the micromanagement. Social media has helped my employees

engage better and as a result, I think we‘ve become more open and transparent

and that‘s a very good thing.

Participant 2 agreed that social media can help transform organizational culture toward

more open and collaborative practices and stated,

I think the company has become more open as a result of social media usage. The

conversation about the pictures for example, the initial push was to provide lots of

guidelines and then we ended up with none and ended up realizing that we have a
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broader goal, and we don‘t need to be more specific and add more guidelines and

rules. So I think social media has had an impact, the launch of our new social

media platform will impact the culture and make it more open and user-driven.

Prepare for technology future. This subtheme addresses perceptions of how

trends in and expected growth of social media technologies drive adoption and was

mentioned by 54% of the interview participants. Participant 12 predicted that social

media are here to stay and stated,

The social media genie is out of the bottle. People have access to all kinds of

information and they have ways of sharing it behind official policies and

guidelines. Social media has become ubiquitous in our society, so to have an

approach to say we‘re not going to venture into social media and we‘ll put up a

technology barrier around it – that‘s not going to work, and it‘s foolish. So we

may as well start using it and start using it intelligently.

Participant 11 also predicted growth in the use of organizational social media

technologies and said,

Social media usage will continue to evolve and grow... Once we enhance the

search function [in Sharepoint], we‘ll have a conversation about the power of the

search feature, new projects will launch and we‘ll see a spike in adoption and use

of social media.

Several other participants predicted an increase in the adoption and use of social media.

Participant 3 said,

We‘re going to continue to get better at social media in the future. We need to do

more to integrate social media with our business applications, so we‘ll see more
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integration with line of business apps – we‘ll get more comfortable and get out on

Twitter and Facebook and build personas. It will grow and help us get our

message out and help our cause – social media are very cost effective and people

are willing to act and participate.

Participant 4 noted,

Social media will be more widely used in the future. You have to find new ways

to engage your customers and add value – we can do that by breaking the vast

amount of knowledge we have into actionable nuggets that knowledge workers

can work with immediately to solve problems, and IT needs to find a way to

deliver that to them and social media will help us do that.

Manage change. Less than one third of the interview participants (31%)

mentioned driving adoption of social media by viewing adoption as a way to change

work practices and culture. Participant 8 focused on using social media to drive

organizational change and stated,

I have used social media to change and future proof the organization. You can‘t

do that successfully if you aren‘t current with what‘s going on in society and in

your environment. Driving social media here is about driving change, and change

is necessary. We compete with anyone who has a mobile and web presence,

you‘re judged by the coolness factor, so those concerns are becoming increasingly

important in IT.

Other participants talked about how social media can change work practices. Participant

2 noted,
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We now have all these collaboration sites across projects and departments so we

spun up the home page - people can still get to the old one if they want - so it‘s

not a disruptive change for most people. We let people adopt at their own pace,

some folks are more change adept than others.

Participant 5 stated,

We want to reflect our value of small company feel on social media. And that‘s

how I‘m trying to sell social media by tying into our core values – we want to be

nimble, and agile, and flexible, and that‘s one of our key strengths – we‘re able to

make changes quickly, we‘re used to change here.

Theme: Addressing operational-level implementation issues. This theme

addresses interview participants‘ lived experiences relative to implementation issues at

the operational level arising from social media adoption and use. Table 28 shows the

subthemes associated with the theme of addressing operational-level implementation

issues and provides the number and percentage of participants who addressed each

subtheme.
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Table 28

Theme – Addressing Operational-level Implementation Issues

Subthemes Addressed by Percentage of


Number of Participants
Participants

Manage risks 13 100%

Engage employees 10 77%

Maintain quality and relevance 7 54%

Increase employee productivity 7 54%

Overcome organizational implementation 6 46%


barriers

Gain support from middle management 6 46%

Manage risks. This subtheme addresses interview participants‘ lived experiences

relative to managing potential risks associated with social media. Mentioned by all

interview participants, identifying and assessing risks and developing risk mitigation

strategies were a key concern of interview participants. Types of risks mentioned include

leakage of proprietary information and company knowledge, compromised IT security,

compromised employee information and privacy, and posting inappropriate content. Risk

mitigation strategies include guidelines and policies, training, and content review and

monitoring.

Several participants mentioned leakage of proprietary information and company

knowledge as a major risk of social media usage. Participant 1 stated, ―Information

protection is really important to us, so making sure we are not sharing proprietary data

over a social media application is a challenge. That would be very inappropriate for us.‖
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Participant 5 also noted, ―There are risks about leakage of company intelligence on social

media, so we want to manage the data we really care about.‖

Another type of risks mentioned by several participants is compromised IT

security, which may entail hacking into company systems or employee‘s personal devices

through social media applications, or hacking of the company‘s social media channels.

Participant 12 stated, ―A key risk [associated with social media] is locking down the

device and setting up security systems. The ability to wipe a device, so there‘s a

requirement to enable remote swiping.‖ Participant 3 said, ―Somebody could

compromise anyone of our social media platforms or identities. There have been a

handful of Twitter accounts that have been hacked including one of Obama‘s – they get a

little bit of press, but as long as you‘re not storing anything confidential on these public

sites, you are ok.‖

Compromised employee information and privacy was another risk mentioned by some

participants. Participant 7 stated, ―Protecting employee confidentiality would be a risk.‖

Participant 8 noted,

We also have to consider the job roles; we don‘t want to expose our employees

unnecessarily and put them at risk. So you have to consider that and find a

balance, which may be industry-specific how you do that. We‘re probably leaders

when it comes to integrating our external and internal social media but there is

still a line – when you bring your personal Facebook into work, you are blurring

the lines too much.


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Some participants mentioned posting inappropriate content as a risk of social media.

This could lead to conflicts around employees‘ work-related uses of social media, or

around people‘s personal uses of social media outside the workplace.

Participant 4 stated,

…my concern is the use of social media has to be managed in the sense that what

you say could be misconstrued as representing the company‘s interest because

you are a member of that company, there has to be some way of filtering the

personal versus the professional – that‘s going to be an interesting leadership

challenge and I don‘t think anybody has really solved it yet; other than through

very strict legal mandates throughout the organization.

Participant 6 noted, ―Our legal department and HR have some concerns over somebody

saying something inappropriate on social media sites.‖

Participant 12 commented on the blurred boundaries between an individual‘s rights

outside the workplace,

I am not familiar with the exact letter of the law legally, there are limitations to

what employers can tell employees to do and not do on their personal social

media accounts. Some companies have said, you have to give us access to your

Facebook accounts, and they can‘t just do that without considering the legal rights

of the employees. And it‘s not crystal clear what those rights are and the

legislation is emerging, and this is an enormous factor in terms of your employees

and your company assets. So, the best I can do is instilling the critical value in my

employees that you communicate in a respectful way and expecting them to

exercise good judgments.


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Addressing risk mitigation, Participant 7 stated,

We want to control risks to some degree while reaping the benefits from Twitter.

One thing we do is we keep people‘s personal and employer Twitter accounts

separate. So if they leave the company, we can exclude them easily.

Several interview participants mentioned the importance of issuing social media

usage guidelines and policies as a way to mitigate risks. Participant 12 stated, ―You have

to think about being purposeful and have guidelines around use and code of conduct. You

also have to have policies around how people talk about the company they work for on

social media.‖ Participant 11 noted, ―We found ways to address concerns by tying social

media use to other existing tools and already existing guidelines.‖ That same participant

further stated, ―We communicated the guidelines very clearly and all managers had

conversations with their staff about the use of social media and the fact that we view

them as any other electronic communications media.‖

Participant 2 noted,

We have social media policies in place, both for our marketing staff and the way

we use social media to engage our audience, and for internal staff for their own

personal sites. For example, a policy is ―don‘t disparage competitors when

representing the company.‖ So we share best practices and discourage certain

behaviors. We‘ve been impacted by social media and have responded with

policies, but we preface those policies by a statement saying that we realize the

opportunity to share our company with the broader world and we encourage our

employees to be ambassadors for our causes and our products. Just be aware of

these guidelines.
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Another type of preventive measure mentioned by several interview participants

was training. Participant 12 explained the value of training and stated,

You have to have a program that‘s both educating about security and you have to

have the very best technology in place, but you cannot count on technology alone

to solve your security problems. You have to have training in place – Cisco has

this term called the human firewall, and as an employee of a company, you‘re part

of the human firewall. We have to let employees know that they are guards of the

gate, and when people think about it in a positive way and feel loyalty toward the

company, there are ways you can reinforce this in a positive manner. You are a

big part of the safety of our company and our customers, you‘re our ambassador.

(I12)

Participant 8 also spoke of training and stated, ―We have training that all employees must

take around harassment, confidentiality, and what information they must not share, so

social media is incorporated into that training. For example, insider trading information

would not be shared on Facebook.‖

Participant 13 tied social media training to ethics training and stated,

Basically social media ethical discussion center around the ethics training we

have every year and it tells them about the rules and regulations we have in place,

the problems that the company could see if social media is misused, also they get

a warning of how they should use applications over the internet to avoid letting

knowledge escape and make sure that some of the capital stuff we have doesn‘t

leak… so we brief them at least yearly in training session of the advantages and

disadvantages of social media.


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A third type of preventive risk management measure mentioned by some

participants was social media content review and approval. Participant 2 mentioned

―Official sites need to go through approval – it depends on who‘s involved. If it‘s a

benefits policy, HR would be involved to ensure quality and correctness.‖ Participant 3

further stated,

We use the LA Times test – ask if you‘re ok with having the information you

publish appear in the LA Times and if you are, go for it. If not, you have to look

at the parameters you‘ll be working with.

Participant 4 mentioned automated content review and explained

We have to make sure if there‘s anything related to a customer that cannot be

discussed in a public forum, so we have a number of internal automated tools and

systems that are within our firewalls that we use to check content before it goes

out. It‘s not 100% foolproof though.

Several participants mentioned content monitoring as a corrective risk

management strategy. Participant 5 explained ―We do self-govern and if we see

something inappropriate on a public social media site or on Yammer, we ask people to

take it down. There‘s no designated process, we‘re just trying to be smart about it and

self-police.‖ Similarly, Participant 11 noted,

We reserve the right to take things down, social media is monitored, network and

IT security folks regularly monitor content, and since we manage the intranet and

sharepoint sites, we regularly do random checks. We do that (monitor SM usage

on internal sites) at the same time as we try to encourage usage, so if someone


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hasn‘t completed their MySite profile, we may leave a message saying, hey, it

would be really great to have you upload some content here.

Participant 2 pointed out that IT can monitor social media content and stated,

IT can see everything, so you still have management control. If something

inappropriate pops up, management can deal with that. There is nothing formal,

the extent of it is that I on occasion go into people‘s pages and see what they‘re

up to; there are no automatic checks or anything and I‘ve seen things that I

probably wouldn‘t post, but there‘s no policing content – it‘s a personal

expression.

Participant 13 was of the opinion that management is responsible for content monitoring

on social media and stated, ―There really isn‘t any enforcement of social media policies,

it‘s an oversight by each individual management area.‖

Engage employees. This subtheme addresses the need to engage employees in

the social media project to boost adoption and participation and was mentioned by 77%

of the interview participants. Participant 1 stated, ―When people are engaged and

participate, social media usage take off.‖ Participant 10 noted, ―We have seen an

increase in social media use because we allow people to laugh at things or make serious

points through the use of humor, and to make real-time commentary on things that are

happening inside or outside the company.‖

Maintaining relevancy to work tasks was mentioned by some participants as a key

determining factor of how engaged employees are in social media. Participant 13 noted,

You can‘t just put up a system or a technology and expect people to figure it out.

No, unless it‘s in someone‘s work stream, people won‘t engage with it.
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Technology adoption is the opposite of the field of dreams motto if we build it

they will come. No one will care unless it‘s relevant to their work. If you want

someone to use social media, it should be integrated into their work stream, built

into their monthly or annual goals, and add it to their dashboard, integrate it, make

it at the top of their priority, make it relevant.

Participant 2 said, ―We‘ve been shipping something every week and publishing

something every week on our social media platform to keep it new and fresh and

interesting.‖

Several participants mentioned overcoming privacy concerns as a way to enhance

employee engagement. Speaking of privacy, Participant 1 stated, ―There are some users

that they feel social media are an intrusion, the ones that don‘t use Facebook are probably

the same ones that feel MySite is an intrusion of their privacy.‖

Participant 11 shared an idea for how to overcome privacy concerned and explained,

One thing that factored into the uptake in MySite profiles completion was the

people were sensitive about their badge photos which may have been taken years

ago – so we said, during our holiday party, we put up a photo booth, so people

could have a new picture take and a lot of people did that.

Several participants talked about the need to reward participation and make it

easy for employees to use social media to overcome resistance. Participant 7 stated,

―You have to make sure people know you are using the medium to elicit fast ideas, and

whether you agree with them or not, you support their willingness to participate and

engage in dialogue.‖ Participant 2 noted,


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We are about to tie sharepoint into our recognition program, where we can give a

shout-out to someone for helping out – that‘s peer-to-peer recognition and we

think that will boost adoption, so we‘re getting ready to roll this out company-

wide.

Participant 12 also brought up rewards and noted,

One thing we did to drive adoption was that we created a rewards program called

charms, and if you wrote a document, you‘d be entered for a drawing and we gave

out prizes. The gamification aspect was terrific, people loved it – there was a

leadership board, and people could create their own badges and avatars. It was

really fun - The fun and gaming aspects seem to work really well with IT and

technology folks.

Maintain quality and relevance. Seven of the interview participants (54%)

commented on driving adoption of social media by presenting and maintaining high

quality content on social media platforms and allowing users to use high quality tools.

Some participants mentioned poor quality as a barrier to adoption. Participant 10 talked

about quality of social media technologies and stated,

…the blog have been replaced by tools like Google+ and Facebook. It‘s because

there‘s a news feed and a social graph – no one is going to ten different blogs and

register themselves – you want to have one unified social identity.

Speaking of lack of quality content, Participant 7 noted,

We are trying to get very certain messages across to people. If you get too much

content, you lose the core message you were trying to propagate – the signal-to-

noise ratio gets to be too low… It takes work to be part of a community, you have
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to choose to go there to see it – Twitter is pushing content out. The difference in

adoption is that with Sharepoint and blogs, you have to take the initiative to go

find information on your own, and not every blog posting would be interesting.

Participant 2 also spoke of content and stated,

you have to make sure that the content is in your face, so people will want to

access it. Content on social media should be fresh and new… we use the agile

development methodology, so we‘ve been shipping something every week and

publishing something every week.

Participant 9 noted, ―Someone has to manage social media, it has to be someone‘s job to

provide good content.‖ Participant 5 brought up content management from a

collaborative perspective and said,

―Content management is a topic we discuss in monthly meetings, especially as we‘re

moving toward cloud-based solutions. What sort of information do you put where? We

want to our social media content to be useful.‖

Increase employee productivity. This subtheme relates to interview participants‘

experiences with increasing employee productivity through the use of social media, and

was discussed by a little more than half (54%) of the participants. A couple of the

participants mentioned decreased productivity as a potential downside of social media

adoption and use. Participant 1 stated, ―Productivity may be a risk, someone spending

too much time on social media.‖ Participant 1 said, ―Initially, there were some

management concerns about productivity… our customer facing employee teams had the

biggest concerns about productivity.‖ Participant 11 said,


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Initially, there was a lot of contention from management, objections about having

access to Facebook, related to productivity and accessing inappropriate content

etc. The way I overcame that was to say, hey, people are going to access

Facebook on their mobile devices anyway, so if there‘s a problem with

productivity, you – as the manager - have to address the behavior instead of

blaming the tool.

Most participants said, however, that fear of productivity loss was overstated.

Participant 4 commented, ―I have not seen a loss in productivity – instead, people tend to

be more engaged when they use social media, and when they don‘t feel they are being

micromanaged as developers.‖ Participant 6 explained how social media can make users

more productive and stated, ―Social media gives the user a choice on when I access

information and how so it makes them more productive.‖ Participant 8 spoke of

breaking down barriers with social media and explained,

There are things you do behind the scenes that will increase productivity

particulate in your IT capabilities – you break down barriers that prevent people

from communicating effectively – that‘s key. If people don‘t know each other

across the organization they are less likely to reach out and communicate. Every

person has this wall, fear of the unknown that makes avoidance the easier

solution. To me, social media breaks down those walls and barriers, so your

productivity actually increases.

Participant 12 offered another example and said,

Here‘s example… you‘re in a meeting and you‘re collaborating on a document.

When we prepare for holiday retail sales, everyone has to work together,
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including manufacturing, warehouse management, operations, technology,

customer service, marketing, the creative team etc. We sit in a room together and

we plan everything out and put everything in Confluence. The incredible thing is,

it won‘t take a very long time to get everyone on the same page, and address the

details-down-to-the-minute issues would be. This was extremely efficient and we

couldn‘t have done it without Confluence. No notes needed to be summed up or

taken after the meeting, and if you think about the enormous amount of time

saved, I think social media is very powerful.

Participant 1 spoke of how features in social media applications can be used to boost

productivity and noted, ―You can put down your skills (in MySite), and that can be

leveraged by someone else – for example if you‘re an expert in social media, so that

helps people work more efficiently.‖ Participant 2 similarly explained, ―You can use the

MySites to look for people with specific skills; like if I want to find someone with

Yammer experience, I can search for that; we couldn‘t do that before social media and

it‘s a huge time saver.‖

Overcome organizational implementation barriers. A little less than half (46%)

of interview participants mentioned overcoming organizational barriers of social media as

a way to boost adoption and use. Some barriers to adoption exist because of the

organization’s structure. Participant 12 stated,

A big barrier to social media is the level of confidentiality that exists between

organizational units. The information that one group needs or doesn‘t need is a

big issue; what kind of information can and do you share? Frequently you work

with information or projects that are confidential so you run into that conflict.
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This exists in many large corporations, but is perhaps not so much a problem at

dotcom‘s or internet companies, where information is shared more widely.

Participant 4 observed,

In some companies, you have a real conflict between wanting to control access to

information and then making the information open so people can find it

immediately and search for it and get your job done. That friction prevents many

companies from fully reaping the benefits of social media, and from fully

realizing how powerful the tools can be, and how open sharing of information can

benefit the company. A big part of the problem can be attributed to the operating

structure and the established divisions. But there are typically several groups that

are tasked with promoting sharing across those divisions, however, some of these

divisions may not really see the benefit of sharing anything with other divisions,

they want to maintain control over everything. They‘re more inclined to spend

their resources internally because that‘s the way the P&L structure works. That‘s

an operational structure that drives what the level of sharing. In other places, it

may be that people work on classified projects, which prevent sharing of

information.

Another type of operational-level barrier to adoption mentioned by some of the

participants is lack of in-house social media specialists. Participant 12 explained,

―Another challenge we have is related to demand, and it‘s tough to have enough security

staff – they have so many things they‘re chasing around. And this is slowing social

application adoption, because of lack of security resources.‖ Participant 8 noted, ―We are

in the process of training people, and hiring new people with social competencies. We are
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building the social competencies in house now. Lack on in-house experts has slowed us

down a bit but we‘re catching up quickly.‖

Gain support from middle management. Fewer than half of the interview

participants (46%) argued that gaining support from mid-level management and

employees is essential to success with social media. Participant 13 stated ―If you don‘t

have support from your managers, the social media project will die quickly because they

will discourage their staff from participating.‖

Participant 11 commented on actively involving middle managers in social media

projects as a way to gaining their support and said, ―We also used the leadership teams,

the VPs and the managers to let them know that now is a good time to start using MySite

actively.‖

Participant 11 mentioned overcoming initial resistance from management toward

social media,

Initially, there was a lot of contention from management, objections about having

access to Facebook, related to productivity and accessing inappropriate content

etc. The way I overcame that was to say, hey, people are going to access

Facebook on their mobile devices anyway, so if there‘s a problem with

productivity, you – as the manager - have to address the behavior instead of

blaming the tool.

Participant 4 brought up prevailing leadership philosophy and management style and

said,

The difference in attitudes toward social media between managers and non-

managers goes down to management style and management philosophy. There‘s a


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tendency for managers to want to control everything. But if you‘re working in the

software industry this is not a productive way to manage. When I was being

micromanaged as a developer, I hated it, and I often thought that the manager was

a clueless clown anyway, and that‘s why they were micromanaging – they didn‘t

understand what was going on or they were insecure. I have a different approach

– I set goals and I tell the teams, I‘m going to give you some freedom and

flexibility to solve the problems and here are the constraints. I‘m not going to

watch the clock, we have flextime here, and I understand you seek work-life

balance, but at the same time, I expect a high degree of productivity. And that

approach has worked well; my teams and my managers have responded to that

and support new technology initiatives like social media.

Participant 6 also touched on the leadership philosophy behind social media conducive in

gaining management support and said,

I think that if you have an open environment and trust your employees, they will

understand what can and cannot be done, what the risks are, and they have to

understand that it‘s the customer that‘s most important. As long as they

understand that the customer comes first, and if they think social media will help

them do their work better, managers shouldn‘t have a problem with that. I think if

the checks and balances are established and communicated to the users then

management should step back and view social media as an opportunity to help

reach their goals.

Theme: Enhancing communication and collaboration through social media.

This theme addressed different ways in which leaders reported using social media to
200

enhance communication and collaboration in their organizations. Table 29 shows the

subthemes associated with the theme of enhancing communication and collaboration

through social media and provides the number and percentage of participants who

addressed each subtheme.

Table 29

Theme - Enhancing Communication and Collaboration through Social Media

Subthemes Addressed by Percentage of


Number of Participants
Participants

Characterizing features of social media 12 92%

Employee-to-employee communication 11 85%

Leader-to-employee communication 9 69%

Support cross-organizational collaboration 9 69%

External communication 9 69%

Support remote employees 7 54%

Support crowdsourcing and innovation 6 46%

Employee-to-leader communication 5 38%

Characterizing features of social media. This subtheme reflects interview

participants‘ perceptions of the key features of social media that support communication

and collaboration. 92% mentioned this subtheme. A common feature of all social media

applications is social profiles, which enables users to easily access relevant information

about others. Participant 10 noted, ―You have a personal social media profile that gets

created when you join the company.‖ Another feature of social media mentioned by

participants is ease of use. Participant 3 said, ―Social media provide easy to use
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dialogue.‖ Participant 13 stated ―social media have easy to use interfaces and everybody

can learn to use them very quickly.‖ Some participants mentioned user-driven content

and use as a feature of social media that helps bring value to the organization. Participant

6 stated, ―Social media gives the user a choice on when I access information and how.‖

Participant 9 noted, ―Social media can communicate anything you want, it‘s totally up to

the users to use it well.‖

Several participants mentioned mobile and real-time access from personal devices

as a core value-creating feature of social media. Participant 3 stated, ―The other

advantage of Yammer is that it‘s available on mobile and personal devices, if you have an

iphone or an ipad you can get onto Yammer from those devices.‖ Participant 8 noted,

People have personal devices, which is a form of social device because it‘s your

choice and preference, so the key concept is, how do we provide our employees

with the capabilities in the workspace that they expect outside the work?

Another key feature of social media is scalability, as mentioned by Participant 10 who

said, ―Social media give people a voice, in an informal and bottom-up fashion that

couldn‘t have happened through email, because it doesn‘t scale to this many employees.‖

Participant 5 stated,

Another aspect is leadership visibility – getting out with frontline employees, but

that‘s not scalable because senior leaders cannot be out there all the time, so how

do you get that scale? Social media is that scale. Just like me in my professional

life, I meet somebody at a conference, but I may not stay in touch with them

unless I connect with them on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter. So I can


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maintain those lose connection, so I can now keep in touch with them and re-

connect when I need them, it‘s much more scalable.

Some participants mentioned integration with other technologies as a core feature

of social media that enhances the value of the tools. Participant 12 noted, ―There‘s a

huge untapped potential to get everybody into the same electronic social media and get

social media integrated with other core technology platforms – if it‘s effective and real

time [it] helps people work together better.‖ Other participants mentioned the search

features in social media applications as a value creator. Participant 11 stated, ―People

can add special skills and blogs and information to their profile, so if people want help

with something I am an expert in, they can easily find me, using the tools‘ powerful

search features.‖ Participant 2 stated,

another cool feature of social media is that everything is searchable and indexed;

you can search on it, if you‘re dealing with a particular issue, you are likely to get

a search returned that‘s useful to you… another thing that‘s really powerful about

the sharepoint platform is the social nature of tagging – you can tag content, this

is part of the basic training that people go through so they know they have to tag

with likes or metatags… There are even search narrow filters so even if I‘ve

gotten many results it has a built-in knowledge management tool.

Participant 12 said, ―When you‘re making the information open so people can find it

immediately and search for it you can get your job done quickly.‖

Employee-to-employee communication. Internal communication on social media

between employees was addressed by 85% of interview participants. This subtheme

addressed lateral communication across the organization. Participant 12 stated, ―Yammer


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is an effective employee-to-employee communications platform, and I‘m on Yammer

also.‖ Participant 5 noted, ―A lot of people in IT use Yammer, they post technical ideas

and trends in the industry and strategic use of social media among competitors.‖

Participant 3 further noted,

Social media is powerful because it connects our people across the company in

our different program teams. They often work on similar problems but they don‘t

communicate with one another about it, so as people start posting on Yammer,

they start making connections across the organization – whether it‘s about

something work or non-work related such as biking to work from West Seattle, it

really helps strengthen their network, so when they do have a problem they can

talk to more people and connect with a larger network.

Similarly, Participant 7 noted, ―Social media can help bridge gaps between IT and the

business by educating users both ways. Because we were better communicating, people

can learn more about each other in a convenient way.‖ Participant 13 said, ―We have an

open forum on social media for communication which has been great for our employees

because the tools are easy to use and people like them and use them in their daily work.‖

Participant 4 noted, ―We have created social elements around our development tools – the

developers share ideas across our two locations; that‘s another way for them to

communicate effectively with each other.‖

Posts on social media can result in communications that reach a broader audience

compared to email, as noted by Participant 5, ―Sometimes, posts can trigger

conversations and people may have meant something different, just like with email - the
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difference is that with social media, everyone can see it, everyone can respond.‖

Participant 1 stated,

We use MS Lync, it‘s an add-on, not just to the old IM, it‘s a new IM, you have

an ability to take an IM to a phone call, you can start up a conf call – a voice

conference, boom, a phone gets issued, it‘s much better talking on the phone than

typing, or if you wanted to, a link could take it to a meeting, it‘s an extremely

effective way of communicating.

Some participants mentioned utilizing social media for learning and knowledge

management purposes. Participant 6 noted,

We have done a fair amount on YouTube, for instructional videos, for internal

and external audiences. There is a good business case for using YouTube; it‘s

much more affordable than proprietary video publishing software and everybody

has access to it.

Participant 2 stated,

We‘re in the process of deploying a software services platform called

Compendium, which is a content and learning management system that allows us

to do social communication and to help authors manage content on the fly, how to

create learning content that is going to be more interesting to people, more

engaging, interactive, and social.

Leader-to-employee communication. Internal communication on social media

from leaders to employees was a subtheme addressed by 69% of interview participants

and addressed top-down communications. Participant 9 stated, ―Social media is a super


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efficient management communication tool, social media can communicate anything you

want to as many people as you want.‖ Participant 2 stated,

Department managers use Yammer for announcements, so instead of sending out

emails once a week, announcements now show up on Yammer. Employees can

still get to other sites from there via links, such as HR sites, particular department

pages, where there may be more information.

Similarly, Participant 3 noted that ―team leaders are making announcements about their

programs or about events, so we can use social media to provide current communication

to our teams and employees, we can provide updates on software and make

announcements.‖ Participant 5 noted, ―If I‘m at a meeting, I will post ideas on Yammer

and get conversations started right away among my staff.‖ Participant 7 stated,

The key questions I am evaluated on [as a senior leader] are around what my staff

thinks – do they feel informed, to they feel motivated to come to work, would

they recommend the workplace to others? This is completely related to how I

communicate with my teams on social media.

Some interview participants reported using blogs to communicate news and issues from

leadership to employees. Participant 6 stated,

Where we are using blogs reasonably effective now is that the CIO puts out a

monthly email, which is relatively short, but each of the topics has a link to a blog

posting with additional detail. One of the things we tried to understand some time

ago was preferred communications, and it was split between send me an email

and give me a blogs, so we struck a happy medium.


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Participant 11 stated, ―Our new CEO right away wanted to blog because he‘s

done that before and says it helps him communicate better to the entire organization.‖

Not all interview participants thought blogs constituted the most efficient

communications medium. Participant 3 said, ―We do see a fair number of blogs, we‘ve

done the traditional as well as video blogs – but we‘re finding that those have a mixed

uptake.‖

Participant 10 agreed, and said, ―I don‘t see a lot of blog-like activity, we use Google+

instead on our leadership team. We use news stream instead, they are much more

efficient. I don‘t read any internal blogs myself either – you can get to people‘s news

streams from Google+.‖ Participant 13 said, ―Several of our senior leaders started blogs

a few years ago, and were terrible at keeping them current. It became a bit of a joke

actually, so that hasn‘t worked well.‖

Several participants talked about using social media to visualize an organization‘s

structure for the purpose of leader-to-employee communication. Participant 11 said, ―We

have a new CEO who just came onboard and he right away wanted to use the MySite

browsing feature, which is like an interactive organizational chart.‖

Finally, Participant 7 discussed using social media to enhance leader-to-employee

communication and ultimately enhance employee satisfaction:

We did a survey every 6-12 months, and the one thing that killed us initially was

that employees didn‘t feel that leadership communicated with them, they didn‘t

understand what the corporate mission was, or agreed that they had the

information they needed to do their job properly. We scored low in those

categories. No one in the US was used to including them in the corporate goals or
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communications. Twitter made them feel they got the information the exact same

time as everyone in North America increased the satisfaction score immensely –

we went from a 2-3 to 6-7 within 6 months and it was very low maintenance for

us. A by-product was that we would get to seed them with the thinking process of

the leadership team, which would make it more likely that they would perpetuate

that decision in their work. Twitter was perfect for that purpose.

Support cross-organizational collaboration. This subtheme addresses enhanced

collaboration across organizations as a result of using social media. Collaboration was

mentioned by 69% of the interview participants. Participant 6 stated, ―Social media is a

pretty efficient collaboration mechanism.‖ Participant 10 stated, ―A lot of collaboration

we do here is glued together by social media tools and the social features they come

with.‖ Participant 2 noted, ―Social media include tools that allow for more powerful

collaboration between groups, we are able to see that.‖

Participant 8 stated,

… when you adopt social media inside your company, it‘s not a big deal to reach

out to people across the organization who have a profile – and I don‘t have to call,

I can IM, post on your wall, which may be less confrontational, so collaboration

becomes easier and the fear of contacting someone you don‘t know is removed.

Participant 4 commented, ―There‘s a massive amount of collaboration around

these social media tools, including meetings… Social media are easy to use and can help

break down barriers between different stakeholder groups.‖ Participant 4 further

explained,
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If you solve problems real-time and in a collaborative manner you can reduce

costs and deliver actionable information and content. Social media has a huge role

here because it provides an opportunity to have an active dialogue around a peer

group and for creating a space for editorial discussions around content.

Similarly, Participant 5 noted,

A lot of people in IT use Yammer, they post technical ideas and trends in the

industry and strategic use of social media among competitors. The value of

collaboration on Yammer is that the conversations expand beyond my

department. I talk to my own people all the time, but Yammer helps us establish

connections with people in different departments. So, the value of social media is

that it bridges gaps internally and allows people to collaborate effectively.

External communication. This subtheme addresses enhanced communication on

social media between employees and external stakeholders and mentioned by 69% of the

interview participants. Although external use of social media was not the focus of

interview questions, several participants still mentioned enhancing communications with

customers, community outreach, and professional networking as realized benefits of

social media adoption and use. Participant 2 stated,

Social media is an ideal engagement tool with the customer. Ultimately, we

believe social media leads to advocacy, and because of social engagement you

have these networks and connections – in the ideal world we wouldn‘t have to

advertise but rely only on word of mouth, that‘s the ultimate idea behind using

social media for customer engagement.


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Participant 9 explained, ―On Twitter, we recognized that customers were asking us

hundreds of questions per month, we realized that this is a great way to provide customer

service, so we now have a customer service rep who replies to customers in real time.‖

Also commenting on Twitter, Participant 5 said,

we use Twitter, in particular, to get real time feedback from our fans. So we can

ask a question, do quick surveys, not that we would necessarily frame it as your

opinions will drive our decisions, but it‘s maintaining that connection with our

customers and making sure they can have a relationship with a brand. And we see

a huge response - with Twitter, we see that when they tweet us a question and we

reply, they‘ll reply to our replies, and they‘ll like or favor our message, or they‘ll

re-tweet it.

Participant 8 mentioned using social media to enhance communication with vendors and

employees: ―Showing that you are open to social tools gives you a totally different and

potentially richer interaction with potential vendors and employees.‖ Participant 3 spoke

of extending social media usage to include collaborators and noted,

We‘ve also tried to leverage social media for extranet communities where our

program teams are working with a number of external stakeholders, trying to

bring them together in a collaborative way – in one case, we used Jive, which is

an enterprise software platform, it has a social media overlay, easy to use

dialogue. We have significant convening power, the world‘s experts show up, we

are good at creating energy and movement, but then, when the event is over, the

excitement goes away. Social media can be leveraged to keep the momentum

going by providing a platform to tie together external constituents, help reinforce


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those connections and keep the dialogue going. Instead of doing four or five face-

to-face events, we can do fewer and perhaps save some money there, so from a

business perspective, it makes sense as well.

Participant 11 stated, ―We‘re using social media to connect with our customers or

prospective customers, and people in the community. We can reach a broad audience on

social media.‖

Several of interview participants mentioned using social media effectively for

professional networking. Participant 1 noted, ―I use LinkedIn although it‘s mostly other

people who are using it to connect with me, salespeople… I use it for professional

networking.‖ Participant 12 stated, ―It‘s important for me to be visible on social media

from a networking point of view.‖ Twitter

Support remote employees. Seven of the interview participants (54%) mentioned

using social media as a way to support remote or distributed employees and help them

work more effectively. Participant 9 said, ―Face to face interaction still works great, but

when that doesn‘t work, social media really helps.‖ Participant 11 stated, ―We want our

employees - who are increasingly remote from each other – to engage just as easily as

those of us who work at HQ, and social media support this goal.‖ Participant 1 also

spoke of the leadership challenges associated with a remote workforce and said,

One of the challenges we had was that we went to a remote workforce, meaning

that some folks don‘t work here, or they work from home; either on a halftime or

full time basis. Social media plays a very large role in ensuring the culture is still

met, collaboration is still available.

Participant 7 talked about offshore employees and noted,


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So Twitter for instance, we can tweet short facts about what is happening leading

up to a decision. Occasionally we‘ll throw in something social about a barbeque

or something, and use it to make offshore employees feel part of the team and the

community.

Participant 4 further stated,

Another thing we did with our parent company was a big technology conference,

and this year, instead of everyone going to one location, they decided to break it

up into six regional offices around the globe and they connected us using video

streams and we asked questions through Twitter, so it was a virtual conference,

which was a significant effort to put together. Actually, in fairness, it was fairly

successful, everyone did their presentations locally to the local audience, and then

it went out around the world, and then questions came back through Twitter and

we also asked for participation via PowerPoint slides, so we got feedback and

question that way.

Support crowdsourcing and innovation. This subtheme has to do with

supporting organizational innovation and crowdsourcing through the use of social media.

A little less than half (46%) of the interview participants addressed this subtheme.

Participant 1 noted, ―When someone gets an idea, it can spread easily and very quickly

on social media, so I am trying to encourage that.‖ Participant 5 also commented on

supporting ideas and noted, ―I also sponsor an innovation team, and what we do is that

we‘ll use social media for brown bag sessions and prototype ideas to take them to the

next stage.‖ Participant 7 also talked about vetting ideas via social media and noted,

―Social media can be used to do a very quick survey across a section of very smart people
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as a way of vetting ideas, or as a way to identify alternatives that you hadn‘t even

considered.‖ Participant 7 further stated,

We want developers to understand constraints and tap into the collective

intelligence of the employees. Many of the new hires came from other companies

and competitors so I want to know what these other companies are doing without

asking directly, and I can do that through social media.

Some participants talked about crowdsourcing from an internal stakeholder

perspective. Participant 6 noted, ―We have intentionally tried to use both blogs and wikis

to essentially crowdsource ideas and gather input around strategies and it‘s worked quite

well.‖

Participant 10 brought up voting and stated,

The social aspect [of the voting process via social media] is that it‘s

crowdsourcing what people care about. Instead of having just one random person

stand up and ask a random question, you get to ask the questions that are most

important to everybody. People can discuss the questions and ask their friends to

vote.

Finally, Participant 7 noted, ―we want to hear the critique from our 800 people and hear

what their critique is going to be, we can finalize the message and the decision to take

that critique into account. It‘s a way of doing a very quick survey across a section of very

smart people as a way of vetting ideas, or as a way to identify alternatives that you hadn‘t

even considered. We want developers to understand constraints and tap into the collective

intelligence of the employees.‖


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Employee-to-leader communication. Internal communication on social media

from employees to leaders was a subtheme addressed by slightly more than one third

(38%) of interview participants and addressed bottom-up communications. Participant 9

stated, ―Social media allow for a way for problems to bubble up so management can do

something about them.‖ Similarly, Participant 10 stated, ―People can propose questions

and vote on those questions and the most popular ones bubble to the top and those are the

ones that end up getting answered at company meetings with executives.‖ Participant 7

stated,

The conversations people will have with me are about things I tweeted. Recall is

very high on segments of tweets and it sets the scene for further conversations.

People feel they can come to me and they can disagree with me without any

penalties. Employees already know me through Twitter which is very different

from the previous VP, who was more isolated and didn‘t engage as much on

social media.

Participant 12 talked about scanning social media for information published by

employees and said, ―I get some good information from Yammer that I wouldn‘t get

elsewhere or from other sources, such as employee news and issues someone may be

facing at work.‖ Similarly, Participant 6 noted, ―I don‘t spend a lot of time on Twitter

but I can scan through a day‘s worth of employee Twitter feeds in a few minutes, and all

of a sudden there‘s a nugget, a critical piece of information that I am now glad I saw.‖

Theme: Adapting leadership practices to Millennials. This theme addresses

interview participants‘ lived experiences relative to adopting their leadership practices to


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meet the needs of Generation Y. Table 30 shows subthemes and provides the number

and percentage of participants who addressed each subtheme.

Table 30

Theme – Adapting Leadership Practices to Millennials.

Subthemes Addressed by Percentage of


Number of Participants
Participants

Balance needs of Millennials and older 11 85%


employees

Understand and address Millennials‘ needs and 8 62%


preferences

Use social media to recruit and retain Millennials 7 54%

Balance needs of Millennials and older employees. This subtheme addresses the

ways leaders accommodate employees across generations and was mentioned by 85% of

the participants. Participant 6 stated, ―There are some generational barriers to embracing

social media.‖ Participant 3 stated, ―We need to listen to our staff and find out what

works for them, regardless of how old they are.‖ Participant 9 mentioned a generational

gap related to social media and stated,

A key leadership challenge with social media is cultural – older employees may

not feel comfortable using social media and there is probably a generational gap.

Younger individuals are more acquainted with social media and the older segment

may feel less invited and trained in the use of the tools that might decrease

efficiency because of onboarding issues. So we have to address that.

Participant 8 stated,
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…we have also seen that the older employees are more skeptical about social

media here. What we‘re doing is to integrate social tools with corporate

collaboration platform in a controlled environment. That gives the comfort of the

corporate environment. And then the MySites are what you choose to share –

there are two sides to that, a personal and a shared. So we have explained to our

employees – across generations – that you have private folders and data, so it still

gives people a level of comfort and control. We‘re not forcing people to upload

photos either; we‘re ok with avatars because social is your comfort level is your

choice and if you honor that, adoption is going to be at the level of the individual.

Some participants said that older employees are coming around to social media.

Participant 13 stated, ―With respect to older employees, quite a few of them are using

LinkedIn, so the older generation is coming around to different environments a lot more

than they did 5-10 years ago.‖ Participant 10 noted, ―We probably skew a little older but

we use computers and social media so much that I don‘t think there is much of a

difference in terms of adoption and use across generations.‖ Baby Boomer

Addressing ways in which leaders can balance needs of all employees, Participant 1 said,

―We let older employees come around to social media on their own time.‖ Participant 11

stated,

We are about to tie Sharepoint into our recognition program, where we can give a

shout-out to someone for helping out – that‘s peer-to-peer recognition, so we‘re

getting ready to roll this out company-wide. This is a great use of social media –

who doesn‘t want to see their name in the bright light? Well, it turns out that some

of our older employees are uncomfortable with this. Some people do not want to
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attract that attention to themselves, they like it when someone comes up to them

in person and thank them but dislike having their god deeds broadcast, it‘s a

generational issue. So, we‘ve made it voluntary, people can ask to have their

public, sharepoint shout-outs removed. You can also still hand out printed cards to

people – our corporate vision around creating value with service and trust is

reflected in these cards.

Participant 5 noted, ―We have to worry about participation across generation. What if

some people refuse to participate in social media? Then they‘re now excluded from the

community, and can someone file a grievance?‖ Participant 7 stated,

The guy who contributes the most on our executive team is older, and he is one of

the biggest supporters of social media, he understands that it‘s the short and sharp

focus that makes a difference. The older employees will participate with poking,

whereas the younger ones participate naturally on social media. They have

Tourettes syndrome up to 25, then you have the shy crowd from 40 and up who

are concerned about what the boss will say, and what if I‘m wrong, and they are

fearful a post will reflect poorly on their knowledge. We need to take the time to

understand these different attitudes and address people‘s fears.

Understand and address Millennials’ needs and preferences. This subtheme

was mentioned by 62% of interview participants and relates to the ways leaders have

adopted their practices to Millenials‘ way of thinking about new technologies.

Participant 2 stated, ―It‘s an expectation from younger people coming on to use social

media applications at work.‖ Similarly, Participant 11 noted, ―Millennials expect to use

social media tools for communication and collaboration and for working in teams. We
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have to accommodate them or risk alienating them.‖ Participant 8 stated, ―The new

millennial employee thinks social; they have an expectation to use social tools at work,

they won‘t even use email. If I want to communicate with them, I have to use the social

apps they use.‖

Participant 4 stated,

I‘m odd for an old person, I am a big fan of social media and I‘ve used it

extensively; I was one of the first LinkedIn users, I‘ve seen the value. I see myself

as an anomaly; but when I talk to my younger people, they all use it exclusively to

communicate.

Participant 8 noted,

The generation that‘s coming is OK with asking social questions for verification

purposes and sharing their personal data publically… Social personalization

cannot happen if you are too restrictive about who you are. That‘s my point about

convenience and the next generation‘s way of thinking – the lines around your

own personal privacy is less relevant because I will trust that my identity is

protected or it can be recovered. There are going to be individuals who will be

uncomfortable, but the masses will be comfortable. So as the CIO, I have to think

about how we can ride this new wave to our advantage.

Participant 10 stated,

The millennial employee is comfortable that privacy isn‘t a huge problem. It‘s a

way of thinking. If you look at significant shifts and thinking across generations;

this is one of them. The Millennials are willing to give up privacy to be able to

have social and convenience. They‘ll figure out that there still has to be a hard
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line between my personal finances and similar data and my social persona, and

sometimes the best defense is exposure.

Use social media to recruit and retain Millennials. This subtheme addresses the

ways interview participants experienced a shift in the leadership practices used to hire

and keep Millennial employees. 54% of the participants mentioned this subtheme.

Participant 1 noted, ―Social features will have to be there to recruit good and younger

staff – how do you recruit them, you have to have some of those things in your

environment that makes it compelling to them.‖ Participant 10 mentioned, ―HR has done

some innovative things in terms of recruiting people through social media.‖ This same

participant further stated ―One of our employees has a blog that talks about our culture

and how it‘s like to work here and that has had a huge impact on recruiting.‖ Participant

4 stated,

We use social media for recruitment all the time. When I get a resume, I

immediately go the person‘s LinkedIn page – our HR department does the same –

people we‘re looking to hire, come and investigate the leadership team on

LinkedIn, so I make sure my profile is accurate, and it reflects a true

representation of who we are.

Participant 8 stated, ―A significant added business value of social media is attracting new

candidates for a position. How you present your currency and relevance in technology is

key to attracting young talent.‖ Participant 2 similarly stated, ―Being able to attract

qualified employees - having a current and relevant technology base has to include

social.‖
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Addressing retention, Participant 13 noted, ―Retention of younger employees

depend on having an open forum for collaboration and communication, including access

to social media. I think they enjoy this freedom.‖ Also addressing retention of

Millennials, Participant 8 said, ―If we want to keep our young new-hires, we have to give

them liberal access to social tools. The younger professionals expect a social experience

at work, and if they don‘t get it, they‘ll fine another employer.‖ Finally, Participant 7

stated,

people who have worked for us for more than two years are so much more

valuable than those who‘ve only worked here for a year or less, so the business

value is retention – getting them to stay because they feel they‘re part of a team

that‘s making a difference, and not just working for a sausage factory. The

retention factor in technology companies is huge, and is the offshoring markets

where job opportunities are plenty; you need to focus on job satisfaction and

participation. Maybe in the US, people are more stable and will come to work

even though they feel beaten down, when you get to the young people and operate

in emerging technology markets, employees have no loyalty whatsoever. So

you‘ve got to make these people feel valued and motivated and make them feel

smart and allow them to innovate and give them an outlet that makes them feel

their ideas matter, or they‘ll leave. And social media is that outlet.

Summary

Chapter 4 presented the data derived from the sequential, mixed methods

research. In the first, quantitative descriptive research phase, IT professionals in the

greater Seattle area were invited to participate in a web-based, Likert-type survey to


220

describe current uses of and attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes.

Results from the quantitative research phase are summarized in Table 31 below:
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Table 31

Summary of Results from Quantitative Research Phase


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Quantitative survey data revealed that IT professionals use a variety of social

media applications for different types of purposes. Most commonly used applications

include professional networking tools (such as LinkedIn), wikis, and online forums and

chats (such as IM). Results also indicate that IT professionals belonging to the

Generation Y cohort use social media more extensively for certain kinds of uses

(communication and collaboration, and for knowledge management and learning), with

relative effect sizes in the medium to large range. Millennials also have more positive

opinions about social media compared to their older colleagues, although relative effect

sizes were only small or medium. Results comparing manager and non-manager

responses were mixed, indicating that social media uses and attitudes do not vary

significantly across manager/non-manager categories. Relative effects of relationships

examining occupational differences in the uses of and attitudes toward social media were

consistently small.

Analyzed survey data were used to finalize interview questions for the second

qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological research phase, in which thirteen senior IT

leaders were interviewed about their lived experiences relative to successful social media

adoption in their respective organizations. The research question guiding qualitative

inquiry was: What are senior leaders’ lived experiences relative to organizational

adoption and use of social media in IT companies? Data from interviews revealed four

major themes and a number of subthemes related to leadership and essences of lived

experiences relative to organizational social media adoption. Interview findings

complemented and enhanced the results of the survey findings. Chapter 5 explores the

interpretations and relevance of both quantitative and qualitative findings, and discusses
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conclusions, implications for theory and leadership, and recommendations for

organizational leaders as well as for future research.


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Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations

Social media have become ubiquitous in society and are increasingly used by

knowledge workers across industries to solve problems and reach organizational goals

(Barnes & Lescault, 2012). Whereas the benefits of using social media for customer and

marketing related purposes have been well documented, little research exists to shed light

on the benefits, risks, and leadership challenges associated with social media adoption

and use for internal communication and collaboration purposes (Bughin & Chui, 2011).

Some authors suggest that early adopter companies can reap significant value as a result

of experimentation with social media, including increased productivity, more effective

communication, and more efficient teamwork (Bradley & McDonald, 2011; McAfee,

2010). Still, considerable uncertainty exists among senior leadership in many companies

about how social media can be leveraged strategically and operationally, and how to

ensure or boost participation across generational cohorts and occupational groups. Senior

leaders and managers need to better understand the core leadership issues and emerging

promising practices related to social media adoption and use to reap the benefits from

new participatory and user-driven technologies (Kiron, 2011).

The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to determine current

uses of and attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes among professionals,

describe differences in uses of and attitudes toward social media across generational

cohorts and occupational categories, and to understand if and how senior leaders have

adapted or evolved their leadership practices to the successful adoption of user-driven

and participatory social media technologies. The study involved a sequential, mixed

methods research approach, starting with a quantitative descriptive phase, and followed
225

by a qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological phase. The population for the study

consisted of IT professionals and senior IT leaders currently employed by IT companies

in the greater Seattle area. In the first quantitative descriptive research phase, an online

survey was administered to 406 IT professionals. Survey data were analyzed to describe

current uses of and opinions about social media for different work-related purposes, and

to determine if any differences existed in the use of and attitudes toward social media

across generational cohorts and occupational categories. Survey results were used as the

basis for the second, qualitative phenomenological research phase, in which thirteen

senior leaders in IT companies were interviewed about their lived experiences relative to

successful social media adoption and use. Interview data revealed a number of core

leadership issues and organizational challenges related to successful social media

adoption and use. Chapter 5 presents a discussion of the study‘s findings and provides an

analysis of the results‘ implications, limitations, and recommendations for leaders as well

as recommendations for future research.

Summary of Findings and Conclusions

Data collected through the quantitative and qualitative approaches permitted in-

depth analysis of the findings, explanation, and interpretation of results to answer the

research questions of this study. The first quantitative, descriptive research phase

involved five research questions and associated hypotheses related to IT professionals‘

adoption and use of social media. Quantitative data were analyzed prior to the launch of

the second, qualitative phenomenological research phase, which addressed one research

question related to senior IT leaders lived experiences relative to successful social media

adoption and use.


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Quantitative Research Phase

Quantitative data were collected via a web-based, Likert-type survey,

administered through SurveyMonkey. A test-retest phase using a pilot test group

preceded actual data collection to ensure stability of results over time. Appendix J

contains the final survey instrument used for data collection. A total of 450 IT

professionals from the greater Seattle area participated in the survey and 406 of these

responses were considered valid.

Demographic profiles of respondents. Only 11.3% of survey respondents were

younger than 30. The relatively low number of Generation Y respondents may reflect the

general struggle of the American IT industry to fill IT positions with a decreasing number

of recent computer science graduates (Windkur, 2007). Despite high unemployment in

the Unites States following the recent recession, the IT industry is still experiencing high

growth (DOL, 2012), and thousands of IT jobs remain unfilled due to shortage of

qualified candidates in the United States (Soe & Yakura, 2008). 65% of survey

respondents were male and 35% were female. The average percentage of women in IT

professions in the Unites States is 26%, according to the Information Technology

Association of America (Soe & Yakuma, 2008). The higher percentage of women in the

study sample may be due to regional variation and reflects the percentage of female IT

professionals who are members of the Seattle chapter of the Society of Information

Management (SIM, 2012, personal communication). Over two thirds of the survey

respondents had a bachelor‘s degree or higher, which is consistent with recent

employment profile numbers from the Department of Labor (DOL, 2012).


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Over 70% of the respondents were currently employed by IT companies with at

least 200 employees. According to research by McKinsey, larger companies are more

likely to have formal policies in place governing social media usage and are also more

likely to have a dedicated social media strategy (Bughin, Byers, & Chui, 2011).

However, 49% of the survey respondents working for companies with fewer than 200

employees reported their employer had a formal social media strategy; compared to 52%

of survey respondents working for companies with more than 200 employees. 56% of

respondents working for companies with fewer than 200 employees reported their

employer had formal policies in place governing the use of social media at work;

compared to 69% of respondents working for companies with more than 200 employees.

These data suggest that regardless of size, companies are increasingly adopting formal

social media policies and formulating a social media strategy, validating the feedback

from the SME reviewers on the draft survey instrument. The vast majority of survey

respondents (73.2%) had greater than ten years experience in the IT industry, reflecting

the mature IT sector in the greater Seattle area.

Current uses of social media. The first quantitative research question was

descriptive and sought to uncover current uses of social media applications among IT

professionals, including communication, collaboration, professional networking,

innovation, learning, knowledge management, and other organizational uses as

determined by the literature and validated by subject matter experts prior to

administration of the survey:

RQ1. What are the different uses of social media among IT professionals in IT

companies?
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Detailed results showing the different types of social media applications related to

various types of uses are shown in Table 21. Over 81% of survey respondents reported

using at least one type of social media application for communication and collaboration

purposes, followed by 79% using at social media for staying in touch, 76% using social

media for knowledge management and learning purposes, and 69% using social media

for research and resource finding. These data show widespread adoption and use of

social media among IT professionals, and support recent research by McKinsey of

adoption of social media across industries in United States (Bughin, 2012).

Results from the survey also show there are large variations in uses of particular

social media applications. The most commonly used type of application is professional

networking tools (such as LinkedIn), used by 74.9% of participating IT professionals,

followed by wikis (74.4%), online forums and chats (69%, includes IM), podcasts and

videocasts (64.8%), and social networking applications (59.6%, includes Yammer and

Facebook). The least kind of used applications by IT professionals include location-

based services (such as Foursquare), microblogs (such as Twitter), and blogs, which were

used by less than half of survey respondents. A recent study by Barnes and Lescault

(2012) also found that the use of blogs is declining, as newer tools featuring newsfeeds

are becoming more popular. Newsfeeds are easier to digest and require less time

commitment to process, which is comparable to the notion from sociomaterial

structuration theory that user-driven generation of content and tool management evolve

naturally to fit specific uses and situations (Ansari & Munir, 2010). Different types of

social applications offer different features and are thus not deemed useful for all purposes

(James & Asplund, 2012). For example, social networking tools are used more
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frequently for communication and collaboration, whereas wikis are used more frequently

for knowledge management and research purposes.

About half of survey respondents (51%) reported that their employer currently has

a dedicated social media strategy. In comparison, current literature indicates that less

than one third of American companies have dedicated social media strategies (Stolley,

2009; Tennant, 2010; ―USA Internet,‖ 2010b). Survey data further indicate that the

larger the company, the less likely employees are to know the content of the strategy.

Only 57% of IT professionals working for companies with more than 2000 employees

know the content of the social media strategy, compared to more than two thirds of

employees working for companies with fewer than 100 employees. Similarly, the larger

the company, the less likely employees are to agree that their company's social media

strategy aligns well with the company's overall strategy and vision. Large companies

may thus have a leadership challenge disseminating social media strategies to their

employees and ensuring that operational uses of social media align with strategic

initiatives.

Survey results also indicate that more companies are issuing formal guidelines

and policies governing internal use of social media. 76% of companies with more than -

2000 employees have social media policies in place, compared to 44% of companies with

fewer than 20 employees. Most respondent (91%) said they know the content of social

media guidelines, but about one third felt that their employer‘s social media guidelines

were too restrictive and prevent them from using social media applications optimally.

Striking a balance between leveraging social media optimally and managing risks is a key
230

leadership challenge that requires consideration of individual user communities, business

goals, and organizational culture (Woods, 2012).

Survey results on social media usage for work-related purposes indicate that more

companies are allowing professionals to use social media applications at work and are

providing access to social media via organizational technology platforms. Existing

research suggests organizational leaders have been struggling to choose the best

applications and assess the viability of solution providers (Kim, Ok-Ran, & Lee, 2010).

Survey results however, suggests leaders may have moved beyond this initial stage of

introducing social media to the workplace, and that certain social media applications have

matured in ways that allow a growing number of users to benefit.

According to the UTAUT model, users decide to use a new technology because

they expect the tool to help them successfully accomplish a task, expect the technology to

perform effectively, and because social influences positively impact opinions (Venkatesh,

et al., 2003). Social media may thus have reached a state of widespread acceptance and

critical use mass. This finding is consistent with recent research suggesting that social

media have become ubiquitous in organizations that rely heavily on cross-functional

collaboration and communication (Barnes & Lescault, 2012).

Survey results also indicate significant differences in the use of different types of

social media applications. In contrast to research pointing to the effectiveness of blogs

and microblogs in relation to facilitating lateral and horizontal discussions and dialogue

in organizations (Lindmark, 2009; Zhang, Zhu, & Hildebrandt, 2009), IT professionals

prefer other social media applications such as wikis, and social and professional

networking tools. From the perspective of sociomaterial structuration theory, users and
231

user communities collaboratively develop content in a manner that fits workflows

naturally (McAfee, 2006; McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager & Huskey, 2010). Hence,

social media tools that are perceived by users to be better suited for such user-driven and

collaborative content development may be used more extensively in organizations.

Another possible explanation for differences in uses of particular applications

may be that software vendors largely decide which social features are included in the

latest versions of enterprise technology platforms (Ramdani, Kawalek, & Lorenzo, 2009).

Availability of features may thus drive IT professionals‘ social media usage similar to

other vendor-driven organizational technologies. This possible scenario is inadequately

addressed by the UTAUT model and other technology adoption models.

Generational differences in current uses of social media. The second

quantitative research question addressed differences across generation cohort

membership in current uses of social media in IT companies:

RQ2. To what extent does the use of social media in IT companies differ across

IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?

Generation Y is characterized in generation theory as technology-savvy and

individualistic (Erickson, 2008; Howe & Strauss, 2007), leading to a commonly cited

assumption that younger IT professionals are more likely to immerse themselves in new

organizational technologies (McMullin, Duerden, & Jovic, 2007; Simons, 2010).

Consequently, the following hypotheses were proposed:

H20: There is no difference in generational cohort use of social media among IT

professionals in IT companies.
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H21: Generation Y IT professionals in IT companies are more likely to use

social media than Generation X and Baby Boomer IT professionals.

Hypotheses were tested at the 95% significance level or higher to determine whether

there was a statistically significant difference in Generation Y cohort members‘ uses of

social media as compared to their older colleagues. Survey data showed that Generation

Y IT professionals (ages 30 and under) were significantly more likely to use social media

for communication and collaboration and for knowledge management and learning, as

compared to their older colleague. Relative effects of these relationships were large and

medium respectively. Millennials may be more likely to use social media for

collaboration and communication because they already use social media tools extensively

outside work to communicate with their peers (Calder, 2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward,

2009. Whereas most IT professionals partake in collaborative work processes and

depend on effective communication with colleagues and stakeholders to succeed in their

jobs regardless of age or tenure (Cash, Earl, & Morrison, 2008; Matson & Prusak, 2010),

research by Ng and Feldman (2010) suggests Millennial employees are more likely to be

involved in knowledge management and learning activities compared to older

professionals. This may help explain why younger IT professionals use social media

more extensively for these tasks as compared to their older colleagues and also explain

why the relative strength of the relationship was only medium.

Survey results showed there was no statistically significant difference in use of

social media for the purpose of research and resource finding or for staying in touch

between Generation Y cohort members and their older colleagues. These findings

suggest that while Generation Y cohort members are, indeed, early adopters of social
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media, older employees are getting onboard with social media in areas where they are

most comfortable. Social media applications have no inherent generational bias and are

easy to use for all IT professionals, who are already very familiar with a fast-paced

technology landscape from their line of work (Gerth & Rothman, 2007). This finding is

consistent with recent research indicating growing acceptance of social media across

generation cohorts (Culnan, McHugh, & Zubillaga, 2010; Mostaghin, 2011). In

summary, generational differences in organizational uses of social media may still exist

in some areas, but are likely to diminish in the future as tool mature and social media

become integrated with enterprise technology platforms.

Occupational differences in current uses of social media. The third

quantitative research question addressed differences across occupational categories

(manager/non-manager) of current uses of social media:

RQ3. To what extent do IT professionals’ uses of social media in IT companies

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

Both manager and non-manager IT professionals are knowledge workers with

extensive communication and collaboration needs that could be supported by social

media tools (Cash, Earl, & Morrison, 2008; Matson & Prusak, 2010). Little research

exists to examine differences in work-related uses of social media across occupational

categories, and the few studies that have been conducted on occupational differences in

use of social media for work-related purposes have produced conflicting results (Krause,

2010, McAfee, 2009). Thus, the following hypotheses were proposed:

H30: There is no difference in managers‘ and non-managers‘ use of social

media among IT professionals in IT companies.


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H31: There is a difference in managers‘ and non-managers use of social media

among IT professionals in IT companies.

Hypotheses were tested at the 95% significance level to determine if there is a

statistically significant difference in uses of social media between manager and non-

manager IT professionals. The only type of use showing a statistical significant

difference was staying in touch, with non-managers showing slightly more frequent use

than managers. The relative effect size of this relationship was small, indicating that

differences may be caused by other factors than occupational category (Simons & Goes,

2012). Other types of uses showed no statistically significant difference across manager

and non-manager IT professionals. Thus, based on the survey data, management position

has little to no impact on personal use of social media. This finding conflicts with the

UTAUT model, in which occupational categories are assumed to influence individual‘s

technology adoption decisions (Venkatesh et al., 2003). However, because both manager

and non-manager IT professionals are knowledge workers with intense needs to

communicate and collaborate across the organizations (Cash, Earl, & Morrison, 2008;

Matson & Prusak, 2010), ensuring social media adoption across occupational categories

may not be a significant management/non-management issue in IT companies.

Other factors may play a larger role in predicting social media adoption. Rogers‘

diffusion of innovation theory emphasizes the social system across which the innovation

is diffused, pointing to the importance of cultural values and prevailing management

norms when predicting adoption of new technologies (Rogers, 1995). If social media are,

indeed, disruptive technologies as suggested by some researchers (Bughin, Chui, &

Miller, 2009; McAfee, 2010), managers and senior leaders may play a large role in how
235

quickly and effectively social media are adopted across organizations (Schein, 2010).

Personal use of social media by managers, however, may not indicate occupational

differences in adoption rates but instead reflect commonly accepted use behaviors and

work practices in a given organizational culture. IT companies often have collaborative

cultures, in which employee participation in decision-making is expected regardless of

job titles (Tanoglu, Basoglu, & Daim, 2010). From the perspective of sociomaterial

structuration theory, managers and non-managers alike may attribute meaning and value

to social technologies based on experimentation with features and integration into work

processes (Orlikowski, 2010). An experimental and user-driven approach to technology

adoption may be unrelated to managers‘ uses of social media if cultural norms allow and

encourage such experimental practices (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011).

Generational differences in attitudes toward social media. The fourth quantitative

research question addressed potential differences across generation cohort membership in

attitudes toward social media use among IT professionals:

RQ4. To what extent do attitudes toward social media use in IT companies differ

across IT professionals’ generation cohort membership (Baby Boomer, Generation X,

Generation Y)?

Generation Y cohort members are frequently characterized in the mass media and

in generation theory literature as technology-savvy individuals who expect to use the

latest available technologies both at home and at work (Howe & Strauss, 2007; Lowe,

Lewitt, & Wilson, 2011; Woodward, 2009). Younger professionals are early adopters of

social media for personal purposes (Fenn, 2008). Hence, the following hypotheses were

proposed:
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H40: There is no difference in IT professionals‘ generational cohort

membership and attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT

companies.

H41: IT professional Generation Y cohort members have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption and use in IT companies than Generation X

and Baby Boomer cohort member IT professionals.

Attitudes were measured using a series of ten opinion statements and a 5-point Likert-

type scale, as shown in Table 32.

Table 32

Survey Findings - Overview of Attitudinal Statements

Attitudinal Statement Wording

Statement 1 Social media encourage employees to participate more in


discussions across my company

Statement 2 Social media have made my company more transparent and


open

Statement 3 Social media have helped management in my company


become more trusting of employees

Statement 4 Social media have helped me work more effectively

Statement 5 Social media have helped me work more independently

Statement 6 Social media have helped break down barriers between


management and professionals in my company

Statement 7 Social media promote team building and collaboration

Statement 8 Social media have improved my company's reputation

Statement 9 Social media have made my company a better place to work

Statement 10 Social media pose a risk to my company's integrity


237

Hypotheses were tested at the 95% significance level, or higher. Results showed

that Generation Y cohort members had statistically significant more positive opinions on

all ten statements compared to their older colleagues, although relative effect sizes were

only small to medium. This finding is consistent with research on work-related use of

social media indicating younger professionals have more positive attitudes toward social

media tools compared to their older colleagues (Onyechi & Abeysinghe, 2009).

McMullin, Duerden, and Jovic (2007) similarly found that younger IT professionals were

more likely to immerse themselves in new technologies, leading to different generation-

based subcultures in early adopter companies. Lowe, Lewitt, and Wilson (2011) further

suggested that organizational leaders face significant challenges when recruiting and

retaining Generation Y employees who expect significant autonomy and freedom to use

technologies creatively and without close supervision and limiting processes.

An alternative explanation of the small relative effects of the relationships

between generation cohorts and positive attitudes is that Generation Y cohort members

exhibit more frequent personal use of social media, as suggested by some research

(Calder, 2008; Newton, 2008; Woodward, 2009). More frequent use of social media by

Millennials for communication and collaboration and for knowledge management and

learning indicated by RQ2 results may also help explain why younger IT professionals

have slightly more positive attitudes about organizational social media than their older

colleagues. The reverse effect of how use of technology affects an individual‘s attitudes

about that technology is not addressed by the UTAUT model, or by other technology

adoption models (Legris, Ingham, & Collerette, 2003). According to structuration theory,

however, users attribute meaning to technologies and collaboratively develop work


238

practices around useful features (Orlikowski, 2010). The experimental and emerging

nature of social media may thus create more positive attitudes among users than non-

users. As organizational social media become more mainstream and business cases

emerge, older IT professionals‘ use is likely to increase, which may positively affect

these employees‘ attitudes about social technologies.

Occupational differences in attitudes toward social media. The fifth and last

quantitative research question addressed differences across occupational categories and

attitudes toward social media use in IT companies:

RQ5: To what extent do IT professionals’ attitudes toward social media adoption

differ across occupational categories (manager/non-manager)?

The leadership literature suggests that Enterprise 2.0 requires managers to

relinquish control of content and use (McAfee, 2006, 2010; Hamel, 2011). Hence,

successful organizational social media implementations may require managers to

empower non-manager employees to take responsibility for content creation and tool use

(Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Lin, 2010; Reid, Gray & Honick, 2008). Managers may

thus have more negative attitudes toward Enterprise 2.0 adoption than non-managers

because their influence is diminished (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Li, 2010), resulting

in the following hypotheses:

H50: There is no difference in IT professional managers‘ and non-managers‘

attitudes toward social media adoption and use in IT companies.

H51: Non-manager IT professionals in IT companies have more positive attitudes

toward social media adoption than managers.


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Attitudes were measured using the same series of opinion statements and a 5-

point Likert-type scale used for RQ4 (cf. Table 32). Hypotheses were tested at the 95%

significance level. Results from data analysis were mixed. Non-manager IT

professionals were slightly more likely to agree with statements 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9 as

compared to their manager colleagues but relative effects were small. The remaining five

statements yielded no statistically significant different results. These weak results

suggest attitudes toward social media may not vary significantly across manager/non-

manager categories. IT professionals in management positions may have accepted the

social aspects of social media as part of their daily work routines, and may have found

personal benefits comparable to the level of their non-manager colleagues.

The literature suggests successful organizational social media implementations

require managers to empower subordinates to take responsibility for content creation and

tool use (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Lin, 2010; Reid, Gray & Honick, 2008).

However, the conclusion that managers have more negative attitudes toward Enterprise

2.0 adoption than non-managers because their influence is diminished presented by

several authors (Chui, Miller & Roberts, 2009; Li, 2010) was not supported by the

present research. Other factors such as organizational culture and prevailing management

practices may exert larger influence on attitudes about the benefits and risks of

organizational social media and other technologies than occupational category (Schein,

2010). Some research suggests IT companies are likely to embrace participatory

leadership cultures, which tend to minimize managerial power struggles for control

(Tanoglu, Basoglu, & Daim, 2010). In such environments, managers may more readily

accept and promote employee-driven technology adoption without fear of diminished


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influence, consistent with the notion of open leadership and other participatory

management theories (Li, 2010).

Furthermore, IT professionals may base personal opinions about social media on

deeper understanding of the technologies compared to other professionals who may view

social media exclusively from a user perspective. As a result, manager/non-manager

status may play an insignificant role in forming opinions about new technologies, which

diminishes the predictor influence of the social influence variable in the UTAUT model.

Qualitative Research Phase

The purpose of the second, qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological research

phase was to explore and understand the leadership practices associated with successful

implementations of social media based on senior leaders‘ lived experiences with

Enterprise 2.0 in IT companies. Quantitative data informed qualitative interview

questions in several ways. Quantitative data analysis resulted in interview questions

about senior IT leaders‘ lived experienced relative to social media strategies, generational

and manager/non-manager adoption and participation issues. Furthermore, survey

comments regarding risks and benefits resulted in updated interview questions about the

leadership challenges associated with balancing risks and benefits. Finally, survey

comments provided input to interview questions about protecting company assets, and

implementing social media guidelines. The final interview protocol can be found in

Appendix L. The qualitative research question framing hermeneutic phenomenological

inquiry was:

RQ6. What are senior leaders’ lived experiences relative to organizational

adoption and use of social media in IT companies?


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Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with participation

from thirteen senior IT leaders working in different IT companies in the greater Seattle

area. All interview participants had recent and personal experiences with successful

social media implementations in their respective organizations. Interviews were

transcribed in MS Word and uploaded to NVivo for coding and thematic analysis. Five

main themes emerged from the qualitative data: a) driving social media adoption; b)

enhancing communication and collaboration through social media; c) extracting value

from social media; d) managing risks associated with social media, and e) adopting

leadership practices to Millennials. Each of these themes thus reflects a unique aspect of

senior IT leaders‘ lived experiences relative to successful social media adoption and use.

References to and comparisons with findings from the quantitative research phase are

included where relevant.

Driving social media adoption at the strategic level. Despite some research

and practitioner literature suggesting social media adoption happen in a bottom-up and

user-driven fashion (Burrus, 2010; Chen, 2009), findings from the qualitative research

phase indicate successful social media implementations greatly depends on executive

support and active participation from senior leadership. This finding suggests successful

social media initiatives are like most other technology implementation initiatives, which

require visible and persistent support from senior leadership to greatly accelerate

manager and employee adoption and use (Barrett, Grant, & Wailes, 2006; Orlikowski &

Yates, 2006). This finding also aligns with research that shows diminished resistance

from middle management when top management drives technology change initiatives

(Sincar, 2009). Qualitative data furthermore suggest success with social media does not
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happen from a one-time push but rather requires strategic focus, funding, and on-going

attention. This finding is consistent with longitudinal research that examines the

effectiveness of strategic initiatives related to technology-driven change (Miles, 2010;

Walker, Armanakis, & Berneth, 2007). By (2005) similarly concluded that new IT

initiatives have a better chance of success when they are aligned with business strategy.

Qualitative findings showed senior leaders are beginning to adopt a strategic

approach to internal social media adoption and use. Results from the survey research

phase indicated that about half of the respondents‘ employers now have a dedicated

social media strategy. Interviews revealed, however, that organizational social media

strategies often only address external uses of social media, such as marketing and

customer relationship management. As noted by one participant, ―We have a social

media strategy but it mostly covers our external social media presence and approach.‖

However, as internal uses of social media result in more value creation, leaders

are realizing the strategic potential of social media and are formulating visions for the

social organization. One participant noted that his vision for social media was ―crossing

the streams to make our operations, customers, and employees better connected and

enabling small company feel through lose connections and breaking down silos.‖

Another participant similarly stated that his vision of social media was ―to connect people

across the company to achieve greater impact.‖

Research by Kim, Ok-Ran, and Lee (2010) indicate that the fluid social media

landscape makes it difficult for organizational leaders to choose the best applications and

assess the viability of solution providers, which complicated the strategic integration of

Web 2.0 technologies into existing technology platforms. However, qualitative research
243

findings indicate senior IT leaders are beginning to move beyond these concerns and are

formulating strategies that focus on the social imperative and the core principles behind

Enterprise 2.0 rather than on specific applications.

The first, quantitative research phase indicated that participation in the social

media may not be a significant management/non-management issue, as suggested by

some scholars (Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009; Lin, 2010; Reid, Gray & Honick, 2008).

This finding from the survey was corroborated by the qualitative research phase.

Qualitative findings suggest senior leaders who already embrace a collaborative and

participatory management culture may drive organizations to be further along the social

media adoption curve compared to more restrictive, top-down controlled organizations

with strictly hierarchical P&L structures and tight top-down management control. This

finding is consistent with literature suggesting early adopters of social media are already

committed to collaborative and participatory practices (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene,

2011; McAfee, 2010; Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). Most interview participants

subscribed to the participatory, open leadership paradigm prior to the introduction of

social media in their organizations and wanted their employees to contribute and engage.

One participant stated, ―We do have a reputation of managing by consensus to a fault.‖

Another participant noted, ―We trust our employees to do the right thing, to participate in

decision-making and dialogue, and to exercise sound judgment. That‘s our management

philosophy.‖ In these type of environments, social media act as an amplifier of

prevailing leadership philosophy and culture; a finding consistent with recent research on

leadership and early social media adoption, which shows that a management philosophy

built on trust and collaboration is more conducive to social media adoption and use than a
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management culture based on control (Bradley & McDonald, 2011; Kiron, 2012;

McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager & Huskey, 2010).

A couple of the interviewed leaders worked in more conservative and traditional

siloed organizations, and while they reported fewer realized benefits, they still expressed

great hope for the social media project. In particular, findings show social media can

help overcome barriers created by hierarchies by allowing employees easier and more

personalized access to colleagues in other parts of the organization, as well as making

employees and managers everywhere more informed. This finding is consistent with

research by De Hertogh, Viane, and Dedene (2011), in which a set of guiding principles

for Enterprise 2.0 implementations was presented based on the assumption from

structuration theory that social media use patterns emerge and change dynamically in

parallel with organizational and management structures. This finding may also help

explain why manager/non-manager employment status was not a significant predictor of

uses of or positive opinions about organizational social media as reported in the first,

quantitative research phase.

Interview findings indicate leaders are concerned about defining and measuring

success with social media but agree that assigning dollar value to internal social media

use is difficult. This finding confirms research by McNamee, Schoch, Oelschlager, and

Huskey (2010), who found that the value of Enterprise 2.0 lie in the difficult-to-quantify

leverage of tacit knowledge, and in the exploitation of informal social connections. A

few of the interview participants reported collecting metrics to document the usefulness

of social media, although no patterns emerged to characterize those metrics. This finding

aligns with research by McKinsey, in which the practice of measuring monetary value or
245

ROI of social media based on assumptions about cause-and-effects among variables was

found to frequently result in misleading performance indicators (Bughin, Chui, & Miller,

2009).

Another study from McKinsey found that despite the difficulty measuring

monetary value or outcomes of internal uses of social media, the number of senior leaders

who report achieving soft or intangible value from social media has increased

significantly in the last three years (Bughin, Byers, & Chui, 2011). Interview participants

confirmed this finding and reported achieving soft benefits from social media, including

enhanced collaboration, improved communication, increased employee engagement and

satisfaction, increased productivity among knowledge workers, better access to

colleagues and organizational resources, broken down organizational, professional, and

geographical barriers; and more open, participatory, and transparent decision-making

processes. Success with Enterprise 2.0 may be determined largely from leaders‘ existing

management philosophies and less on fiscal goals and metrics (Zielinski, 2012). This

finding indicates that leaders who already subscribe to open leadership beliefs are among

the early adopters of social media and use the tools as a way to reinforce and support a

collaborative organizational culture. Still, some senior leaders mentioned a need to

document business cases to sell social media to others in the organization and to achieve

broader adoption and use. This practice is aligned with the assumption in the UTAUT

model that individuals adopt and use a particular technology once they are personally

convinced of the benefits (Venkatesh et al., 2003).

The notion of social media working as glue that binds together the organization

and reinforces a culture based on collaboration was a key finding of the qualitative
246

research phase and the theme of driving social media adoption at the strategic level. One

of the key principles of structuration theory, which informed the present study, is that

technology is considered a cultural artifact through which users can attribute meaning

from ongoing use (Orlikowski, 2010). Research on cultural artifacts also suggests that

one of the most effective ways to change elements of an organization‘s culture is through

the introduction of new artifacts (Higgins, McAllister, & Certo, 2006). The present study

thus supports this research by indicating social media can play a role in furthering a

culture of openness, transparency, and collaboration and function as a culture-reinforcing

artifact.

Existing research indicates that social media are disruptive technologies that

require radical changes to organizational culture and leadership (Bughin, Chui, & Miller,

2009; McAfee, 2010). Disruptive change is shown to be more difficult to manage than

non-disruptive change because the effects of a new technology is profound and requires

changing underlying norms, values, and basic assumption of the organization (Schein,

2010). Findings from interviews, however, suggest senior leaders in IT take a less

disruptive approach to managing change introduced by social media usage and instead

view social media as a reinforcement agent of existing cultural and leadership practices,

or as a means to maintaining relevancy and currency of the organization‘s technology

platform. This finding suggests that social media adoption may have less impact on

organizational management and employee participation as predicted by some researchers

(Bradley & McDonald, 2011; McAfee, 2006; 2009).

Flowers (2008) similarly suggested Enterprise 2.0 may require radical change to

an organization‘s governance and leadership systems. However, only a few of the


247

interview participants discussed social media from a change management perspective.

Instead, the present research pointed to social media‘s supportive or enabling role in

enhancing employee engagement and success with social media depends on the

willingness of senior leaders to drive non-disruptive change and to build community-

based, collaborative organizational cultures in line with suggestions made by Mintzberg

(2009). This finding also supports research on IT-enable change, which suggests that the

key to success lies in the dual focus on and management of IT itself and its social and

organizational implications (Barrett, Grant, & Wailes, 2006; Orlikowski & Yates, 2006).

This finding may also help explain findings from the quantitative research phase

indicating manager/non-manager occupational categories were not a reliable predictor of

social media use and attitudes. Studies that suggest managers have negative opinions

about social media because they risk losing control (Hamel, 2011; McAfee, 2009) may

have only considered organizations that either implement social media as disruptive

technologies, or exemplify organizational cultures with sharp delineations between

management and non-management responsibilities. Such cultures are not widespread in

the IT industry, in which companies tend to favor more collaborative leadership practices

(Tanoglu, Basoglu, & Daim, 2010).

Addressing implementation issues at the operational level. This theme

covered operational level implementation issues as experienced by senior leaders in IT.

A major subtheme of this theme was related to managing risks associated with social

media. Findings from the present study indicate that leaders have well-developed

strategies for managing those risks. One participant stated ―We want to control risks to

some degree while reaping the benefits from [social media].‖ Another participant noted,
248

―We are trying to understand [HQ‘s] approach to managing risks without losing some of

the advantages that the social networks do provide.‖

The most cited risks from social media adoption and use include a) leakage of

proprietary information and company knowledge, b) IT security, hacking into company

systems through social media applications, employee‘s personal devices, or hacking of

the company‘s social media channels; and c) compromised employee information and

privacy. In response to these risks, interview participants mentioned adopting both

preventive and corrective measures. The most common type of preventive risk

management measure include adoption of social media usage and governance guidelines,

user training, and implementation of various IT security measures designed to prevent

cyber attacks. Most interview participants reported similar practices already existed in

their companies before the introduction of social media and that adding social media to

the organization‘s IT portfolio was a relatively simple exercise from a risk mitigation

perspective. Hence, the perceived leadership challenge of balancing social media risks

with benefits reported by existing practitioner literature (Kenny & Yen, 2009; ―USA

Internet,‖ 2010a; Wilson, 2009) is not reflected by leaders who have embraced social

media and E2.0 principles. Instead, the present study indicates that managing risks

associated with social media is no different from managing risks associated with other

organizational technologies.

Corrective risk management practices mentioned by interview participants

included usage monitoring and content review. However, many interview participants

reported adopting a principle of self-monitoring by user communities, which is in line

with social media literature that emphasizes user-driven practices and self-governance as
249

an effective way of boosting participation and employee engagement (Calder, 2008;

Chui, Miller, & Roberts, 2009). Open leadership theory, which informed the qualitative

research phase of the present study, also implies that management‘s role in mitigating

risks is based on support and advice rather than on strict controls and monitoring of user

activity (Li, 2010).

Engaging employees emerged as a subtheme of addressing operational-level

implementation issues. Research shows that success with social media implies broad

participation from employees (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009). Literature further suggests

that engaged employees are more productive and satisfied (Barzilai-Nahon & Mason,

2010; Mirvis, 2012), emphasizing the need for leaders to focus on ways to enhance

employee engagement. Findings from the study indicate the need to engage employees

mutually reinforce or coalesce with and the need to boost participation in social media

initiatives. One of the participants noted,

I started talking about how MySite could become an important employee

engagement tool, we want our employees - who are increasingly remote from

each other – to engage and how do you build community and how do you build

cohesiveness into the organizational culture? …We started talking about how we

could use MySite internally to build a virtual water cooler.

This approach may help explain the lack of differences across manager‘ and non-

managers‘ uses of and attitudes toward organizational social media uncovered by the

first, quantitative research phase. When managers take an active role in engaging

employees and collaboratively build a sense of community around social media, both

groups of employees benefit.


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Little research exists to study the effectiveness of social media to increase

employee engagement, although practitioner experiences from large consulting firms and

Fortune 500 companies indicate that social media can play a significant role in engaging

employees (Baskin, 2012; ―Using social media,‖ 2012). Findings related to employee

engagement focused on boosting employee participation in social media initiatives.

Leaders addressed the need to overcome concerns related to privacy and boosting

participation by offering rewards and through gamification. Leaders recommended

adding fun factors to social media to encourage and reward users for participating and

engaging in dialogue. Small features like the ability to collect badges, leadership boards,

and friendly contests help spur interest and boost adoption among older employees.

Little current research exists to study the role of gamification in adoption and use of

social media (Bass, 2012). Yates and Wootton (2012) found that social media-enabled

games and fun can help employees better understand HR practices in organizations but

did not address the intersection between employee engagement and social media.

Experiences from IBM and HP suggest that gamification can help increase technology

adoption in IT organizations (Bass, 2012; Burns & Royle, 2012). The Gartner Group

even predicts that by 2015, 40% of large global companies will use gamification as ―a

primary mechanism to transform business operations‖ (Savitz, 2012, p. 20).

Maintaining quality and relevance was identified by a little more than half of the

interview participant and concerns the need to provide high quality and relevant content

to users as well as ensuring quality of social media tools and applications. According to

the UTAUT model, the decision to adopt and use technology is influenced by

individuals‘ perception of the value of those technologies, which is related to perceptions


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of quality (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Findings from the study indicate leaders are aware

that clutter, dated content, using the wrong tools for the wrong purposes, and lack of staff

to manage internal social media sites can prevent effective use and value creation from

social media. This finding is consistent with new research that points to need to include

social media in an organization‘s technology portfolio and allocate resources to maintain

content and resolve issues (Bradley & McDonald, 2011; Kiron, 2012).

Employee productivity was a subtheme addressed by a little over half of the

interview participants. Although some leaders expressed initial concerns over loss of

productivity related to employee use of social media for personal purposes, findings

indicate that a) productivity concerns is a management issue unrelated to use of

technology, and b) social media can help increase knowledge worker productivity.

Speaking of the former issue, one participant noted, ―If there‘s a problem with

productivity, you – as the manager - have to address the behavior instead of blaming the

tool.‖ Another participant stated ―…you need to help managers understand that wasting

time on Facebook is no different than wasting time playing Solitaire, it‘s just a different

tool and you have to address the core issue with the person.‖ Several interview

participants argued that social media help increase productivity because employees are

more effective when communicating and collaborating on work tasks. These findings

indicate that fear of productivity loss reported by some literature (Bernoff & Schadler,

2010; Moran, 2009; Williams & Williams, 2008) may be overstated.

Enhancing communication and collaboration through social media. Findings

from the qualitative research phase confirmed findings from the first quantitative research

phase as well as recent research by Barnes and Lescault (2012), and by Bughin and Chui
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(2011), indicating that social media have penetrated deep into the business world and are

used extensively for other than customer-related purposes. The present study confirmed

that social media applications are used for a variety of organizational purposes, which

extend beyond customer relationship management and marketing. Results from the first,

quantitative research phase indicate that although not all social media applications have

equal appeal, IT professionals use a variety of different social technologies for

communication and collaboration, knowledge management and learning, research and

resource finding, and for staying in touch. Existing research has confirmed that social

media applications are particularly well-suited for facilitating mass participation and

collaboration (Tapscott & Williams, 2007; Tye 2010). Kim, Ok-Ran, and Lee (2010)

found that social media enables organizational dialogue through fast and easy

applications used by members to effectively communicate with peers and stakeholders.

These findings were supported by the present research, in which communication and

collaboration emerged a major theme, in line with quantitative research results.

Communication and collaboration reflect a broad set of internal social media use

practices, including emerging uses related to competitor intelligence, knowledge

management, professional networking, and community outreach.

Interview participants addressed the key characterizing features of social media

that help enhance communication and collaboration beyond traditional IT tools. The

most frequently cited social media features include personal profiles, ease of use, user-

driven use practices, mobile and real-time access to content, and powerful content search

functions. These features enable social media users to develop effective and efficient

communication and collaboration practices, a finding consistent with the literature on the
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characterizing factors of social media technologies (Guo, 2009; Parameswaran, &

Whinston, 2007; Zhai & Liu, 2007).

Findings from the present study indicate social media can be leveraged to enhance

lateral, top-down, and bottom-up communications. However, contrary to prior research

pointing to blogs as the most effective social media communications tool (Lindmark,

2009; Zhang, Zhu, & Hildebrandt, 2009), findings from the both quantitative and

qualitative research phases indicate that blogs are used to a much lesser extent than social

networking applications and instant messaging. This finding is consistent with a recent

study, in which the use of blogging was found to be declining as newer tools emerge

(Barnes & Lescault, 2012). A particularly useful feature of social networking tools that

doesn‘t apply to blogs is newsfeeds, which enable users to quickly scan large amounts of

information and obtain an overview without investing too much time on irrelevant

details. Studies that emphasized blogs as an effective way of improving dialogue

between upper management and employees (Flowers, 2008; Gloor, Paasivaara, Schoder,

& Willems, 2008; Wyld, 2008) may thus need to be revised.

Findings from the qualitative research phase indicate that companies operating

from dispersed geographic locations, use multi-national teams, or have a remote or work-

from-home workforce can reinforce their team and company cultures using social media.

Interview participants reported that social media applications can help hold such teams

together because the added social dimension fosters a sense of belonging and supports

personal and human connections. Research on remote teams and social media usage is

sparse, although Turek, Wierzbicki, Nielek, and Datta (2011) found that recently formed

teams can use employee profiles as a means of getting to know each other and finding
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common ground before a project has even started. Qualitative data from interviews with

senior leaders in IT may suggest a broader role for social media beyond familiarization

and project startup centered on a common and social communication and collaboration

platform that exists through an entire project lifecycle.

The present study confirmed research that emphasizes social media‘s role of

strengthening social ties and supporting collaborative, cross-organizational work (Coyle

& Vaughn, 2008; Kratzer, Leenders, Roger, & Van Engelen, 2010; Vithessonthi, 2010).

In particular, interview participants pointed to the ability of social media to help break

down barriers between stakeholder groups and organizational units, and extending

dialogue beyond the immediate work team. This, in turn, helps foster a sense of

community and trust, which research has shown can boost employee productivity (Salz,

2007). Existing research indicates that the practice of group editing or peer production,

in which a number of individuals collaborate on content development often initially

drives social media adoption and use (McAfee, 2009b; Tapscott & Williams, 2007).

While interview participants agreed that collaborative editing using social media tools

like Google Docs is effective and helps increase knowledge worker productivity, findings

from the qualitative research phase did not point to particular tools or applications as the

main driver of social media adoption. Instead, existing technology platforms with social

features tend to be used if employees find ways to integrate these features effectively into

their work streams and are encouraged to participate in social media-enabled practices by

management. According to research by Kim, Ok-Ran, and Lee (2010), peer-produced

content creates new sources of collective knowledge, which can enable employees and

their collaborators to participate in cohesive communities of practice. Findings from the


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present research confirmed social media applications are well-suited for hosting a large

number of different types of content, including project activities, status updates, opinions,

product development discussions, instructional videos, and announcements, all of which

can be saved, retransmitted, commented or voted on, and spun off to other discussion

threads, initiatives, and decisions by participating employees, managers, and

organizational units.

Some research indicates companies are increasingly using social media for

crowdsourcing, which describes the emerging practice of involving customers and other

external constituents in innovation projects (Howaldt & Schwarz, 2010; Wilson, 2009).

Findings from the qualitative research phase indicate, however, that crowdsourcing is

mostly confined to internal constituents and is focused on tapping into the collective

intelligence of employees. Only one of the interview participants reported adopting

crowdsourcing practices with external stakeholders, indicating that this practices is still

emerging. A recent report from Gartner Group on emerging technologies also indicates

that a growing number of companies are experimenting with full-scale crowdsourcing

involving external constituents and audiences (Reddall, 2012). This type of

crowdsourcing is expected to peak as a value-producing practice in five years (Reddall,

2012).

While externally-focused, social media enabled collaboration practices may be

scant, findings from the present research indicate that companies are using social media

extensively for communication with external stakeholders. Although external uses of

social media were not the core focus of interviews, participants still reported reaping

significant benefits from using social media to engage customers and the broader
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community. Existing research shows that social media are ideally suited for pushing

marketing announcements, PR content, and technical and social updates to a wide

audience (Barnes & Matson, 2009, 2010; Fischer & Reuber, 2010; Ramdani & Rajwani,

2010; Zeisser, 2010). Interview participants agreed and noted that social media are not

only useful for customer and partner engagements, but have become a strategic

communication tool. This finding is supported by Gartner Group research (Kiron, 2011)

and research confirming that social media marketing and customer engagement have

become mainstream (Bughin, 2012; Hoffman & Fodor, 2010).

Adapting leadership practices to Millennials. Research on Generation Y

indicates that Millennial employees will continue to drive organizational adoption of

social technologies and demand freedom to experiment and participate in defining use

practices (Lowe, Levitt, & Wilson, 2011). Findings from the present study corroborates

this research as many interview participants mentioned the need to provide a social-media

based technology platform to attract and retain Millennials, particularly for positions

involving collaborative knowledge-intensive work, such as those assumed by IT

professionals. Using social media as a way to attract and retain younger employees is

addressed by research that examines ways of future-proofing a company and addressing

long-term survival goals (Lowe, Levitt, & Wilson, 2011; Woods, 2012). Leidner, Koch,

and Gonzalez (2010) found that Generation Y employees want to use the same social

media tools at work that they use outside of work, and are more likely to leave an

organization that has rigid communication systems and technology platforms in place

(Woodward, 2009).
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Interview participants reported younger employees and job candidates expect to

use social media at work, including social apps on their mobile and personal devices.

This finding is consistent with research by Onyechi and Abeysinghe (2009), in which

authors documented a negative correlation between the age of employees and acceptance

of organizational adoption and use of social media. This negative correlation resulted in

a growing gap of understanding between younger employees and senior management.

Survey findings from the first, quantitative research phase also indicate that Millennials

use social media more extensively for some purposes and have slightly positive attitudes

toward the technologies in comparison with Generation X and Baby Boomer cohort

members. These findings support literature that examines the differences between

Generation Y and their older colleagues in relation to technology adoption and use (Fenn,

2008; Simons, 2010; Woodward, 2010).

A key leadership challenge associated with social media adoption and use is to

ensure participation from older employees who may have concerns about risks associated

with social technologies (Liu, 2010; Martin, Reddington, & Kneafsey, 2009). According

to the Pew Research Center, social networking use by individuals age 50 or older almost

doubled between 2009 and 2010 (Madden, 2010). Forrester Research data show that

almost 35% of Twitter users are 35 years and older (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011), and the

number is growing (Culnan, McHugh, & Zubillaga, 2010; Mostaghin, 2011). These

numbers indicate that Generation X and Baby Boomers are increasingly embracing social

media as effective personal and organizational communication tools. Experiences shared

by interview participants confirm older employees are more skeptical about the benefits

of social media and have concerns about privacy. This may help explain why older IT
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professionals had slightly more negative attitudes toward organizational social media

adoption as compared to Millenials in the first, quantitative research phase.

Findings across quantitative and qualitative research phases relative to

generational differences indicate that while Millennials are more eager to use social

media at work and have slightly more positive opinions about social technologies, older

IT professionals are not far behind on the social media adoption curve. Interview

participants suggested allowing older professionals additional time to adopt and

integrating social media into existing toolkits and work processes. This strategy was

mentioned as key success factors to ensuring broad participation in organizational social

media across generational divides. Studies on strategies for overcoming generational

differences in adoption of social media for work-related purposes do not currently exist,

but research on technology adoption and use, including the UTAUT model, suggests that

social media will ultimately be adopted because users of all ages agree that the

applications help them complete their daily tasks and bring value to their work processes

(Venkatesh et al., 2003).

Implications

A key notion of the Enterprise 2.0 paradigm is that social work practices and

social software can enhance organizational performance through more effective and

efficient collaboration, communication, and information sharing processes among

knowledge workers (Ansari & Munir, 2010; Burrus, 2010; Daft, 2009; Kase, Paawe, &

Zupan, 2009). The social media landscape is changing rapidly and few documented

promising practices for social media adoption and use exist to guide leaders of

knowledge-intensive organizations to successful E2.0 implementations (James &


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Asplund, 2012; Woods, 2012). Overcoming barriers to social media adoption and use

will require leaders to continuously balance potential risks with benefits, keeping a finger

on the pulse both inside and outside the company, and building business cases for social

media across their organizations (Bradley & McDonald, 2011; De Hertogh, Viane &

Dedene, 2011). Implications of this study include both theoretical and research based

inferences related to leadership, both of which will be discussed next.

Theoretical Implications

The study was guided by the sociomaterial interpretation of structuration theory

based on the notions that a) Enterprise 2.0 is an emerging social phenomenon and little is

known about its associated practices (Agarwal & Mital, 2009; Morsing & Castello,

2011); b) the variety and rapid evolution of social media technologies and applications

preclude any predefined structures or uses (Flowers, 2008; McAfee, 2006, 2009); c) user-

driven generation of content and tool management evolve naturally to fit specific uses

and situations (Ansari & Munir, 2010); and d) the relational concept of power in

structuration theory aligns with the idea that social computing is user-driven and that

power relations are determined by peer review and change according to context of use

(Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007).

E2.0 practices uncovered by the study confirmed the emerging nature of social

media uses, which varied greatly among participating organizations. The study confirmed

that social media applications have different features but few inherent rules and

structures, which enable users to creatively and collaboratively define promises use

practices. However, the concept of relational power and its manifestation in user-driven

social media practices was not fully supported by the research. Instead, the study found
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that leadership and management play a large role in how social media adoption unfolds,

and prevailing organizational culture largely determines the degree to which users

participate and engage. Sampling criteria for the qualitative research phase focusing on

leaders with recent experience from successful social media implementations may help

explain this finding. Companies that already embody collaborative work practices and an

open leadership culture are more likely to be early adopters of social media and integrate

social technologies seamlessly into existing technology portfolios (Barnes & Mattson,

2009; Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009).

The UTAUT model, which informed the quantitative part of the study, does not

account for existing organizational leadership practices and technology platforms.

Specifically, the key assumption behind the UTAUT model that individuals adopt and

use technologies based primarily on performance expectancy, which is an individual‘s

belief that the technology will help him or her improve job performance (Venkatesh et

al., 2003), may be overly simplistic. The findings from this study indicate that individuals

adopt and use social media not only based on perceived value gains, but also make the

leap to use social media applications based on directions and encouragement from

leadership. The notion that social media are adopted and used in a bottom-up,

uncontrolled fashion in organizations (Burrus, 2010; Chen, 2009) was not supported by

the research. Senior leadership plays a significant role in ensuring successful adoption

and use of social media and in ensuring the organization reaps any benefits.

Open leadership theory implies managers and non-manager share leadership

responsibilities and make decisions in a collaborative fashion. However, results from the

present research indicate that senior leaders who embrace open leadership to a large
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extent still subscribe to the notion of maintaining some degree of management control

over social media usage. Shared and open leadership across an organization may thus be

an idealized version of reality that warrants revisions to open leadership theory with the

goal of proposing more pragmatic principles.

Existing organizational technology platforms such as MS Sharepoint play a large

role in how social features are introduced to users, suggesting that external IT vendors

have a significant role in organizational social media adoption and use. The notion from

the UTAUT model that social influences and facilitating conditions also impact

technology adoption and use may cover both existing leadership practices and external

influences from technology vendors. However, the UTAUT model does not provide

guidelines for interpreting this variable beyond narrowly defined dichotomous categories.

In the present study, occupational categories instantiated the variable social influences

and facilitating conditions (Krause, 2010), to determine any differences in uses of and

attitudes toward social media across manager and non-manager IT professionals.

Findings from quantitative data analysis were mixed and indicate that manager/non-

manager categories do not significantly determine variations in social media adoption and

use among IT professionals. Hence, the UTAUT model may need to be expanded with a

deeper understanding of complex predictor variables of technology adoption and use in

organizations.

Another theoretical implication of the study is the affirmation of Howe and

Strauss‘ generation theory. Values related to teamwork and expectations of influence

imply that Generation Y cohort members are more likely to favor social media for

collaboration and communication purposes than their older colleagues (Erickson, 2008;
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2010b). This notion was confirmed by both quantitative and qualitative research phases,

which revealed that younger IT professionals are more likely to adopt and use social

media for a variety of purposes, and have more positive attitudes toward these new

technologies than their older colleagues.

The last theoretical implication of the study relates to open leadership theory,

which posits that leadership is a participatory and shared practices based on leadership

practice focused on open information sharing and open decision making (Li, 2010).

Open information sharing is enabled by technological openness present in social media

applications and supporting IT infrastructure, and consists of capturing and exchanging

information and knowledge freely across organizational boundaries through ongoing

dialogue, collaboration, and participation from all stakeholders (Li, 2010). Open decision

making involves following a transparent set of decision-making principles across

situations and organizational boundaries (Li, 2010). The study confirmed the role of

social media in enhancing open information sharing both laterally and horizontally in IT

companies, whereas the role of social media in open decision-making was less evident.

Social media may help make decision-making processes more transparent by distributing

decisions effectively to a larger audience, but the decision to share decision-making

principles may be a leadership prerogative unrelated to the use of social technology.

Implications of Social Media Adoption and Use to Leadership

The empirical data collected from this research study contribute to practical

applications of leadership styles and practices in IT. The present study revealed

significant variations in the uses of social media applications across IT companies.

Results indicate, however, successful social media adoption in IT companies can lead to
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benefits if social media are seen as strategic tools that bring intangible values to

organizational practices. A prerequisite of reaping the benefits of social mediamay be

that an organization‘s senior leadership team is committed to E2.0 principles, which

include open leadership and a collaborative organizational culture (De Hertogh, Viane, &

Dedene, 2011; Li, 2010; Wilson, Guinan, Parise, & Weinberg, 2011). Hence, leaders

who embark on the E2.0 project based on a management culture of control will likely

face challenges to achieve success with social media, or the benefits will be smaller.

The notion that E2.0 happen from the bottom of the organization without

interference from management (Burrus, 2010; Chen, 2009; McAfee, 2006, 2009) was not

supported by the present research. Instead, findings imply that senior leaders who

intentionally drive social media implementation through the adoption of formal social

media policies and user guidelines experience intangible benefits, and claim to boost

employee creativity and innovation while ensuring broad participation from employees

across age groups and occupational categories. This finding means leaders and managers

will have to assume an active role in the E2.0 project, including participating actively on

the company‘s social media platforms. This may entail blogging, tweeting, daily or

weekly posting on social networks, and responding to employee inquiries and comments.

Technology leaders in particular can act as ambassadors of social media and become

early adopters and try to illustrate the power of social media to potential and existing

organizational users. Doing so may require learning new tools and experimenting with a

format that suits each individual executive as well as their followers (Bughin & Chui,

2011).
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Gholami and Safavi (2010) claimed that social media adoption will gradually

result in more participatory and open organizational cultures, which will result in greater

employee engagement and increased productivity. Other authors have observed that

transformation of a company into an E2.0 enterprise requires organizational leaders to

fundamentally rethink the way works gets done (Bradley & McDonald, 2011; Woods,

2012). Findings from the present study imply, however, that many organizational leaders

are taking a less-than-radical approach to social media adoption. Leaders tend to use and

view social media as an additional means to reach organizational goals that do not

necessarily imply radical changes to existing work processes or practices. Strategic

internal uses of social media are not as common as strategic external, customer-facing

uses of social media. However, results from the study imply that creating a social media

strategy that covers both external and internal uses may help leaders focus on and support

value creation in all areas of the organization. Thus, an implication from this study on

leadership is that leadership teams may benefit from analyzing outcomes from social

media pilot projects and from cross-pollinating lessons learned across internal and

externally facing social media user communities with the goal of developing a

streamlined and cohesive social media strategy that fully leverages the potential of the

tools.

Millennial employees will continue to drive adoption of social technologies and

demand freedom to experiment and collaboratively define promising use practices

(Lowe, Levitt, & Wilson, 2011). The present study implies that leaders are likely to face

generational social media adoption issues, as older employees tend to be more skeptical

and more concerned about their personal privacy than younger employees. Ensuring
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broad participation across generational cohorts is a key leadership challenge that requires

understanding of barriers and individual resistance to change. Differences in attitudes

and change readiness across IT professionals of different generational cohorts may be

lower than in other occupations because IT employees are used to change and constantly

evolving technologies (Gerth & Rothman, 2007). Hence, leaders in other types of

companies may face more serious adoption challenges from older employees, requiring

more elaborate strategies for overcoming resistance beyond those uncovered by the

present study.

Another implication of the study on leadership is that participation and support for

E2.0 may vary according to management levels. Survey findings regarding managers‘

attitudes toward social media were mixed, as were results from interviews. However,

mid-level managers, in particular, may feel a loss of control and actively work against

social media adoption in organizations that do not currently subscribe to open leadership

principles (Ramdani & Rajwani, 2010). Findings did imply that leaders should be

concerned with issues related to the exclusion of certain employee groups due to roles,

responsibilities, or lack of ability to use social tools. If most of the organization‘s

conversations happen via social media, employees who are less skilled, lack motivation

or access to social media may be excluded or discouraged from participation.

Another implication for leadership from the present study is that leaders must

continue to strike the right balance between allowing users to experiment and

collaboratively develop use practices around social media with protecting the company‘s

interests and minimizing risks. Findings based on interviews with successful early

adopters of social media imply that risks may be overstated, but that organizational
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leaders should remain vigilant and institute adequate risk mitigation strategies. A further

implication of this study is that policies and practices should be reviewed periodically as

new tools and use practices emerge.

Limitations and Recommendations

The data produced from the study contribute to the knowledge base of

participatory leadership, generation studies, and organizational technology adoption, with

specific application to IT professionals and IT companies. Organizational social media

adoption and use are characterized by emerging practices and rapid changes in

technologies. A mixed-methods approach was applied to uncover current uses of and

attitudes toward social media among IT professionals and explore implications for

leadership in IT companies with recent social media success stories. Limitations of the

research were mainly related to the selected sampling techniques. The lack of a

randomized sample in the first, quantitative research phase may have posed a significant

limitation in terms of the ability to generalize findings to the study population and to the

general population (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). In addition, the small sample size in the

second, qualitative research phase may have excluded participants with different

experiences from successful social media adoption and use. In particular, participants

with negative opinions about and experiences with social media may have been excluded

because of sampling criteria. Recommendations for organizational leaders embarking on

social media projects follow, along with recommendations for further study based on

limitations of the applied research methods and limitations uncovered by findings.


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Recommendations for Organizational Leaders

Leaders should realize successful social media adoption and use doesn‘t happen

without active and persistent leadership involvement. Although survey findings indicate

that uses of social media are becoming more widespread, the tools do not sell themselves,

and adoption does not happen in a user-driven, bottom-up fashion unless current

organizational culture and management practices support the E2.0 paradigm. Instead,

experiences from successful social media implementation projects indicate that senior

leaders must drive social media adoption by establishing business cases, developing

strategies, and rewarding participation.

Findings also show that in some companies, social media adoption is initiated

based on external uses, such as customer engagement, marketing, and customer service.

In other companies, social media is driven by technology and new social features

provided by vendors of existing collaboration tools. Regardless of the initial motivators

for using social media to solve business problems and create value, organizational leaders

should consider their current organizational culture and change readiness before defining

strategies that encompass internal social media uses. Selecting a few application areas, in

which social media has the potential to bring significant value, can help focus

organizational efforts and direct employees‘ energy. Also, allowing employees to

collaboratively co-develop user practices along with user guidelines that protect the

organizations‘ interests may help balance benefits with potential risks.

Broad participation across generational and occupation groups is a prerequisite for

reaping any benefits from social media (De Hertogh, Viane, & Dedene, 2011;

Galaskiewicz, 2007). Organizational leaders should be aware of resistance from older


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employees and mid-level managers and develop strategies to minimize fears of change.

Findings from this study show that younger professionals use social media more

extensively and have more positive attitudes toward new technologies compared to their

older colleagues. Findings comparing manager/non-manager employees‘ uses of and

attitudes toward social media were inconclusive. Study participants shared some

strategies for overcoming internal resistance toward social media including allowing

individuals additional time to adjust to new work processes, and encouraging

participation through gamification and rewards. Organizational leaders need to develop

social media resistance strategies that fit their employee profiles, align with dominant

management philosophies, and match intended outcomes of use.

Findings from the study also show that IT departments should be concerned with

integrating social media into their current technology platforms to avoid providing stand-

alone social media tools. It is particularly important that search engines span multiple

platforms and applications, and that users maintain only one profile. Duplication of work

and cumbersome work processes around tools will slow adoption of social media and

prevent organizations from fully reaping benefits. Leaders should take these findings

into account when planning their technology futures.

Finally, findings indicate that leaders should do more to collect user feedback,

particularly from early adopters inside their organization. Social media applications vary

greatly in terms of features and applicability, and a one-size-fits-all approach is likely to

mask benefits of individual use cases. Leaders should monitor user satisfaction levels

with different tools, and continue to document business cases for social media.
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Currently, few leaders take a data-driven approach to social media adoption and use and

largely rely on anecdotal evidence of value derivation.

Recommendations for Further Study

In addition to the limitations of the study and applied research methods, several

other limitations and gaps arising from the research process and data are evident,

requiring further research and exploration. A major limitation to the applied mixed

methods approach involved sampling and chosen populations. In the first, quantitative

descriptive research phase, IT professionals participated in an online survey to document

current uses of and attitudes toward social media. IT professionals are knowledge

workers and early adopters of new technologies (Anantatmula, 2009). Furthermore, IT

professionals were all from the greater Seattle, WA area, which is characterized by a

mature IT industry and several active professional organizations that engage their

members in ongoing dialogue on emerging technologies (SIM, 2012, personal

communication). The results from the survey may thus have reflected more intensive

uses and more positive views of social media applications as compared to non-IT

knowledge workers, or IT workers in other areas of the country. Additional research on

the uses of and opinions about social media covering a broader geographical area is

needed, as is research that includes non-IT users of social media.

Similarly, participants for the qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological research

phase were chosen based on the criterion that they had recent, personal experiences with

successful social media adoption in a Seattle-area IT company. As a result, qualitative

data reflect mostly positive lived experiences relative to organizational social media

adoption and use. Barriers or limiting factors may thus not have been uncovered in a
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significant manner, calling for additional qualitative research involving less-than-

successful experiences with organizational social media projects. Furthermore, research

focusing on leadership experiences from other industries than IT would help better

understand the broader set of issues associated with social media adoption and use.

Results on differences between manager and non-manager adoption and use of

social media were mixed, indicating more research is needed to understand if managers

may act as a barrier or limiting factor to widespread social media adoption and use.

Other types of occupations should be included in further studies as well, to better

understand if social media can help boost productivity across a larger segment of

knowledge workers.

Employee engagement and productivity emerged as subthemes in the qualitative

research phase. More research is needed to explore the relationship between social media

and increased employee engagement. Findings from the present study suggest that such

relationship may exist and that successful social media adoption and employee

engagement constitute mutually reinforcing factors that increase productivity and

employee satisfaction. The present study did not focus specifically on employee

engagement, but follow-up research could examine the specific ways in which social

media can help employees connect with an organization‘s culture and ongoing dialogue

and examine the effects on employee satisfaction and retention. Previous studies indicate

that engaged employees are more satisfied and productive (Onyechi & Abeysinghe,

2009), suggesting that leaders could benefit from providing tools that positively affect

satisfaction and productivity.


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More research is also needed to understand how gamification can be used to boost

participation in social media initiatives across generational cohorts. Few documented

effective practices exist to guide leaders who embark on social media implementation

projects. Specifically, a study that explores the effectiveness of gamification approaches

to social media adoption in multi-generational settings from a qualitative perspective

could establish key leadership issues and contribute to a better understanding of how

technology adoption occur in an Enterprise 2.0 environment. Such study could also

contribute to modifications of the UTAUT model.

Findings from the survey administered to IT professionals suggest an inverse

correlation between the size of a company and the degree to which employees know the

content of strategies and policies. A correlation study that operationalizes employee

familiarity with strategic directions and correlated this variable with organizational size is

needed to explore if this is indeed the case, and to understand how leaders of large

companies can better disseminate strategies to employees and ensure alignment between

work practices and those strategies.

Because social media are emerging and rapidly-changing technologies, follow-up

research is needed over the next several years to better understand how organizational

work and leadership practices evolve. Current experiences with organizational social

media adoption for internal collaboration and communication purposes are still limited

and reflect experimental approaches to use practices that are likely to mature. Hence, the

present study could be replicated, or a qualitative approach could be extended to

managers and non-manager professionals to gain a broader understanding of the core

issues related to successful organizational social media implementation. Likewise, a


272

quantitative descriptive study could be used to follow-up with leaders that have embraced

the E2.0 paradigm to measure organizational effects in 1-3 years.

Finally, research is needed to better understand how companies with non-

participatory, management-controlled organizational cultures can benefit from social

media. Findings from this study indicate that social media can help break down barriers

between organizational units, geographical locations, and occupational groups. However,

these findings were mainly based on leaders‘ lived experiences from open, collaborative

organizational cultures, in which employees were already encouraged to participate and

engage in cross-organizational dialogue. The degree to which social media can help

produce any value in other types of organizations would help understand if collaborative

and user-driven tools can enable or result in disruptive change to work practices. Hence,

studies focusing on non-IT companies, and companies with more traditional siloed

organizational cultures would provide additional insights into the leadership challenges,

risks, and benefits associated with Enterprise 2.0.

Summary

Chapter 5 reviewed the research questions, methodology, and limitations implied

by the study. The summary and interpretation of the findings from Chapter 4 provided

the main results of the quantitative and qualitative data, their explanations, and

integration with established theory. The findings of the quantitative and qualitative data

were complementary and extensive in testing the hypotheses and addressing the research

questions. Theoretical implications of the study were discussed along with implications

for leadership. Recommendations for further study were provided based on the study

limitations and research findings.


273

This sequential, mixed method study sought to understand current uses of and

attitudes toward social media technologies among IT professionals, determine if there

were any differences in uses of and opinions about social media across generational

cohorts and management/non-management categories, and explore senior leaders‘ lived

experiences relative to successful organizational social media adoption and use.

Theoretical underpinning of the research included socio-material structuration theory, the

UTAUT model of technology adoption, generation theory, and open leadership theory.

Together, these theoretical components informed research questions and interpretations

of findings.

Results from the first quantitative research phase indicate that IT professionals

use several different social media applications for a variety of purposes. Results also

indicate Millennial employees use social media more extensively and have more positive

opinions about social media for work related purposes compared to their older

colleagues. Manager/non-manager comparisons yielded mixed results and may indicate

managers show minimal resistance toward user-driven tools and tend to not worry

extensively about loss of control implied by the Enterprise 2.0 paradigm. Another

finding from the quantitative research phase was that a little more than half of survey

respondents‘ employers have a dedicated social media strategy, and almost two thirds

have guidelines and policies in place governing internal uses of social media. These

numbers are higher than previous research (Stolley, 2009; Tennant, 2010; ―USA

Internet,‖ 2010b), indicating that more employers are realizing the strategic value of

social media and publish guidelines to help balance risks and benefits.
274

Results from the quantitative research phase informed the second, qualitative

hermeneutic phenomenological research phase, which focused on senior leaders‘ lived

experiences relative to leveraging social media in IT companies. Several themes

emerged, including the need to drive social media implementation at a strategic level to

achieve measurable and non-measurable benefits. This finding indicates that successful

social media adoption does not occur from the bottom-up in organizations, but needs

executive support, priority, and ongoing attention similar to most other organizational

change initiatives involving technology (Barrett, Grant, & Wailes, 2006; Orlikowski &

Yates, 2006). Social media can act as the glue that holds together organizational culture

and reinforces existing principles of open leadership and employee participation and

engagement.

Another key finding from the qualitative research phase was that despite the

difficulty measuring value of social media in monetary terms, IT leaders reported

achieving intangible benefits from social media, including enhanced communication and

effective collaboration across their organizations. Social media have penetrated early

adopter companies deeply and their characterizing social features enable better lateral,

horizontal, and cross-organizational communication, help tie together remote employees,

and support crowdsourcing and innovation. Senior IT leaders balance value creation with

risk mitigation by identifying risks and publishing guidelines, providing training, and

adopting IT security measures.

Finally, senior IT leaders reported having to adapt their leadership practices to

Generation Y employees, and find ways to balance the needs of younger and older

employees. Whereas Millennials expect to use social media tools at work and have
275

access to the same applications they use on their personal mobile devices, older

employees may be more skeptical about the benefits of social media and have concerns

about privacy. Boosting social media participation across generational cohorts is a

leadership challenge, which may involve tying social media use to employee rewards and

recognition programs.

This study added new insights to the implementation and leadership issues

associated with Enterprise 2.0 and addressed management and employee experiences and

concerns regarding the use of and attitudes toward social media. As noted by a study

participant, ―the social media genie is out of the bottle‖ and organizational leaders will

need to adapt work and leadership practices to new social technologies in their

organizations in the coming years. This study suggests that while social technologies are

still emerging and promising practices are still evolving, it is possible to manage risks

and reap significant organizational benefits by adopting Enterprise 2.0 principles

supported by social media technologies.


276

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Appendix A: Permission to Use UTAUT Model


329

Appendix B: Recruitment Email – Survey Participants

Dear IT Professional,

My name is Eva Lundahl Philpot and I am a Seattle-based PhD student at the University
of Phoenix conducting a survey on IT professionals‘ use of and attitudes toward social
media for work-related purposes.

If you are currently employed in an IT company with 200 employees or more in the
greater Seattle area as a software programmer, software engineer, tester, project manager,
business analyst, database or network administrator, team manager, or other IT
professional job category, you qualify to participate in the survey and I need your help!

Please take 15 minutes to complete the social media survey by clicking on this link:
URL of informed consent form was inserted here

Forward this email to at least ten of your local IT professional friends, collaboration
partners, and colleagues working in other companies than your own, and ask them to
please complete the survey as well! To enhance the reliability of survey findings, please
consider inviting individuals with different job titles and of different ages.

Thank you so much for your help! If you have any questions, feel free to call me or send
me an email.

Sincerely,
Eva Lundahl Philpot, M.Sc.
(xxx) xxx xxxx cell / xxx@email.phoenix.edu
330

Appendix C: Follow-up Recruitment Email – Survey Participants

Dear IT Professional,

This email is a friendly reminder about a research study on the use of social media in IT
companies. If you already filled in the SurveyMonkey questionnaire: Thank you! Your
participation is appreciated. If you have not already participated in the survey and
forwarded this email to your professional contacts, please read on!

My name is Eva Lundahl Philpot and I am a Seattle-based PhD student at the University
of Phoenix conducting a survey on IT professionals‘ use of and attitudes toward social
media for work-related purposes.

If you are currently employed in an IT company with 200 employees or more in the
greater Seattle area as a software programmer, software engineer, tester, project manager,
business analyst, database or network administrator, team manager, or other IT
professional job category, you qualify to participate in the survey and I need your help!

Please take 15 minutes to complete the social media survey by clicking on this link:
URL of informed consent form was inserted here

Forward this email to at least ten of your local IT professional friends, collaboration
partners, and colleagues working in other companies than your own, and ask them to
please complete the survey as well! To enhance the reliability of survey findings, please
consider inviting individuals with different job titles and of different ages.

Thank you so much for your help! If you have any questions, feel free to call me or send
me an email.

Sincerely,
Eva Lundahl Philpot, M.Sc.
(xxx) xxx xxxx cell / xxx@email.phoenix.edu
331

Appendix D: Recruitment Email and Telephone Script – Interview Participants

Dear Mr/Mrs/Dr. X,

My name is Eva Lundahl Philpot and I got your name from <person referring> at <the
place of referral>. I am a Seattle-based PhD student at the University of Phoenix
conducting a study on the implication of social media implementation on leadership in IT
companies. I am looking for executives and senior managers like yourself to interview in-
person about organizational social media adoption and use from a leadership perspective.

The interview will last 30-60 minutes, and will be scheduled at a time convenient to you,
after normal work hours. The interview will take place in person at the premises of
Palabra Software in Renton, WA, or via Skype from your own private home, depending
on your personal preference. Skype interviews require you to have a Skype account and
Skype software installed on your personal computer to participate. <Person referring>
indicated that you may be interested in helping me?

As part of the research study, I have recent data from local IT companies showing current
use of social media for work-related purposes and the attitudes toward social media as
expressed by local IT professionals. I am happy to share this data with you during the
interview. You will also receive an executive summary of the study once it is completed.

I will send you an informed consent letter that will need to be signed before we can
schedule the interview. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this
research, or if you have any questions about the study. If you know any other senior
managers or executives from IT companies in the Seattle area that I could contact about
participating this study, I appreciate referrals! My contact information is below.
Thank you for your consideration!

Sincerely,
Eva Lundahl Philpot, M.Sc.
(xxx) xxx xxxx cell / xxx@email.phoenix.edu
332

Appendix E: Follow-up Recruitment Email and Telephone Script – Interview

Participants

Dear Mr/Mrs/Dr. X,

I emailed you/we spoke about two weeks ago about your possible participation in a
research study on the implication of social media implementations on leadership in IT
companies. I am following up today to hear if you have made a decision about
participating in an in-person interview for the study?

The interview will last 30-60 minutes, and will be scheduled at a time convenient to you,
after normal work hours. The interview will take place either in person at the premises of
Palabra Software in Renton, WA, or via Skype from your own private home. Skype
interviews will require you to have a Skype account and Skype software on your personal
computer to participate.

You may recall that I have recent data from local IT companies showing current use of
social media for work-related purposes and the attitudes toward social media as expressed
by local IT professionals. I am happy to share this data with you during the interview.
You will also receive an executive summary of the study once it is completed.

I will send you an informed consent letter that will need to be signed before we can
schedule the interview. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this
research, or if you have any questions about the study. If you know any other senior
managers or executives from IT companies in the Seattle area that I could contact about
participating this study, I appreciate referrals! My contact information is below.

Thank you for your consideration!

Sincerely,
Eva Lundahl Philpot, M.Sc.
(xxx) xxx xxxx cell / xxx@email.phoenix.edu
333

Appendix F: Informed Consent– Survey Participants

Note: This informed consent appeared in a URL given to participants. Participants who
did not accept and electronically signed the informed consent form were taken directly to
a Thank You page and were not given the URL to the survey questions. Participants who
did accept and electronically signed the informed consent form were directed to a page
with a separate URL for the survey questions in SurveyMonkey.

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

INFORMED CONSENT:
PARTICIPANTS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER

Dear SurveyMonkey questionnaire participant,

My name is Eva Lundahl Philpot and I am a student at the University of Phoenix


working on a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership degree. I am
conducting a research study entitled: SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION AND USE IN
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR
LEADERSHIP. The purpose of the research is to examine current uses of social media
technologies among IT professionals working in the Seattle, WA area and the possible
effects on leadership practices in IT companies.

Your participation will involve responding to a web-based questionnaire related to


the organizational use of social media. There are no rewards for answering survey
questions in any particular way. The time required to respond to the questionnaire will be
approximately 15 minutes. Your participation in this study is voluntary. If you choose not
to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time, you can do so without penalty or
loss of benefit to yourself. The results of the research study may be published, but your
identity will remain confidential, and your name will not be disclosed to any outside
party. In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you.

As a thank you for your participation in this study, you can receive an executive
summary of the study results. Another possible benefit of your participation includes the
opportunity to share your opinions about and attitudes toward the use of social media for
work-related purposes, which may help achieve a better understanding of the benefits and
risks associated with social media, and the possible impact on organizational leadership.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, or would like to
withdraw from the study, please call me at 206 295 6379, or email me at
eva.philpot@email.phoenix.edu.
334

As a participant in this study, you should understand the following:

1. You may decline to participate or withdraw from participation at any time without
consequences.
2. Your identity will be kept confidential.
3. Eva Lundahl Philpot, the researcher, has thoroughly explained the parameters of
the research study and all of your questions and concerns have been addressed.
4. Data will be stored in a confidential and locked area. The data will be held for a
period of three years, and then destroyed.
5. The research data results will be used for publication.

―By signing this form you acknowledge that you understand the nature of the
study, the potential risks to you as a participant, and the means by which your identity
will be kept confidential. Your signature on this form also indicates that you are 18 years
old or older and that you give your permission to voluntarily serve as a participant in the
study described.‖

Electronic signature of the survey participant _/s/ First name Last name
Date _____________

Electronic signature of the researcher /s/ Eva Lundahl Philpot


Date 02/27/2012
335

Appendix G: Informed Consent – Interview Participants

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

INFORMED CONSENT:
PARTICIPANTS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER

Dear Interview Participant,

My name is Eva Lundahl Philpot and I am a student at the University of Phoenix


working on a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership degree. I am
conducting a research study entitled: SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION AND USE IN
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR
LEADERSHIP. The purpose of the research is to examine current uses of social media
technologies among IT professionals working in the Seattle, WA area and the possible
effects on leadership practices in IT companies.

Your participation will involve being interviewed for the study in person or via
Skype, for 30-60 minutes, about your leadership experiences related to organizational use
of social media. Preliminary results from a survey among IT professionals in the Seattle
area on the use of and attitudes toward social media for work-related purposes will be
shared with you during the interview. There are no rewards for answering interview
questions in any particular way. If you choose not to participate or to withdraw from the
study at any time, you can do so without penalty or loss of benefit to yourself. The results
of the research study may be published, but your identity will remain confidential, your
name will not be disclosed to any outside party, and your results will be maintained in
confidence. In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you.

As a thank you for your participation in this study, you can receive an executive
summary of the study results. Another possible benefit of your participation includes
sharing your leadership experiences related to the organizational use of social media,
which may help achieve a better understanding of the benefits and risks associated with
social media, and the possible impact on organizational leadership.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, or would like to
withdraw from the study, please call me at 206 295 6379, or email me at
eva.philpot@email.phoenix.edu.

As a participant in this study, you should understand the following:


336

1. You may decline to participate or withdraw from participation at any time


without consequences.
2. Your identity will be kept confidential.
3. Eva Lundahl Philpot, the researcher, has thoroughly explained the parameters of
the research study and all of your questions and concerns have been addressed.
4. If the interviews are recorded, you must grant permission for the researcher, Eva
Lundahl Philpot, to digitally record the interview. You understand that the
information from the recorded interviews may be transcribed. The researcher will
structure a coding process to assure that anonymity of your name is protected.
5. Data will be stored in a secure and locked area. The data will be held for a period
of three years, and then destroyed.
6. The research results will be used for publication.

―By signing this form you acknowledge that you understand the nature of the
study, the potential risks to you as a participant, and the means by which your identity
will be kept confidential. Your signature on this form also indicates that you are 18 years
old or older and that you give your permission to voluntarily serve as a participant in the
study described.‖

Signature of the interviewee ___________________Date _____________

Signature of the researcher ____________________Date _____________


337

Appendix H: Researcher’s Signed Confidentiality Statement


338

Appendix I: Draft Survey Instrument, Screenshots from SurveyMonkey

Screenshots from SurveyMonkey.


339
340
341
342
343
344

Appendix J: Final Survey Instrument, Screenshots from SurveyMonkey


345
346
347

Appendix K: Draft Interview Protocol

(Format adapted from Creswell, 2007)

Date and time of interview: Place:

Interviewee code:

(Define social media and describe purpose of research)

Draft interview questions

1. What is and has been your role in relation to social media implementation in your
company?
2. From a leadership standpoint, what has your experience been with the benefits of
social media to your company, strategically as well as operationally?
3. As a senior leader, how do you define or measure success in relation to social
media use?
4. What are the risks associated with social media, and what is your experience
managing those risks?
5. What are the leadership challenges you have faced as a senior leader when your
company embraced the use of social media?
6. What leadership challenges do you think you will face in the future in relation to
social media use?
7. What has been your experience with employees of different ages relative to use of
social media in your company?
8. What has been your experience with employees of different occupational
categories relative to use of social media in your company?
348

Appendix L: Final Interview Protocol

Date and time of interview: Place (Skype or in person):

Interviewee code:

TURN ON VOICE RECORDERS

Script:

Before we begin, I want to clarify the purpose of the study and the core terminology. The

goal of my dissertation research is to a) document IT professionals‘ current uses of and

opinions about social media in the workplace and b) investigate any possible effects on

organizational management and leadership practices from internal social media adoption

and use.

Social media refer to a collection of software applications that allow users to connect,

communicate, and interact with each other and their mutual friends and collagues through

instant messaging, social networks, or other types of Web 2.0 technologies. Social media

applications include blogs, wikis, tagging, multimedia sharing, social networking sites,

social gaming, podcasting, and other Web 2.0 based programs and interactive websites

accessed via the Internet. A key common denominator among these applications is that

they do not come with any pre-imposed use standards or guidelines and it is thus up to

users to decide how to use social media in the most productive fashion.

The purpose of this interview is to discuss your personal experiences with and opinions

about social media use in the workplace from a leadership perspective. Some

management scholars have argued that companies can only reap significant benefits from
349

social media by allowing users full control of their implementation and by refraining

from over-controlling use by instituting narrow standards and policies. One of the key

ideas behind this research is to understand the degree to which organizational leaders are

allowing users to manage social media usage and whether doing so has any measurable

benefits to the organization. Your personal experiences and opinions can help shed more

light on whether social media is mostly hype or whether these applications represent a

fundamental shift toward user-driven and participatory decision-making in organizations.

(The central research question is: What are senior leaders’ lived experiences relative to

organizational adoption and use of social media in IT companies?)

Interview questions

1. What is and has been your role in relation to social media implementation in your
company?
2. Do you personally use social media, and if you do – what types of applications do
you use and for what purposes? How does your personal use of social media help
you fulfill your job as a senior manager/leader?
3. According to my recently completed survey, 61% of companies have policies in
place governing social media use among employees. What types of social media
applications are allowed in your company and what processes do you have in
place governing their use?
4. From a leadership standpoint, what has your experience been with the benefits of
social media to your company at the operational level? How do you obtain
employee feedback re: social media?
5. According to my recently completed survey, 51% of companies now have a social
media strategy. Does your company have such a social media strategy and if so,
what is the essence of this strategy?
350

6. What has your experience been with the benefits of social media to your company
at the strategic level?
7. As a senior leader, how do you define or measure success in relation to social
media use?
8. What are the risks associated with social media, and what is your experience
managing those risks?
9. What are the leadership challenges you have faced as a senior leader when your
company embraced the use of social media among its IT professionals?
10. A recent survey among IT professionals in the Seattle area show that younger
employees use social media more extensively and have more positive attitudes
toward social media compared to their older colleagues. What has been your
experience with employees of different ages relative to use of social media in
your company?
11. The survey also showed that non-manager employees tend to have slightly more
positive opinions about social media on some statements as compared to their
management colleagues but not on others. What has been your experience with
employees of different occupational categories relative to use of social media in
your company?
12. What is your opinion about the future of social media in your organization?
13. Is there anything else you would like to share about the effects of social media on
leadership in your organization?
14. OPTIONAL: how does your company integrate its external social media efforts
(such as marketing, customer relationship management, recruitment) with its
internal social media efforts?

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING. Your answers will be kept strictly

confidential and no identifying information will be shared in the research findings. You

will receive a transcript of this interview for verification and you will also receive an

executive summary of the research findings.


351

Appendix M: Signed Non-Disclosure Agreement – External Auditor


352
353

Appendix N: Research Journal Template

Date of entry:

Event:

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

Date of entry:

Event:

Descriptive notes Reflective notes


354

Appendix O: Research Journal Notes

Date of entry: 7.13.2012

Event: Interview 1

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview First interview! I1 focused a bit too much


on actual technologies, which isn‘t the goal
of interviews, so need to remember to go
back to questions faster if participant veers
off in some technical direction. No need to
update questions, just stick to them.

Audio recorders worked really well, turn Thoughts on themes: SM can help tie
both on at same time, informed why there together remote employees… strategies to
were two etc. overcome generational barriers is probably
a theme, I1 talked about role of SM in this
context but could have asked more follow-
up questions

Arriving early is definitely a good idea to Resistance to SM include privacy concerns,


set up space. ways of overcoming concerns may be
another theme

I1 had not reconfirmed interview, despite If someone says ―good question‖ it could
calls & emails. Try to get re-confirmation a be an indication that there is rich data to be
few days before to remove anxiety. gathered, so ask follow-up questions and
make sure I understand where they are
coming from. Perhaps they hadn‘t thought
about this before and may need a bit extra
time to think.

Asked all questions, length of interview


was 44 min

Date of entry: 7.16.2012

Event: Interview 2
355

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview I2 also wanted to talk about technologies


and different vendors. Spent a little time
listening before steering interview in
direction of leadership challenges and his
experiences. Was ok, but perhaps he was a
bit irritated, almost like he had an agenda
and I was interrupting.

Completely different vibe that I1, more Theme around culture and how SM can
formal, a bit more rushed, I2 busy, only reinforce leadership beliefs and
had 1/2hr, launched right into questions, no philosophies. I2 talked about using
chitchat Yammer and how he had seen new
employees adapt to leadership style
through use of Yammer. Pretty cool. Need
to not waste time looking at his computer
though.

Noticed his phone went off several times, I2 is in love with SM for sure, didn‘t seem
he seemed hurried, had to cut off bonus to think there were very many barriers or
questions. issues, may have to poke more here to get
more balanced data

Date of entry: 7.18.2012

Event: Interview 3, in person

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview This company is so famous locally, tried


really hard to avoid getting colored by the
celebrity status of founder. Interesting how
prior knowledge can unintentionally steer
thinking in a certain way, researcher bias is
a real concern. Stuck to questions and
avoided getting personal or ―star struck‖
during interview.

Back to informal IT vibe. Theme: communication and collaboration,


this was also focus of previous interviews
356

and appears to be at the core of the SM


project

Some initial chitchat but good to establish Subthemes of comm&collab: different


rapport first, this interview went really types of communications
well, feeling more confident about my (lateral/horizontal), external,
questions crowdsourcing

Need to figure out how to code topics First time crowdsourcing gets mentioned,
versus themes in nVivo, can possibly use interesting to see how they have measured
categories, unsure about this feature, may benefits
just have to use naming convention

Theme: measuring value, I3 talked about


anecdotal value, which is intangible, rather
than setting up formulas for calculating
ROI

Leadership challenge: managing SM risks,


he said someone else was doing it but it‘s
still a topic//theme

Date of entry: 7.20.2012

Event: Interview 4

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview What a visionary individual! Impressed by


how he talked about leadership from a
broader context, first participant to do so

In comparison with other interviews, this He brought up the parent company and
one was more about leadership and less influences from HQ, may be organizational
about the tools, which is what I want. barrier or concern when a person
introduces external stakeholders in the SM
decision making process

Theme: communication & collab, topic or


subtheme: using SM to support IT
development processes.
357

Users of SM consist of quite a varied group


of stakeholders, document SM users in
nVivo under stakeholders

Some good quotes from this interview


regarding leadership challenges. Perhaps
create placeholder in nVivo for good
quotes?

Theme: value proposition, some tangible


ways to measure ROI came up in this
interview, but perhaps this is only relevant
to external uses of SM? He talked about
measuring retweets, and webinar
participants arising from LinkedIn

Date of entry: 7.23.2012

Event: Interview 5

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Interesting that he said they weren‘t good


with collaboration and then went on to
describe how well they collaborate using
SM! Perhaps there is an unspoken SM ideal
or exemplary implementation story that I
need to get hold of...

Yammer came up again, as did sharepoint,


why is it everybody uses sharepoint and
hates it? Huge influence from vendor here,
possibly even driving SM adoption. Theme
or subtheme about driving adoption, in I3,
adoption was driven by founder, I2 by CIO,
I1 mainly by tools vendor and new CEO.
Go back and re-code.

Tracking value of SM: not a big concern,


seems to be a pattern – either you believe
358

in it or not?? I2 also said tracking value


wasn‘t a priority

this company will be much further along in


a year, would be interesting to check back
with them

Thought: Spectrum of adoption, sort of like


the S-curve, some are early adopters/
pioneers, some are a little behind, like these
guys. But, they are catching up and they
have a plan – perhaps data-driven or
project oriented approach to SM is a lesson
learned? He did say they track everything.

Culture: based on past interviews SM


seems to fit perfectly with open
collaborative cultures; these guys are a
little more traditional and hierarchical but
they still want to use SM and are excited
about early results. Cause-and-effect here??

Date of entry: 7.25.2012

Event: Interview 6

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Company employs older IT professionals,


almost no Millennials due to hiring freeze.
Interesting how his attitudes were on the
more skeptical side, first interview in
which someone hasn‘t fully embraced SM,
although he was still positive.

Good data on generational differences,


need to sort out generational theme and
divide data into subtheme or topics.

But: Sofar, none of the participants have


offered really solid ideas for how to
359

overcome generational barriers that may


exist around SM. Wonder why, need to
ask.

Topic: governance, guidelines, policies.


These things seem to exist to mitigate risks.

Features of SM: scalability, ease of use

Date of entry: 7.27.2012

Event: Interview 7

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Outsourcing is very real for many IT


companies, yet, this is the first time it was
mentioned. Could be a dissertation topic in
and of its own! In my study, I think the use
of Twitter is similar to what I1 talked about
in terms of tying together remote
employees

Longest interview sofar. First one to Lots of good data on Millennials, quote
mention extensive use of Twitter, about Tourettes may not be PC, but it was a
outsourcing good one. Expand Millenial theme to
include balancing needs across generations.

Coding scheme needs to be updated and New topic: using SM for performance
cleaned up, overlap between topics now, evaluations. Haven‘t encountered this one
themes not clean either. before. If only one person mentions
something, it‘s not really a theme but could
be part of a subtheme, emerging uses of
SM?

Guidelines in focus again. Seems to be a


common strategy for managing risks. Risks
is a theme, divide into identify & mitigate?

New topic: staffing, making sure you have


qualified people who can manage SM
360

content, otherwise people won‘t care.


Related to another subject, which is quality
of content. Theme or topic? For now, it‘s a
topic. In terms of leadership theme, may
fall under overcoming barriers. Code as
such for now, see if there are other
occurrences

Date of entry: 8.28.2012

Event: Interview 8

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Great data from this interview, with focus


on leadership themes. Participatory, open
leadership culture, code under leadership
philosophy (trust). What he talked about
has a lot to do with existing culture, just
like I2. SM reinforces culture, amplifies it.
Good quotes about this, code under quotes
category, like the BFF quote.

Long break since last interview, about Theme: developing strategies, possibly a
halfway through interview process subtheme to driving adoption.
depending on saturation.

Topic: value proposition, again not a huge


priority, seems to be a pattern.

Internal and external SM may be


connected, may be another avenue to
implementation. Which other participant
mentioned this? Check nVivo.

Policies shared. Not sure if I need to be


concerned about the details of these
policies? Not really focus of my study.
Maybe save for later article…

Change management. Need to create this as


361

a subtheme. Who else talked about change?


SM driving change, change as a result of
SM. Two different views but related.

Date of entry: 8.30.2012

Event: Interview 9

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Good data on external SM use, code as


external uses of SM, not focus of study but
need to include anyway since many folks
bring it up

Seems like a very young and hip company, Metrics: code on extract value, some
at the opposite end from I6. Good to have a tangible ones from this interview
variety of IT companies represented. How
do I note this in dissertation?? Was not an
intentional sampling criterion.

Need to recode all previous interviews He talked about the field of dreams quote,
―if you build it they will come‖ and how
this is a wrong assumption in regards to
SM adoption. This is a good lesson learned,
SM needs to be relevant and people have to
see the value and leaders have to drive the
process. Don‘t expect people to drive
adoption from the bottom. This will be a
key finding of the study, I think, contrary
to the lit that claims SM is user-driven

Some repeat statements regarding policies,


guidelines. Code under guidelines, under
risk mitigation

Good quote on building love affairs and


how this philosophy trumps need for
metrics. Seems to be a pattern that no one
is particularly concerned about hard
metrics
362

Generational attitudes and needs: code


under meet needs of millennials

Date of entry: 9.3.2012

Event: Interview 10

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Another high-profile IT company, they


build SM software so obviously they are
far ahead on adoption curve

Interesting data on how to get people to


adopt, he said people will adopt when they
see the value. Works for them bc of their
democratic management culture. Points
again to the fact that SM can act as a
reinforcer of culture, but doesn‘t
necessarily mean that SM will make
companies more open. Will need to
mentioned this in recommendation or
somewhere in chapter 5

Crowdsourcing popped up again, voting,


code under comm & collab

Interesting comment on blogs and the fact


that people don‘t use them much, seems to
fit with the research I just saw from Barnes,
need to include comparison in chapter 5

Leadership theme: keeping lawyers


happy… or perhaps this is a risk? Check
coding scheme for risks related to
publishing proprietary info on public SM

Emerging use of SM: Recruitment


363

Date of entry: 9.5.2012

Event: Interview 11

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

Skype interview Good data on guidelines, received copy per


email, but will exclude from coding. Save
for later

First Skype interview, went just fine, no No new topics from this interview but good
tech issues, recorders picked up sound data on how to issue and develop
guidelines. Cross-org approach. Create
subtheme under driving adoption to reflect
this type of approach, was also brought up
by I1 and I3

Engaging employees is a subtheme of


driving adoption, need to recode other
interviews for more instances (I9, I8,
others?)

Barriers: privacy concerns, strategies for


overcoming them. Privacy may need to be
a separate subtheme, it has popped up in
different contexts. Difference between
barrier and risk needs to be more clear

Date of entry: 9.7.2012

Event: Interview 12

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

In person interview Good points about structural barriers to


adoption, this is a new topic. Other than
that, no real new data, repeat of emphasis
on guidelines, policies, training.

Have I reached saturation? Measuring value: new data, again focus is


364

on intangible soft value creation through


enhanced comm & collab

Date of entry : 9.12.2012

Event: Interview 13

Descriptive notes Reflective notes

Skype interview Emphasis on leadership and guidelines in


this interview. Value creation is again, soft,
and based on better internal communication
and collaboration.

I think this will be the last interview He brought up need for data—driven SM
implementation approach, I think this could
also be a recommendation in chapter 5,
code as future plans re: SM

Need to revise coding scheme, and re-code Monitoring of internal and external SM use
all other interviews should be separated into 2 diff topics

OBS- make sure all previous nVivo New data here on overcoming resistance
versions are saved so I can go back if from middle management, code under
needed barriers - management
365

Appendix P: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects –

MW Research and Development


366

Appendix Q: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects –

The Society for Information Management - Seattle Chapter


367

Appendix R: Signed Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects –

Palabra Software
368

Appendix S: RQ1 - Social Media Application Usage, Detailed Findings

Table 33 shows current uses of different social media applications for all respondents in

response to RQ1.

Table 33

RQ1: Current uses of social media – all respondents, individual social media

applications.

Marketing, sales, CRM


Knowledge management, learning

Staying in touch
Communicating, collaborating

Research, finding resources

Recruitment, assimilation, retention


n=406 f % f % f % f % f % f %
Social 112 27.6 70 17.2 58 14.3 55 13.5 33 8.1 145 35.7
networking
Professional 159 39.2 102 25.1 66 16.3 47 11.6 84 20.7 177 43.6
networking
Multimedia 40 9.9 89 21.9 101 24.9 41 10.1 9 2.2 20 4.9
sharing
Blogs 50 12.3 91 22.4 100 24.6 31 7.6 9 2.2 27 6.7
Microblogs 49 12.1 51 12.6 51 12.6 35 8.6 13 3.2 48 11.8
Location- 32 7.9 22 5.4 35 8.6 12 3.0 0 0.0 37 9.1
based services
Wikis 44 10.8 208 51.2 196 48.3 17 4.2 8 2.0 11 2.7
Podcasts, 43 10.6 111 27.3 183 45.1 29 7.1 12 3.0 15 3.7
videocasts, and
RSS feeds
Online Forums 196 48.3 79 19.5 92 22.7 24 5.9 20 4.9 108 26.6
and Chats
369

Data from Table 33 is shown in bar graph format below. As indicated by Figure

7, social networking applications such as Facebook and Google+ are not extensively used

for any work-related purposes by IT professionals. Staying in touch and communicating

and collaborating with colleagues are the most frequently cited uses of social networking

applications.

Use % Very limited or no use %

91.9%
85.7% 86.5%
82.8%
72.4%
64.3%

35.7%
27.6%
17.2%
14.3% 13.5%
8.1%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 7. Current uses of social networking applications, all respondents (n=406).

Figure 8 shows current usage of professional networking applications, such as LinkedIn.


370

88.4%
83.8%
79.3%
74.9%

60.8%
56.4%

43.6%
39.2%

25.1%
20.7%
16.2%
11.6%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Use % Very limited or no use %

Figure 8. Current uses of professional networking applications, all respondents (n=406).

A little less than half of the respondents use professional networking applications

for staying in touch with current and former colleagues and professional contacts, while a

little more than 39% use professional networking applications for communicating and

collaborating. Few IT professionals use professional networking applications for other

purposes.

Figure 9 shows current usage of multimedia sharing applications, such as Flickr

and YouTube. The results indicate that these applications are not widely used by IT

professionals for work-related purposes. About one fourth of the respondents indicated

that they use multimedia sharing tools for learning or knowledge management purposes,

but other types of uses were not widespread.


371

Use % Very limited or no use %

97.8% 95.1%
90.1% 89.9%

78.1%
75.1%

24.9%
21.9%

9.9% 10.1%
2.2% 4.9%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 9. Current uses of multimedia sharing applications, all respondents (n=406).

Figure 10 shows the current use of blogs by IT professionals. A little under one

fourth of respondents reported using blogs for knowledge management and learning

purposes, and a little over one fifth used blogs to conduct research or find resources.

Other types of use were not widespread.


372

Use % Very limited or no use %


97.8%
92.4% 93.3%
87.7%

77.6% 75.4%

22.4% 24.6%

12.3%
7.6% 6.7%
2.2%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 10. Current uses of blogs, all respondents (n=406).

Figure 11 shows the current use of microblogs. Very few respondents reported

using microblogs, such as Twitter for work-related purposes.


373

Use % Very limited or no use %


96.8%
91.4%
87.9% 87.4% 87.4% 88.2%

12.1% 12.6% 12.6% 11.8%


8.6%
3.2%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 11. Current use of microblogs, all respondents (n=406).

As indicated by Figure 12, location-based services such as Foursquare and Hummingbird

were the least used type of social media application by IT professionals, with less than a

tenth of respondents indicating use for any kind of purpose.


374

Use % Very limited or no use %


100.0%
97.1%
94.6%
92.1% 91.4% 90.9%

7.9% 8.6% 9.1%


5.4%
2.9%
0.0%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 12. Current use of location-based services, all respondents (n=406).

Wikis were more commonly used among IT professionals, as shown in Figure 13.

Around half of respondents reported using wikis for research purposes and for knowledge

management and learning. Other types of uses were not prevalent.


375

Use % Very limited or no use %


95.8% 98.0% 97.3%
89.2%

51.2%48.8% 51.7%
48.3%

10.8%
4.2% 2.0% 2.7%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 13. Current use of wikis, all respondents (n=406).

Podcasts, videocasts, and RSS feeds were mainly used for research and

knowledge management/learning purposes, as shown in Figure 14. Nearly half of

respondents reported using these types of social media applications for knowledge

management and learning purposes and a little more than one fourth used podcasts for

research.
376

Use % Very limited or no use %


97.0% 96.3%
92.9%
89.4%

72.7%

54.9%

45.1%

27.3%

10.6%
7.1%
3.0% 3.7%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 14. Current use of podcasts, videocasts, and RSS feeds, all respondents (n=406).

Online forums and chats such as Skype and Instant Messenger were used by

nearly half of respondents to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Nearly one

fifth reported using these types of applications for research and learning purposes, while

other types of uses were not common, as shown in Figure 15.


377

Use % Very limited or no use %


97.3%
94.1% 95.1%

80.5%
77.3%

51.7%
48.3%

22.7%
19.5%

5.9% 4.9%
2.7%

Comm., Collab. Research KM, Learning Marketing, Recruitm. Staying in touch


sales, CRM

Figure 15. Current use of online forums and chats, all respondents (n=406).
378

Appendix T: RQ 2 - Social Media Application Usage by Generational Cohort,

Detailed Findings

Results from t-tests are shown below for each type of use category.

Communication and Collaboration

Table 34

RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for communication and

collaboration by generational cohorts

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

Communication and collaboration 4.04 0.86 3.02 0.98

Figure 16 shows bar graph of responses by two age groups.

30 and under Over 31

51.9%

43.5%

32.6%

21.7% 22.5%

10.8% 9.4%
5.3%
2.2%
0.0%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 16. Use of social media for communication and collaboration by generational

cohort.
379

Table 35

RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for collaboration and communication

comparing two age groups

t df p Conclusion
Communication 6.7365 404 0.0005 Rejection of H20
and collaboration

The result of the t-test is

t(404) = 6.7365, p<.0005

rejecting null hypothesis H20 at the 0.05% level and confirming H21. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort members are significantly more likely to use social media for

communication and collaboration purposes than their older colleagues.

Research and Resource Finding

Table 36

RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for research and

resource finding by generational cohorts

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

Research, finding resources 3.26 0.79 3.13 1.26


380

30 and under Over 31

56.5%

33.3%
30.4%

19.4% 20.0%
13.9% 13.3%

4.3% 4.3% 4.3%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 17. Use of social media for research and resource finding by generational cohort.

Table 37

RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for research and resource finding

comparing two age groups

t df p Conclusion
Research, finding 0.6946 404 0.05 H20 stands; rejection of
resources H21

Results of the t-test are expressed as

t(404)= 0.6946, p<.05

confirming H20 hypothesis at the 5% level. Results thus indicate that there is no

significant statistical difference in how Generation Y cohort members and their older

colleagues use social media for research and resource finding purposes.
381

Knowledge Management and Learning

Table 38

RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for knowledge

management and learning by generational cohorts

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

Knowledge management, learning 3.50 0.95 2.96 0.97

30 and under Over 31

52.2%
47.2%

23.9% 25.0%

14.2%
10.6% 10.9%
8.7%
4.3% 3.1%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 18. Use of social media for knowledge management and learning by generational

cohort.
382

Table 39

RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for knowledge management and learning

comparing two age groups

t Df p Conclusion
Knowledge 3.5769 404 0.0005 Rejection of H20
management,
learning

Results of the t-test can be expressed as

t(404) = 3.5769, p<.0005

rejecting null hypothesis H20 at the 0.05% level and confirming H21. Results thus

indicate that Generation Y cohort members are statistically more likely to use social

media for knowledge management and learning purposes than their older colleagues.

Staying In Touch

Table 40

RQ2 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for the purpose of

staying in touch by generational cohorts

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

Staying in touch 3.26 0.96 3.35 1.02


383

30 and under Over 31

51.7%
45.7%

26.1%
21.1%

13.0%14.4%
10.9%
6.9% 5.8%
4.3%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 19. Use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch by generational cohort.

Table 41

RQ2 - Result of t-test for use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch

comparing two age groups

t df p Conclusion
Staying in touch -0.5578 404 0.05 H20 stands; rejection of
H21

Results of the t-test can be expressed as

t(404)= -0.5578, p<.05

confirming the H20 hypothesis at the 5% level. Results thus indicate that there is no

significant statistical difference in how Generation Y cohort members and their older

colleagues use social media for the purpose of staying in touch.


384

Appendix U: RQ3 - Social Media Application Usage by Occupational Category,

Detailed Findings

Results from t-tests are shown below for each type of use category.

Communication and Collaboration

Table 42

RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for communication and

collaboration by occupational categories

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s
Communication and collaboration 3.15 0.91 3.13 1.07

Manager Non manager

59.1%

43.7%

24.4%25.1%

9.4% 10.0% 11.5% 9.7%


5.5%
1.6%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 20. Use of social media for communication and collaboration by occupational

category.
385

Table 43

RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for collaboration and communication

comparing two occupational category groups

t df p Conclusion
Communication 0.1877 404 0.05 H30 stands; rejection of
and collaboration H31

The result of the t-test is expressed as

t(404) = .1877, p<.05

confirming the H30 hypothesis at the 5% level. Results thus indicate that there is no

statistical difference in how managers and non-manager IT professionals use social media

for communication and collaboration purposes.

Research and Resource Finding

Table 44

RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for research and

resource finding by occupational categories

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s
Research and resource finding 3.21 1.09 3.11 1.27
386

Manager Non manager

49.6%

25.4% 25.4%
21.3%
19.4%
16.1%
13.6% 14.2%
11.0%

3.9%

1=never use 2=very limited use 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use

Figure 21. Use of social media for research and resource finding by occupational

category.

Table 45

RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for research and resource finding

comparing two occupational category groups

t df p Conclusion
Research, finding 0.7745 404 0.05 H30 stands; rejection of
resources H31

Results of the t-test are expressed as

t(404)= 0.7745, p<.05

confirming H20 hypothesis at the 5% level. Results thus indicate that there is no

statistical difference in how managers and non-manager IT professionals use social media

for research and resource finding purposes.


387

Knowledge Management and Learning

Table 46

RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for knowledge

management and learning by occupational category

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s
Knowledge management and learning 2.88 0.91 3.08 1.01

Manager Non manager

59.1%

38.0%
33.0%

15.8% 17.3%
11.8%
9.0% 9.4%
2.4% 4.3%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 22. Use of social media for knowledge management and learning by occupational

category.
388

Table 47

RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for knowledge management and learning

comparing two occupational category groups

t df p Conclusion
Knowledge 1.9755 404 0.05 Rejection of H20
management,
learning

Results of the t-test can be expressed as

t(404) = 1.9755, p<.05

rejecting null hypothesis H30 at the 5% level and confirming H31. Results thus indicate

that there is a statistically significant difference in how much non-manager IT

professionals use social media for knowledge management and learning purposes than

manager IT professionals.

Staying in Touch

Table 48

RQ3 - Mean and standard deviation table for use of social media for the purpose of

staying in touch by generational cohorts

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s
Staying in touch 3.31 0.91 3.35 1.06
389

Manager Non manager

58.8%
52.8%

26.8%

18.6%

10.8% 10.2%
5.5% 7.2% 4.7% 4.7%

1=never use 2=very limited 3=limited use 4=regular use 5=very frequent
use use

Figure 23. Use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch by occupational

category.

Table 49

RQ3 - Result of t-test for use of social media for the purpose of staying in touch

comparing two occupational category groups

t df p Conclusion
Staying in touch 0.3322 404 0.05 H30 stands; rejection of
H31

Results of the t-test can be expressed as

t(404)= 0.3322, p<.05

confirming the H30 hypothesis at the 5% level. Results thus indicate that there is no

statistical difference in how manager and non-manager IT professionals use social media

for the purpose of staying in touch.


390

Appendix V: RQ4 - Attitudes toward Social Media Usage by Generational Cohort,

Detailed Findings

Results from t-tests are shown below for each attitudinal statement.

RQ4, Statement 1

The first attitudinal statement was Social media encourage employees to

participate more in discussions across my company. Table 49 shows means and standard

deviation for the two age groups.

Table 50

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 1 (Social media encourage

employees to participate more in discussions across my company), by age groups

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 1 3.48 1.14 3.09 1.09

Answers are shown by age groups in Figure 24.


391

30 and under Over 31

41.3%

32.5%
29.4%

20.6% 19.6%
17.4%
15.2%

8.6% 8.9%
6.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 24. RQ4 Statement 1: ―Social media encourage employees to participate more in

discussions across my company‖. Percentages by age groups.

Table 50 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 51

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 1, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 1 2.2297 404 0.025 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) = 2.2297, p<.025

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 2.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree

with the statement that social media encourage employees to participate more in
392

discussions across my company, in comparison with the opinion of older IT

professionals.

RQ4, Statement 2.

The second attitudinal statement was, Social media have made my company more

transparent and open. Table 51 shows means and standard deviation for the two age

groups.

Table 52

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 2 (Social media have made

my company more transparent and open), by generational cohorts

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 2 3.48 1.04 3.01 1.04

Answers are shown by generational cohort in Figure 25.


393

30 and under Over 31

38.6% 39.1%

28.3%
23.9%
21.7%

15.2%
13.0%
8.3% 7.5%
4.3%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 25. RQ4 Statement 2. Social media have made my company more transparent and

open" - Percentages by age groups.

Table 52 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 53

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 2, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 2 2.8880 404 0.005 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) = 2.8880, p<.005

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 0.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
394

with the statement that social media have made my company more transparent and open,

in comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 3.

The third attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped management in my

company become more trusting of employees. Table 53 shows means and standard

deviation for the two age groups.

Table 54

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 3 (Social media have

helped management in my company become more trusting of employees), by age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M S

RQ4, Statement 3 2.96 1.06 2.55 0.90

Answers are shown by age groups in Figure 26.


395

30 and under Over 31

43.1%
39.1%

33.3%

23.9%
19.6%

12.5%
8.7% 8.6% 8.7%

2.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 26. RQ4 Statement 3 - Social media have helped management in my company

become more trusting of employees. Percentages by age groups.

Table 54 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 55

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 3, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 3 2.7826 404 0.005 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =2.7826, p<.005

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 0.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
396

with the statement that social media have made my company more transparent and open,

in comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 4

The fourth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped me work more

effectively. Table 55 shows means and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 56

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 4 (Social media have

helped me work more effectively), by age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 4 3.33 1.12 2.94 1.17

Answers are shown by generational cohort in Figure 27.


397

30 and under Over 31

34.8%
30.4%
28.3%
26.9%
23.9%

15.2%
12.2%
10.9%
8.7% 8.6%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 27. RQ4 Statement 4 - Social media have helped me work more effectively.

Percentages by age groups.

Table 56 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 57

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 4, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 4 2.093 404 0.025 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =2.093, p<.025

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 2.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
398

that with the statement that social media have helped me work more effectively, in

comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 5

The fifth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped me work more

independently. Table 57 shows means and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 58

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 5 (Social media have

helped me work more independently), by age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 5 3.26 1.17 2.88 1.10

Answers are shown by age groups in Figure 28.


399

30 and under Over 31

34.8%
32.2%
28.3%
26.1%
23.3%

15.2%

10.9%11.4% 10.9%
6.9%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 28. RQ4 Statement 5 - Social media have helped me work more independently.

Percentages by age groups.

Table 58 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 59

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 5, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 5 2.1674 404 0.025 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =2.1674, p<.025

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 2.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
400

with the statement that social media have helped me work more independently, in

comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 6

The sixth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped break down

barriers between management and professionals in my company. Table 59 shows means

and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 60

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 6 (Social media have

helped break down barriers between management and professionals in my company), by

age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 6 3.33 1.06 2.66 1.02

Answers are shown by age groups in Figure 29.


401

30 and under Over 31

35.3% 34.8%
31.9%
28.3%

19.6%
15.8%
13.1% 13.0%

4.3% 3.9%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 29. RQ4 Statement 6 - Social media have helped break down barriers between

management and professionals in my company. Percentages by age groups.

Table 60 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 61

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 6, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 6 4.1733 404 0.0005 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =4.1733, p<.0005

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 0.05% level and confirming H41. Results thus

indicate that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to
402

agree with the statement that social media have helped break down barriers between

management and professionals in my company, in comparison with the opinion of older

IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 7

The seventh attitudinal statement was, Social media promote team building and

collaboration. Table 61 shows means and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 62

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 7 (Social media promote

team building and collaboration), by generational cohorts.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 7 3.41 1.03 3.08 1.09

Answers are shown by generational cohort in Figure 30.


403

30 and under Over 31

39.1%

33.1%

28.3%29.2%

21.1%

15.2%
13.0%
9.4%
7.2%
4.3%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 30. RQ4 Statement 7 - Social media promote team building and collaboration.

Percentages by age groups.

Table 62 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 63

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 7, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 7 1.9763 404 0.025 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =1.9763, p<.025

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 2.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
404

with the statement that social media promote team building and collaboration, in

comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 8

The eighth attitudinal statement was, Social media have improved my company's

reputation. Table 63 shows means and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 64

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 8 (Social media have

improved my company's reputation), by generational cohorts.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 8 3.50 1.09 2.90 0.94

Answers are shown by age groups in Figure 31.


405

30 and under Over 31

47.2%

34.8%

26.1%
21.1%
18.9% 19.6%
15.2%

8.3%
4.3% 4.4%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 31. RQ4 Statement 8 - Social media have improved my company's reputation.

Percentages by age groups.

Table 64 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 65

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 8, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 8 3.9516 404 0.0005 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =3.9516, p<.0005

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 0.05% level and confirming H41. Results thus indicate

that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree
406

with the statement that social media have improved my company's reputation, in

comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 9

The ninth attitudinal statement was, Social media have made my company a better

place to work. Table 65 shows means and standard deviation for the two age groups.

Table 66

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 9 (Social media have made

my company a better place to work), by age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 9 3.22 0.93 2.80 1.00

Answers are shown by generational cohort in Figure 32.


407

30 and under Over 31

47.8%
41.7%

30.4%
26.4%

16.4%
10.3% 8.7%
6.5% 6.5% 5.3%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 32. RQ4 Statement 9 - Social media have made my company a better place to

work. Percentages by age groups.

Table 66 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 67

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 9, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 9 2.6676 404 0.005 Rejection of H40

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =2.6676, p<.005

rejecting null hypothesis H40 at the 0.5% level and confirming H41. Results thus

indicate that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are statistically more likely to
408

agree with the statement that social media have made my company a better place to work,

in comparison with the opinion of older IT professionals.

RQ4, Statement 10

The tenth and final attitudinal statement was, Social media pose a risk to my

company's integrity. Table 67 shows means and standard deviation for the two age

groups.

Table 68

RQ4 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ4, Statement 10 (Social media pose a

risk to my company's integrity), by age groups.

30 and under 31 and older


(n=46) (n=360)

M s M s

RQ4, Statement 10 2.70 1.17 2.96 1.04

Answers are shown by generational cohort in Figure 33.


409

30 or under Over 31

39.7%

30.4%

23.9%23.6%
20.8%
19.6% 19.6%

8.3%
6.5% 7.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 33. RQ4 Statement 10 - Social media pose a risk to my company's integrity.

Percentages by age groups.

Table 68 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the 30 and under age group with the

combined over 31 age group.

Table 69

RQ4 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ4, Statement 10, comparing

two age groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ4, Statement 10 1.5710 404 0.05 H40 stands, rejection of
H41

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =1.5710, p<.05

confirming the null hypothesis H40 at the 5% level and rejecting H41. Results thus

indicate that Generation Y cohort member IT professionals are not more likely to agree
410

with the statement that social media pose a risk to my company's integrity, in comparison

with the opinion of older IT professionals.


411

Appendix W: RQ5 - Attitudes toward Social Media Usage by Occupational

Category, Detailed Findings

Results from t-tests are shown below.

RQ5, Statement 1

The first attitudinal statement was, Social media encourage employees to

participate more in discussions across my company. Table 69 shows means and standard

deviation for the manager and non-manager groups.

Table 70

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 1 (Social media encourage

employees to participate more in discussions across my company), by occupational

category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 1 3.02 1.05 3.27 1.70

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 34.


412

Manager Non-manager

34.1%
31.5%
29.9%
26.9%
24.4%

16.8%
13.6%

7.9% 8.6%
6.3%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly


disagree Not sure agree

Figure 34. RQ5 Statement 1 - Social media encourage employees to participate more in

discussions across my company. Percentages by occupational category.

Table 70 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 71

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 1, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 1 2.0681 404 0.025 Rejection of H50

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =2.0681, p<.025

rejecting the null hypothesis H50 at the 2.5% level and confirming H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree with the
413

statement that social media encourage employees to participate more in discussions

across my company, as compared to managers.

RQ5, Statement 2

The second attitudinal statement was, Social media have made my company more

transparent and open. Table 71 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and

non-manager groups.

Table 72

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 2 (Social media have made

my company more transparent and open), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 2 2.86 1.22 3.29 1.67

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 35.


414

Manager Non-manager

31.2% 30.8%
27.6%

23.6%
22.0%

16.5% 15.8%
14.7%

10.2%
7.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree Not sure

Figure 35. RQ5 Statement 2 - Social media have made my company more transparent

and open. Percentages by occupational category.

Table 72 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 73

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 2, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 2 3.5028 404 0.0005 Rejection of H50

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =3.5028, p<.0005

rejecting the null hypothesis H50 at the 0.05% level and confirming H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree with the
415

statement that social media have made my company more transparent and open, as

compared to managers.

RQ5, Statement 3

The third attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped management in my

company become more trusting of employees. Table 73 shows means and standard

deviation for the manager and non-manager groups.

Table 74

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 3 (Social media have

helped management in my company become more trusting of employees), by occupational

category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 3 2.59 0.94 2.60 1.38

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 36.


416

Manager Non-manager

41.7% 43.0%

32.3% 32.3%

12.6% 11.8%
10.2% 9.7%

3.1% 3.2%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree sure

Figure 36. RQ5 Statement 3 - Social media have helped management in my company

become more trusting of employees. Percentages by occupational category.

Table 74 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 75

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 3, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 3 0.1158 404 0.05 H50 stands, rejection of


H51

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =0.1158, p<.05

confirming the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and rejecting H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are not statistically more likely to agree with
417

the statement that social media have helped management in my company become more

trusting of employees, as compared to managers.

RQ5, Statement 4

The fourth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped me work more

effectively. Table 75 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and non-

manager groups.

Table 76

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 4 (Social media have

helped me work more effectively), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 4 3.00 1.19 3.23 1.76

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 37.


418

Manager Non-manager

29.4%
26.8%
25.2% 25.2%25.1%
21.5%

15.8%

11.8% 11.0%
8.2%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree Not sure

Figure 37. RQ5 Statement 4 - Social media have helped me work more effectively.

Percentages by occupational category.

Table 76 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 77

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement XX,

comparing manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 4 1.7927 404 0.05 Rejection of H50

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =1.7927, p<.05

rejecting the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and confirming H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree with the
419

statement that social media have helped me work more effectively, as compared to

managers.

RQ5, Statement 5

The fifth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped me work more

independently. Table 77 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and non-

manager groups.

Table 78

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 5 (Social media have

helped me work more independently), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 5 2.91 1.09 2.95 1.67

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 38.


420

Manager Non-manager

33.0%
31.5%

27.6%

22.9% 23.6%24.0%

11.8%
10.2%
8.2%
7.1%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree Not sure

Figure 38. RQ5 Statement 5 - Social media have helped me work more independently.

Percentages by occupational category.

Table 78 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 79

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 5, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 5 0.346 404 0.05 H50 stands, rejection of


H51

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =0.3460, p<.05

confirming the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and rejecting H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are not more likely to agree with the
421

statement that social media have helped me work more independently, as compared to

managers.

RQ5, Statement 6

The sixth attitudinal statement was, Social media have helped break down

barriers between management and professionals in my company. Table 79 shows means

and standard deviation for the manager and non-manager groups.

Table 80

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 6 (Social media have

helped break down barriers between management and professionals in my company), by

occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 6 3.31 0.91 3.35 1.06

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 39.


422

Manager Non-manager

36.9%
33.9%

29.0% 29.1%

18.9%
17.6%

12.6% 11.8%

5.5% 4.7%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree sure

Figure 39. RQ5 Statement 6 - Social media have helped break down barriers between

management and professionals in my company. Percentages by occupational category.

Table 80 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 81

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 6, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 6 0.2966 404 0.05 H50 stands, rejection of


H51

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =0.2966, p<.05

confirming the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and rejecting H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are not more likely to agree with the
423

statement that social media have helped break down barriers between management and

professionals in my company, as compared to managers.

RQ5, Statement 7

The seventh attitudinal statement was, Social media promote team building and

collaboration. Table 81 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and non-

manager groups.

Table 82

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 7 (Social media promote

team building and collaboration), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 7 3.07 1.08 3.29 1.71

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 40.


424

Manager Non-manager

39.4%

31.2%
27.6%
26.2%

19.7%
15.8%
14.2%
11.0%
7.2% 7.9%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree sure

Figure 40. RQ5 Statement 7 - Social media promote team building and collaboration.

Percentages by occupational category.

Table 79 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 83

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 7, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 7 1.9717 404 0.025 Rejection of H50

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =1.9717, p<.025

rejecting the null hypothesis H50 at the 2.5% level and confirming H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are statistically more likely to agree with the
425

statement that social media promote team building and collaboration, as compared to

managers.

RQ5, Statement 8

The eighth attitudinal statement was, Social media have improved my company's

reputation. Table 83 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and non-

manager groups.

Table 84

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 8 (Social media have

improved my company's reputation), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 8 3.02 0.97 2.94 1.47

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 41.


426

Manager Non-manager

44.9% 44.8%

24.4%
21.9%
19.0%
17.3%

7.9% 7.9%
5.5% 6.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree sure

Figure 41. RQ5 Statement 8 - Social media have improved my company's reputation.

Percentages by occupational category.

Table 84 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 85

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 8, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 8 0.7659 404 0.05 H50 stands, rejection of


H51

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =0.7659, p<.05


427

confirming the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and rejecting H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are not more likely to agree that Social media

have improved my company's reputation, as compared to managers.

RQ5, Statement 9

The ninth attitudinal statement was, Social media have made my company a better

place to work. Table 85 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and non-

manager groups.

Table 86

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 9 (Social media have made

my company a better place to work), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 9 2.74 1.08 2.95 1.08

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 42.


428

Manager Non-manager

36.2%
33.9%

28.3%
25.4%

20.5% 20.4%

11.8%
9.0% 9.0%
5.5%

1=Strongly 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


disagree sure

Figure 42. RQ5 Statement 9 - Social media have made my company a better place to

work. Percentages by occupational category.

Table 86 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 87

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement XX,

comparing manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion

RQ5, Statement 9 1.9750 404 0.025 Rejection of H50

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =1.9750, p<.025


429

rejecting the null hypothesis H50 at the 2.5% level and confirming H51. Results

thus indicate that non-manager IT professionals are more likely to agree with the

statement that social media have made my company a better place to work, as compared

to managers.

RQ5, Statement 10

The tenth and final attitudinal statement was, Social media pose a risk to my

company's integrity. Table 87 shows means and standard deviation for the manager and

non-manager groups.

Table 88

RQ5 - Mean and standard deviation table for RQ5, Statement 10 (Social media pose a

risk to my company's integrity), by occupational category.

Manager Non-manager
(n=127) (n=279)

M s M s

RQ5, Statement 10 3.00 1.08 2.89 1.04

Answers are shown by occupational category in Figure 43.


430

Manager Non-manager

40.9%

33.9%

26.0%
24.0%
22.8%

18.3%

9.4% 9.7%
7.9% 7.2%

1=Strongly disagree 2=Disagree 3=No opnion/ Not 4=Agree 5=Strongly agree


sure

Figure 43. RQ5 Statement 10 - Social media pose a risk to my company's integrity.

Percentages by occupational category.

Table 88 shows the result of the t-test, comparing the manager and non-manager

occupational groups.

Table 89

RQ5 - Result of t-test for attitudes toward social media for RQ5, Statement 10, comparing

manager and non-manager groups

t df p Conclusion
RQ5, Statement 10 0.9489 404 0.05 H50 stands, rejection of
H51

The result of the t-test is

t(404) =0.9489, p<.05


431

confirming the null hypothesis H50 at the 5% level and rejecting H51. Results thus

indicate that non-manager IT professionals are not more likely to agree with the

statement that social media pose a risk to my company's integrity, as compared to

managers.
432

Appendix X: Interview Coding Scheme

nVivo Node Explanation Subnodes Words/phrases


(Manifest coding)
Main Topics
Interview Title, what he/she is n/a I’m the CIO, CTO, VP, etc.
participant role responsible for in I am responsible for…
& organization My responsibilities are…
responsibilities I manage…
I lead…
Motivators for Reasons for starting n/a Push from CEO
launching social social media New technology platform w. social
media initiative projects, features
experiments, User experimentation
initiatives IT driven
Push from outside world
Push from HR
Organizational Organizational units Communications Communications
social media or groups department Internal communications
players, roles participating in Communications person
and social media Communications department
responsibilities implementation and Communications director
their roles and PR
responsibilities
Customer facing Customer support
teams Customer facing teams
Customer facing unit
Customer communications
Marketing
Sales
Direct business units
HR HR
Lawyers
Legal team
Legal department
Employee handbooks
HR database
HR training
Benefits policy
HR approval
HR policies
Performance evaluation
Recruitment
IT IT
Software developers
Develop SM applications
Integrate SM into technology
433

platform
Monitor SM usage
IT security
Partner with marketing/other org
units
Provide access to SM apps
Set standards and policies
Technical training
Support SM apps
Use SM as part of IT jobs
Knowledge KM team
management Knowledge databases
team Manage wikis
Management Management
Middle management
Executives
Senior leaders
Senior leadership
CMO
CIO
CEO
CFO
Assign resources to SM work
Coordinate use across org
Enforce SM policies and guidelines
Facilitate training
Make decisions
Set policies
Oversee usage
Listen and respond to employees
Use SM as part of management
job
Marketing Marketing
Marketing team
Marketing content writers
CMO
Connect with customers
Connect with prospective
customers
Manage presence on
Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn
Marketing websites
SM campaigns
Customer engagement
Reach out to customers
Generating leads
Get message out
Extend message
434

Promote activities
Push SM to customers
SM governance Internal governance team
team SM governance team
Set standards
Coordinate SM usage
Ensure consistency
Make recommendations
SM users Users
Employees
Early adopters
Create profiles
Upload pictures
Engage in SM projects
Post announcements on SM
Add skills
Blog
Human firewall
Ambassador
Take training
Personal use of SM
Contribute to project sites
Submit ideas
Self-govern
Self-police
Help others
Drive implementation
Drive innovation
Define user guidelines
Social media Social media uses Applications, Blogs
use internally, risks, and types of Videoblogs
lessons learned applications Wikis
regarding use Social networks
News streams
Myspace
Mysite
Sharepoint
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
IM
Lync
Google+
Google groups
Google Docs
Yammer
Confluence
Campfire
435

Compendium
Jive
Mingle
YouTube
Cubicle
Flickr
Instagram
Pinterest

Barriers and Contention from management


negative attitudes Worries about productivity
Held back
Intrusion of privacy
Did not want to upload pictures
I don’t like
You only have so much energy
Level of confidentiality
Conflict
Overhead
P&L structure, operational
structure
Lack of staff
Fear
Not top priority
Tool not well-developed
Not user-friendly
Too busy
Not seeing value
Personal usage
Lack of value proposition
Lack of business case
Not a lot of blogging
Not responding to posts
Poor content quality
Characterizing Mobile access
features of social Mobile apps
media Real-time access
Personal devices, phones, ipads
Scale
Gaming, gamification, fun
Content rating
Part of technology platform
Searchable, search filters
Indexed
Tagging, metatags
Built-in knowledge management
Profiles
List skills
436

Easy to use
Platform for active dialogue
Break down barriers
Trigger conversations
Gives users a choice
Social
Enable effective communication
Future plans Future
regarding SM Next year
In the coming months
Tomorrow’s world
It’s coming
Expanding
It will be huge
Continue to grow
Will be fully integrated
Boosting adoption and use
New projects will launch
Spike in adoption and use
Remote access
Start using XYZ feature
Will be using more and more of it
More compelling tools
Listen to users
Continue to get better at SM
Integrate SM with business apps
Plans to integrate
Find better ways to deliver
content
Consumerization of technology
Current technologies inadequate
Roadmap
Strategy
Finish pilot
Implement new social features
Replace traditional technologies
with SM
Integrate SM with activity stream
Expand use
Build up operations
Lessons learned Creating guidelines was
and emerging use challenging
practices Guidelines developed with
stakeholders
SM driven by IT
SM driven by IT and marketing
SM driven by senior leadership
Develop guidelines and policies
437

Push collaboration across org re M


SM is additional channel for
comm. and collaboration
Early adopters show the way
Set up security
Manage risks
Involve employees
Freshness of content
Earn badges, gamification, fun,
leaderboard
Collaboration sites
Not disruptive change
Separate official content from
project content
Self-policing, self-monitoring, self-
regulating
Exercise good judgment, trust
Integrate SM with other tech
platforms
Integrate messages
Publish something new
IT monitoring
SM as work tool
Allow conversations to happen
Social media as amplifier of
culture, glue, reinforcement agent
Connecting people
Crowdsource ideas
Communicate effectively
Link to in-depth content
Sound bytes
Have controls in place
Perceived risks Compromised client information
Compromised employee privacy
Decreased productivity
Personal use
Diluting message
Excluding certain employees
Inappropriate use
Access to inappropriate content
Availability
Access
Clutter
Griping
Information leakage
Knowledge leakage
Breach of confidentiality
IT security
438

Hacking
Losing personal devices with
confidential information
Protecting individual ideas
Publishing misleading information
Deliberate misrepresentation
Damage to reputation
Wasted resources, time
Risk management
Risk mitigation
Policies, SM policies
guidelines, SM guidelines
training User guidelines
Usage guidelines
Guidelines in employee handbook
Rules
Orientation
Training
Code of conduct
Official policies and guidelines
LA Times test
Adhere to laws and regulations
Share best practices
Discourage certain behaviors
Purposes and Internal Collaboration
types of uses External collaboration
Collaboration with stakeholders
Collaboration with partners
Communication
Announcements
Newsletters
Communication from leadership
Meetings
Conferences
Per-to-peer communication
Active dialogue
Support team spirit, build team
culture, foster sense of belonging
Surveys
Vet ideas
Obtain feedback
Tie together remote employees
Venting
Commentary
Visualizing organizational roles
and responsibilities
Org charts, org diagrams
Employee engagement
439

Employee evaluation
Knowledge management
Learning
Industry news
Competitor information,
competitor intelligence
Community information,
community outreach
Instructional videos
Project execution
Project documentation
Knowledge sharing
Content management
Marketing
Sales
Customer relationship
management, CRM
Customer engagement
Customer service
Advertising
PR
Brand management
Experimentation, pilot studies
Personal use
Support software development
Recruitment
Retention
Research
People finding, resource finding
Q&A
Sharing ideas
Innovation
Crowdsourcing
Staying in touch
Professional networking
Maintain loose connections
Tracking and Track internal uses
monitoring Manual monitoring
Monitor content
Tracking external uses
Monitoring external uses
Monitoring comments
Proactively monitor
After the fact monitoring
Spam
Take things down
Random checks
Put energy into monitoring
440

User statistics

nVivo Node Explanation Subnodes Words/phrases


(Latent & Manifest coding)
Leadership
themes
Adapting Addressing the Balance needs of Listen to all staff
leadership needs to Generation Millennials and Generational gap
practices to Y employees and older employees Older employees
Millennials using social media Level of comfort and control
to recruit and retain Coming around
Millennials IT industry characteristics
Management issue to overcome
generational differences
Recognition programs
Generational issue
Participation across generations
Different attitudes
Understand and Younger employee characteristics
Address Millennials
Millennials’ needs Expectations from Millennials
and preferences New wave
Lack of privacy concerns
Use social media Recruit younger staff
to recruit and Attract younger employees
retain Millennials through SM
Retention of Millennials
Lack of loyalty
441

nVivo Node Explanation Subnodes Words/phrases


(Latent & Manifest coding)
Leadership
themes
Driving social Interview Cross- Broad collaboration
media adoption participants’ organizational Collaborative approach to
at the strategic experiences from approach to implementation
level leading social media adoption Collaboration between IT and
adoption and use marketing/other org units
and defining Build bridges
strategies, Participation from key
measuring value stakeholders
and success
Define and Define success
measure success Measure success
Assigning metrics
ROI
Performance metrics
Business value
Measuring value
Measure effects of SM
Usage statistics
Assigning dollar figure
Tracking metrics
Track dollar value
Soft value
Lack of value proposition
Lack of time
Define social Strategic thinking
media strategy Strategic approach
and create a SM strategy
vision Vision
Strategic use
Strategic direction
Roadmaps
Lack of strategic priority
Manage change Drive change
Manage change
Futureproof
Adapt to change
Not disruptive change
Adopt at own pace
Make changes quickly
Flexible
Personal use of Set example
social media by Ambassadors of SM
senior executives Visible presence on SM
442

Taking the lead


Setting the scene
Using SM
Participate yourself
Be visible
Prepare for SM genie out of the bottle
technology future Ubiquitous
Mobile and real-time capabilities
Power of social
Increased use, expanded use
SM as integrated part of tech
platform
Push open Trust
leadership Sound judgment
philosophy Participation
Transparency
Collaboration
Management philosophy
Democratic culture
More open
Managing by consensus
Hear everyone’s voices
Share information freely
Attract creative employees
Listen to employees
People part of decision making
process
Social media as Amplifier
cultural glue Glue
Reinforcement of culture
Culture
Connected to culture
Connected to others, sense of
belonging
Build community
Virtual water cooler
443

nVivo Node Explanation Subnodes Words/phrases


(Latent & Manifest coding)
Leadership
themes
Addressing Utilizing unique Characterizing Feature of social media apps
Implementation features of social features of social Easy to use
Issues at the media, addressing media Social profiles
Operational operational issues User driven content
Level and overcome Mobile and real-time access
barriers that arise Scalability
from social media Integration with other
use technologies
Search features
Content quality Content
and relevance Manage content, content
management
Useful
Fresh
Interesting
Relevant
Part of work stream
Built into goals
Poor quality of SM technology
Clutter, poor content quality
Engage employees Engaged employees
Participation
Privacy
Social competencies
Spur feedback and comments
Engage in dialogue
Rewards
Recognition
Gamification
Increase Productivity
employee More productive
productivity Time saved
Work more effectively
Efficient
Gain support from Support from management
middle Focus on behavior not tools
management Sell value to management
Move beyond micromanagement
Sell SM as way to reach goals
Manage risks Leak confidential information
Knowledge leakage
Intentional or unintentional leaks
Compromised IT security
444

Concerns about security


Compromised employee
information
Protect employee confidentiality,
privacy
Avoid unnecessary exposure of
employees
Inappropriate content
Griping
Decreased productivity
Mitigate risks
Manage risks
Control risks
Issue guidelines and policies
Communicate guidelines
Training
Educating employees about risks
Employee orientation
Ethics
Peer content review and approval
LA Times test
Automated content review
Management control
Monitoring
Security
Overcome Organizational structure
implementation Lack of in-house SM resources,
barriers specialists
445

nVivo Node Explanation Subnodes Words/phrases


(Latent & Manifest coding)
Leadership
themes
Enhancing Supporting Employee-to- Employee-to-employee
communication employee employee Employee communication
and communication, communication Additional means for
collaboration team communication
through social collaboration, and Connect with network
media crowdsourcing Bridge gaps
through use of Share ideas across
social media teams/programs/org
Reach broader audience
Threaded conversations
Employee-to- Propose questions
leader Venting
communication Giving employees a voice
Feeling safe communicating and
disagreeing
Employee issues
Finger on the pulse
External Customer engagement tool
communication Advocacy
Social engagement
Social experience for customers
Human connection
Customer service
Love affair
Connecting with customers
Vendor interactions
Promote activities
Extranet communities
Collaborators
Partners
Stakeholders
Leader-to- Management communication tool
employee Channel employee listen to
communication Announcements, news
Preferred communication
Effective communication
Support cross- Collaboration mechanism
organizational Break down barriers between org
collaboration groups/stakeholders
Collective editing
Peer group collaboration
Expanded collaboration
Community of practice
446

Support Spread ideas via social media


crowdsourcing Innovation teams
and innovation Crowdsourcing
Surveys
Vetting ideas
Tap into collective intelligence
Employee critique, feedback
Support remote Remote employees
employees Remote locations, offices
Bridge geographical gaps
Remote workforce
Offshore employees
Regional offices
Tie together
447

Appendix Y: External Auditor’s Report for Qualitative Research Phase


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