Exploring the Impact of Internal Social Media Usage on Employee Engagement

Article (PDF Available) · November 2016with 2,588 Reads 
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
Cite this publication
Abstract
The emergence of internal social media platforms/applications is creating opportunities for organizations to promote collaboration between employees and to improve employee engagement. Internal social media applications provide employees with an easy way to communicate and share personal and professional information with other co-workers. A number of research initiatives have explored the technical side of internal social media but little research has been conducted to explore its potential in enhancing organizational performance through a more empowered workforce. This paper explored the relationship between internal social media usage and employee engagement within the North American operations of a multinational organization. The relationship between the level and purpose of internal social media usage and company-wide self-reported competencies was also explored. Data was collected from 1694 employees and the study revealed variations in both internal social media usage and employee engagement by business division and career bands. Tasks being addressed by internal social media were also identified. The results showed that the greater the self-reported usage of internal social media, the greater the levels of self-reported employee engagement. The results provide preliminary evidence that internal social media usage is associated with the level of employee engagement. Also, internal social media usage is associated with the level of self-reported competencies of entrepreneurship, communication, and readiness for change.
Journal of
Social
Media for
Organizations
Published by the MITRE Corporation
Volume 3 , Number 1
July 2016
ISSN 2471-8351
Exploring the Impact of Internal
Social Media Usage on Employee
Engagement
Abubaker Haddud, John C. Dugger,
Preetinder Gill
Journal Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
1
Journal of Social Media for Organizations
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Exploring the Impact of Internal Social Media Usage on Employee
Engagement
Abubaker Haddud, ahaddud@emich.edu
John C. Dugger, jdugger@emich.edu
Preetinder Gill, Preetinder.Gill@us.bosch.com
ABSTRACT
The emergence of internal social media platforms/applications is creating opportunities for organizations to
promote collaboration between employees and to improve employee engagement. Internal social media applications
provide employees with an easy way to communicate and share personal and professional information with other
co-workers. A number of research initiatives have explored the technical side of internal social media but little
research has been conducted to explore its potential in enhancing organizational performance through a more
empowered workforce. This paper explored the relationship between internal social media usage and employee
engagement within the North American operations of a multinational organization. The relationship between the
level and purpose of internal social media usage and company-wide self-reported competencies was also explored.
Data was collected from 1694 employees and the study revealed variations in both internal social media usage and
employee engagement by business division and career bands. Tasks being addressed by internal social media were
also identified. The results showed that the greater the self-reported usage of internal social media, the greater the
levels of self-reported employee engagement. The results provide preliminary evidence that internal social media
usage is associated with the level of employee engagement. Also, internal social media usage is associated with the
level of self-reported competencies of entrepreneurship, communication, and readiness for change.
KEYWORDS
Human resources, internal social media, internal social networking, enterprise social networking, employee
engagement, collaboration, internal communication, organizational performance.
INTRODUCTION
Martin (2013) reported that on average, in 2010, each of the Fortune 500 companies has adopted more than one
social media platform. By 2016, it was predicted that 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-
like social networks (Gartner, 2013). Due to the rapid expansion of internal social media adoption, several attempts
have been made to unlock the potential benefits that this increasingly important tool brings to organizations (Jarrahi
and Sawyer, 2012). The use of social media technologies has increased across organizations as executives and
managers attempt to leverage the power of the information and knowledge that exists within their companies
(Leonardi, 2015). Social media continues to gain ground in the enterprise for a wide range of business purposes
(Mark et al., 2014). Gartner predicted that social media will transform communication and data-sharing in the
enterprise. It was predicted that by 2016, internal social media will achieve as much importance within the
organization as email and the telephone have contributed (Gartner, 2013).
Chui et al. (2012) explored the potential impact of internal social media use within four commercial sectors:
consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services. The
research revealed that these social media technologies, which create value by improving productivity across the
value chain, could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four sectors. A major
part of the research on internal social media focuses on the assessment of its success, key factors for successful
implementation, and potential areas for improvement. Another major research stream shows the many individual
and competitive advantages that accompany the usage of internal social media such as supporting communication,
promoting collaboration-enhancing relationships between colleagues, and improving the individuals’ and
organizations’ knowledge base. These advantages may lead to more innovation, higher morale, lower cost, reduced
turnover, and greater productivity (Buettner, 2015). Social networking sites have been widely studied from a
consumer perspective; however, far less research has addressed the challenges and opportunities these sites present
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
2
to organizations (Rooksby and Sommerville, 2012). Leonardi (2015) suggests that further research should examine
how individuals approach others to ask for knowledge, or how the transfer of knowledge actually occurs. Leonardi
also questioned whether an individual’s communications provide sufficient cues for their coworkers to infer the
areas in which they are knowledgeable or whether they need their colleagues to be more open about communications
activities and behaviors. Buettner (2015) also noticed that people report high usage intention combined with high
ratings on perceived usefulness and low on privacy concerns, or a low usage intention combined with low usefulness
and high privacy concern ratings. Figure 1 below shows the results of an Altimeter Group survey of 55 companies,
which revealed that employees are not widely using their corporate social networks (Altimeter Group, 2014).
Figure 1. Different corporate social network usages. (Source: Altimeter Group, 2014)
Understanding the role internal social media may play in fostering employee engagement is in its infancy. Leonardi,
Huysman and Steine (2013) explain that to date, most studies of internal social media have been conducted by
scholars within the computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and human computer-interaction (HCI)
communities. Not many studies have looked at how internal social media usage impacts employee engagement and
overall organizational performance. There is, however, considerable research that demonstrates that employees see
value in social media (Shami, Nichols, and Chen, 2014). Mark et al. (2014) reported that few studies have examined
how data from social media platforms could be used to understand organizational behavior. Huy and Shipilov (2012)
wrote that many companies have either not used internal social media applications or have failed to optimize their
use within their organizations. Williams (2013) reported that despite significant interest in, and widespread adoption
of, internal social media, along with clear expectations of continued growth in the internal social media market,
organizations remain uncertain about business contributions and long-term management challenges of internal social
media. Nelson et al. (2011) suggested that internal media users are drawn to different levels of contribution
depending on their roles in the organization and that different platforms/applications may have their own adoption
patterns in an organization.
This study addressed whether there was a relationship between an employee’s use of internal social media tools and
the level of employee engagement. The relationship between an employees’ usage of Bosch Connect and their
performance on four self-reported company-wide competencies was explored next. Employee usage and their
engagement practices were studied as well. The study endeavored to provide possible indications about how internal
social networking is working and also highlights possible reasons why such networking may not be working.
Descriptive statistics were used to address the first research question (RQ) below while inferential tools framed by
hypotheses were used to address the remaining RQs.
RQ1: What is the extent of use of Bosch Connect and what apps are receiving the most use?
RQ2: How does the level of Bosch Connect usage impact the level of employee engagement?
RQ3: What is the impact of Bosch Connect usage on a number of self-reported competencies?
RQ4: What is the relationship between the level of employee engagement and self-reported competencies?
This paper continues by addressing background and related work, summarizing the literature regarding the overall
use of social medial within workplaces, followed by an overview of internal social media. This section also provides
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
3
a brief exploration of efforts that address both employee engagement and internal social media. The methodology
section presents the adopted research methodology and data collection tool, including information about the
conducted pilot study. Research results are presented next, followed by a discussion of the findings. Finally, this
article ends with conclusions and proposed future research thrusts.
BACKGROUND AND RELATED WORK
Public social media in the workplace
Social media consists of a set of tools that enables users to become aware of and react to real-time information and
evolving content. Kaplane and Haenlein (2010, p.61) describe this scenario as “a group of internet-based
applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and
exchange of User Generated Content.” The number of social media users is growing rapidly and, for example, as of
January 2014, Facebook had a total of 1.19 billion active users monthly with an annual growth rate of 18 percent
(Aichner and Jacob, 2015).
A mere 18% of managers believe social media is important for their business today, whereas over 63% predicted
that social media will be an important part of their business within three years (Kane et al., 2014). Jennings, Blount
and Weatherly (2014) indicated that 73.3% of 262 participants, who were employed in a wide range of US
industries, used social media for business related purposes; 100% of these same participants reported that they used
social media for personal purposes. These statistics indicate that internal social media use is extensive for business
purposes but not up to the same level as for personal use.
Beyond standardization, social media platforms facilitate transparency and both active and passive participation
(Tierney and Drury, 2013). However, the use of social media within the workplace has seen a slow start and many
organizations initially took measures to limit its use. Fifty-four percent of 1,400 Chief Information Officers of
various organization confirmed that their organizations were banning access to social media within their
organization (Duban and Singh, 2010). Reporting on a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource
Management, Buttrick and Schroeder (2012) concluded, among other things, that 43% of companies surveyed
blocked access to social media platforms on company computers and hand-held devices because of potential risks
created by employee use. Parker, Harvey and Bosco (2014) state that social media use within the workplace was
seen as disruptive and to negatively impact productivity and blocking social media sites could be the solution.
According to Dougherty (2013), 77% of employees who have Facebook spend at least an hour using this social
medium during work hours. Diercksen et al. (2013) report that UK employees spend an average of 40 minutes on
social media every day. With 57% of the surveyed employees using social media for personal use in work hours, this
could cost companies over $2.5 billion. Chui et al. (2012) indicate that the average interaction worker spends an
estimated 28% of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down
colleagues who can help with specific tasks. Potential risks associated with the employees’ use of social media
during work hours may include wasting time at work, behaving unprofessionally, leaking/disclosing of confidential
information (Silnicki, 2007), and posting negative comments about the company. Jennings, Blount and Weatherly
(2014) report the 76% of 141 public and private companies surveyed indicated that they do not have a social media
policy. Cairo (2014) advises that, to ensure correct use of social media and prevent lost productivity, organizations
must develop a social media policy, engaging employees in the process. Parker, Harvey and Bosco (2014)
recommend developing a social media policy that may include limiting using social media for personal purposes.
Internal or enterprise-based social media
The notion of Internal Social Media first emerged in a conference in 2004 (O’Reilly, 2005). McAfee (2009) stated
that enterprise social media are free and easy platforms for communication and interaction. Wang and Kobsa (2009)
explain that there are two types of online social networks that may be used at work and it is important to understand
the difference between them. The first type is general social networking sites that are open to the public for
registration, e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The second type is enterprise social networking sites that are internal to
the particular company and thus only open to its employees, e.g., IBM (DiMicco et al., 2009). Enterprise 2.0, or
internal social networking, is a combination of three elements; technology, social interaction, and content
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
4
development/management aiming to improve an organization’s business processes. The five capability areas for
Enterprise 2.0 are communication, collaboration, community, construction, and search (Duban and Singh, 2010).
Buettner (2015) defined internal social media as a social networking site that is operated by a company, whose
access is restricted to members of this company and that offers the members of the company the possibility to set up
a personal profile and to connect with other members of the company. These sites may include the following tools:
social networks, wikis, forums, people tagging, file sharing, user profiles, blogs, microblogs, activity feeds, group
support, tagging, tag clouds, RSS feeds, photo and file repositories, discussion threads and more (Mark et al., 2014;
Holtzblatt et al., 2013).
Leonardi, Huysman and Steine (2013) described what workers can do on internal social media platforms as follows:
1. Communicate messages with specific coworkers or broadcast messages to everyone in the organization
2. Explicitly indicate or implicitly reveal particular coworkers as communication partners
3. Post, edit, and sort text and files linked to themselves or others
4. View the messages, connections, text, and files communicated, posted, edited and sorted by anyone else in
the organization at any time of their choosing
Enterprise social media can help facilitate innovation management. For example, Tierney and Drury (2013)
explained that a company with internal social media technology enabled a process improvement by providing a
single, easily findable template which eliminated the problem of staff trying to locate different, difficult-to-find
templates for different technology innovation areas or business units.
As an example, at Robert Bosch Company an internal social media toolkit called Bosch Connect is used. As shown
in Figure 2 below, this toolkit includes forums, wikis, blogs, files, ideation blogs, bookmarks, and activities.
Participants can tag, create a profile, like and share, contribute to communities, network with fellow workers, and
follow what is posted.
Figure 2. Components of the Bosch Connect network used by North American Robert Bosch LLC
Lee and Xue (2013) highlighted a number of advantages that organizations can gain from internal social media
networking. For example, employees remain focused on corporate objectives and can share resources and
information easily and effectively. The ability to communicate issues, insights, and solutions leads to an empowered
workforce and fosters innovation. Internal social media networking provides top management with direct access to
Forums
Wikis
Blogs
Files
Ideation
Blogs
Bookmarks
Activities
Tag
Profile
Like and Share
Communities
Network
Follow
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
5
posted suggestions and this helps in decision-making processes. Management can easily search for and consolidate
employee skill-sets to match to a specific project requirement. Studies by IBM researchers on Beehive have
demonstrated that social networking tools enhance staff’s social capital by expanding social networks, strengthening
existing ties, and enhancing staff’s connection to the organization (Holtzblatt et al., 2013).
There are, however, possible risks associated with the use of internal social media that may include: spam and virus
attacks, data and identity theft, lost productivity (especially if employees are busy updating profiles), and posting
negative comments either about other employees or the company (Lee and Xue, 2013). Regardless of these risks,
and according to Huang, Singh, and Ghose (2015), social media technologies enable firms to improve organizational
performance by supporting not just inward facing collaboration but also to come together to respond to customer
support, innovation, and sales and marketing opportunities. The expansion of the implementation of internal social
media platforms and the additional capabilities that they may provide make it essential to continue to study their
impacts on the organizations where they exist.
Employee engagement
The term employee engagement has gained considerable popularity in the past 20 years yet it remains inconsistently
defined and conceptualized (Shuck and Wollard, 2010). Baumruk (2004) referred to engagement as the energy or
the passion that employees harbor for their jobs and their employer, which result in emotional and intellectual
commitment to their organization. Richman (2006) described engagement as an impetus for an employee to employ
his/her discretionary efforts, experience, and energy, which engender generating creative solutions that, in turn,
directly benefit the employers without any explicit assurance of personal gain. “Engagement ultimately comes down
to people's desire and willingness to give discretionary effort” to their jobs (Frank et al., 2004, p. 16).
Richman (2006) and Shaw (2005) pointed out that engaged employees have high degrees of involvement and
attachment to their employers and/or organizations. Employee involvement “seeks to increase members’ input into
decisions that affect the organization performance and employee well-being.” Four key elements associated with
employee involvement include “power…, information…, knowledge and skills… [and]…rewards” (Cummings and
Worley, 2008, p. 351). Robinson et al. (2004) argued that the definition of employee engagement overlaps with
well-established constructs such as organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. Shaw
(2005) acknowledged that there is a myriad of dimensions or constructs associated with employee engagement
because the concept of employee engagement emanates from interactions of unique individuals under diverse work
conditions. This breadth necessitates the need for focusing on only a few key dimensions or constructs. Gill (2012)
proposed the following dimensions for employee engagement: alignment with the organization, management
effectiveness, salary and compensation, communication, and opportunity for development and recognition.
Kahn (1990), in his much cited paper, described an employee’s “personal engagement” as “the harnessing of
organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically,
cognitively, and emotionally during role performances” (p. 694). However, Gatenby et al. (2008) and Gill (2012)
pointed out that a formalized definition of employee engagement remains elusive. Several studies however have
attempted to both define employee engagement and understand the cause and/or effects of employee engagement.
These studies can be used to deduce a fairly well-grounded understanding of employee engagement. Woodruffe
(2006) categorized these needs as compensation package, job satisfaction, and employability potential. Furthermore,
he highlighted that vertical and horizontal communication is a key facet of employee engagement. Employee
engagement was defined as a “heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization,
that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work” (Gibbons, 2006, p. 4). Soldati
(2007) concluded that eight drivers of employee engagement include: trust and integrity, nature of the job, line of
sight between employee performance and company performance, career growth opportunities, pride about the
company, coworkers/team members, employee development, and relationship with ones manager.
Peters (2007) explained that employee satisfaction is related to the level of contentment or happiness a person
assigns to attributes of their job/position, their organization, and the general or overall way they feel about their
employment. Nink and Welte (2011) classified the 12 questions that Buckingham and Coffman (1999) used to
measure employee engagement in a hierarchal order. They classified Questions 1 and 2 as basic needs. The next
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
6
level management support consisted of Questions 4 through 6. Teamwork forms the next level and it consisted
of Questions 7 through 10. Questions 11 and 12 formed the top level called growth. This study has used these 12
questions as the foundation for measuring employee engagement; however, the question regarding compensation
was not included as an item in the final instrument since it was of no interest to the company. Some items were
modified to reflect the organization’s strategic organizational objectives.
Specific organizational competencies
Von Krogh and Roos (1995) posited that the term competenceis a concept that is related to a broad range of
individual capabilities related to craftsmanship, specialization, intelligence, and problem solving. One of the
challenges involved in defining organizational competences is the attempt to include both the notion of knowledge
(know-how) and action (skill application) at the same time (Edgar, 2008). Edgar also suggested that organizational
competences are categorized into four perspectives:
1. Specific phenomena and their related disciplines
2. Technologies such as computing, printing, or internal combustion and its related products
3. Functional skills
4. Integration of technology and skills
Robert Bosch has adopted four competencies that are tracked for all employees. They are: entrepreneurship,
leadership, communications, and readiness for change. Since the definitions of these competencies were well-known
to the employees, self-reported ratings of these competencies were used to form the construct that addressed
competence.
CONCEPTUAL MODEL
As shown on Figure 3 below, increased internal social media usage may play a key role in enhancing employees’
communication, innovation capabilities, collaboration, and retention. The belief is that more engaged employees can
communicate and manage their work tasks more effectively, align their work goals more with the overall
organizational goals and strategies, and develop more recognition and get better compensation. If the use of internal
social media leads to more engagement, then it seems likely that there will be a corresponding improvement in areas
such as: productivity, profitability, safety, customer satisfaction, turnover, and absenteeism. Since past studies have
established a clear positive relationship between Employee Engagement and Business Outcomes, an examination of
the relationship between internal social media usage, employee engagement and employee competence on four
specific company-wide competencies was pursued. Such an investigation was may have implications for
management and human resource practices within the company.
Figure 3. Internal social media usage, employee engagement, and self-reported competence
Internal Social Media
(Bosch Connect) Usage
Communication
Innovation
Collaboration
Retention
Employee Engagement
Communication
Effective
management
Alignment to
organization
Development and
recognition
Compensation
Self-reported
Competence
Productivity
Profitability
Safety
Customer
Satisfaction
Turnover
Absenteeism
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
7
As presented in Figure 3 above, the impact of internal social media usage on employees’ engagement in still unclear.
Figure 4 depicts the conceptual model that was used to guide the inferential portions of this research and addressed
research questions 3-5 of this study. The hypotheses tested included:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the frequency of Bosch Connect usage and the level of
employee engagement based on the perceptions of employees.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between the frequency of Bosch Connect usage and the level of self-
reported competence measured by the organization annually.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between employees’ self-reported competence and employees’
engagement levels.
Figure 4. Research model and hypotheses
METHODS
To understand the relationship between Bosch Connect usage and employee engagement, a descriptive research
methodology approach was adopted. In addition to a small number of demographic variables, respondent
perceptions were gathered regarding the frequency of use of internal social media, the level of employee
engagement, and the level of self-reported competence regarding each of the company-wide competencies.
Instrument development
An online survey was developed, reviewed, piloted, revised, and sent to 5488 employees working within five main
divisions in Robert Bosch North America. Total responses were 1802, with 1694 being usable entries. A thirteen-
question (44 individual responses required) survey was used to gather data and was administered electronically
using the SurveyMonkey.com website. All questions were close-ended: either multiple-choice, yes/no, or five-point
Likert-type scale; the square brackets used below identify comments that were not a part of the survey. The
following questions were included on the survey:
1. How many years of full-time professional work experience do you have?
2. How many years of full-time professional experience do you have at Bosch?
3. In which division of Robert Bosch LLC do you currently work (as of January 1, 2015)?
4. What is your career band level?
5. What is your assigned Bosch location?
6. Compared to your peers, how would you rate yourself on each of the following competencies?
(Entrepreneurial mindset, Leadership, Communication, and Readiness for change/adaptability)
7. Which of the following statements applies to your relationship with Bosch Connect? (Use it, do not have
time, do not use it, do not know how, and have not heard about it).
Internal Social Media
(Bosch Connect) Usage
Self-reported
Competence
Employee Engagement
H2
H1
H3
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
8
8. On the following scale, please indicate how often you use Bosch Connect? (daily, weekly, monthly, less
often than monthly)
9. Please respond with either a Yes or No to each of the following items.
Bosch Connect provides an easy way to submit, discuss, develop, and track new ideas.
With Bosch Connect, my communication and collaboration across departments, business units,
divisions, etc. has increased.
With Bosch Connect, collaboration efficiency in my team (department, project) has increased.
With Bosch Connect, being connected with associates outside one's team has improved my work
efficiency.
10. I use Bosch Connect to: [respondents were asked to choose one or both of the following]
Follow relevant information (delivered by my network contacts, communities blogs, forums, etc.)
Contribute (e.g.: share information, comment on or recommend existing content) in relevant
venues
11. For which purposes/business processes do you use Bosch Connect? [seven options were provided]
12. On the scale provided, please indicate below how often you use each of the Bosch Connect apps/features
by clicking one choice for each app/feature. [Eleven applications were included and the request was to rate
their use on a five-point agreement scale.]
13. Indicate your level of agreement with the following nine statements: [using a 5-point Likert scale]
Employee Engagement Construct Items
I know what is expected of me
I have the materials and equipment needed.
I have the opportunity to do best every day
Someone encourages my development at work.
My opinions seem to count at work
Vision and mission make my work important
Vision and mission updated with employee input
Success factors for NA guide my efforts and improve
I am happy with my work
Several of the questions (oritems”) were used to form three constructs. The employee engagement construct is
represented by the nine items in Question 13. The competence construct is comprised of the four self-rated
competencies queried in Question 6. The internal social media usage construct is composed of three items. The first
is the frequency of usage (Question 8), the second consists of a compilation of the reported app/tool usage (Question
12), and the third consists of the reasons for using Bosch Connect (Question 11).
A pilot study was conducted to help ensure an appropriate readability level, estimate the reliability, and obtain some
idea regarding the relevance of the survey questions based on the respondents’ perceptions. A SurveyMonkey link
accompanied by instructions was sent to 28 employees working in different bands across four divisions within
Robert Bosch North America to check the structure, accuracy, and wording of the survey questions. Twenty-two
participants provided complete responses to the pilot instrument. A number of comments were provided by the
respondents regarding the wording of individual items and based on these comments; changes were made in the
wording of the instructions and items within the final questionnaire. Additionally, based on a specific suggestion
provided by a pilot study participant regarding confidentiality, an option to print out and mail the survey to an
address at the cooperating university was embedded in the online survey. Fewer than ten respondents selected this
option. These mailed responses were added to the database generated from those who used the online form.
Data collection
A dedicated email account was set up on Eastern Michigan University’s server to provide a method for potential
respondents to contact the research team directly. The head of human resources for Robert Bosch LLC sent an email
to 5,488 employees from 5 preselected business areas. The email included background information, relevant
instructions, contact information and a link to the survey instrument. The survey was made available via
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
9
SurveyMonkey.com. Reminders were sent on two occasions and the data were collected over a three-week period.
Employees who did not have access to the internet were provided a paper version of the survey instrument along
with prepaid and preaddressed envelopes. Upon completion of the data collection, all data were coded and input into
a spreadsheet for further analyses.
RESULTS
The average work experience reported by the 1694 respondents was 23.23 years, while the average years with Bosch
was 12.75 years. Respondents represented 41 locations in the U.S., with the largest concentrations being in South
Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. Additionally, 53 respondents, although assigned to divisions within these locations,
were working elsewhere embedded within suppliers or on special assignment at other worldwide locations. The data
distribution generally is representative of employee distribution in the region. Respondents worked for five different
business areas as shown in Figure 5. Respondents were divided into three career band levels as follows as shown in
Figure 5. Almost 60% of the respondents were from the exempt band while 26% and 16% represented the
management and non-exempt bands respectively.
Figure 5. Respondents by divisions and career band levels
Construct validity
A Cronbach alpha was calculated for each of the three constructs and for the overall questionnaire to obtain an
estimate of the reliability. Table 1 provides the values for each of the three constructs.
Table 1. Reliability estimates for the key constructs
Construct
Number of Items
Self-Reported Competencies
4
Internal Social Media Usage
3
Employee Engagement
9
An exploratory factor analysis was conducted in an attempt to ensure that the employee engagement and self-
reported competence constructs were coherent and that threats to construct validity had been minimized. A principal
components analysis with an equimax rotation yielded three factors that were consistent with the three constructs.
As can be seen in Table 2, the four self-reported competencies formed one factor with loadings that ranged from
.686 to .803. The items that addressed the use of Bosch Connect formed another factor with all loadings exceeding
.800. The last factor addressed the degree to which the employee was engaged in the work at the company and the
loadings ranged from .601 to .768. Since all loadings are relatively high and the extracted factors corresponded to
the groupings of the initial construct items, there is strong evidence of construct validity.
Results of internal social media usage
Among the 1694 surveyed employees, approximately 34% reported they used Bosch Connect and 38% stated they
did not have time to use it. Twelve percent chose not to use it, 15% did not know how to use the tool, and 2% had
16%
58%
26%
All Non-Exempt
All Exempt
All Management
Respondents by Career Band Levels
21% 29%
20%
19%
11%
A1
A2
A3
A4
A5
Respondents by Division
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
10
not heard about Bosch Connect; see Figure 6. Overall, 83% of the surveyed employees knew about Bosch Connect
while 17% either did not know how to use it or had not heard about it.
Table 2. Factor loadings for items representing each construct
Questionnaire Items Constructs
1
2
3
Self-Reported Competencies Construct Items
Entrepreneurial competence
0.721
Leadership competence
0.803
Communication competence
0.704
Readiness for Change competence
0.686
Internal Social Media Usage Construct Items
How often do I use Bosch Connect
0.848
Number of apps/tools used (compilation)
0.893
Number of tasks addressed with these apps/tools (compilation)
0.853
Employee Engagement Construct Items
I know what is expected of me
0.601
I have the materials and equipment needed.
0.699
I have the opportunity to do best every day
0.764
Someone encourages my development at work.
0.718
My opinions seem to count at work
0.764
Vision and mission make my work important
0.781
Vision and mission updated with employee input
0.717
Success factors for NA guide my efforts and improve
0.746
I am happy with my work
0.768
When the respondents who use Bosch Connect were asked how often they use it, 32% reported using it daily; this
represents 11% of the entire sample (both users and non-users). Forty-nine percent reported weekly use, which
represents 16% of the surveyed 1694 employees. Fifteen percent stated they used Bosch Connect monthly and 4%
indicated they used it less than monthly. This represents 5% and 1% of the entire sample respectively. When
employees were asked if they used Bosch Connect to follow relevant information (delivered by network contacts,
communities blogs, forums, etc.), 91% answered yes.” However, when they were asked if Bosch Connect was
mainly used to contribute (e.g., share information, comment on, or recommend existing content) in relevant venues,
64% answered yes.
Furthermore, among the 573 employees who used Bosch Connect, 80% indicated they used the tool to collect,
combine, and communicate information. Sixty-six percent used it to find experts, discover new ideas, and obtain
support. Fifty-two percent used it for continuous improvement purposes and 32% used the tool for evaluating
options/decision making. Twenty-two percent of employees who use Bosch Connect reported that they used it for
organizing/attending meetings and 20% used it for self-organized task assignment. Twelve percent used the tool for
other purposes.
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
11
Figure 6. Who uses Bosch Connect among the respondents?
Different applications within Bosch Connect were used to different degrees. For example, Communities was the
most used with 96% of the users stating they used this application. The least used two applications were the Ideation
Blog with 48% and the Media Gallery with 46%. Usage percentages for all of the applications are shown in
Figure 7.
Figure 7. Bosch Connect applications usage
34%
38%
12%
15%
2%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40%
Use Bosch Connect
Don’t have time to it
Chose not to use it
Do not know how to use it
Have not heared of it
96%
90%
87%
82%
75%
73%
72%
70%
58%
56%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120%
Communities
Profile
Forums
Wikis
Files
Blogs
Events
Bookmarks
Ideation Blogs
Media Gallery
Apps. usage
Bosch Connect Apps.
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
12
Results of employee engagement
The employee engagement ratio differed among the four main business divisions. The A4 division had the lowest
employee engagement ratio at 4.69. The A2 division had a ratio of 5.17, while the A3 and A1 divisions had the
highest ratios of 7.25 and 8.24, respectively. No ratio is reported for division A5 because this was not a specific
division but a group of respondents who selected Otherin response to identifying the department for which they
work.
Employee engagement ratios differed among career band levels, as well. The non-exempt band had the lowest
employee engagement ratio at 5.33. The exempt and management career bands had the highest ratios of 6.13 and
6.24, respectively. These statistics bring the overall employee engagement ratio at Bosch to 6.02, which is a very
high ratio compared to the average industrial employee engagement ratio of 1.83 (Gallup Consulting, 2008).
All respondents were asked to report their agreements with the nine employee engagement statements (Question 13
in the Instrument section above), including three statements about the company’s visions and statements that were
removed; the remaining six are shown in Figure 8. For all questionnaire items, users of Bosch Connect exhibited
higher agreement.
Figure 8. Responses to six questions forming the employee engagement construct
Results of competence ratings
Users and non-users of Bosch Connect reported their ratings of four competencies as shown in Figure 9. The two
different groups rated themselves differently on the four competencies. These figures indicate the percentage of
those who rated themselves as higher or much higher than their peers on the four competencies. The smallest
difference between the two groups was about leadership with 63% for users and 60% for non-users. The highest gap
was between 80% for users and 66% for non-users, regarding readiness for change/adaptability. An 8% difference
was noted between the reported rating on the entrepreneurial mindset competency, for which the users of Bosch
Connect reported 58% and the non-users reported 50%. Finally, 65% of Bosch Connect users rated themselves
higher or much higher than their peers on the communication competency in contrast to 56% for the non-users.
95%
86% 73% 68% 79% 82%
91% 77% 68% 61% 67% 75%
I know what is
expected of me I have the
materials and
equipment to do
my work right
At work, I have
the opportunity
to do what I do
best every day
Someone at
work
encourages my
development
At work, my
opinions seems
to count
I am happy with
my job
Users [N=573] Non-users [N=1121]
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
13
Figure 9. Responses to the four questions forming the self-reported competency construct
Inferential analysis - Structural equation modeling
Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a statistical method that can be employed to test causal relationships between
constructs built upon measurable variables (Anderson and Gerbing, 1982). SEM is comprised of both observed
variables, which are called manifest or measured variables (MVs), and unobserved variables, which are called
underlying or latent variables (LVs). The variables can be arranged graphically in a SEM path model. In a SEM path
model, LVs are typically represented by multiple MVs that serve as indicators of the underlying constructs. The
MVs can be independent (exogenous) in nature whereas LVs can be either independent (exogenous) or dependent
(endogenous) in nature (Shah and Goldstein, 2006). The SEM path model is an a priori hypothesis about a pattern of
linear relationships among a set of observed and unobserved variables (Henseler, Ringle and Sinkovics, 2009).
A variance-based partial least square (PLS)-SEM technique was used in this study. PLS-SEM path models include
two types of linear equations: the inner model and the outer model. The inner model specifies the relationships
between LVs, whereas the outer model specifies the relationships between a LV and its MVs. Furthermore, the PLS-
SEM technique can be used for any type of distribution regardless of the sample size (Green and Ryan, 1990;
Johansson and Yip, 1994). The individual path coefficients of the SEM-PLS structural path model can be interpreted
in terms of standardized coefficients (β) of ordinary least squares regressions. Parameter estimates are obtained
based on the ability to minimize the residual variances of dependent variables (Henseler et al., 2009). Confidence
intervals can be drawn on the β coefficients by calculating the Student’s t statistic using a re-sampling non-
parametric algorithm called bootstrapping (Henseler et al., 2009). The PLS-SEM method was employed to analyze
the effect of Bosch Connect usage on self-reported employee competence and engagement.
Results of hypothesis testing
To obtain a better understanding of the aggregate treatment of the hypothesis testing provided in the PLS procedure,
correlations were calculated for each of the individual relationships between items as well. Hypothesis 1 was
concerned with the relationship between self-reported Bosch Connect usage and employee engagement. The results
of a Spearman correlation between each of the Employee Engagement items and the frequency of Bosch Connect
usage can be found in Table 3. All but one of the engagement items were significantly correlated with the frequency
of use of Bosch Connect. It should be noted that the coefficients are negative based on the way the frequency
responses were coded (the higher frequency of use had a lower value). “Am happy with my work” did not achieve
the .05 threshold but it was very close at .075. Hypothesis 1 was rejected based on the aggregate results of the
correlation analyses.
Hypothesis 2 was tested similarly to the first hypothesis. A Spearman correlation coefficient was calculated for each
of the four companywide competencies. All four competencies were significantly related to the self-reported usage
of Bosch Connect; therefore Hypothesis 2 was rejected as well.
The results of the tests for Hypothesis 3 were a bit more complicated. The shaded area within the Table 5 matrix
represents significant relationships. The results appeared to validate expected relationships. I know what is
58% 63% 65% 80%
50% 60% 56% 66%
Entrepreneurial
mindset Leadership Communication Readiness for
change/adaptability
Users
[N=573]
Non-users
[N=1121]
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
14
expected of me” and “My opinions seem to count…” were correlated with self-reported performance on each of the
competencies. Based on the results of the data analysis, “Someone encourages my development…” and Vision and
mission updated with employee input” were not correlated with any of the self-reported competencies. Several other
employee engagement items were related to at least some of the self-reported performance regarding each of the
four company-wide competencies. Of the items representing the employee engagement construct, the employee
satisfaction item (“Am happy with my work”) was related only to one compentency: “Perceived readiness for
change.” This seems consistent with today’s rapidly changing work environments.
Table 3. Correlation between Bosch Connect usage and Employee Engagement items
I know what is expected
of me
I have the materials and
equipment needed
I have the opportunity
to
do best everyday
Someone encourages my
development at Work.
My
opinions seem to
count at work
Vision and mission make
my
work Important
Vision and mission
updated with employees
input
Success factors for North
America guide my efforts
and improve
Am happy with my work
How
Often
use
Bosch
Connect
Correlation
Coefficient -.070** -.147** -.044 -.085** -.127** -.079** -.058* -.058* -.044
Sig. (2-
tailed)
.004 .000 .072 .000 .000 .001 .017 .017 .075
N 1684 1677 1676 1679 1679 1682 1677 1672 1669
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Table 4. Correlation between Bosch Connect frequency of use and the self-reported four competencies
Entrepreneurial Leadership Communication Readiness for
Change
Frequency of
Use of Bosch
Connect
Correlation
Coefficient
-.102** -.046 -.101** -.166**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .060 .000 .000
N 1694 1694 1694 1694
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
15
Table 5. Correlation between the self-reported competencies and Employee Engagement
I know what is expected of me
I have the materials and
equipment needed
I have the opportunity to do
best everyday
Someone encourages my
development at Work.
My
opinions seem to count at
work
Vision and mission make
my
work Important
Vision and mission updated
with employees input
Success factors for North
America guide my efforts and
improve
Am happy with my work
Entrepreneurial
Correlation
Coefficient
.137** .021 .010 -.005 .051* .050* -.013 .030 .004
Sig. (2-
tailed)
.000 .399 .688 .854 .037 .040 .608 .224 .867
N
1684
1677
1676
1679
1679
1682
1677
1672
1669
Leadership
Correlation
Coefficient
.141** .064** .056* .017 .117** .042 .041 .053* .018
Sig. (2-
tailed)
.000 .009 .022 .487 .000 .083 .094 .030 .461
N 1684 1677 1676 1679 1679 1682 1677 1672 1669
Communication
Correlation
Coefficient
.147** .082** .078** .029 .049* .030 .001 .024 .031
Sig. (2-
tailed)
.000 .001 .001 .241 .043 .223 .965 .321 .200
N 1684 1677 1676 1679 1679 1682 1677 1672 1669
Readiness for
Change
Correlation
Coefficient
.134** .057* .077** .043 .070** .063** .013 .038 .093**
Sig. (2-
tailed)
.000 .020 .002 .081 .004 .010 .607 .124 .000
N 1684 1677 1676 1679 1679 1682 1677 1672 1669
The PLS-SEM path model for this study had four paths (see Figure 10 below):
1) Bosch Connect Frequency of Use Self-Reported Competencies
2) Bosch Connect Frequency of Use Employee Engagement
3) Employee Engagement Self-Reported Competencies
4) Self-Reported Competencies Employee Engagement
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
16
Figure 10. PLS-SEM four paths model for the study
The findings below address the research questions RQ2: How does the level of Bosch Connect usage impact the
level of employee engagement?, RQ3: What is the impact of Bosch Connect usage on a number of self-reported
competencies?, and RQ4: What is the relationship between the level of employee engagement and self-reported
competencies? See Figure 10 and Tables 6 and 7.
Table 6 addresses RQ2 and RQ3. In this table, all the β values were positive on the PLS-SEM path model. The path
for RQ2 had a β value of 0.205; the path for RQ3 was 0.209. Table 7 addresses RQ4. In this table, both paths for
RQ4 had the same β value for both directions, 0.197. For data samples with approximately 1600 degrees of freedom,
statistical significance was demonstrated for a two sided 95% confidence interval if the Student’s t values were
equal to or greater than 1.96. A 99% confidence interval statistical significance was demonstrated by Student’s t
values equal to or greater than 2.58. The degrees of freedom associated with the threshold values were calculated
from the number of data points. The paths for RQ4 (RQ4A and RQ4B) were not found to be statistically significant.
The paths for RQ2 and RQ3 were both found to be statistically significant.
Based on these findings, Hypothesis 1 (which addresses RQ2): There is no significant relationship between the
frequency of Bosch Connect usage and the level of employee engagement based on the perceptions of employees,
and Hypothesis 2 (which addresses RQ3): There is no significant relationship between the frequency of Bosch
Connect usage and the level of self-reported competencies measured by the organization annually, were rejected. In
contrast, Hypothesis 3 (which addresses RQ4): There is no significant relationship between employees’ self-reported
competencies and employees’ engagement levels, was accepted. These findings provide preliminary evidence that
usage of Bosch Connect has a causal positive relationship on both employee competencies and engagement.
However, the effect of competencies and engagement could not be substantiated. One plausible explanation is that
employee self-reported engagement is not dependent on her/his self-reported competence. Additional studies will be
needed to explore this relationship.
Bosch Connect
frequency of use
Self-reported
Competencies
Employee Engagement
RQ3
RQ2
RQ4A
RQ4B
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
17
Table 6. PLS-SEM analysis results (1)
PLS-SEM Path β Student’s
t -value Bootstrapping
Samples
Students t -value
threshold 95%
confidence
interval (2 tailed)
Students t -value
threshold 99%
confidence
interval (2 tailed)
Statistically
Significant
RQ3: Bosch
Connect
Frequency of
Use Self-
Reported
Competence
0.209
2.350 100
1.96 2.58
Yes
3.828 300 Yes
5.194 500 Yes
7.076 1000 Yes
RQ2: Bosch
Connect
Frequency of
Use Employee
Engagement
0.205
2.811 100 Yes
4.339 300 Yes
5.210 500 Yes
7.191 1000 Yes
Table 7. PLS-SEM analysis results (2)
PLS-SEM Path β Student's
t -value Bootstrapping
Samples
Student's t -value
threshold 95%
confidence
interval (2 tailed)
Student's t -value
threshold 99%
confidence
interval (2 tailed)
Statistically
Significant
RQ4A:
Employee
Engagement
Self-Reported
Competencies
0.197 0.864 500
1.96 2.58
No
RQ4B: Self-
Reported
Competencies
Employee
Engagement
0.197 0.916 500 No
CONCLUSIONS, IMPACT, AND FUTURE RESEARCH
Conclusions
A number of conclusions can be drawn from this research endeavor. Each research question is addressed below.
RQ1: What is the extent of use of Bosch Connect and what apps are receiving the most use? Slightly more than
one-third of the employees reported using internal social media. Of the specific apps used, Wikis, Forums,
Profiles and Communities were used by more than 80% of the users.
RQ2: How does the level of Bosch Connect usage impact the level of employee engagement? The greater the
self-reported usage of internal social media, the greater the levels of self-reported employee engagement. Of the
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
18
nine employee engagement items, seven were significantly correlated to usage while the remaining two were
very close to being significant with p values of approximately .07.
RQ3: What is the impact of Bosch Connect usage on a number of self-reported competencies? Those employees
who reported using internal social media rated themselves higher on each of the four company-wide
competencies. The leadership competency was not significantly related to the frequency of use of internal social
media. Instead, the entrepreneurship, communication, and readiness for change self-reported competencies were
correlated to internal social media usage.
RQ4: What is the relationship between the level of employee engagement and self-reported competencies?
When attempting to address this research question, the results were mixed. The engagement items that
addressed I know what is expected of meandmy opinion seems to count at workwere highly correlated to
each of the four competencies. Contrarily, someone encourages my development at workand vision and
mission updated with employee inputwere not correlated to any of the four competencies. The remaining five
engagement items were each correlated to between one and three competencies.
Finally, a PLS-SEM procedure explored causality among the three constructs (frequency of use, level of
engagement, and level of competence). The results provide preliminary evidence that the use of internal social
media may cause an increase in employee engagement and of higher self-ratings on the four competencies. No
evidence for causality was found between engagement and competence based on the results of this study.
Study impact
As a result of this study it was recommended that Robert Bosch NA encourage employees to use Bosch Connect to
contribute, listen and share information; design and deliver a Bosch Connect training program for all employees; and
examine divisions with low Bosch Connect usage to determine what barriers exist in those units. Additionally, the
company was encouraged to use the results of the study to re-examine the features/apps to determine which could be
eliminated or modified using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Modifying the biannual employee survey to include key
items from the instrument used for this research would enable the company to track performance. Within the region
of North America, Bosch has plans to measure employee engagement annually and track the usage of features/apps
within the platform based on this study and other initiatives.
Based on the findings, companies designing or modifying an internal social media platform should consider
introducing training programs to ensure that the capabilities and operational procedures are known by all. Once the
program is implemented, media usage could be tracked by unit to determine how often and for how long a particular
app is used by each employee. Companies with fully implemented internal social media platforms could formally
integrate the platform into their efforts to promote innovation in both products and processes. Given the association
observed in this study between usage and engagement and competencies, it may be helpful for companies to track
internal social media usage, employee engagement, and perceived competencies regularly.
Suggested future research
Future studies should focus on actual usage rather than reported usage. Internal social media tracking can be used to
determine how often and for how long a particular app/tool is used by an employee but some provisions must be
made to ensure that the rights of the individual are not violated. Evidence of employee engagement such as the
number of sick days used, individual performance ratings, and the number of suggestions for improvement provided
by the employee, when coupled with self-reported engagement, would improve the validity of the measurement of
this construct. Quasi-experimental efforts to determine the impacts of internal social media usage on employee
engagement and other constructs are encouraged to validate the SEM findings in this study.
Companies should consider identifying ways to encourage more use of internal social media platforms and exploring
how effectively the posted information should be managed. To promote adoption, future research may explore more
business activities that can be supported within (or within extensions of) internal social media platforms. More
research is also needed to explore better ways to govern activities within these platforms. For example, better
support for user needs such as privacy management, security, and dispute resolutions would be beneficial. Finally,
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
19
future research is needed to fully validate the preliminary evidence presented in this article by conducting similar
studies in different sectors and geographical areas.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors would like to thank Charlie Ackerman, Oliver Steinig, and Becky MacDonald at Robert Bosch LLC for
supporting this research. The authors would also like to thank Evanta Conferences for arranging for the authors to
present the findings of this research at 2015 Detroit CHRO Leadership Summit.
REFERENCES
1. Aichner, T and Jacob, F. (2015). Measuring the degree of corporate social media use, International J. of Market
Research, 57 (2), 257-275.
2. Altimeter Group (2014) Strengthening employee relationships: How digital employee engagement and
advocacy transform organizations. [Online]. Available from: http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/report-
strengthening-employee-relationships-altimeter-group. Accessed on 10 March 2016.
3. Anderson, J. C., and Gerbing, D. W. (1982). Some methods for re-specifying measurement models to obtain
uni-dimensional construct measurement. J. of Marketing Research, 19, 453460.
4. Buettner, R., (2015). Analyzing the problem of employee internal social network site avoidance: Are users
resistant due to their privacy concerns? In Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 48
Proceedings, 1819-1828.
5. Baumruk, R. (2004). The missing link: The role of employee engagement in business success. Workspan,
47(11), 48-52.
6. Buttrick, S., and Schroeder, J. (2012). Social media in the workplace. Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Minnesota
Chamber of Commerce Business Conference.
7. Duban, P. and Singh, A. (2010). Enterprise 2.0: A boon or bane for entrepreneurial and innovative
expenditures? J. of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3 (15), 01-19.
8. Cairo, A. (2014). Managing employees in a social media technology workplace. New Zealand Management. 61
(5), 21.
9. Chui, M., Manika, J., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Roxburgh, C., Sarrazin, H., Sands, G., and Westergren, M. (2012).
The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies. McKinsey Global Institute.
10. Cummings, T. G., and Worley, C. G. (2008). Employee involvement. In Organization development & change
(9th ed.). (p. 351). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
11. Dougherty, J. (2013). Is social media the biggest workplace distraction? [Online]. Available from:
http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/social-media-biggest-workplace-distraction-infographic. Accessed
on 15 March 2016.
12. Diercksen, M., DiPlacido, M., Harvey, D., and Bosco, S. (2013). The effects of social media in today’s
workplace. In Proceedings for the Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI). 1 (1), 948-949.
13. DiMicco, J., Geyer, W., Millen, D., Dugan, C., and Brownholtz, B. (2009). People sensemaking and
relationship building on an enterprise social network site. In Proceedings of HICSS 09, 42nd Hawaii
International Conference on System Sciences, 1-10.
14. Gallup Consulting (2008). Employee engagement: What’s your engagement ratio. Survey. [Online]. Available
from: www.gallup.com/consulting/121535/Employee-Engagement-Overview-Brochure.aspx. Accessed on 10
March 2016.
15. Gartner (2013). Gartner says 80 percent of social business efforts will not achieve intended benefits through
2015. [Online]. Available from: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2319215. Accessed on 05 March 2016.
16. Gatenby, M., Rees, C., Soane, E., and Truss, C. (2008). Employee engagement in context. London, UK:
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
17. Gibbons, J. M. (2006). Employee engagement: A review of current research and its implications. (p. 4). New
York, NY: The Conference Board Inc.
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
20
18. Gill, P.S. (2012). An investigation of employee engagement and business outcomes at an engineering services
firm.
19. Green, D. H. and Ryans, A. B. (1990). Entry strategies and market performance: Causal modeling of a business
simulation. J. of Product Innovation Management, 7(1), 4558.
20. Edgar, W. B. (2000). Corporate library resource selection and corporate core competencies: Exploring the
connections. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama.
21. Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., and Sinkovics, R. R. (2009). The use of partial least squares path modeling in
international marketing. Advances in International Marketing, 20, 277319.
22. Holtzblatt, L., Drury, J. L., Weiss, D., Damianos, L. E., and Cuomo, D. (2013). Evaluating the uses and benefits
of an enterprise social media platform. Journal of Social Media for Organizations, 1(1), 1.
23. Huang, Y., Singh P., and Ghose, A. (2011). A structural model of employee behavioral dynamics in enterprise
social media. Working Paper.
24. Huy, Q. and Shipilov, A. (2012). The key to social media success within organizations. MIT Sloan Management
Review, 54(1), 73-81.
25. Jarrahi, M. H, and Sawyer, S. (2012). Social networking technologies and organizational knowledge sharing as
a sociotechnical ecology. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative
Work (Companion). NY: ACM, 99102.
26. Jennings, S., Blount, J., and Weatherly, M. (2014). Social media A virtual Pandora’s Box: Prevalence,
possible legal liabilities, and policies. Business Communication Quarterly, 77(1), 96-113.
27. Johansson, J. K., and Yip, G. S. (1994) Exploiting globalization potential: U.S. and Japanese strategies.
Strategic Management J., 15(8), 579601.
28. Kaplane, A. and Haenlein. M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social
media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
29. Kane, C., Alavi, M., Labianca, G., and Borgatti, P. (2014). What’s different about social media networks? MIS
Quarterly. 38 (1), 275-304.
30. Kahn, W. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of
Management J., 33(4), 692-724.
31. Lee, E. and Xue, W. (2013). How do online social networks drive internal communication and improve
employee engagement? Cornell University, ILR School site. [Online]. Available from:
http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/student/22/
32. Leonardi, P. (2015). Ambient awareness and knowledge acquisition: Using social media to learn “who knows
what” and “who knows whom”. MIS Quarterly, 39(4), 747-76.
33. Leonardi, P., Huysman, M., and Steine, C. (2013). Enterprise social media: Definition, history, and prospects
for the study of social technologies in organizations. J. of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(1), 1-19.
34. Mark, G., Guy, I., Kremer-Davidson S., and Jacovi, M. (2014). Most liked, fewest friends: Patterns of enterprise
social media use. In Proc. CSCW’2014.
35. Martin, A. and van Bavel, R. (2013). Assessing the benefits of social networks for organizations. Technical
report. [Online]. Available from: http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC78641.pdf. Accessed 20 January 2016.
36. McAfee, A. (2009). Enterprise 2.0: New collaborative tools for your organization's toughest challenges.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.
37. Nelson, L., Convertino, G., Chi, E. H., and Nairn, R. (2011). Studying the Adoption of Mail2Tag: an enterprise
2. 0 tool for sharing. In ECSCW 2011: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Computer Supported
Cooperative Work, 24-28 September 2011, Aarhus Denmark. London: Springer, 41-60.
38. Nink, M., and Welte, K. (2011). Die Mitarbeiter an Veränderungen beteiligen [Involving employees in change].
Personalwirtschaft [Human Resources]. [Online]. Available from
http://archiv.personalwirtschaft.de/wkd_pw/cms/website.php?id=/de/index/jahrgang2011/personalwirtschaft092
011.htm. Accessed on 25 January 2016.
39. O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0, design patterns and business models for the next generation of software.
[Online]. Available from: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html. Accessed on 5 February 2016.
Internal Social Media Usage
____________________________________________________________________________________
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
21
40. Parker, S., Harvey, D., and Bosco, S. (2014). Social media: Poking, tweeting, blogging, and posting are
becoming a part of the everyday office lingo. In Proceedings for the Northeast Region Decision Sciences
Institute (NEDSI), 960-969.
41. Robinson, D., Perryman, S., and Hayday, S, (2004). The drivers of employee engagement (Rep. No. 408).
Brighton, UK: Institute for Employment Studies.
42. Richman, A. (2006). Everyone wants an engaged workforce: how can you create it? Workspan, 49(1), 36-39.
43. Rooksby, J. and Sommerville, I. (2012). The management and use of social network sites in a government
department. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 21, 4-5, 397-415.
44. Shah, R., and Goldstein, S. M. (2006). Use of structural equation modeling in operations management research:
Looking back and forward. J. of Operations Management, 24(2), 148169.
45. Shami, N., J. Nichols, J., and J. Chen., J. (2014). Social media participation and performance at work: A
longitudinal study. In Proc. CHI, 115118.
46. Shaw, K. (2005). An engagement strategy process for communicators. Strategic Communication Management,
9(3), 26-29.
47. Shuck, B., and Wollard, K. (2010) Employee engagement and HRD: A seminal review of the foundations.
Human Resource Development Review, 9 (1), 89-110.
48. Silnicki, G. (2007). Caught in the web. Canadian Business (80) 13, 62.
49. Soldati, P. (2007, March 8). Employee engagement: What exactly is it? Management - Issues. [Online].
Available from http://www.managementissues.com/2007/3/8/opinion/employee-engagement-what-exactly-is-
it.asp. Accessed on 1 March 2016.
50. Tierney, M. L. and Drury, J. (2013). Continuously improving innovation management through enterprise social
media. J. of Social Media for Organizations, 1(1), 1-16.
51. Von Krogh G. and Roos, J. (1995). A perspective on knowledge, competence, and strategy. Personnel Review
24(3): 56-76.
52. Wang, Y. and Kobsa, A. (2009). Privacy in online social networking at the workplace. In Proc. CSE 2009, 975
978.
53. Williams, S., Hausmann, V., Hardy, C., and Schubert, P. (2013). Enterprise 2.0 research: Meeting the
challenges of practice, In BLED 2013 Proc., 251-26.
54. Woodruffe, C. (2006). From “whateverto “my pleasure: How can employers increase engagement? In G.
Aitken, N. Marks, J. Purcell, C. Woodruffe and D. Worman, Reflections on Employee Engagement (8-10).
London, UK: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
AUTHORS’ BIOGRAPHIES
Abubaker Haddud is a visiting scholar at Eastern Michigan University. He has a Ph.D. in engineering management
from Eastern Michigan University, where he was a Fulbright scholar, and an MBA from Coventry University in the
U.K. His teaching and research interests focus on technology management, lean manufacturing, strategic operations
management, and business performance measurement and analysis. Haddud has several years of university teaching
experience within the technology management, business and management domains at the undergraduate and
postgraduate levels. Haddud is an active researcher and his recent research activities focused on the use of disruptive
technologies to create unique competitive advantages and to enhance business performance. Haddud also has more
than 10 years of industrial work experience in different sectors.
John Dugger is Emeritus Professor of Technology and Professional Services Management at Eastern Michigan
University and currently serves as an adjunct professor of higher education at the University of Mississippi. Dugger
has secured more than $2.1M in grants and has authored 53 publications in juried journals. Dugger’s formal
education includes work in engineering, business and education, and his recent scholarly interests have focused on
investigating the relationship between engagement and performance. In addition to teaching manufacturing design
early in his career, he most recently taught the research capstone class for the doctoral program. Other experiences
include eight years as a department head at Iowa State University and six years as a college dean at Eastern
Michigan University.
Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2016)
22
Internal Social Media Usage
___________________________________________________________________________________
Preetinder Gill is a business development manager at Robert Bosch LLC, where he leads various innovation and
regional growth initiatives. Previously he has held various engineering and quality-related positions at Bosch and
Chrysler. He is a faculty member at Eastern Michigan University and Lawrence Technological University. He has a
Ph.D. in engineering management from Eastern Michigan University and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from
the University of Michigan. He has authored more than 20 peer reviewed articles in the fields of technology and
engineering management, employee engagement, and healthcare management. He also holds professional
certifications in project management and quality management.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license; see
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/.
View publication statsView publication stats
  • ... With the growth in digitally captured data doubling each year and the recognition that the data captured in the past two years exceeds the volume of data captured throughout the history preceding it, it is not surprising that calls are being made by the research community to embrace "Big Data" as a means for radically changing the way research is conducted into the future (van Muijen, Jaap J. 1998;Gustafson., Pomirlean, Nadia, and John-Mariadoss, Babu 2018;Sievert, Holger and Scholz, Christina 2017;Aboelmaged, Mohamed Gamal 2018;Cai, Zhao et al. 2018;Chin, Christie Pei-Yee, Evans, Nina, and Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond 2015;Haddud, Abubaker, Dugger, John C., and Gill, Preet 2016;Koch, Hope, Gonzalez, Ester, and Leidner, Dorothy 2012;Kim, Jungsun (Sunny) and Gatling, Anthony 2018; Korzynski, Pawel 2015;Naim, Mohammad Faraz and Lenka, Usha 2017;Parry, Emma and Solidoro, Adriano 2014). In the human centred fields of sociology and humanities, researchers have largely relied on human survey techniques, case studies or ethnographic approaches; all of which are severely limited in scale when compared to the actual scale of human endeavour. ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to introduce and explore the "Reality Mining" (Pentland 2014) of Enterprise Social Networks as a means of data collection that can arguably be more reflective of the intangible workings of Enterprises than that exposed by ubiquitous survey methods, case studies and the like. Reality Mining is inspired by the availability of "Big Data" and the proposition for its use in radicalizing research methods in general (Boyd, Danah and Crawford, Kate 2012). "Enterprise Culture"(EC) is used to illustrate its use using empirical data collected from 78 organizations over a 6 month period. Design/methodology/approach-The link between EC and the more traditional components of Intellectual Capital/Assets (IC/IA) is established through the literature, in order to demonstrate the applicability of "Reality Mining" to the broader study of IC/IA concepts. The popular Competitive Values Framework (CVF) (Quinn, R.E. and Rohrbaugh, J 1981) is used to provide an empirical framework for assessing EC as an exploratory demonstration of Reality Mining. The empirical results are then discussed in the context of results obtained through more traditional survey methods. Findings-The empirical results of the proposed reality mining approach, when compared to the results of survey based methods using the same CVF, were both encouraging and insightful. The congruence of results is important for arguing the validity of a radically new research data collection method. The use of an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) as the data source for reality was not able to replicate the survey results. In fact the results identified a culture which was largely complementary to the CVF survey results, supporting the proposition by cultural change specialist John Kotter that firms should be using a dual operating system (formal hierarchy and network)(Kotter, John P. 2014). The characteristics of EC are demonstrated as similarly aligned to other IC/IA concepts like "human capital", "relationship capital" etc.; where survey methods alone can limit the degree to which these concepts can be articulated. Reality Mining is therefore likely to be equally applicable across the whole IC/IA field. Research limitations/implications-This research is positioned as exploratory and therefore has several limitations. The Reality Mining approach inherently cannot expose the richness of context that other investigative techniques can. The comparative CVF surveys administered were only a subset of the standard CVF survey and only completed by one or two representatives from each organisation. The implications for the use of Reality Mining as an investigative technique are significant when considering scalability and validity. With the rapidly growing adoption of digital platforms and the rapid growth in people centred "Big Data", organizational studies could draw their research data from samples that are orders of magnitude larger than current methods provide. Practical implications-Survey methods have become the ubiquitous means for collecting research data despite its accepted shortcomings viz. low response rates/non-representative sample sizes, faulty designs, not always reflective of reality, ethics hurdles etc.. Other traditional methods like case studies and ethnographic studies are limited in scale by their very form. In the IC field content analysis of annual reports had become a popular alternatives, though today its shortcomings in revealing "reality" has been questioned (Dumay, John 2016). Calls have been made to replace reporting with disclosure, including involuntary disclosures (Cuozzo, Benedetta et al. 2017; Dumay, John and Guthrie, James 2017). Reality Mining has the potential for revealing enterprise behaviours in action, through revealing how people actually interact with each other, more so than how they think they might interact. Originality/value-This paper provides I believe for first time, the use of a new technique called "Reality Mining" for the study of IC/IA concepts. It addresses many of the acknowledged shortcoming of current IC/IA research approaches by providing a means for better capturing the unexposed interaction behaviours that exist within organizations under study.
  • ... Digital media platforms have revolutionized how people communicate with each other by excluding socioeconomic, politics, civil disobedience, and connectivity barriers. Furthermore, digital media have brought about rapid changes in the workplace by providing new opportunities [1][2][3][4]. In the last decade, digital platforms have allowed organizations to communicate globally, provide customer service, gain exposure and new customers, market products, network, recruit employees, and increase revenues [5]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    This study investigated the use of digital media, specifically social media technologies, in the workplace in Taiwan. The data for this study were collected through an online survey. Participants responded to questions asking whether social technologies could be a source of empowerment, leading to equality. Respondents included female and male employees. The findings reveal that both genders use social technology platforms for business support, experience benefits, and believe that these technologies could provide empowerment for success. Detailed results are reported in this paper, including a comparative analysis. The differences between women and men using Facebook and YouTube were significant. Women in Taiwan have a higher awareness of the benefits of social technologies, specifically Facebook, when used for business support and empowerment. This paper reveals a comparison between the attitudes of women and men when using social technologies and investigates the realization of the economic empowerment component.
  • ... Social media generally allow users to communicate and share images and videos with others in their social network. Thus, the content of social media is predominantly user generated (Soliman, 2012), relationship-based (Buettner, 2016;Haddud, Dugger, & Gill, 2016), and professional and social community orientated (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). People of all ages across the globe take advantage of the opportunities offered by social media and spend considerable time on social media to connect with others (Schulze, Schöler, & Skiera, 2014). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The objective of this study is to gain insights into the experiences of employees regarding their social media usage and consequences of social media overuse at the workplace. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) procedures. The qualitative data was collected from the employees working in renowned IT/ITES companies in India. The themes that emerged are lack of sleep; backache and eye strain; feeling of envy; lack of depth in the relationships; tendency to seek approvals; not meeting deadlines; compromise with the work quality; distraction from work. The present study intends to assist human resource managers in designing appropriate policies and guidelines pertaining to employees’ social media usage at the workplace.
  • ... They are looking for a positive response, in the form of gratuities in the form of words, symbols or image signs sent by other group members. Students are active in social media groups because they are motivated by positive relationships with other friends, workers in a particular institution both government and private are active in dissenting media due to efforts to create beneficial "engagement" communication relationships that are in line with what is stated by Haddud, Dugger, and Gill (2016), Janicke-Bowles et al. (2018) and also Süral, Griffiths, Kircaburun, and Emirtekin (2019). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The objective of this study was to identify the pillars of the existence of virtual community groups through the motive and gratification theory approach. The data were collected using Google form and being sampled with a nonprobability technique. The data were analyzed using factor analysis employing Jeffrey’s Amazing Statistics Program (JASP) software. The result showed that the satisfaction obtained encourages the fulfillment of social obligations and respect. The act of giving one another, fostering a sense of philanthropy, spreading useful information to meet the needs of the basic non-physical, then move to meet the higher requirements, social, religious motivation and reaching higher needs, to worship and get the reward from God. The literature also reveals that virtual groups can meet specific work needs on aspects of effectiveness and efficiency.
  • ... According to small and medium enterprises development agency of Nigeria survey report of 2013. The population is presented below: The population of this study is 9580 SMEs owners or owner managers in North Central Zone of Nigeria and this was reduced using Taro Yamane formula as stated below: n=N/1+N(e) 2 Where N is the population size e is the margin error (assume 5%) 1= constant= e=0.05 n = 9580/1+9580(0.05) 2 n=9580/1+9580(0.0025) n = 9580/1+23.96 ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The study examined the effect of social media on employees’ performance among SMEs in North Central Nigeria. The study adopted survey research design. The population of the study includes all the SMEs registered in North Central Zone which is made of six states and Abuja making it a total of seven states. The sample size of this study was 384. The questionnaire was administered by determining the proportion of the sample size by the population of the study. The study used regression and correlation as well as mean in analysing the data with the aid of SPSS, 25.00. The study also used reliability test to ascertain that the instrument used are reliable. The study found that there is a positive association between employees commitment among SMEs in North Central Nigeria and facebook. Also, there is a positive association between employees commitment among SMEs in North Central Nigeria and youtube and there is positive association between employees commitment among SMEs in North Central Nigeria and twitter. The study also found that facebbok is significant in enhancing employees performance in terms of employees commitment in North Central Zone, Nigeria while Youtube and twitter are insignificant in enhancing employees commitment in SMEs, North Central Nigeria. The study also concluded that there is insignificant relationship between social media and employees performance among SMEs in North Central Nigeria. The study suggested that SMEs in North Central Zone, Nigeria should try to use facebook principles in communicating their business since employees who use facebook are committed to their work. The study also suggested that youtube and twitter should be carefully monitor in order to ensure that employees who use them are committed to work since there is insignificant relationship between the variables to employees performance. Keywords: Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Employees Performance and Employees Commitment
  • ... Employee engagement remains a top three priority for communication practitioners working in corporations (Mishra, Boynton, & Mishra, 2014). Although communication practitioners use a myriad of channels to foster engagement (Men & Bowen, 2017;Mishra et al., 2014;Welch, 2011;Welch & Jackson, 2007), they are increasingly using social media as part of their internal communication strategy (Cardon & Marshall, 2014;Haddud, Dugger, & Gill, 2016;Neill, 2015;Sievert & Scholz, 2017). Gartner (2013) predicted that 50% of large organizations would have internal social media by the year 2016. ...
    Article
    The growth of social media in organizations is reshaping internal communication strategy. This article explores the value of internal social media with a focus on employee engagement, which is defined as employees who are connected to the values and mission of the company, feel empowered, bring energy, passion, and discretionary effort to their jobs, and serve as advocates. Interviews were conducted with 27 senior-level internal communication practitioners working for global companies. Practitioners said they use a variety of communication channels, including social media, to drive employee engagement. The findings revealed best practices in using internal social media to engage employees, including providing clear social media policies and employee training; empowering employee social advocates; involving leadership and securing endorsement; social media listening; sharable, relevant, and practical content strategies; and, authenticity and consistency. Future trends and evolvement of internal communication around social media are also discussed.
  • Chapter
    In this chapter, the author explores the concept of gamification in general and in context with employee engagement. The emergence and definitions of gamification are explained in the initial part of the chapter. Later, the benefits of gamification, in general, are listed and the linkage between the two (i.e., employee engagement and gamification) is explained. The broad aim of this chapter is to explore gamification as a strategy for employee engagement in the 21st century organizations and how these two are linked. The focus areas for the implementation of gamification form the proceeding section of the chapter. The chapter also highlights the benefits and criticism of gamification. Later, the author states the ways by which organizations are benefitted with the application of gamification. The criticism of gamification is discussed in the concluding part of the chapter, and the chapter will also facilitate the readers by exemplifying how organizations implement gamification on a realistic level.
  • Article
    Increasingly social networks are used both in the personal and professional levels, being companies and employees also exposed to the risks posed by them. In this sense, it is relevant to analyze employees' perception of the risks and vulnerabilities posed by the use of social networks in corporate environments. For this purpose, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to 372 employees of small and medium-sized companies that allowed the characterization and analysis of those risks. The results indicate that the security risks are perceived moderately by employees, emphasizing them the risk of defamation and cyberbullying as being the most pertinent. On the other hand, the findings indicate that older employees, the existence of lower academic qualifications, and those working in medium-sized companies are more aware of these risks.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    A key decision faced by marketing managers is the development of entry strategies for new markets. In addition to selecting which product market to enter, the manager must make decisions about the entry strategy itself. The entry strategy, whether managed actively or passively, affects the entrant's performance. In this article, Donna Green and Adrian Ryans discuss the three major components of an entry strategy: the timing of entry, the magnitude and areas of investment and the basis for competitive emphasis. They report that very little empirical research has focused on relationships between entry strategy and eventual product performance.
  • Article
    The argument proffered in this paper is that use of enterprise social networking technologies can increase the accuracy of people's metaknowledge (knowledge of "who knows what" and "who knows whom") at work. The results of a quasi-natural field experiment in which only one of two matched-sample groups within a large financial services firm was given access to the enterprise social networking technology for six months revealed that by making people's communications with specific partners visible to others in the organization, the technology enabled observers to become aware of the communications occurring amongst their coworkers and to make inferences about what and whom those coworkers knew based on the contents of the messages they sent and to whom they were sent. Consequently only individuals in the group that used the social networking technology for six months improved the accuracy of their metaknowledge (a 31% improvement in knowledge of who knows what and an 88% improvement in knowledge of who knows whom). There were no improvements in the other group over the same time period. Based on these findings, how technologically enabled "ambient awareness" - awareness of ambient communications occurring amongst others in the organization - can be an important antecedent for knowledge acquisition is discussed.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This article aims to provide a model with which to measure the degree of corporate social media use or, in other words, the extent to which companies are exploiting the potentialities of single or multiple social media platforms. This is, however, explicitly different from using metrics to assess the success of social media activities, as it is purely measuring how intensively a pre-defined group of social media is utilised, taking into account the frequency of social media activity by the brand as well as the related user reactions. The degree of corporate social media use helps companies and market researchers analyse single brands or companies and compare them with other brands, competitors or industry averages. The degree of corporate social media use is a useful indicator, which should be combined with social media metrics in order to draw better conclusions about where to increase or intensify social media activities.
  • Article
    This study began with the premise that people can use varying degrees of their selves. physically. cognitively. and emotionally. in work role performances. which has implications for both their work and experi­ ences. Two qualitative. theory-generating studies of summer camp counselors and members of an architecture firm were conducted to explore the conditions at work in which people personally engage. or express and employ their personal selves. and disengage. or withdraw and defend their personal selves. This article describes and illustrates three psychological conditions-meaningfulness. safety. and availabil­ ity-and their individual and contextual sources. These psychological conditions are linked to existing theoretical concepts. and directions for future research are described. People occupy roles at work; they are the occupants of the houses that roles provide. These events are relatively well understood; researchers have focused on "role sending" and "receiving" (Katz & Kahn. 1978). role sets (Merton. 1957). role taking and socialization (Van Maanen. 1976), and on how people and their roles shape each other (Graen. 1976). Researchers have given less attention to how people occupy roles to varying degrees-to how fully they are psychologically present during particular moments of role performances. People can use varying degrees of their selves. physically, cognitively, and emotionally. in the roles they perform. even as they main­ tain the integrity of the boundaries between who they are and the roles they occupy. Presumably, the more people draw on their selves to perform their roles within those boundaries. the more stirring are their performances and the more content they are with the fit of the costumes they don. The research reported here was designed to generate a theoretical frame­ work within which to understand these "self-in-role" processes and to sug­ gest directions for future research. My specific concern was the moments in which people bring themselves into or remove themselves from particular task behaviors, My guiding assumption was that people are constantly bring­ ing in and leaving out various depths of their selves during the course of The guidance and support of David Berg, Richard Hackman, and Seymour Sarason in the research described here are gratefully acknowledged. I also greatly appreciated the personal engagements of this journal's two anonymous reviewers in their roles, as well as the comments on an earlier draft of Tim Hall, Kathy Kram, and Vicky Parker.