The Use of Enterprise Social Media and Its Disparate Effects on the Social Connectivity of Globally Dispersed Workers



Research has suggested that the use of enterprise social media (ESM) can help employees enhance their social connectivity. Despite the potential benefits, the effects of ESM use can be multifaceted since workers may engage with the tool in varied ways. Drawing on the three metaphors of ESM as a social lubricant, leaky pipe, and echo chamber, this study investigates different patterns of ESM use and their influences on distributed workers’ social networks. The analysis of full network data collected in a global high-tech organization revealed that ESM use for company-wide communication was positively associated with globally dispersed workers’ network size, betweenness, and external connections. By contrast, ESM use for private group communication was negatively linked to their network size and betweenness. The findings indicate that ESM use may lead to disparate social connectivity outcomes, depending on the usage patterns that vary by groups and individuals.
Date made available2019
Publisherfigshare SAGE Publications

Cite this