This paper aims to examine the impact of social networking in the workplace and to assess its use as an effective business tool.
The paper examines positive and negative perceptions of social networking in the workplace and provides a critical review of literature in the area. The drivers of, and barriers to, change are explored, and whether the reasons for some organisations prohibiting or restricting social networking in the workplace are well‐founded or corporate suicide. The link between social networking and organisational culture is examined, looking at whether social networking tools are capable of revitalising and reshaping the culture and brand of an organisation, which in turn can lead to better ways of working and increased levels of employee productivity and satisfaction.
The findings indicate that the business advantages and benefits of social networking in the workplace are still very much underappreciated and undervalued. Although some organisations across the world have started to implement some of the facets of social networking technology and reap the business benefits, fear, resistance and risk are the opinions that still dominate many organisations.
The value of social networking technology in the workplace is yet to be determined. This paper addresses gaps in the current literature and demonstrates that the business benefits of social networking far outweigh the negative perceptions that are still predominant in the pre‐millennial generations. The paper highlights that social networking technology can facilitate improved workplace productivity by enhancing the communication and collaboration of employees which aids knowledge transfer and consequently makes organisations more agile. Moreover, social networking can provide enhanced levels of employee satisfaction by reducing the social isolation of teleworkers and making them feel part of organisational culture during long absences from the physical office.
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