Organizational blogging: a case study of a corporate weblog from an employee perspective

Annette Agerdal-Hjermind (Department of Business Communication, Centre for Corporate Communication, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 28 January 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to address and discuss usage and implications of a weblog in a corporate communication context from an employees' perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a case study of a government agency's corporate blogging activity, traced through focus group interviews with the organizational bloggers and analyzed using situational analysis and thematic network analysis.

Findings

The study problematizes the predominant focus on the promises of interactivity and dialogue as a repeated positive motivation for corporate bloggers by shedding a light on blogging as experienced from inside an organization. The study shows that employee bloggers use the blog platform in a varied way and do not agree internally on the appropriate corporate blog usage. Four main positions that encapsulate the variation in blog usage – the official, the debater, the engineer and the passionate blogger – are identified, and the implications (opportunities and barriers) of blogging for the blogging employees' behavior and motivation are unfolded and discussed.

Practical implications

The findings are useful for managers to get insight into the challenges, barriers and opportunities, which employees experience when acting as bloggers on behalf of an organization, as well as when acting on other transparent Web 2.0 mediated communications platforms for corporate purposes. The findings also indicate and give recommendations to the internal resources required to support the employees when letting them out into the blogosphere.

Originality/value

The paper provides a documented, nuanced and deep insight and understanding into blog usage in a corporate context from the perspective of the employee bloggers. This insight is as critical to our understanding of blogging and social media in a corporate context, as it is to our understanding of transparent and participatory organizational culture.

Keywords

Citation

Agerdal-Hjermind, A. (2014), "Organizational blogging: a case study of a corporate weblog from an employee perspective", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 34-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-09-2012-0066

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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