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Examining themes of social media users' opinion on remote work during COVID-19 pandemic: a justice theory perspective

Yunfei Xing (School of Business and Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Yuming He (Department of Information Technology and Decision Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
Justin Z. Zhang (Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 12 September 2023




The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to the global labor market, resulting in a rapid transition toward remote work, e-commerce and workforce automation. This shift has sparked a considerable amount of public discussion. This study aims to explore the online public's sentiment toward remote work amid the pandemic.


Based on justice theory, this paper examines user-generated content on social media platforms, particularly Twitter, to gain insight into public opinion and discourse surrounding remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employing content analysis techniques such as sentiment analysis, text clustering and evolutionary analysis, this study aims to identify prevalent topics, temporal patterns and instances of sentiment polarization in tweets.


Results show that people with positive opinions focus mainly on personal interests, while others focus on the interests of the company and society; people's subjectivities are higher when they express extremely negative or extremely positive emotions. Distributive justice and interactional justice are distinguishable with a high degree of differentiation in the cluster map.


Previous research has inadequately addressed public apprehensions about remote work during emergencies, particularly from a justice-based perspective. This study seeks to fill this gap by examining how justice theory can shed light on the public's views regarding corporate policy-making during emergencies. The results of this study provide valuable insights and guidance for managing public opinion during such events.



This work was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (No: 22CTQ019).


Xing, Y., He, Y. and Zhang, J.Z. (2023), "Examining themes of social media users' opinion on remote work during COVID-19 pandemic: a justice theory perspective", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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