Internal or external social media? The effects of work-related and social-related use of social media on improving employee performance

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-707
Journal / PublicationInternet Research
Issue number3
Online published10 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2022



Purpose - This study investigates how employees' work- and social-related use of social media can individually and interactively render different impacts on employees' performance in the context of internal or external social media. 
Design/methodology/approach - To test the research model in these two different contexts, the authors collected data from 392 internal social media users and 302 external social media users in the workplace. 
Findings - The data suggest that the respondents' job performance can be enhanced when using internal social media for work-related purposes and using external social media for social-related purposes. Meanwhile, the interaction of work- and social-related use is positive for external social media but negative for internal social media on job performance. These findings highlight the significant distinction of social media use in the workplace. 
Originality/value - First, this study contributes to the literature on the business value of IT by providing theoretical arguments on how companies can capitalize efforts to consider work-related use in combination with social-related use to create business value. Second, this research theorizes two distinct yet interacting views of social media use. The authors offer a more granular insight of the paths from work- and social-related use to employee performance instead of encapsulating social media use in a unitary concept and linking it simply and broadly to employee performance. Third, this research considers the interdependent effects of work- and social-related use on employee performance, and thus goes beyond the independent roles of these two types of social media use. Fourth, the authors find that the links from employees' work- and social-related use of social media to job performance vary in different contexts. © Emerald Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • External social media, Internal social media, Job performance, Social-related use, Work-related use

Citation Format(s)

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