Empowering employees through instant messaging

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

30 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-211
Journal / PublicationInformation Technology and People
Volume23
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to develop a research model that explains how instant messaging (IM) technologies enable employees to be empowered. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses survey of 253 Chinese work professionals with respect to their use of IM tools at work. Findings: IM does empower work teams via shaping the social networks and facilitating knowledge sharing in the workplace, resulting in heightened team performance. Research limitations/implications: The survey was conducted in China so generalization to other national contexts is tentative. It focuses on the bright side of IM, but neglects the dark side, e.g. security concerns and work interruptions. Practical implications: IM is not only a social tool, it also has the potential to contribute to work teams. However, IM cannot achieve better work performance alone. Its contribution to strengthen the social networks at work is also critical. These social networks at work can enable employees to overcome psychological barriers to knowledge sharing. Originality/value: Studies of IM in the workplace have not previously considered social network perspectives, nor the value of such IM-facilitated social networks for work performance. This large scale survey of work professionals across four locations in China provides evidence for the considerable positive impacts of IM on work. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Communication technologies, Knowledge sharing, Social networks, Team working

Citation Format(s)

Empowering employees through instant messaging. / Ou, Carol X.J.; Davison, Robert M.; Zhong, Xuepan; Liang, Yi.

In: Information Technology and People, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2010, p. 193-211.

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