Value creation through strategic social media use in HR management

Wolf, Maxim Viktor (2018) Value creation through strategic social media use in HR management. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to understand how social media use is impacting communication processes within organisations. This study focuses on the HR communication process: traditionally, a one-way broadcast from management to employees with limited feedback mechanisms and limited employees’ participation in content creation. Social media, as a current IT phenomenon, penetrates personal, professional and political lives. One of the hallmarks of social media is its embedded democratisation: access, means, and ability to “speak” for everyone. Social media’s democratic approach to communication challenges established top-down organisational communications. This research analyses social media use in organisations to identify under which conditions social media use becomes strategic and leads to the development of new capabilities. The source data for the qualitative comparative case study is collected in a series of one-to-one and group interviews and is then analysed within the framework of three major theoretical lenses. First, the view of HRM as a communication system is used as a setting for the data analysis. Second, rhetorical practices for internal communications were used for describing how social media is used within HRM. Finally, Resource Based View is used as an explanatory lens for the impact and value of social media use in the intra- and inter-organisational communication process. The research has theoretical and practical implications. The findings challenge the top-down approach to organisational communications and show that democratised social media use can lead to improved relationships within organisations. Contingent on the purpose and the level of embeddedness in the business processes, social media use can lead to the development of capabilities, and thus become strategic. The practical implications stem from the recognition of the potential of social media to (1) establish new and unexpected relationships between employees and (2) support the emergence of new capabilities to combine and deploy human and information resources.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 12:10
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 12:10
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/358

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