The Role of Enterprise Social Media during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Leaders' Experience
Keywords:Enterprise Social Media, COVID-19, Performance Management, Social Technology, Leader Member Exchange, Task-Technology Fit
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted workplaces, with public health orders requiring people to shift their workplaces into their homes. Consequently, many organisations pivoted to online operation and utilised technology such as Enterprise Social Media (ESM) to help manage this transition. In this study we explore leaders' diverse use of ESM during the pandemic, including whether it was used for performance management and how it shaped leaders’ social behaviour. We conducted fifteen semi-structured interviews with leaders in a large Australian University using the ESM technology. Our results explore the nuances of ESM use during this time including how it was used as a social tool, a communication tool, and as an informal means to collect performance data. Interviews also revealed concerns with ESM use such as privacy and information redundancy. Our work advances the Task-Technology Fit (TTF) literature by conceptualising cognitive and affective mechanisms to understand how utilisation moderates TTF outcomes. These mechanisms are contingent on how leaders use ESM and the level of their interactions and engagements. We identify practical implications of ESM use at a time of crisis including leader training, clear guidelines for internal communication, efficient information sharing practices, and informed consent for ESM-related data collection practices.
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