Change communication and the use of anonymous social media at work

Implications for employee engagement

Heewon Kim, Craig Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees use anonymous social media to cope with organizational change, which may affect various engagement outcomes. Specifically, this study focuses on change communication from management (i.e. top–down communication) and workplace freedom of speech (i.e. bottom–up communication) as potential antecedents of anonymous communication. In turn, commitment, turnover intention and job satisfaction are examined as engagement outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted at Microsoft through Blind, a mobile platform for anonymous communication at work. A series of regression models were used to test hypotheses. Findings: Results demonstrate that: the quality of change communication was related to anonymous social media use for information and support seeking; workplace freedom of speech was related to anonymous social media use for expressing ideas; perceived usefulness and trustworthiness of anonymous social media positively affected the usage of them; and the quality of change communication and workplace freedom of speech were linked to affective commitment and job satisfaction. Originality/value: Despite the growing popularity of anonymous social media at work, their use and influences have received scarce empirical attention. This study advances the authors’ knowledge of the antecedents, characteristics and outcomes of anonymous social media use in a work environment characterized by frequent organizational changes. The findings also highlight the significance of communication qualities and freedom of speech at work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCorporate Communications
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Communication
Social media
Employee engagement
Freedom of Speech
Media use
Work place
Job satisfaction
Organizational change
Employees
Top-down
Trustworthiness
Regression model
Design methodology
Hypothesis test
Online survey
Microsoft
Perceived usefulness
Affective commitment
Turnover intention
Bottom-up

Keywords

  • Anonymous communication
  • Anonymous social media
  • Commitment
  • Organizational change
  • Workplace freedom of speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

@article{407eef08fd5f4a6ea4cb0d81bdd2bcf8,
title = "Change communication and the use of anonymous social media at work: Implications for employee engagement",
abstract = "Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees use anonymous social media to cope with organizational change, which may affect various engagement outcomes. Specifically, this study focuses on change communication from management (i.e. top–down communication) and workplace freedom of speech (i.e. bottom–up communication) as potential antecedents of anonymous communication. In turn, commitment, turnover intention and job satisfaction are examined as engagement outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted at Microsoft through Blind, a mobile platform for anonymous communication at work. A series of regression models were used to test hypotheses. Findings: Results demonstrate that: the quality of change communication was related to anonymous social media use for information and support seeking; workplace freedom of speech was related to anonymous social media use for expressing ideas; perceived usefulness and trustworthiness of anonymous social media positively affected the usage of them; and the quality of change communication and workplace freedom of speech were linked to affective commitment and job satisfaction. Originality/value: Despite the growing popularity of anonymous social media at work, their use and influences have received scarce empirical attention. This study advances the authors’ knowledge of the antecedents, characteristics and outcomes of anonymous social media use in a work environment characterized by frequent organizational changes. The findings also highlight the significance of communication qualities and freedom of speech at work.",
keywords = "Anonymous communication, Anonymous social media, Commitment, Organizational change, Workplace freedom of speech",
author = "Heewon Kim and Craig Scott",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1108/CCIJ-07-2018-0076",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Corporate Communications",
issn = "1356-3289",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Change communication and the use of anonymous social media at work

T2 - Implications for employee engagement

AU - Kim, Heewon

AU - Scott, Craig

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees use anonymous social media to cope with organizational change, which may affect various engagement outcomes. Specifically, this study focuses on change communication from management (i.e. top–down communication) and workplace freedom of speech (i.e. bottom–up communication) as potential antecedents of anonymous communication. In turn, commitment, turnover intention and job satisfaction are examined as engagement outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted at Microsoft through Blind, a mobile platform for anonymous communication at work. A series of regression models were used to test hypotheses. Findings: Results demonstrate that: the quality of change communication was related to anonymous social media use for information and support seeking; workplace freedom of speech was related to anonymous social media use for expressing ideas; perceived usefulness and trustworthiness of anonymous social media positively affected the usage of them; and the quality of change communication and workplace freedom of speech were linked to affective commitment and job satisfaction. Originality/value: Despite the growing popularity of anonymous social media at work, their use and influences have received scarce empirical attention. This study advances the authors’ knowledge of the antecedents, characteristics and outcomes of anonymous social media use in a work environment characterized by frequent organizational changes. The findings also highlight the significance of communication qualities and freedom of speech at work.

AB - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees use anonymous social media to cope with organizational change, which may affect various engagement outcomes. Specifically, this study focuses on change communication from management (i.e. top–down communication) and workplace freedom of speech (i.e. bottom–up communication) as potential antecedents of anonymous communication. In turn, commitment, turnover intention and job satisfaction are examined as engagement outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted at Microsoft through Blind, a mobile platform for anonymous communication at work. A series of regression models were used to test hypotheses. Findings: Results demonstrate that: the quality of change communication was related to anonymous social media use for information and support seeking; workplace freedom of speech was related to anonymous social media use for expressing ideas; perceived usefulness and trustworthiness of anonymous social media positively affected the usage of them; and the quality of change communication and workplace freedom of speech were linked to affective commitment and job satisfaction. Originality/value: Despite the growing popularity of anonymous social media at work, their use and influences have received scarce empirical attention. This study advances the authors’ knowledge of the antecedents, characteristics and outcomes of anonymous social media use in a work environment characterized by frequent organizational changes. The findings also highlight the significance of communication qualities and freedom of speech at work.

KW - Anonymous communication

KW - Anonymous social media

KW - Commitment

KW - Organizational change

KW - Workplace freedom of speech

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067035621&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067035621&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/CCIJ-07-2018-0076

DO - 10.1108/CCIJ-07-2018-0076

M3 - Article

JO - Corporate Communications

JF - Corporate Communications

SN - 1356-3289

ER -