Enterprise Social Media Use and Impact on Performance: The Role of Workplace Integration and Positive Emotions
Enterprise Social Media Use and Impact on Performance: The Role of Workplace Integration and Positive Emotions
Comput 0 1
r Int 0 1
Murad Moqbel 0 1
Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah 0 1
December 0 1
0 Missouri University of Science and Technology , USA
1 University of Kansas Medical Center , USA
Organizations struggle to find ways to improve employees' performance. To date, little research has empirically examined the relationship between enterprise social media use and knowledge workers' performance. Using social capital theory and the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions as our theoretical framework, we investigate the relationship between enterprise social media use and knowledge workers' performance. We tested our research model by collecting data from employees working for a large information technology firm in the Midwestern United States and analyzing the data using a structural equation modeling approach. The results suggest that enterprise social media use can increase workplace integration, which further enhances performance directly and indirectly through positive emotions. Enterprise social media use also has a direct relationship with performance. The paper concludes with practical and theoretical implications.
Social Media; Enterprise Social Media; Knowledge Sharing; Job Performance; Workplace Isolation; Workplace Integration; Positive Emotions; Innovative Performance; Social Capital Theory
While most practitioners recognize that knowledge workers’ job performance is critical to an organization’s
success and competitive advantage, many organizations still struggle to get the most out of their
employees: for example, a Gallup study
reports that only 30 percent of employees in the
US are reaching their full potential at the workplace. Searching for additional means to improve
performance, some managers have turned to enterprise social media (ESM) for knowledge management
(Kane, Majchrzak, Ives, & Brown, 2010; Leonardi, 2014; Majchrzak, Faraj, Kane, & Azad, 2013)
Web-based platforms that allow workers to (1) communicate messages with specific coworkers
or broadcast messages to everyone in the organization; (2) explicitly indicate or implicitly reveal
particular coworkers as communication partners; (3) post, edit, and sort text and files linked to
themselves or others; and (4) view the messages, connections, text, and files communicated,
posted, edited and sorted by anyone else in the organization at any time of their choosing.
(Leonardi, Huysman, & Steinfield, 2013, p. 2)
Leonardi et al. (2013)
clearly differentiate ESM from public social media: the latter supports organizational
communication with external parties, such as vendors, customers, and the public at large. In this paper,
we focus on ESM, which refers to social media used in an enterprise to support internal communication
and social interaction. Unlike public social media that crosses various platforms (e.g., Facebook and
Twitter), ESM uses an integrated platform to support a variety of functions, such as posting updates on
work projects; sharing information with colleagues about organizational objectives, policies, and
procedures; sharing expertise with others; and gaining access to others’ expertise
Riemenschneider, & Koch, 2013)
McKinsey and Company
(Chui et al., 2012)
has hyped the use of social media in general as a key
mechanism to improve productivity among knowledge workers by facilitating collaboration and efficient
communication internally and externally. Nevertheless, skepticism remains strong in other venues
. Critics suggest that, while social media might make knowledge workers highly engaged,
such usage might also lead to negative outcomes such as addiction
(Turel & Serenko, 2012)
, a waste of
valuable paid-work time
(Accountemps, 2010; Shepherd, 2011)
, and tensions that might lead to
closedness (Gibbs, Rozaidi, & Eisenberg, 2013). Hence, we clearly need more research to assess
whether knowledge workers’ ESM use can lead to better job performance.
Disagreements over the relationship between social media use and knowledge worker job-related
outcomes persist in part because the literature lacks an integrated model that examines reactions to social
media in light of the social capital and positive emotions context. In this paper, we propose such a model,
one that recognizes that workers’ usage of ESM can be a source of workplace integration and positive
emotions that can broaden their personal resources
to perform their jobs well.
We argue that ESM is an information system platform that supports human resources through facilitating
integration and positive emotions in the workplace, which further enhances worker performance. Social
networks can extend human resource capabilities by: 1) facilitating cross-functional collaboration and
access to in-house knowledge and expertise
(Chow & Chan, 2008; Cross, Nohria, & Parker, 2002)
offering a medium for informal social interaction and communication unrestricted by organizational
(Chui et al., 2012; Karoui, Dudezert, & Leidner, 2014)
, 3) improving socialization among new
(Gonzalez et al., 2013)
, and 4) onboarding
(Eschenbrenner & Nah, 2013; Eschenbrenner, Nah, &
Telaprolu, 2015; Holtzblatt, Drury, Weiss, Damianos, & Cuomo, 2013)
. For example, knowledge workers
may gain positive emotions such as pride when they use the ESM platform to offer their expertise in
solving a problem posted by their coworkers.
Past research in this area has mostly focused on external social media use (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
by businesses for knowledge sharing, socializing, marketing and branding, and onboarding
Banerjee, 2013; Eschenbrenner et al., 2015; Hackworth & Kunz, 2011; Michaelidou, Siamagka, &
and for improving work-related outcomes such as performance
& Wade, 2015; Kock, Moqbel, Barton, & Bartelt, 2016; Moqbel & Iftab, 2015; Moqbel, Nevo, & Kock,
. Other research has used qualitative methods to examine the benefits of social media in general
(Majchrzak et al., 2013)
and enterprise social media
(Karoui et al., 2014; Koch et al., 2012)
organizations such as improved social capital, better knowledge management, and enhanced employee
retention. Although Kuegler, Smolnik, and Kane (2015) have empirically studied the direct link between
ESM use by teams and performance at a media company, we expand on their research by studying ESM
as an antecedent of workplace integration and performance among individual knowledge workers at a
major information technology corporation based on an integrated theoretical model in light of the social
capital and positive emotions context.
In this research, we address the question of whether and how ESM use is related to knowledge workers’
job performance through the lenses of social capital and positive emotions theories. Note that, although
researchers have previously studied some of the links in our research model in different contexts, such as
the relationships between ESM and performance
(Kuegler et al., 2015)
, positive emotions and
performance (where there are inconclusive and mixed findings)
(Rowold & Rohmann, 2009; Staw, Sutton,
& Pelled, 1994)
, and workplace integration and performance (Orhan, Rijsman, & van Dikj, 2016), we are
the first to study ESM as an antecedent of workplace integration and performance based on an integrated
theoretical model of social capital theory and positive emotions theory.
This paper proceeds as follows: in Section 2, we provide the background, theories, and hypotheses for the
research. In Section 3, we present the research method. In Section 4, report the results and, in Section 5,
discuss them. Finally, in Section 6, we conclude the papery discussing our findings, their implications, and
our study’s limitations.
2 Background, Theories and Hypotheses
In this paper, we examine the use and impact of ESM through the perspective of knowledge sharing and
positive emotions. Although researchers have examined knowledge sharing in organizations and its
impact on individual and organizational performance
(Alavi & Leidner, 2001; Fugate, Stank, & Mentzer,
2009; Kankanhalli, Tan, & Wei, 2005; Liao, Fei, & Chen, 2007; Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004)
, few have
studied it in the context of ESM. Several researchers have also studied knowledge sharing with customers
in an online environment such as e-commerce
(Nah, Siau, Tian, & Ling, 2002; Nah, Siau, & Tian, 2005)
Drawing on the earlier literature along with social capital theory and positive emotions theory, we examine
the relationship between ESM use and individual performance in organizations.
An important role for human resources is to leverage the know-how and expertise of the human capital in
organizations to improve individual and overall performance in organizations
(Chen & Huang, 2009)
However, since knowledge lies in the human capital and may not transfer easily, the use of ESM has the
potential to overcome such obstacles by facilitating knowledge sharing among individuals in an enterprise.
For example, individuals can internalize information and knowledge provided in an electronic system such
as ESM, transfer it to the semantic memory of one or more groups, and use it for problem solving and
decision making in an enterprise
(Alavi & Leidner, 2001)
. Hence, ESM can help to facilitate a shared
interpretation of knowledge that can lead to improved performance
(Fugate et al., 2009)
. Next, to
understand the impact of ESM use, we adopt a knowledge-sharing perspective through the lens of social
(Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004)
2.1 Social Capital and Knowledge Sharing
Social capital refers to “the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through,
and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit”
Ghoshal, 1998, p. 243)
. One can use social capital theory to explain knowledge sharing in organizations
(Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004)
. Social capital refers to “networks, norms, trust, and mutual understanding
that bind together the members of human networks and communities, and enable participants to act
together more effectively to pursue shared objectives”
(Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004, p. 449)
and Ghoshal (1998)
propose three dimensions of social capital: structural, relational, and cognitive. The
structural dimension refers mainly to network ties and configuration that give rise to access to knowledge
or human capital. The relational dimension relates to social relationships created through a history of
interactions and it encompasses trust, norms (consensus in the social system), obligations
(commitments/duties), and identification (one’s perceived identity relative to others). The cognitive
dimension refers to shared language and interpretations that are necessary for social exchange and
combination processes. In addition,
Hazleton and Kennan (2000)
propose another dimension: the content
dimension. The content dimension refers to communication that individuals create in knowledge sharing.
All four dimensions contribute to various aspects of knowledge sharing in organizations.
Social capital theory posits that network ties provide access to resources
(Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998)
are available through the connections that networks such as ESM afford. Researchers have demonstrated
ESM to constitute an important channel of social capital
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015)
. Social capital has
played a key role in the development of human resource capital
(Coleman, 1988; Loury, 1987)
, and, in
this research, we argue that the social capital gained via ESM improves human capital’s performance
through organizational workers’ sharing knowledge among themselves. Knowledge sharing through
exchanging and integrating knowledge is an important pillar in creating knowledge resources
Ghoshal, 1996; Schumpeter, 1934)
, and knowledge systems can facilitate such a process
Ghoshal 1998; Nah & Benbasat, 2004)
. Undoubtedly, recent developments in knowledge systems, such
as ESM, have substantially increased opportunities for knowledge workers to combine, integrate, and
exchange knowledge with their colleagues.
Given the emerging trends of social media, many organizations are interested in understanding the
benefits and potential drawbacks of social media use
(Holtzblatt et al., 2013)
. Much research has recently
examined organizations’ use of social media. Organizations have used external social media for
knowledge sharing, socializing, marketing and branding, and onboarding
(Chua & Banerjee, 2013;
Eschenbrenner et al., 2015; Hackworth & Kunz, 2011; Michaelidou et al., 2011)
and for improving
(Ali-Hassan et al. 2015; Kock et al., 2016; Moqbel & Iftab, 2015; Moqbel et al., 2013)
addition, organizations have used internal social media for facilitating communication and collaboration
and for sharing resources and knowledge in organizations
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015; Karoui et al., 2014;
Koch, Gonzalez, & Leidner, 2012; Kuegler et al., 2015; Majchrzak, Cherbakov, & Ives, 2009; Michaelidou
et al., 2011)
ESM use, which we focus on here, can improve job performance through the social capital in
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015; Karoui et al., 2014; Majchrzak et al., 2013; Sun & Shang, 2014)
For example, IBM has been using an ESM called SmallBlue as a knowledge management system to
connect its employees and to facilitate innovation through knowledge networks and collaboration
(Majchrzak et al., 2009). Further, in their study,
Koch et al. (2012)
found that ESM facilitated employee
acclimation by blurring the boundary between work roles and social roles, which increased positive
emotions and improved employee morale, engagement, and retention. ESM can help knowledge workers
use informal networks and personal relationships to find information and share knowledge that contributes
to performance improvement
(Chow & Chan, 2008; Cross et al., 2002)
. Using the perspective of human
resource management, we extend earlier research and examine ESM use for knowledge sharing and its
impact on knowledge workers’ performance. From here, we use ESM use to refer to ESM use for
Human resources are key assets of organizations
(Kavanagh & Johnson, 2015)
. In order to maximize
human resources in organizations, employees can use ESM to leverage human resources to build
capabilities and knowledge in organizations. Hence, ESM plays a critical role in organizations by providing
an additional means for employees to connect, communicate, and collaborate, which further enhances
knowledge workers’ performance. For example,
Kuegler et al. (2015)
found intra-team and inter-team
social media use to improve employee performance.
Social capital theory posits that social capital such as that created by ESM can positively impact
knowledge sharing in organizations
(Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998)
. Such sharing of knowledge creates a
common understanding and shared interpretation of knowledge and additional capabilities that lead to
(Fugate et al., 2009; Trainor, 2012)
. ESM as a knowledge management system
can contribute to improving human workforce performance by providing shared access to knowledge in an
organization. The knowledge management literature identifies several affordances of ESM to a firm’s
workforce including abundant access to expertise and extensive heterogeneous contacts
DiMicco, & Brownholtz, 2009; Steinfield, DiMicco, Ellison, & Lampe, 2009)
, enhanced information sharing
(Da Cunha & Orlikowski, 2008)
, visibility and opportunity to exchange feedback
(Jackson, Yates, & Orlikowski, 2007)
, and improved access to knowledge and resources vetted by experts
(Huh et al., 2007)
, which are key to improving knowledge workers’ performance
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015)
Based on these positive affordances of ESM to knowledge workers and the perspective offered by social
capital theory and the knowledge sharing literature that a shared understanding of knowledge has positive
effects on performance, we argue that greater use of ESM will result in enhanced employee performance.
Hence, we hypothesize that:
H1: ESM use is positively associated with knowledge workers’ performance.
Koch et al. (2012)
observed in their case study that ESM use helped to bring more social life and activities
into the work environment. Through the use of ESM, employees can build and extend their social
relationships with colleagues, which creates a sense of community
(Gonzalez et al., 2013)
. The blurring of
boundaries between social life and work life shifts the work environment from one possibly defined by
workplace isolation to one characterized by workplace integration or connectedness. Workplace isolation
refers to “a psychological construct that describes employees’ perceptions of isolation from the
organization and their coworkers”
(Mulki, Locander, Marshall, Harris, & Hensel, 2008, p. 68)
workplace integration refers to employees’ perceptions of connectedness with the organization and their
coworkers. As Marshall, Michaels, and Mulki (2007) and
Mulki et al. (2008)
note, workplace isolation has
two dimensions—company and colleagues—and these two dimensions also apply to workplace
integration. The former dimension relates to work-based support from both supervisors and the
organization in general, and the latter dimension refers to interactions and networking among colleagues.
Perceived isolation can arise from the lack of social and emotional support and interaction at the
workplace. In contrast, workplace integration or connectedness is characterized by a work environment
that features an employee-perceived sense of belonging and community, support from management and
coworkers, and social and emotional interactions frequently occur. From the human resource
management perspective, organizations have used ESM to create workplace integration through
facilitating socialization, management support, and a sense of belonging to the organization
(Koch et al.,
2012; Majchrzak et al., 2009)
Drawing on organizational learning theory
, we argue that there is a relationship between
knowledge sharing via ESM and workplace integration. Organizational learning refers to the entrenched
intra-organizational culture toward learning demonstrated via commitment to learning and
intraorganizational knowledge sharing
. The propensity to learn and share knowledge about
work that arises from the intra-organizational learning-oriented culture facilitated by ESM would lead to the
development of workplace integration manifested via a sense of belonging to the company and coworker
social support. In addition, the interaction among organizational workers shifts from the transaction phase
(sharing work knowledge) to a relationship phase (workplace integration). Since ESM use enhances the
learning and sharing of knowledge in an enterprise, the bonding and connections in the enterprise
increase and, hence, workplace integration increases.
From the social capital theory perspective, the structural, relational, and cognitive dimensions of social
capital contribute positively to the creation of intellectual capital in organizations
(Nahapiet & Ghoshal,
. Research has shown ESM use to enhance the structural, relational, and cognitive dimensions of
social capital through information and knowledge sharing in organizations
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015)
structural dimension not only extends reach and access to others in an organization but also opens up
opportunities to create additional network ties
(Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004)
. Such an extension of one’s
network in an organization can enhance workplace integration with colleagues and the organization in
general. The relational dimension taps on social relationships created through a history of interactions and
encompasses trust, norms, obligations/commitments, and perceived connectedness with others. Given
that ESM use can enhance the relational dimension of social capital (Ali-Hassan et al., 2015), which is
related to connectedness with the organization and colleagues, ESM use can increase workplace
integration. The cognitive dimension reflects a shared context and common understanding among the
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015)
. It also refers to resources that provide shared representations,
interpretations, and meanings
(Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998)
. ESM use can strengthen the cognitive
dimension of social capacity by providing a common medium in an enterprise to foster a shared context
and common understanding and, thus, enhance workplace integration in the enterprise. The content or
communication dimension of social capital that
Hazleton and Kennan (2000)
proposed refers to
information exchange, problem identification, behavioral regulation, and conflict management
(WidénWulff & Ginman, 2004)
, which can be communicated via and influenced by ESM. Information exchange
refers to gathering, interpreting, and sharing information. Problem identification emphasizes information
exchange to identify problems and find solutions. Behavioral regulation refers to the process through
which organizational goals and objectives shape behavior. Conflict management is the process through
which conflicts are managed as a regular and ongoing process. These four communication functions can
take place through ESM to further increase workplace integration among colleagues and in an
organization. Because ESM use can facilitate internal knowledge sharing through the structural, relational,
cognitive, and content dimensions of social capacity
(Ali-Hassan et al., 2015)
, workplace integration
increases with ESM use. Hence, we hypothesize that:
H2: ESM use is positively associated with workplace integration.
According to social capital theory, workplace integration that the structural, relational, cognitive, and
content dimensions of social capital enhances facilitates knowledge sharing and builds up intellectual
capital in organizations
(Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998; Widén-Wulff & Ginman, 2004)
, which, in turn,
improves knowledge workers’ performance
(Fugate et al., 2009)
. In contrast to workplace isolation
et al., 2008)
, which lacks communication and support, workplace integration facilitates relational
development and socialization processes that are key to managing human resources. Such processes
facilitate communication and collaboration among knowledge workers and improve their performance in
(Fugate et al., 2009; Leonardi, 2014)
. Hence, we hypothesize that:
H3: Workplace integration is positively associated with knowledge workers’ performance.
2.2 Positive Emotions
The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions
(Fredrickson, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004)
consequences and antecedents of positive emotions. The theory suggests that positive emotions such as
joy, interest, contentment, and love can broaden one’s scope of attention, cognition, and momentary
thought-action repertoire that increases one’s wellbeing and personal resources. Positive emotions can
arise from interpersonal relatedness, which increases individuals’ subjective wellbeing (Reis, Sheldon,
Gable, Roscoe, & Ryan, 2000). In line with
) hierarchy of needs and
attachment theory, the need to belong or the desire for interpersonal attachments and relationships is a
basic psychological need of humans that the literature has acknowledged
(Baumeister & Leary, 1995)
Hence, workplace integration, which provides a feeling of interpersonal connection or relatedness, can
enhance subjective wellbeing and positive emotions
(Reis et al., 2000)
. In other words, interpersonal
connectedness or relatedness, which involves feeling understood and appreciated and talking about
meaningful matters, contributes to positive emotions
(Reis et al., 2000)
. Research has also found the
practice of loving-kindness meditation, another way of increasing connectedness with others, to generate
(Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek, & Finkel, 2008)
. In addition, social connectedness and
support is positively related to happiness
(Mogilner, 2010; Satici, Uysal, & Deniz, 2016)
. Therefore, we
expect workplace integration, which manifests from connectedness with one’s colleagues and
organization, to increase positive emotions and one’s wellbeing
(Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Reis et al.,
. Hence, we hypothesize that:
H4: Workplace integration is positively associated with positive emotions.
The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions
(Fredrickson, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004)
positive emotions not only broaden one’s scope of attention, cognition, and thought-action repertoire but
also increase one’s enduring personal resources, which includes their physical, intellectual, psychological,
and social resources. Hence, based on the theory of positive emotions, positive emotions increase or
expand one’s physical, cognitive, and social capacities. To effectively manage and optimize human
resources in organizations, positive emotions should be fostered. When one experience positive
emotions, one’s performance improves due to increases in one’s attentional focus, capacity for cognition,
and scope of action. In addition, positive emotions increase or expand one’s personal resources in a
variety of forms (e.g., intellectual, psychological, or social), which further enhance performance. Hence,
based on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, positive emotions increase one’s personal
resources and scope of attention, cognition, and action, which leads to increased performance. Hence, we
H5: Positive emotions are positively associated with knowledge workers’ performance.
3 Research Model
To test the research model and hypotheses (see Figure 1), we collected data by administering an online
survey at a large information technology firm headquartered in the Midwestern United States. The
company had more than 22,000 employees and provided services to more than 18,000 facilities around
the world. The managers in charge of the enterprise social software agreed to allow us to survey their
employees in return for sharing findings with them.
The ESM software had been in place for more than six years at the time we began collecting data for this
research (April and May, 2015), which ruled out any possible early-stage adoption issues. The ESM
software platform is comprised of a suite of applications including social networking software, wikis, blogs,
document management software, discussion forums, and search capabilities to identify experts. For
example, the system allowed groups to collaborate on certain projects by showing information such as
pictures, contact information, and experts’ competences. Therefore, the ESM software platform helped
employees collaborate, communicate, innovate, and learn from one another.
We collected data by administering a Web-based survey questionnaire that we sent to a randomly
selected list of 10,000 employees. We deemed the Web-based survey to be suitable because we targeted
employees who used the ESM in the organization we studied. The email explained the study’s
importance, assured anonymity and confidentiality, and offered a draw for a VISA gift card as an incentive
to complete the survey. After four weeks, we closed the online survey.
In total, we received 320 surveys, of which 276 were fully completed, which resulted in a response rate of
3.2 percent. This response rate is comparable to studies published in premier information systems
(Sivo, Saunders, Chang, & Jiang, 2006)
. Nevertheless, a low response rate may pose a
nonresponse bias, which threatens a study’s external validity
(Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002)
Nonresponse bias can also introduce noise or non-systematic variance into the findings, which can introduce
errors into them (i.e., inferences drawn from the sample that responded might not hold true if a sample of
non-respondents participated in this study). The lower the response rate, the greater the potential for
errors. To mitigate the non-response issue, we took a priori steps to minimize non-responses including
offering monetary incentives to participants through a draw for a VISA gift card, emphasizing anonymity,
and highlighting university sponsorship as studies in the literature suggest
(Sivo et al., 2006)
. We also
employed a post hoc strategy that
Armstrong and Overton (1977)
propose to examine the non-response
error by comparing early (first-wave responses) and late (third-wave responses) respondents’ data (i.e.,
by comparing the means of the constructs) and found no significant differences between the two groups.
Hence, we infer that nonresponse bias was not an issue in this study.
The age of the 276 respondents ranged from 19 to 67 years (M = 35.6, SD = 11.5). Females and males
were almost equally represented: 49 percent (n = 133) were males. Participants had worked in this
corporation for an average of 5.9 years. About 47 percent of the respondents were married. Also, 87
percent worked in the US, 10 percent worked in India, and three percent worked in other countries.
Among the respondents, 75 percent were white and 15 percent were Asian. In terms of education, four
percent had high school diplomas, seven percent had associate degrees, 62 percent had bachelor
degrees, 26 percent had master’s degrees, and 1.5 percent had doctoral degrees. The average
participant used the ESM platform while at work for approximately one hour and 43 minutes per day.
Since we collected the data through a single method—a survey questionnaire—we tested for common
method bias using
Lindell and Whitney’s (2001)
approach by adding a marker variable of marital status.
The correlations between the marker variable and the rest of the variables were all low, which suggests
that common method bias did not likely occur.
We adapted all measures from well-established instruments that have validated psychometric properties;
we present them in Appendix A. We adapted the scale for ESM use from
Gonzalez et al. (2013)
research has shown to have high reliability and validity. We assessed workplace integration/isolation,
which refers to an employee’s perceived connectedness with / isolation from the company and colleagues
and is shaped by support from colleagues and the opportunities to socialize and interact with others, using
the scales by
Marshall et al. (2007)
Mulki and Jaramillo (2011)
. We measured positive emotions,
which refer to emotions such as joy, happiness, interest, pride, affection, caring, contentment, and love,
using the scales by
Diener, Smith, and Fujita (1995
Lucas, Diener, and Larsen (2003
comprised two subscales—in-role job performance and innovative performance—which we adapted from
Janssen and Van Yperen (2004) and operationalized as a second-order construct.
We used five-point Likert-type scales (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree) for the measurement
items for ESM use, workplace integration, and in-role performance to capture agreement with a given
statement. Given that the positive emotions items captured frequencies with which respondents
experienced feelings during the past week, we used a seven-point Likert-type scale (1 = never; 7 =
always). Similarly, given that the innovative performance items captured frequencies with which
participants performed certain activities, we used a six-point Likert-type scale (1 = never; 6 = always).
We included the respondent’s age, gender, ethnicity, education level, marital status, country of residence,
and organizational tenure as control variables.
4 Validation of the Measurement Instrument
We employed a partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) data analysis approach
(Chin, 1998; Haenlein & Kaplan, 2004)
to evaluate the psychometric properties of the measurement
instrument and to test the proposed hypotheses in this study. A PLS-SEM approach suited our study
because it is particularly useful for modeling second-order constructs and because it has fewer restrictions
on normal distribution. We operationalized the second-order latent construct using the repeated-items
approach (i.e., the hierarchical component model) (Lohmoller, 1989). We used WarpPLS 5.0 to generate
estimates for validation of the measurement instrument and the structural equation modeling analysis
. When reporting the results, we followed the guidelines that
, Hair, Black, Babin,
and Anderson (2010), and
Hair, Ringle, and Sarstedt (2011
We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test the reliability and validity of the constructs. As
Table 1 shows, all measures had good reliability and validity. All measurement items loaded highly on
their respective constructs, and all item loadings exceeded the recommended threshold of 0.6
, which indicates that we achieved acceptable convergent validity. Cronbach’s alpha
and composite reliability
values also exceeded the recommended
threshold of 0.7
(Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994)
, which suggests that all of our constructs had acceptable
As for discriminant validity, Table 2 shows that the square root of the average variance extracted for all
constructs exceeded the inter-construct correlations
(Fornell & Larcker, 1981)
, which indicates good
We tested for multicollinearity by calculating the variance inflation factor (VIF). Table 1 shows that
multicollinearity was not a major concern in this study since VIFs were all less than the recommended
threshold of 5
(Hair et al., 2010)
. We also tested for normality as
Bera and Jarque (1981)
suggest. Table 1 shows that four of the constructs were not normally distributed, and,
hence, our using PLS- SEM was appropriate because of its robustness with distributions.
Having an acceptable measurement model, we used the bootstrapping resampling method with 276 cases
and 900 resamples to estimate the structural model. To validate the structural model’s quality, we
evaluated the following measures, which we report in Table 3: average path coefficient (APC), average
Rsquared (ARS), average adjusted R-squared (AARS), average block variance inflation factor (AVIF),
average full collinearity VIF (AFVIF), and Tenenhaus goodness of fit (GoF). The values for APC, ARS,
and AARS were significant at the 0.05 level (as recommended), while AVIF and AFVIF were also in line
with recommendations that they be less than 5
(Hair et al., 2010; Kline, 2005; Kock, 2012)
. The GoF
(Tenenhaus, Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro, 2005)
index of our structural model was 0.467—larger than the
recommended threshold of 0.36
(Wetzels, Odekerken-Schröder, & Van Oppen, 2009)
, which indicates
that the quality of our structural model was adequate.
Based on the path coefficients and their levels of significance (see Figure 2), we found support for all
hypotheses. The proposed model explained 54 percent of the variance in performance. While ESM use
explained 12 percent of the variance for workplace integration, workplace integration explained nine
percent of the variance for positive emotions. Out of all the control variables included in the model, only
gender had a significant relationship with performance in that males reported higher levels of performance
When we operationalized performance and workplace integration as second-order constructs, the beta
coefficients between the first-order and second-order factors were as follows: 1) in-role performance
(IRPerf) 0.86 (p < 0.001), innovative performance (InnovPerf) 0.88 (p < 0.001), 2) workplace integration –
company – (WICom) 0.92 (p < 0.001), and workplace integration – colleagues – (WICol) 0.90 (p < 0.001).
Although we did not formally hypothesize mediating relationships, we conducted mediation tests using the
Preacher and Hayes (2004)
suggest. The results show that the mediating role of workplace
integration in the relationship between ESM use and performance was statistically significant (p < 0.05). In
addition, positive emotions mediated the link between workplace integration and performance (p < 0.01).
As such, while workplace integration played the role of a mediator between ESM use and performance,
positive emotions also mediated the relationship between workplace integration and performance, which
resulted in a nested mediation. Similarly, workplace integration also mediated the relationship between
ESM use and positive emotions (p < 0.01).
We also explored the contribution of ESM use on performance by considering the total effect. Such a total
effect would include, in addition to the direct effect, indirect effects through other variables such as the
effect mediated by workplace integration. The total effect of ESM use on performance was .35, which was
statistically significant at p < .001. The corresponding effect size of ESM use on performance was .14—
above the minimum threshold of .02
(Cohen, 1988; Kock, 2015)
. Thus, we can say that ESM use
contributed 14 percent of the variance in the performance variable.
6 Discussion of Results
We use social capital theory and the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions to explain the
relationship between ESM use and knowledge workers’ in-role and innovative performance. We found that
ESM use contributes positively to knowledge workers’ performance by helping employees to better use
the human and social capital in organizations. Based on the social capital theory, ESM use helps to
optimize human and social capital resources by creating and combining capabilities and knowledge to
enhance knowledge workers’ performance (H1). ESM use also facilitates workplace integration (H2) by
offering another means of communication, interaction, and collaboration among coworkers and social and
emotional support for them. Hence, workplace integration facilitates a communication, collaboration, and
socialization process that can further extend the capabilities and knowledge of human capital resources
and improve knowledge workers’ performance in an organization (H3). To optimize human and social
capital resources in an organization, organizations should also consider motivational factors such as
relatedness and positive emotions. Based on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions,
workplace integration that results from ESM use helps to generate positive emotions (H4), which, in turn,
broadens the scope of cognitive and social capacities and extends personal resources, which leads to
higher performance (H5).
We also found that ESM use has both direct and indirect relationships with knowledge workers’
performance. The indirect relationship takes place through workplace integration that ESM use facilitates.
Workplace integration also has direct and indirect relationships with performance; the indirect relationship
takes place through the affective route that positive emotions mediate. Hence, the relationship between
ESM use and performance takes place through employees’ better using human and social capital
resources in an integrative process to connect and support them and an affective route to extend and
expand the resources available in the organization.
Our study has several limitations. First, different levels of employees might have different levels of
motivation to take the survey or use ESM. Therefore, tone needs to control for the level of the employees.
In this study, we collected data about employee tenure, a proxy for the level of the employees in the firm,
which turned out to have no significant effect on the main dependent variable (i.e., performance).
However, we recommend that future studies collect and study the level of employees in the firm.
Second, our using of a self-reported measure for performance may not be ideal in terms of reliability due
to potential social desirability bias. However, we assured the participants that all responses would be
anonymous and confidential and that we would aggregate the responses when presenting them in an
attempt to reduce the risk of potential biases during data collection
(Singleton & Straits, 2005)
efforts should consider the use of more objective measures for performance such as supervisor ratings.
Third, non-response bias poses a potential risk to our study. However, in comparing post hoc measures of
the variables in the model between the first wave and the third wave of the respondents’ data, we found
no difference between them, which helps to alleviate some of this risk
(Sivo et al., 2006)
We collected data from one large organization in the Midwestern United States in order to control for
extraneous variables such as different ESM features/implementations in organizations, firm size, firm
strategy, and organizational culture. We did so to maximize the internal validity of the study but at the
expense of external validity. Hence, one needs to exercise caution when generalizing our findings to
other organizational contexts. Future studies can assess the generalizability of our findings by testing
them in other organizational contexts.
7 Conclusion and Implications
In this paper, we examine the relationship between ESM use and knowledge workers’ performance. ESM
facilitates the integration of human resources in organizations by building a community that offers support
and a sense of belonging. ESM also enables individuals a means for sharing information and knowledge
with one another and offers a platform for communication and collaboration. Hence, human resources can
be better integrated through enterprise social media use. The social capital theory suggests that
organizations can use human and social resources (e.g., through connecting coworkers and integrating
their knowledge) to generate capabilities that can enhance knowledge workers’ performance. The theory
of positive emotions also serves an important role in generating such capabilities by creating positive
emotions that help expand and extend one’s available resources to enhance performance in the
We examine ESM, workplace integration, positive emotions, and knowledge workers’ performance and
contribute to a better understanding of enterprise social media use in organizations by explaining the
findings through the lenses of social capital and positive emotions theories. Furthermore, our finding that
ESM use relates to job performance indicates that one can use ESM as a powerful platform to leverage
human capital in organizations by facilitating knowledge sharing among coworkers to improve their
performance. From the social capital theoretical perspective, ESM can induce workplace integration
among knowledge workers to facilitate social support and resources necessary to perform work-related
tasks (i.e., in contrast to workplace isolation that is common among knowledge workers in the traditional
workplace). While the social media literature has offered anecdotal suggestions that knowledge workers
gain positive emotions from social media use
(Koch et al., 2012; Moqbel & Little, 2014; Moqbel et al.,
, we measured these variables and assessed their relationships. We also used the
broaden-andbuild theory of positive emotions to explain the relationship between workplace integration and positive
emotions and found that social connectedness or relatedness in the workplace fosters positive emotions.
To the best of our knowledge, we provide the first empirical evidence that links enterprise social media to
knowledge workers’ job performance through social capital and positive emotions, which we observed
even after controlling for employees’ tenure in their organizations, age, gender, education level, and race.
Our findings suggest that organizations need to not only increase their employees’ awareness of ESM
technology but also encourage ESM-based communication among knowledge workers in order to
generate greater workplace integration and positive emotions in the workplace. Overall, our research
contributes to theory and practice by helping to resolve an open question—whether and how ESM use
relates to knowledge worker job performance—that rests at the intersection of the ESM, workplace
integration, positive emotions, and knowledge work literatures.
In summary, enterprise social media, if used effectively in organizations, can induce higher levels of
collaboration and socialization into work processes to create greater human capital and performance.
Organizations can integrate their human resource capital via ESM to enhance knowledge workers’
performance and bring greater value to organizations. The human resource department can use
enterprise social media to extend and optimize the human capital in organizations and possibly gamify the
workplace to make work more fun and intrinsically rewarding
(Koch et al., 2012; Nah, Zeng, Telaprolu,
Padmanabhuni Ayyappa, & Eschenbrenner, 2014)
. The positive emotions generated from collaboration,
socialization, and gamification of work processes expand the absorptive capacity and available resources
of knowledge workers and help them perform better. Hence, future research on social media use and its
application in organizations can examine how organizations can better use enterprise social media to
optimize their human capital and the value generated from such capital. To achieve the greatest benefits
from social media use in organizations, practitioners such as the human resource personnel need to
incentivize their employees to use enterprise social media and integrate its usage into the workplace.
We thank the special issue co-editors, senior editor, and the reviewers for their valuable comments and
suggestions that have helped to greatly enhance the paper.
Appendix A: Latent Variables Measurement Instrument
We used the question-statements below to collect data related to the indicators of the latent variables.
Enterprise social media use (ESMUse)
ESMUse1: I use the [organizational social media name] system to post updates on work projects.
ESMUse2: I use [organizational social media name] to share information with colleagues about
organizational objectives, policies and procedures.
ESMUse3: I use [organizational social media name] to gain access to others with expertise in a particular
ESMUse4: I use [organizational social media name] to share my expertise in a particular area.
Workplace integration-company (WICom)
WICom1: I am well integrated with the department/company where I work.
WICom2: I am kept in the loop regarding company social events/functions.
WICom3: I am part of the company network.
Workplace integration-colleagues (WICol)
WICol1: I have friends available to me at work.
WICol2: I have one or more coworkers available who I talk to about day-to-day problems at work.
WICol3: I have coworkers available whom I can depend on when I have a problem.
WICol4: I have enough people available at work who I can talk about my job.
Positive emotions (PosEmo)
In-role performance (IRPerf)
IRPerf1: I always complete the duties specified in my job description.
IRPerf2: I meet all the formal performance requirements of my job.
IRPerf3: I fulfill all responsibilities required by my job.
IRPerf4: I never neglect aspects of the job I am obligated to perform.
Innovative performance (InnovPerf)
InnovPerf1: Create new ideas for improvements.
InnovPerf2: Search out new working methods, techniques, or instruments.
InnovPerf3: Transform innovative ideas into useful applications.
InnovPerf4: Acquire management approval for innovative ideas.
InnovPerf5: Generate original solutions to problems.
About the Authors
Murad Moqbel is an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at the University of
Oklahoma. He holds a PhD degree in International Business Administration and Management Information
Systems from Texas A&M International University. He received both a BS degree with honors in Business
Administration and Computer Information Systems and a MBA with Information Systems concentration
from Emporia State University. He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of
eCollaboration and Information Processing & Management Journal. He was recognized for best student
paper award at Southwest Decision Science Conference 2012. He has authored and co-authored several
peer-reviewed papers and his work has appeared in many well-respected journals and conferences such
as Information & Management, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication Journal, Journal of
Systems and Information Technology, Information Technology and People, International Journal of Virtual
Communities and Social Networking, Journal of Information Privacy and Security, AIS Transaction on
Replication Research, the proceedings of the International Conference in Information Systems (ICIS), and
Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS). His research interests focus on the interaction
between human behavior and information technologies including social media, emerging technologies and
Health IT, information security and privacy, and international business.
Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah is a Professor of the Business and Information Technology department at the
Missouri University of Science and Technology, formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla. She received
her PhD in Management Information Systems from the University of British Columbia, and her MS and BS
(Honors) degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the National University of Singapore. She was
previously on the faculty at two Big Ten Universities – Purdue University and University of
NebraskaLincoln. Her current research interests include human-computer interaction, business analytics, machine
learning, neuro-IS, and usable security. She is a former Senior Editor for Journal of the Association for
Information Systems and a Senior Editor for AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction. She is an
Associate Editor for International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Journal of Electronic Commerce
Research, Journal of Global Information Management, Information Technology and Management, and
Information & Management. She also serves on the editorial board of several other journals including
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Information Resources Management Journal, and
Journal of Database Management. Her publications have appeared in journals such as MIS Quarterly,
Journal of the Association for Information Systems, and International Journal of Human-Computer
Studies. She is a co-Founder and former Chair of the Association for Information Systems Special Interest
Group on Human-Computer Interaction (SIGHCI).
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Paul Benjamin Lowry, U. of Hong Kong, China
John M. Carroll
Penn State U., USA
Purdue U., USA, & Tsinghua U., China
U. of British Columbia, Canada
U. of Maryland, USA
U of Arizona, USA
Copenhagen Business School,
U. Wollongong in Dubai., UAE
Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah
Missouri University of Science and
Clemson University, USA
Korea Advanced Ins. of Sci. &
2004-2005: Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah
2005-2006: Scott McCoy
2008-2009: Eleanor Loiacono
2009-2010: Khawaja Saeed
2012-2013: Soussan Djamasbi
2013-2015: Na Li
Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev, Israel
U. of Arkansas, USA
McMaster U., Canada
SUNY at Albany, USA
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1.1 Dennis Galletta , U. of Pittsburgh, USA 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1 .6 2001 - 2004 : Ping Zhang 2007-2008 : Weiyin Hong 2011 -2012 : Dianne Cyr 2006 -2007 : Traci Hess 2010-2011: Dezhi Wu 2015-2016: Miguel Aguirre-Urreta