Social capital affects job performance through social media

Publication Date08 Apr 2020
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-09-2019-0473
Pages903-922
AuthorYung-Shen Yen,Mei-Chun Chen,Chun-Hsiung Su
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Information systems,Data management systems,Knowledge management,Knowledge sharing,Management science & operations,Supply chain management,Supply chain information systems,Logistics,Quality management/systems
Social capital affects job
performance through social media
Yung-Shen Yen
Computer Science and Information Management, Providence University,
Taichung, Taiwan
Mei-Chun Chen
Information Management, Vanung University, Zhongli, Taiwan, and
Chun-Hsiung Su
Tourism and Leisure Management, Vanung University, Zhongli, Taiwan
Abstract
Purpose This study aims to explore the impact of social capital on job performance when workers interact
with coworkers through social media in organizations.
Design/methodology/approach Structural equation modeling was conducted, and a sample of 230
workers in Taiwan was investigated.
Findings This study found that bonding social capital has a greater impact on job performance than
bridging social capital for interactions among coworkers through social media in organizations. Moreover,
bridging social capital affects job performance more strongly for male workers than for female workers, but
bonding social capital affects job performance more strongly for female workers than for male workers.
Research limitations/implications This study extended social capital theory by adding the mediating
effects of job satisfaction and relational satisfaction and the moderating effect of gender into the model.
Practical implications This study suggests that company managers need to train workers how to use
social media to appropriate their affordances and consider the work team relationship to position adequate
strategies for male and female workers.
Originality/value This study advances the previous knowledge of social capital theory for workers
interacting with coworkers through social media in organizations.
Keywords Bridging social capital, Bonding social capital, Job satisfaction, Relational satisfaction,
Job performance
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Currently, social media allow individuals to articulate their social networks and maintain
connections with others. Users in social media can easily create, edit, evaluate, and link to
content or to other creators of content (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). While scholars have
argued that social media diminish social interactions specifically, face-to-face interactions
(Bargh and McKenna, 2004)most studies have asserted that online interactions may replace
face-to-face interactions and create a new online social capital (Park et al., 2013). Social capital
refers to the sum of resources people access from their social networks. The resources can be
useful information, emotional and financial support, or others. In particular, social media
provide new contexts of social capital on the Internet (Hsu, 2015). Leonardi et al. (2013) argued
that there are two types of social media used in organizations: the external use for
communication with external parties, such as clients, vendors, and the public; and the internal
use for communication with specific coworkers or supervisors or to broadcast messages to
everyone in the organization. Since these two ways have different communication targets,
social capital derived from social media use may be varied. Lampe and Ellison (2016)
indicated that workers use social media to build or strengthen personal relationships at work,
obtain information that helps them solve problems at work, learn about someone they work
with, and ask work-related questions of people inside of the organization. Babiker (2017)
Social capital
affects job
performance
903
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
https://www.emerald.com/insight/0263-5577.htm
Received 11 September 2019
Revised 9 January 2020
Accepted 30 January 2020
Industrial Management & Data
Systems
Vol. 120 No. 5, 2020
pp. 903-922
© Emerald Publishing Limited
0263-5577
DOI 10.1108/IMDS-09-2019-0473
indicated that social media can be used for many purposes at work, including communication,
recruitment, marketing, networking, leisure, blogging, online forums, social and business
networking. However, how social capital affects job performance for workers interacting with
coworkers is still unknown. Since social media used in organizations are commonly
implemented (Leonardi et al., 2013;Wulf and Butel, 2017), this study focused on the outcomes
generated from the internal use of social media in organizations. In fact, most company
managers believe that social media can help to improve organizational processes and job
outcomes (Liu et al., 2019).
Moreover, Putnam (2000) classified social capital into two categories: bridging social
capital, which indicates the resources coming from loose connections (i.e. weak ties) between
individuals; and bonding social capital, which means the resources coming from close ties,
such as emotional and financial support. Moreover, research on social capital through social
media has been widely examined. For example, Huang and Liu (2017) found that bonding
social capital is associated with job satisfaction, not job performance. Sheer and Rice (2017)
argued that the stronger the bonds are with others in the network and the more informational
and connectedness resources are available, the greater the satisfaction employees experience
with both job and relationships but not job performance. Conversely, Huang and Liu (2017)
found that bridging social capital has a positive impact on job performance rather than job
satisfaction for employees using Facebook in organizations. Thus, we may believe that
bonding social capital is more psychologically rewarding, but bridging social capital is more
substantially performing. However, Sheer and Rice (2017) indicated that the relationship
between social capital and job performance is independent of the associations between social
media use, affordances, and demographics. In their study, bridging social capital was not
significantly associated with job performance. Therefore, to clarify the impact of social
capital on job performance in organizations, this study incorporated job satisfaction and
relational satisfaction into the proposed model. Job satisfaction refers to the workers attitude
toward his or her job, whereas relationship satisfaction refers to the workers perception with
regard to his or her relationship with coworkers. In the workplace, workers tend to perceive
higher job satisfaction when they use social media to interact with coworkers. Moreover,
interactions through social media may develop and maintain relationships with coworkers
(Lin et al., 2019). Therefore, we assumed that job satisfaction and relational satisfaction act as
important mediators influencing the relationship between social capital and job performance
in organizations.
Moreover, we examined the moderating effect of gender in our model, as Sheer and Rice
(2017) suggested (i.e. demographics). In the literature, gender differences have been examined
with regard to emotions, motivations, cognitions, and social behaviors (Gabriel and Gardner,
1999). Previous research has found that men tend to use Facebook to show themselves and
make new friends (e.g. Horzum, 2016), but women prefer to use social media to communicate
with existing friends (e.g. Bonetti et al., 2010). Frison and Eggermont (2016) argued that
women are more passive in the use of Facebook, whereas men are more active in a public
setting. In the workplace, Coleman (1990) found that women likely work in an environment
with closer relationships, while men succeed in a network with less constraint and more
opportunity to execute power and information. Thus, women are more comfortable in a small
circle of friends, but men likely work in a less intimate environment. In this regard, we
assumed that the relationship between social capital and job performance may differ by
gender.
Therefore, this study addressed two research questions: (1) How does social capital affect
job performance via job and relational satisfactions for workers interacting with coworkers
through social media in organizations? (2) Does gender act as a moderator in determining the
relationships in the proposed model? The contribution of the study may extend the
knowledge of social capital in organizations in the context of social media.
IMDS
120,5
904

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