This Thesis explores the role of employee Social Media (SM) usage on employee electronic wordof-mouth (eWOM) behaviour. Specifically, this study examines the effect of employee SM usage on workplace bonding social capital ties (social and emotional support) and positive and negative employee eWOM behavior, through employee satisfaction.
Initially, the Thesis undertakes an extensive narrative literature review analysis, identifying extant knowledge and gaps, and culminating in the development of a preliminary conceptual framework that is empirically tested in the Cyprus hospitality industry.
The primary research itself adopts the critical realism perspective and designs and applies a qualitative methodological approach. The qualitative research data gathering technique adopted in this study is that of semi-structured interviews, with the participation of 31 informants. The analysis of the results applies the thematic analysis technique, through the identification of patterns, themes and subthemes. Based on these, and incorporating all critical primary research findings, the final conceptual framework is developed and presented.
The findings of the research highlight the positive effect of employee SM social usage on social and emotional support; themselves associated with many organisational benefits, including that of employee satisfaction. Disadvantages are also identified, but these are limited both in number and effect. Further, it is found that the positive effect of employee SM social usage leads to positive employee eWOM behaviour, with employees acting as online brand ambassadors. Employee dissatisfaction, which is related to the negative effect of employee SM social usage on workplace socio-emotional support, leads to neutral employee eWOM. Finally, particular value stems from the findings’ identification of two important factors affecting the examined relationship: the age of SM users and the quality of the workplace face-to-face employee relationships.
Overall, the findings of this research provide significant practical and theoretical insights for both practitioners and academics. In terms of scholarly contribution to knowledge, the empirically tested framework outlines the positive outcomes related to employee SM usage and identifies new correlations among the Human Resources Management and Marketing contexts, with wider and tangible business context benefits. Practically and practicably, it sets the ground for creating internal and external organisational benefits. The former (internal organisational benefits) are related to the enhancement of bonding ties among employees and the increase of employee satisfaction. Regarding the latter (external), the final framework indicates that employee SM usage can be the ‘driver’ to positive employee eWOM.
An Integrated Framework of the Effect of Social Media Usage on Employee Electronic Word-of-Mouth Communication in the Hospitality Industry of Cyprus
- PhD thesis
- Business Administration