Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Is it Really About Facts? The Positive Side of Meforming for Turning Self-Disclosure into Social Capital in Enterprise Social Media

Year: 2014
Keywords: Communication Type; Social Capital; Enterprise Microblogging; Enterprise Social Media

Through the way in which people communicate they can affect their relationships, social network structures and ultimately the social capital acquired through their connections. We understand social capital from an ego-centric point of view as the resources obtained through the relationships among people within social networks. Social capital is a key factor for the performance of individuals and organizations. Therefore, companies increasingly implement social media platforms to facilitate communication among employees and to leverage the social capital benefits. To enhance our understanding of successfully building social capital through communication in enterprise social media, we apply human coding and quantitative analysis to the content and tone of 6,306 enterprise microblogging messages created by 136 employees of an international financial service provider. In accordance with existing information systems (IS) literature, we develop a model-based operationalization of communication styles and empirically abstract the two general communication types of In- and Meformers. Analysing the individual network structures of these communication types, we identify differences in the effectiveness building of social capital. Contrary to preliminary findings in public social media, our results suggest that a more self-disclosing communication type benefits from a higher efficacy in building social capital compared to a primarily factual-oriented communication type.