Employees’ Perspectives on Social Media Internal Communication Platforms’ use and its impact on Affective Commitment A qualitative case study in the Hospitality Industry
As social media gain ground in organisations as internal communication tools, this case study aims to highlight the use of Social-Media-internal-communication-platforms in the field of Hospitality Industry, exploring employees’ perceptions on the possible effects of this use on their Affective Organisational Commitment. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers and employees in five privately owned London hotels belonging to one Hospitality company. The study is based on the theories of Orlikowski (2000) and Allen & Meyer (1990) and illustrates interviewees’ aspects on the technological, interpretive and institutional conditions in their work environment according to Orlikowski’s (2000) practice lens for studying technology in organisations. Furthermore, following her practice lens, the influences on work related Affective Organisational Commitment’s antecedents introduced by Allen & Meyer (1990), are detected as possible consequences of using Social-Media-internal-communication-platforms. Analysing participants’ aspects, the study’s empirical findings imply that in an organisation which is depicted as : trustworthy, with culture which embraces team-work and knowledge-sharing, with family atmosphere and corporate-goals identified by employees, with various established communication-channels, and close bonds among colleagues; the use of Social-Media–internal-communication-platforms emphasises the existing company’ culture and benefits internal-communication. Consequently this improvement positively affects employees’ Affective Organisational Commitment, when referring to employees who are already affectively committed with their company before implementing Social Media. Within the above conditions, findings imply that most of the Affective Organisational Commitment antecedents, related to employees feeling of comfort in their work environment: role clarity, goal clarity, peer cohesion and management receptiveness, are positively and indirectly affected by Social-Media-internal-communication-platforms use. On the other hand this use does not affect organisational dependability per se, but enables policy changes distribution and enables an already reliable company to maintain employees’ trust. According to interviewees’ perceptions, equity is not affected by using SM–internal-communication-platforms. The use of Social-Media–internal-communication-platforms and its effects on Affective Organisational Commitment as well as all work-related employee’s attitudes and behaviours are an open issue with various future theoretical and practical implementations.