My Colleagues Are My Friends: The Role of Facebook Contacts in Employee Identification

Jos Bartels, Mark van Vuuren, Jaap W. Ouwerkerk

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Abstract

This study examined the extent to which having colleagues as friends on Facebook influences departmental and organizational identification by blurring the boundaries between work and private life. Based on social identity theory and proxy efficacy, we argue that work-related friends on Facebook may affect employee identification with different levels of the organization. The results of an online panel study among Dutch employees (N = 1,002) show that the perceived quality of online relationships with work-related Facebook contacts increases departmental identification, whereas the perceived authority of such contacts strengthens identification with the organization. Therefore, we suggest that blurring boundaries between work and private life through social media can have positive effects on organizational functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-328
Number of pages22
JournalManagement communication quarterly
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date21 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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facebook
employee
contact
Personnel
privacy
organization
social media
Facebook
Employees
Boundary work

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Facebook
  • organizational identification
  • quality of Facebook contacts
  • contact authority

Cite this

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My Colleagues Are My Friends : The Role of Facebook Contacts in Employee Identification. / Bartels, Jos; van Vuuren, Mark; Ouwerkerk, Jaap W.

In: Management communication quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 01.08.2019, p. 307-328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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