Social Network Sites (SNS) create multiple affordances employees leverage during their employment lifecycle. In this Masters Thesis, I examine how a SNS helps employees during transitional periods such as: joining the company, moving into a new position, and navigating through organizational disruption. Personal support networks are one type of SNS affordance employees can exploit when seeking information, mentoring, advice, problem-solving help, or opinions on the “folklore” of another group or business area. Output from this work will identify employee personal support practices, the influence media, management, and culture have on such practices, and benefits that accrue to employees and employers.
Proposal and Rationale
In this work, I propose to examine how employees can leverage the affordances enabled through an internal SNS for personal support reasons during professional life transitions such as: joining the company, moving into a new position, and adapting to new professional situations as a result of organizational disruption (e.g., a reduction in force, a re-organization, or combining groups of people together from different companies as part of a merger or acquisition). My belief is that personal support networks provide a direct benefit to employees and an indirect benefit to the organization and management.