Making Work Flexible – How Enterprise Social Media Impact Employees’ Work Flexibility : Working Paper
As it can be seen in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis, many organizations struggle to provide their employees with the flexibility to work from home. To provide their employees with a digital workplace, so that they are able to work anywhere and at any time, many organizations introduce enterprise social media (ESM) platforms. Considering practice, we find that several organizations struggle to improve employees’ work flexibility. Additionally, organizations overlook the fact that ESM platforms are not a new disruptive technology but a further development of groupware systems, and, therefore, they neglect to compare the new possibilities of ESM platforms with those of existing platforms. In our research, we aim to uncover the relationship between employees’ ESM use and their work flexibility. Through the use of a longitudinal research design, we provide empirical insights into this relationship by comparing the corresponding effects of the new ESM platform with those of the old groupware system and traditional intranet. In doing this, we showcase that ESM platforms can support flexible work by enabling the employees to access information as well as experts by using the system; in contrast, the old groupware system and traditional intranet only support the access of information. Those findings not only address the research gap of linking ESM platform’s use and the impact on flexible work, but also can be used in practice showcasing the advancements of ESM platforms compared to the previous tools.
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