Paradoxical implications of personal social media use for work

W. van Zoonen, R.E. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


New information and communication technologies can have paradoxical implications: they may be liberating and constraining at the same time. This field study examines the direct implications of personal social media use for work on employees’ autonomy and work pressure, and the indirect effects on exhaustion and work engagement. A total of 364 employees of three large multinationals responded to a web-based survey. Results demonstrate the presence of a paradox, as social media for work is associated positively with both autonomy and work pressure. SNS use has indirect effects on exhaustion and engagement through autonomy, and on exhaustion through work pressure, but not on engagement through work pressure. Furthermore, one's responsiveness to colleagues’ communication decreases the relation between use and autonomy, although not between use and work pressure. Overall, employees seem more likely to be burdened by the use of social media for work than benefit from it, but managing one's responsiveness can help.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-246
Number of pages19
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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