Researching the blurred lines of work, personal social-media use

Your employee just posted something to their personal social media account that made you cringe. What do you do as a supervisor and how will this impact the company?

As seen in recent headlines, it is becoming common for employees to be terminated for their social media behaviors.

Janna Parker, a marketing professor at James Madison University, conducted research about blurring the lines between work life and personal life on social media, that was published in the Journal of Business Research.

Real-life stories of individuals who were fired for their posts on their personal social-media accounts were studied.

This research examined the employees’ awareness of the social media policy within their workplace; the role of offensiveness in the perceived fairness of the termination and whether work-related posts and the existence of the policy influenced the perception of the termination and if it was fair.

Parker’s research also considered if companies felt pressured to terminate employees. The study examined the online attacks companies and organizations received from the public, which demanded that an employee be fired for perceived offensive social media posts.

With limited research of social media governance and the constant increase in its use, will the blurred lines ever become more clear in work and personal social media use?

Published research:

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