Published on

Published in: Technology, Career
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. Blogging, professional identity and sense of belonging Karine Johannes Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium EUROBLOG 2007
  2. 2. <ul><li>The employee blogging phenomenon: facts and figures </li></ul><ul><li>A Narrative approach to organisations and identities : Employee blogging as production of (counter )-narratives </li></ul><ul><li>Case study: STIB’s drivers bloggers </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>«The rise of the blogosphere has the potential to empower employees in ways not unlike the rise of labor unions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. » </li></ul><ul><li>( Nielsen Buzzmetrics and Edelman - White Papers- Talking from the Inside Out: The Rise of Employee Bloggers) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why do employees blog? <ul><li>Employees are not focused on their task 100% of the time </li></ul><ul><li>Employees want to have a say </li></ul><ul><li>Employees have found themselves in powerful positions to advocate either for or against their companies (…) and have found that people are listening to what they have to say </li></ul><ul><li>A growing number of employees are posting official and unofficial blogs about their work </li></ul>Sources: Shel Holtz, « The impact of new technologies on internal communication » Nielsen Buzzmetrics and Edelman - White Papers- Talking from the Inside Out: The Rise of Employee Bloggers
  5. 5. Why do employees blog? <ul><li>Top 5 reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Publish contents and ideas (52%) </li></ul><ul><li>Build a community (47%) </li></ul><ul><li>Promote thought leadership (44%) </li></ul><ul><li>Get information quickly to customers (36%) </li></ul><ul><li>Get feedback from customers (23%) </li></ul>Source: Backbone Media 2005 Survey « Corporate blogging:Is it worth the Hype? »
  6. 6. 4 basic types of blogs in the organizational context <ul><li>Personal blogs: Most frequently set up and run independently; the most potent type </li></ul><ul><li>Topic or industry blogs: Focus on developments and trends in a given industry </li></ul><ul><li>Publication-based blogs: outgrowths of established media outlets. </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate blogs: A hybrid of personal blogs, feature the insights, assessments, commentaries, and other discourses devoted to a single company . </li></ul>Source: Peter M. Smudde, Blogging, Ethics and Public Relations: A Proactive and Dialogic Approach. Public Relations Quarterly
  7. 7. Different types of employee blogs 1/2 Employee blogs Personal blogs Corporate blogs/ Collective blogs
  8. 8. Different types of employee blogs 2/2 Employee blogs Colleagues, other employees External audiences Public targeted
  10. 10. A narrative approach of blogging <ul><li>Theoretical background </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations can be seen as discursive and as socialisation spaces (A.D. Brown; R. Sainsaulieu, C.Dubar) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual and collective identities can be approached narratively (P. Ricoeur , D. Ezzy) </li></ul><ul><li>« The Internet is less some kind of futuristic cyberspace and more a discontinuous narrative space (…) To enter it, one (…) becomes a thing of worlds alone » (Steven G. Jones) </li></ul>
  11. 11. A narrative approach of blogging Blogs as « identity-relevant narratives »
  12. 12. A narrative approach of blogging Employees engage in a range of oppositional strategies to create physical, emotional and symbolic spaces for themselves in organizations (A.D. Brown, Crozier and Friedberg, Loureau and Lapassade) Blogs as «counter-narratives»
  13. 13. Case Study: The STIB and its drivers bloggers <ul><li>Société des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois (Public transport company of Brussels) </li></ul><ul><li>6000 employees </li></ul><ul><li>About 20 bloggers (mainly drivers blogs) </li></ul>
  14. 14. The STIB Internal communication channels <ul><li>Intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Internal magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin boards </li></ul><ul><li>Direct mailing </li></ul><ul><li>Internal television news </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of communication towards the drivers (8 hours per day in their vehicles, few social </li></ul><ul><li>interactions…) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social context of blogs appearance <ul><li>2001-2003: Important restructuring of the company (new management structure, new culture) </li></ul><ul><li>2004: Social crisis: successive general strikes, mainly among the drivers (aggressions, understaffed services, work pressure…) </li></ul>Drivers began to express their opinions in their blogs beside the « official statements » in the mainstream media
  16. 16. Why do the STIB drivers blog? <ul><li>«  To tell not only the negative aspects of my profession but also the positive aspects…and it will be done without any pressure » </li></ul><ul><li>« To share everyday’s life with the colleagues and the others (…) Because I cannot easily express myself orally » </li></ul><ul><li>« Just the daily life of a tram driver, of a simple human being » </li></ul>
  17. 17. Exploratory study <ul><li>5 of the most active blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Observation and content analysis </li></ul><ul><li>September to December 2006 </li></ul>
  18. 20. Sainsaulieu’s Grid of work identity Attitude towards work Relational behaviour Collective adjustment behaviour Company’s objectives Work objectives Representation system Authority legitimization Society Personal trajectory Company Work Identification spaces
  19. 21. Identification spaces Society Trajectory Company Work
  20. 22. Identification spaces <ul><li>Company and work: The driver position and the STIB as legitimization of the blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Personal trajectory: The company and the work as constituents of the self </li></ul><ul><li>Society: The society is described through the lens of the vehicles. </li></ul>
  21. 23. Identification spaces
  22. 25. Representation System: Work objectives <ul><li>Task- oriented representations of work </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging action as a search for a social recognition </li></ul>
  23. 26. Representation System: Company’s objectives <ul><li>No reference to the company’s financial objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Publication of internal notes </li></ul>
  24. 27. Representation system: Authority legitimization <ul><li>Authority based on an administrative and regulatory power </li></ul><ul><li>« The voice of God » </li></ul>
  25. 28. Collective adjustment behaviours: Relationships with co-workers <ul><li>Creation of a virtual community , for lack of real-life interactions </li></ul><ul><li>The driver profession and the STIB as shared elements and shared interests </li></ul><ul><li>Content features: Private vocabulary,messages to colleagues by blog posts, sense of a « readership », shared «enemies » </li></ul><ul><li>Technical features: Private forum, blogrolls </li></ul>
  26. 33. Collective adjustment behaviours : Attitude towards work <ul><li>Strong attachment to the work </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of belonging to the company through the community </li></ul>
  27. 34. The main challenges for Communication management <ul><li>Virtual communities across the organizational structures and boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Informal messages, critics and comments on internal matters... </li></ul><ul><li>...and public access </li></ul><ul><li>Counter-narratives for organisational identity and image </li></ul>
  28. 35. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul>