How do use of social media and Company-broad ICT's affect Innovative work behavior and Employee well-being?
HOW DO USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND
COMPANY-BROAD ICTs AFFECT
INNOVATIVE WORK BEHAVIOR AND
Karolus Kraan, Steven Dhondt & Tanja de Jong AIM
This study aims to assess the consequences for
innovative work behavior and employee well-being that
result from the use of two, seemingly contrasting, ICT
innovations: social media and company-broad ICTs.
Participants: To test our hypotheses we used two waves
of the Cohort-study on Social Innovation (CSI). An
existing online panel was its sampling frame, and data
were collected via web questionnaires. Response rates
were high (84% in 2008; 24% 2009 attrition rate). Our
net sample contained 3,327 Dutch employees.
Our central independent variables were use of (1) Social
Media, and/or of (2) Company-broad ICTs, assessed by a
- multiple answer - question on computer programs used
for the job. Among the answer categories were
respectively (1) ‘Instant messaging, Sharepoint, wikis
and/or blogs’, and (2) ‘workflow software’, ‘ERP software’,
‘(other) professional accounting software’.
Our dependent variables were (1) Innovative Work
Behavior (IWB), a 4-item self-report scale on explorative
and exploitative behavior concerning product and
process - sample item: ‘I contribute significantly to the
renewal of products/services for my organization’
(1=never – 7=always); and (2) Employee well-being,
conceptualized as Emotional Exhaustion (EE).
Table 1 presents the results of the multiple linear
regressions conducted on Time 2 IWB and EE, with
respectively Time 1 IWB and Time 1 EE, and socio-
demographics as predictors in Model 1 (M1) (EE models
not shown in Table 1). Main effects of Use of Social
Media (significant on IWB) and of Company-broad ICTs
were added in M2, while M3 contained their interaction
term. Figure 1 visualizes this, significant, interaction
effect. The results were robust in the M4 adjustment for
other Work Organization measures.
Social media usage likely supports innovative, active work
behavior, whereas it may also increase emotional
exhaustion due to information overload. Conversely, pas-
sive behavior may be yielded by company-broad
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such
as workflow or ERP software, since these lead to a strong
standardization of work. We tested our hypotheses by
cohort-data of net 3,327 employees, in 2008 and 2009.
Innovative work behavior and emotional exhaustion were
each regressed on use of social media and of
company-broad ICTs, and their interaction term. Social
media usage positively predicted innovative work behavior
without affecting emotional exhaustion; use of
company-broad ICTs showed no effects. Social media
usage without a context of company-broad ICTs, however,
favored innovative work behavior most.
Time 2 IWB (2009)
M1 M2 M3 M4
Independent variables β β β β
Time 1 IWB (2008) .58 *** .57 *** .57 *** .55 ***
Time 1 Use of Social Media (0=no; 1=yes) .03 * .04 * .03 *
Time 1 Use of Company-broad ICTs (0=no; 1=yes) .02 .02 .02
Time 1 Use of Social Media X Use of Company-broad ICTs -.03 * -.03 *
Time 1 Quantitative Job Demands .06 ***
Time 1 Task Autonomy .06 ***
.43 .43 .43 .44
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001.
Note. Analyses adjusted for sex, age, educational attainment, and occupation.
Table 1. Results of the regressions of Innovative Work Behavior (IWB)
Karolus Kraan; TNO Work and Employment,
The Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org
This research was funded by the special TNO
Enabling Technology Program ‘Innovation and
Figure 1. Innovative Work Behavior predicted by Use of Social media and Company-broad ICTs
This study revealed that:
(1) Emerging technologies such as Social Media, can enhance Innovative Work Behavior (IWB) –
there was no such effect by company-broad ICTs.
(2) In a work organization context not resulting from ‘blueprint’ workflow or ERP solutions, Social
Media usage yielded most favorable IWB.
(3) There was no support for supposed adverse consequences on Emotional Exhaustion by
usage of ‘information overloading’ Social Media.
ICT innovations and associated re-engineering of business processes have
entered the workplace. Social media, the newest ICT trend, can provide
workers with immediate communication and information, and support
innovative work behavior (IWB). It may also, however, increase emotional
exhaustion due to information overload. Conversely, company-broad ICTs -
such as workflow or ERP software, introduced since the 1990s - standardize
company practices and leave little room for innovative behavior, and may
thus yield passive behavior.