Social Media Use in Organizations: Exploring the Emergence of a New Practice
Almost a third of the world’s population use social media. Scholars have examined various implications that social media has at the individual level. However, there is a significant lack of research at the organizational level. Our thesis explores how organizations institutionalize social media by conducting a comparative study on two Norwegian organizations.
Both organizations are leading in the use of social media. Thus, our thesis might contribute to envision the potential of social media in Norway. The findings in our study have practical relevance as it could aid organizations with ambition to successfully make use of social media. We identified the following three central factors:
First, a strong advocate for social media is required for institutionalizing the new practice. This is related to persuading others to support and accept use of social media as a normal practice in the organization. Second, an environment for trial and error is essential for successful use of social media in organizations. Allowing subordinates to experiment with their work in combination with systematic evaluation, contribute to incremental progress toward appropriate use of social media. Third, collaboration across departments will ensure that use of social media as a new practice attracts a wider audience. Organizations that engage in collaboration across departments can take advantage of synergies such as more unified interaction between the organization and its users. This will facilitate acknowledgement of social media as a new practice throughout the organization.