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Excessive social media use at work : Exploring the effects of social media overload on job performance

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of excessive social media use on individual job performance and its exact mechanism. An extended stressor–strain–outcome research model is proposed to explain how excessive social media use at work influences individual job performance.


The research model was empirically tested with an online survey study of 230 working professionals who use social media in organizations.


The results revealed that excessive social media use was a determinant of three types of social media overload (i.e. information, communication and social overload). Information and communication overload were significant stressors that influence social media exhaustion, while social overload was not a significant predictor of exhaustion. Furthermore, social media exhaustion significantly reduces individual job performance.


Theory-driven investigation of the effects of excessive social media use on individual job performance is still relatively scarce, underscoring the need for theoretically-based research of excessive social media use at work. This paper enriches social media research by presenting an extended stressor–strain–outcome model to explore the exact mechanism of excessive use of social media at work, and identifying three components of social media-related overload, including information, communication and social overload. It is an initial attempt to systematically validate the casual relationships among excessive usage experience, overload, exhaustion and individual job performance based on the transactional theory of stress and coping.
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Keywords: Information overload; Social network analysis; Structural equation modelling; Work performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China 2: School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China

Publication date: December 3, 2018

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