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Get employees talking through enterprise social media! Reduce cyberslacking: a moderated mediation model

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Purpose

While the sizable body of research focusses on various psychological effects of enterprise social media (ESM), research connecting the link between ESM and cyberslacking is still very sparse. Drawing inspiration from the social bonding theory, the authors have proposed a moderated mediation model to explain how ESM affordances reduce cyberslacking, mediated significantly by workplace social bonding when the perceived co-worker involvement is high.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising a sample of 384 respondents, the study tested the model fit and hypothesised relationships with AMOS and PROCESS MACRO.

Findings

The findings show that workplace social bonding mediates the relationship between ESM affordances and cyberslacking. The results are also consistent with the moderated mediation model as the mediation is significant when the perceived co-worker involvement is high, and the mediation is insignificant when the moderator is low/moderate.

Research limitations/implications

Considering the potential behavioural dynamics of ESM artefacts, the authors have introduced self-expression (via microblogging), recognition (from paralinguistic digital affordances) and network externality as ESM affordances. Alongside the existing measures to reduce employee deviance, the proposed model with the above-mentioned affordances can be investigated in detail by the future research community.

Practical implications

In light of the findings, the study demonstrates that ESM can be treated as a mechanism to keep cyberslacking at bay. The results offer significant implications for managers, who lookout for innovative and soft strategies to reduce cyberslacking in the workplace.

Originality/value

Instead of implementing strict policies to kerb cyberslacking, this study proposes an alternative and an interesting model by introducing ESM as a strategic tool in reducing cyberslacking. The paper argues that ESM, being a potential tool for employee engagement and bonding, may offset the employees' tendency to involve in cyberslacking.
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Keywords: Cyberslacking; Enterprise social media; Microblogging; Paralinguistic digital affordances; Social bonding theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Anna University, Chennai, India

Publication date: April 10, 2020

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