Information experiences of organisational newcomers: using public social media for organisational socialisation

Vincent Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although much has been done to understand employee social media uses, our knowledge of how public social media affect information experiences during organisational socialisation is limited. Filling this gap, this study explores organisational newcomers’ use of WeChat, the most popular public social media in China. Findings from interviews with organisational newcomers who primarily use WeChat for work suggest that they find useful official and unofficial information from their companies’ WeChat public accounts, WeChat workgroups, and their coworkers’ posts. Affordances of social media, such as persistence of information and visibility of content, enable distinctive experiences of information receiving and seeking for newcomers. Organisational newcomers obtain information that is otherwise not available in offline settings and seek information in unique ways, such as extracting information from chat histories. Observing conversations in WeChat groups and reading their coworkers’ posts enables ambient awareness of their coworkers and companies, which facilitates organisational identification. Despite the information benefits, the participants also perceived paradoxes in their experience, struggling with whether they should always keep an eye on information from WeChat, being overwhelmed by too much irrelevant information, and being uncertain about which information strategies were appropriate. Implications of this study on research and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Organisational socialisation
  • WeChat
  • information seeking
  • newcomers
  • social media

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