Employees’ Relational Work on Social Media
Keywords:Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Work/Life Balance, Organization & Management
Given how social media are commonly used in contemporary Nordic countries, social media platforms are emerging as crucial for relational work between employers, employees, and potential employees. By means of a discursive psychology approach, this study investigates employers’ constructs of relational work on social media through the use of two interpretative repertoires: the repertoire of loss of control and the repertoire of ever-presence. The consequences of these interpretative repertoires are a masking of power relations, especially between employers and young employees in precarious labor market positions and those with limited digital knowledge or financial means. Further, the positioning of social media as part of a private sphere of life means the invasion of not only employees’, but also managers’ private time and persona. The result of this study hence calls for the need to understand relational work on social media as part of normative managerial work.
Albu, O. B. & Etter, M. 2016. Hypertextuality and social media: A study of the constitutive and paradoxical implications of organizational Twitter use, Management Communication Quarterly 30(1):5-31. doi: 10.1177%2F0893318915601161.
Alvesson, M. & Karreman, D. 2000. Varieties of discourse: On the study of organizations through discourse analysis. Human Relations 53(9):1125-1149.
Backman, C. & Hedenus, A. 2019. Online privacy in job recruitment processes? Boundary work among cybervetting recruiters, New Technology, Work and Employment 43(2):157-173. doi: 10.1111/ntwe.12140.
Bal, P., Kooij, D. & Rousseau, D. 2015. Introduction to aging workers and the employee-employer relationship. In Aging workers and the employee-employer relationship. In: Bal, P., Kooij, D. & Rousseau, D. (eds.) Aging Workers and the Employee-Employer Relationship. Springer, Cham.
Beck, U. 2014. The brave new world of work, John Wiley & Sons.
Berkelaar, B. L. & Buzzanell, P. M. 2015. Online employment screening and digital career capital: Exploring employers’ use of online information for personnel selection, Management Communication Quarterly: 29(1), pp 84-113. doi: 10.1177%2F0893318914554657.
Berkley, R. A. & Watson, G. 2009. The employer–employee relationship as a building block for ethics and corporate social responsibility, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 21(4):275-277. doi: 10.1007/s10672-009-9124-4.
Billig, M. 1991. Ideology and opinions: Studies in rhetorical psychology, Sage.
Blood, R. 2003. Weblogs and journalism: Do they connect, Nieman Reports 57(3):61-63.
Burr, V. 2003. Social constructionism, London: Routledge.
Caers, R. & Castelyns, V. 2011. LinkedIn and Facebook in Belgium: The influences and biases of social network sites in recruitment and selection procedures, Social Science Computer Review 29(4): 437-448. doi: 10.1177%2F0894439310386567.
Caldwell, C., Anderson, V. & Ristic, M. R. 2021. Employee Engagement and the Ethic of Friendship, Business and Management Research 10(1): pp 1-54.
Champoux, V., Durgee, J. & McGlynn, L. 2012. Corporate Facebook pages: when “fans” attack, Journal of Business Strategy 33(2):22-30. doi: 10.1108/02756661211206717.
Cortini, M. 2009. New horizons in CSP and employee/employer relationship: Challenges and risks of corporate weblogs, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 21(4):291-303.
Damm, M. 1993. Personalarbete: yrke eller passion [HRM work: profession or passion], Gothenburg: BAS.
Edley, N. 2001. Analysing masculinity: Interpretative repertoires, ideological dilemmas and subject positions. In: Wetherell, M., Taylor, S. & Yates, S. J. (eds.) Discourse as data: A guide for analysis.
Ehrlich, C. J. 1994. Creating an employer‐employee relationship for the future, Human Resource Management Journal 33(3):491-501. doi: 10.1002/hrm.3930330313.
Fejes, A. 2010. Discourses on employability: constituting the responsible citizen, Studies in Continuing Education 32(2):89-102. doi: 10.1080/0158037X.2010.488353.
Fejes, A. & Rahm, L. 2017. Popular education and the digital citizen: a genealogical analysis, European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults 8(1):21-36.
Francis, H. 2006. A critical discourse perspective on managers’ experiences of HRM, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal 5(1):65-82.
Franco, L. A. 2019. Organizing the precariat: The fight to build and sustain fast food worker power, Critical Sociology 45(4-5):517-531.
Garsten, C. 1999. Betwixt and between: Temporary employees as liminal subjects in flexible organizations, Organization Studies 20(4):601-617.
Golden, A. G. & Geisler, C. 2007. Work–life boundary management and the personal digital assistant, Human Relations 60(3):519-551.
Höglund, L. & Svärdsten, F. 2018. Strategy work in the public sector—A balancing act of competing discourses, Scandinavian Journal of Management 34(3):225-232. doi: 10.1080/10967494.2018.1427161
Internetstiftelsen. 2021. Svenskarna och internet 2021, (Novus Group International).
Israelsson, T., Strannefors, T. & Tydén, H. 2003. Geografisk rörlighet och arbetsgivarbyten: Arbetsmarknadsstyr.(AMS).
Jemine, G., Dubois, C. & Pichault, F. 2019. From a new workplace to a new way of working: Legitimizing organizational change, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal.
Johansson, J., Abrahamsson, L., Kåreborn, B. B., Fältholm, Y., Grane, C. & Wykowska, A. 2017. Work and organization in a digital industrial context, Management Revue, 281-297.
Jørgensen, M. W. & Phillips, L. J. 2002. Discourse analysis as theory and method, Sage.
Kelan, E. K. 2008. The discursive construction of gender in contemporary management literature, Journal of Business Ethics 81(2):427-445.
Kirby, E. L., Golden, A. G., Medved, C. E., Jorgenson, J. & Buzzanell, P. M. 2003. An organizational communication challenge to the discourse of work and family research: From problematics to empowerment, Annals of the International Communication Association 27(1):1-43. doi: 10.1080/23808985.2003.11679020.
Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. & Saunders, M. 2003. Employee relations: understanding the employment relationship, Pearson education.
Lichtenstein, S. & Darrow, J. J. 2006. Employment termination for employee blogging: number one tech trend for 2005 and beyond, or a recipe for getting Dooced? UCLA Journal of Law and Technology.
Logue, J. 2019. Trade unions in the Nordic countries [Online]. https://nordics.info/show/artikel/trade-unions-in-the-nordic-region: Aarhus University. [Accessed 04 November 2021].
Marder, B., Joinson, A., Shankar, A. & Houghton, D. 2016. The extended ‘chilling’effect of Facebook: The cold reality of ubiquitous social networking, Computers in Human Behavior, 60(582-592.
McDonald, P. & Thompson, P. 2016. Social media (tion) and the reshaping of public/private boundaries in employment relations, International Journal of Management Reviews 18(1):69-84.
Mercado-Kierkegaard, S. 2006. Blogs, lies and the doocing: The next hotbed of litigation? Computer Law & Security Review 22(2):127-136. doi: 10.1016/j.clsr.2006.01.002.
Miranda, S. M., Young, A. & Yetgin, E. 2016. Are social media emancipatory or hegemonic? Societal effects of mass media digitization in the case of the SOPA discourse, MIS Quarterly 40(2):303-329.
Morsing, M. & Schultz, M. 2006. Corporate social responsibility communication: stakeholder information, response and involvement strategies, Business Ethics 15(4):323-338. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8608.2006.00460.x.
Mueller, F. & Whittle, A. 2011. Translating management ideas: A discursive devices analysis, Organization Studies 32(2):187-210.
Mumby, D. K. & Stohl, C. 1996. Disciplining organizational communication studies. Management Communication Quarterly 10(1):50-72. doi: 10.1177%2F0893318996010001004.
Nadesan, M. H. 2001. Post-Fordism, political economy, and critical organizational communication studies, Management Communication Quarterly 15(2):259-267.
Ollier-Malaterre, A., Rothbard, N. P. & Berg, J. M. 2013. When worlds collide in cyberspace: How boundary work in online social networks impacts professional relationships, Academy of Management Review 38(4):645-669. doi: 10.5465/amr.2011.0235.
Olofsdotter, G. 2012. The Staircase Model-labour control of temporary agency workers in a Swedish call center, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 2(1):41-59. doi: 10.19154/njwls.v2i1.2351.
Oppegaard, S. M. N. 2020. Regulating Flexibility: Uber’s Platform as a Technological Work Arrangement, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 11(1):109-127. doi: 10.18291/njwls.122197.
Oravec, J. A. 2018. Cyberloafing and constructive recreation. Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition. IGI Global.
Ostendorp, A. & Steyaert, C. 2009. How different can differences be (come)?: Interpretative repertoires of diversity concepts in Swiss-based organizations, Scandinavian Journal of Management 25(4): 374-384. doi: 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.09.003.
Paulsen, R. 2014. Empty labor: Idleness and workplace resistance, Cambridge University Press.
Peetz, D. 2010. Are individualistic attitudes killing collectivism? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 16(3):383-398.
Potter, J. 1996. Representing reality: Discourse, rhetoric and social construction, Sage.
Potter, J. & Wetherell, M. 1987. Discourse and social psychology: Beyond attitudes and behaviour, Sage.
Pratt, M. G. 2008. Fitting oval pegs into round holes: Tensions in evaluating and publishing qualitative research in top-tier North American journals, Organizational Research Methods 11(3):481-509.
Scott, K. M. 2005. When is employee blogging protected by section 7 of the NLRA? Duke Law & Technology Review, 5(1).
Seymour-Smith, S., Wetherell, M. & Phoenix, A. 2002. ‘My wife ordered me to come!’: A discursive analysis of doctors’ and nurses’ accounts of men’s use of general practitioners, Journal of Health Psychology 7(3):253-267. doi: 10.1177%2F1359105302007003220.
Standing, G. 2011. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Statista Research Department. 2021a. Active Social Media users in the Nordics [Online]. https://www.statista.com/statistics/677498/active-social-media-users-in-the-nordics/. [Accessed 9 November 2021 2021].
Statista Research Department. 2021b. Internet penetration rate in the Nordic countries 2021 [Online]. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018416/internet-penetration-rate-in-the-nordic-countries/. [Accessed 09 November 2021 2021].
Statistics Sweden. 2021. https://www.scb.se/en/: Statistiska Central Byrån.
Stewart, R. B. 2004. Employee perceptions of trust: Rebuilding the employee-employer relationship, Regent University.
Steyaert, C. & Janssens, M. 2012. Multilingual scholarship and the paradox of translation and language in management and organization studies, Organization 20(1):131-142
Talja, S. 1997. Constituting “information” and “user” as research objects: A theory of knowledge formations as an alternative to the information man-theory, Information Seeking in Context, 67-80
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at email@example.com. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.