Author, Title and Publication

Agerdal-Hjermind, A. (2014). Organizational blogging: a case study of a corporate weblog from an employee perspective. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 19 (1), 34 – 51.

Summary

This study examined the usage and implications of blogging in a corporate communication context from an employee’s perspective. The author considered the blog as a discursively and narratively constructed open “room” within a corporate setting, in which the sense making and context of this room leads to a higher degree of understanding of the phenomenon. Through a case study of a government agency’s corporate blogging activities, traced through focus group interviews with the organizational bloggers, the study problematizes the predominant focus on the promises of interactivity and dialogue as a repeated positive motivation for corporate bloggers by shedding a critical light on blogging as experienced from inside an organization.

The study shows that employee bloggers use the blog platform in a varied way and do not agree internally on the appropriate usage. Four main positions that encapsulate the variation in blog usage – the official, the debater, the engineer and the passionate blogger – are identified. Despite the many counter discourses and disagreements on the blog usage and the differences in perceived implications, the employee bloggers agree on five perceived advantages, strengths and value-creating elements of the blog, compared to traditional communications forms: 1) easier access to external users; 2) increase in visibility of the individual employee and his/her competencies; 3) potential informality in writing style; 4) giving a human face to the organization; and 5) easy and uncomplicated information and knowledge sharing.

Implications for Practice

Organizations should 1) allocate time and resources for employee bloggers, prepare them, and listen continuously to what motivates them and make sure they are comfortable with their role as a blogger; 2) establish a discussion forum for employee bloggers, encourage and motivate the bloggers to share genuine stories and experiences on the blog, and motivate them to read and post messages on others’ blogs; and 3) give employee bloggers enough flexibility and freedom to blog under instructions and guidelines.

Location of Article

This article is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-09-2012-0066 (abstract free, purchase full article)

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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