Author(s), Title and Publication
Tajudeen, F. P., Jaafar, N. I., & Ainin, S. (2018). Understanding the impact of social media usage among organizations. Information & Management, 55(3), 308-321. doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2017.08.004

Summary
Social media enables open communication, which helps organizations to understand customer needs and motivates them to respond proactively and efficiently to those needs. For any technology to be successful and to have an impact on organizational performance, it has to be properly adopted by organizations. With increasing and widespread usage of social media, interest in the factors that contribute to successful organizational integration of social media has also increased. While previous research has investigated technology adoption in many contexts and has identified numerous factors that lead to various technology usage, social media is unlike any other IT innovations or Internet-based systems. Social media is a more open and public-oriented system, which has both advantages and disadvantages, but the extent to which social media benefits organizations is still not clear. Hence, the authors of this study explored the technological, organizational, and environmental factors that might affect the adoption of social media in organizations, and examined the benefits of introducing social media into organizations.

The authors conducted an online survey with 174 social media managers in Malaysian business organizations to better understand how an organization’s technological context (in-use, available, and new technologies); organizational context (scope and size, management support); and environmental context (business arena, industry, competitors) influences and explains the adoption of social media. Results indicated overall that social media usage positively impacts an organization’s performance in terms of cost reduction, customer relations, and information accessibility. Organizations who adopt social media may benefit from increased interaction, two-way communication, and improved relationships with a greater number of stakeholders and competitors, thus creating competitive advantage. Whether or not an organization adopts social media is influenced by the relative advantages its usage is expected to provide, such as ease of obtaining and inputting data, and whether it helps form or enhance business connections, and relationships. Similarly, the decision to adopt social media is influenced by its compatibility with existing technology, culture, values, and work practices; level of interactivity, or extent to which social media enables two-way communication; and institutional pressure from external parties, such as competitors and customers.

Implications for Practice
Organizations should (1) consider characteristics of current technologies and existing industry competition in deciding whether to adopt new social media platforms, (2) communicate the importance of effective organizational use of social media in terms of improved business performance early, often, and to all levels of employees, and (3) demonstrate the benefit of organizational social media usage by clearly communicating the specific cost savings, and improved information and relationship outcomes that result from such efforts.

Location of Article
This article is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2017.08.004 (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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