A Structural Model of Employee Behavioral Dynamics in Enterprise Social Media
38 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2011 Last revised: 19 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 18, 2012
We develop and estimate a dynamic structural framework to analyze social-media content creation and consumption behavior of employees within an enterprise. We focus, in particular, on employees' blogging behavior. The model incorporates two key features that are ubiquitous in blogging forums: Users face 1) a trade-off between blog posting and blog reading; and 2) a trade-off between work-related and leisure-related content. We apply the model to a unique dataset that comprises the complete details of blog posting and reading behavior of 2,396 employees over a 15-month period at a Fortune 1000 IT services and consulting firm. We find evidence of strong competition among employees with regard to attracting readership for their posts. We also find that the utility employees derive from work-related blogging is 4.4 times what they derive from leisure-related blogging. However, employees still post a significant amount of leisure posts. This is because there is a significant spillover effect on the readership of work posts from the creation of leisure posts. In addition, we find that reading and writing work-related posts is more costly than reading and writing leisure-related posts, on average. We conduct counterfactual experiments that provide insights into how different policies may affect employee behavior. We find that a policy of prohibiting leisure-related activities can hurt the knowledge sharing in an enterprise setting. By demonstrating that there are positive spillovers from leisure-related blogging to work-related blogging, our results suggest that a policy of abolishing leisure-related content creation can inadvertently have adverse consequences on work-related content creation in an enterprise setting.
Keywords: Structural modeling, Dynamics, Enterprise social media, Blog posting, Blog reading, Work-related content, Leisure-related content
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