Effects of Feedback and Peer Pressure on Contributions to Enterprise Social Media
Association for Computing Machinery
Increasingly, large organizations are experimenting with internal social media (e.g., blogs, forums) as a platform for widespread distributed collaboration. Contributions to their counterparts outside the organization's firewall are driven by attention from strangers, in addition to sharing among friends. However, employees in a workplace under time pressures may be reluctant to participate and the audience for their contributions is comparatively smaller. Participation rates also vary widely from group to group. So what influences people to contribute in this environment?In this paper, we present the results of a year-long empirical study of internal social media participation at a large technology company, and analyze the impact attention, feedback, and managers' and coworkers' participation have on employees' behavior. We find feedback in the form of posted comments is highly correlated with a user's subsequent participation. Recent manager and coworker activity relate to users initiating or resuming participation in social media. These findings extend, to an aggregate level, the results from prior interviews about blogging at the company and offer design and policy implications for organizations seeking to encourage social media adoption.