Workplace Blogging

CMU researchers Yan Huang and Param Vir Singh

CMU researchers Yan Huang and Param Vir Singh

Social media is dominating online spaces — even in the workplace. And conventional wisdom says Twittering on the job is detrimental to productivity.

But employers may want to think twice about that.

Research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests banning blogging and micro-blogging could actually have a negative impact on productivity.

The paper is called A Structural Model of Employee Behavioral Dynamics in Enterprise Social Media. It was written by CMU researchers Yan Huang and Param Vir Singh and NYU Stern researcher Anindya Ghose.

"We have shifted into a 'knowledge economy' where knowledge sharing among employees is extremely vital to an organization's success," said Huang.

"If leisure blogging directly impacts work-related knowledge sharing, and perhaps productivity, organizations will no doubt begin developing policies that support that behavior."

Huang is a doctoral student at CMU's Heinz College. She led many of the investigations during the summer of 2010.

The dataset used by the team to conduct the research was provided by CMU's iLab.

iLab is an interdisciplinary research center consisting of faculty and students from Heinz College, the Department of Statistics, the Department of Machine Learning, the School of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business.

The focus of the center is to facilitate problem-driven research on IT management and policy.

"iLab is a really great initiative that fosters excellent industry relationships and provides extremely relevant datasets," said Singh. He also notes an emerging and active community among iLab faculty and students.

Singh is an assistant professor of information systems at the David A. Tepper School of Business and member of the iLab faculty.

He believes the multidisciplinary nature of CMU plays an important role in the success of initiatives such as iLab. He says it fosters interesting thought at the intersections of traditional research areas.

"I've found that researchers in the iLab are focused on ideas," he explained.

"We're not very concerned with how a particular research topic fits neatly in one domain or another but rather whether or not the research can impact the fields of IT policy and management, and solve some real-world problems."

Related Links: The Paper | iLab | Heinz College

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