Social Media Sites Use Intensity and Job Burnout Among the U.S. and Thai Employees

Social Media Sites Use Intensity and Job Burnout Among the U.S. and Thai Employees

Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol (International College,National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand), Murad Moqbel (Health Information Management and Health Informatics Departments, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA) and Sandra Gutierrez-Wirsching (A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2017010103


This research explored the effect of social network sites (SNS) use intensity in the workplace on three aspects of job burnout. The data were collected from non-teaching employees from universities in the U.S. (N = 174) and in Thailand (N = 182). Results from partial least squares regression revealed some evidence of the u-curve relationship between SNS use intensity and depersonalization in both countries. However, the u-curve relationship between SNS use and lack of personal accomplishment is only supported in U.S. samples. This suggests that while a moderate degree of SNS use at work tends to lower burnout, a high degree of use appears to create more burnout. The results also reveal a strong positive linkage between SNS use intensity and emotional exhaustion in U.S. samples. Overall, these findings imply that allowing employees to use SNS can provide some benefits, but it is important that employees do not overuse SNS to avoid burnout.
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1. Introduction

The recent advances in technology, especially the Internet, have changed the way people connect with each other (N. Ellison & Boyd, 2013). The Internet has led to the advent of several technological revolutions in the information age; one of which is social network sites (SNS) such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Google Plus (Moqbel, Nevo, & Kock, 2013). Use of SNS is not a recent phenomenon as it started in the mid-90s with the Classmates site (Moqbel, 2012), but it did not become popular until 2003 when LinkedIn and Friendster were introduced. By late 2016, Facebook alone had already exceeded 1.86 billion users.

SNS have been redefined by Ellison and Boyd (2013) as:

…a networked communication platform in which participants 1) have uniquely identifiable profiles that consist of user-supplied content, content provided by other users, and/or system-provided data; 2) can publicly articulate connections that can be viewed and traversed by others; and 3) can consume, produce, and/or interact with streams of user-generated content provided by their connections on the site (p. 158).

Research on the impact of SNS has gain more popularity in literature over the past years (Błachnio, Przepiórka, & Rudnicka, 2013; Brandtzæg, Luders, & Skjetne, 2010; Jang Hyun, Min-Sun, & Yoonjae, 2010; LaRose, Connolly, Lee, Li, & Hales, 2014; Sipior, Ward, Volonino, & MacGabhann, 2013; Yong Gu et al., 2010). However, it is essential to note that the use of SNS in the workplace has been controversial in academia and in the industry. Some argue that the use of SNS at work can contribute positively to the work-related outcomes (Moqbel et al., 2013), to customer relations (Acker, Grone, Akkad, Potcher, & Yazbek, 2011), to improved marketing strategies (Trusov, Bucklin, & Paulwels, 2009), and to improved access to knowledge enhancing innovative performance (Ali-Hassan, Nevo, Kim, & Perelgut, 2011). Others argue that the use of SNS in the workplace might expose organizations to various types of risks (Bernoff & Li, 2006; Koch, Gonzalez, & Leidner, 2012; Kucuk, 2010; Moqbel, 2012). Some of those claimed risks include privacy threats such as sensitive data leakage and security threats such as exposing organizations to malware and phishing scams (Moqbel, 2012). Another type of risk can be damage to the organization’s reputation from employees who post inappropriate statements on SNS (Aula, 2010). Another major argument against the use of SNS in the workplace is that it leads to loss of productivity as employees’ use of SNS wastes time by detracting their effective use of time on work-related activities (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). In order to mitigate the risks mentioned earlier, some organizations resorted to establishing social-media-use policies while others decided to prohibit the use of SNS entirely (Koch et al., 2012).

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