The Influence of (Online) Social Networks on Workers' Attitudes and Behaviours in Higher Education Institutions

The Influence of (Online) Social Networks on Workers' Attitudes and Behaviours in Higher Education Institutions

Vera Silva Carlos (University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and Ricardo Gouveia Rodrigues (NECE – University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3917-9.ch034

Abstract

According to the literature, social relationships have a positive influence on work-related attitudes and behaviours. Taking into account that Online Social Networks (OSNs), brought about by Web 2.0, have become an international phenomena and have a considerable impact on the way people communicate and interact with each other, the chapter's purpose is to evaluate the effect that the use of OSNs has on the worker's attitudes and behaviours. In this way, the authors use a questionnaire to evaluate the attitudes of 157 faculty members in Higher Education Institutions (HEI). To assess the use of OSNs by faculty members, they use a binary variable. After analysing and discussing the results, the authors conclude that the use of OSNs influences the workers' performance traits. The relations they propose in what concerns the workers' attitudes are all empirically proven. At last, the authors describe the study limitations and suggest some perspectives for future research.
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The Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to the appearance of the Internet as an interpersonal resource and a service delivery platform (Barnatt, 2008). The term Web 2.0 is used to describe applications that distinguish themselves from preceding generations of software by a number of principles. Existing work shows that Web 2.0 applications can be successfully exploited for technology learning enhancement (Ullrich et al., 2008).

The second incarnation of the Web (Web 2.0) has been called the ‘social Web’, because, in contrast to Web 1.0, its content can be more easily generated and published by users, and because the collective intelligence of users encourages more democratic use. Originally, the World Wide Web (WWW) was intended to be used to share ideas and encourage discussion within a scientific community. Web 2.0 heralds a return to these original uses, and prompts important changes in the ways the World Wide Web is being used in education. In this context, there is a need to raise awareness of Web 2.0 tools and the possibilities they offer, and an imperative need to carry out quality research to inform better use of Web 2.0 applications (Boulos & Wheeler, 2007).

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