The purpose of this case study was to determine the nature of conversations that occur within an organizational microblog and compare them to traditional informal conversations. Since informal conversations are closely associated with reaction to change, this study explored how organizational microblog conversations may be understood to affect outcomes resulting from organizational change.
A sequential transformative design was used to collect four sources of evidence (Yin, 2009): microblog responses for 90 days; focus groups at the beginning, middle, and end of the 90-day period; pre and post organizational culture assessment surveys; and on-site participant observation. The site selected for this study was the healthcare innovation section of a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization located in Northern Virginia.
Overall, in HCD the rate of microblog messages was low, constrained by employee fear (Ford et al., 2008), in a working environment characterized by top-down leadership (Meyer & Davis, 2003), organizational silence (Morrison & Milliken, 2000), and resistance (Ford & Ford, 1995; Ford et al., 2002, 2008; Marshak, 2006; Piderit, 2000; Weick & Quinn, 1999) expressed often by ambivalence (Piderit, 2000). Eight conclusions emerged from the findings of this study: the suppressed and constrained nature of microblog conversations, the presence of resistance, the use of power, the expression of emotion, the limited impact of gender on microblog use, microblog participation and organizational controls, organizational change as continuous and multidimensional, and mixed views on power and the benefits of informal conversation in the workplace. The phenomenon of counter-resistance (Karreman & Alvesson, 2009) served as an explanation for study findings associated with participants' compliance to power, their unwillingness to openly express resistance, and the inhibition of emotion and affect at work.
Given the security requirements associated with enterprise computer technology, the background conversations of "complacency, resignation and cynicism" (Ford et al., 2002) may never surface in a microblog. However, with employees' geographical dispersion and increased telecommuting options, the microblog may be a perfect tool for increased social interaction and self-disclosure within the organization while concurrently serving as an intraorganizational knowledge management system.
|Commitee:||Burley, Diana, Croswell, Clyde V., DeWolfe Waddill, Deborah, Szabla, David B.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Human and Organizational Learning|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Information Technology, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Counter resistance to change, Informal conversation, Microblogging, Organizational change, Organizational communication, Organizational culture, Resistance to change|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be