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Original Research

Effect of online social networking on employee productivity

A. Ferreira, T. du Plessis

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 11, No 1 (2009), . doi: 10.4102/sajim.v11i1.397

Submitted: 12 February 2009
Published:  12 February 2009

Abstract

The popularity of social networking sites is relatively recent and the effect of online social networking (OSN) on employee productivity has not received much scholarly attention. The reason most likely lies in the social nature of social networking sites and OSN, which is assumed to have a negative effect on employee productivity and not bear organisational benefit. This reseach investigated recent Internet developments as seen in the social Web and specifically investigated the effect of OSN on employee productivity and what some of the consequences would be if employees were allowed unrestricted access to these networks. The findings concerning the nature of employees' OSN activities, employees' attitude or perceptions with regard to OSN in the workplace and how OSN can contribute or affect the productivity of employees are discussed in this article. Some of the basic misconceptions regarding OSN are highlighted and it is concluded that this technology can be used to increase collaboration between individuals who share a common interest or goal. Increased collaboration will stimulate knowledge sharing between individuals, with the possible effect of increased productivity. However, the risks associated with OSN should be noted, such as loss of privacy, bandwidth and storage consumption, exposure to malware and lower employee productivity.

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Author affiliations

A. Ferreira, Centre for Information and Knowledge Management University of Johannesburg Johannesburg , South Africa
T. du Plessis, Department of Information and Knowledge Management University of Johannesburg Johannesburg , South Africa

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