Achieving organizational identification through social network utilization and organizational communication : a member-based organization perspective.




Larosiliere, Gregory D.

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In recent years, organizations have utilized social network sites (SNS) to communicate with its members about organization-related matters, as well as build a virtual community for members to congregate. Various types of organizations have turned to social media to campaign for social and economic change, engage and empower members around important social issues and causes, and promote various activities and events. In particular, member-based organizations (i.e. community service associations) have long been considered important to society and business by offering the public an institution that aids their development and growth both personally and professionally. However, the survival of member-based organizations depends greatly on the involvement of its members and its ability to meet its goals and objectives. Prior research has found that organizational identification among members can improve an organization's chances for survival and future growth. In fact, some studies have found that organizational communication and communication media usage positively influence organization identification, but limited research has been done to investigate the connection between communication media use, organizational communication, and organizational identification. To bridge the gap in research, we examine the effects of social network usage and organizational communication on organizational identification. Drawing upon Organizational Identification, Social Exchange Theory, and Communicative Ecology Theory, we provide a theory-based explanation in the relationship between social network system usage and organizational identification. Results from the study suggest that social network systems usage positively influences organizational communication, but the interaction effects of social network utilization adversely impacted lateral communication between members of equal hierarchical status. In addition, we found that organizational communication is positively associated with organizational identification. Further, we found that a member's leadership and committee membership did not moderate the impact organizational communication has on organizational identification, but was significantly associated with organizational identification. In our post-hoc analysis, results suggest that organizational communication mediates the relationship between social network system usage and organizational identification. The dissertation will provide further discussion of the research findings, implications for theory and practice, recommendations for future research, and conclusion.