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Blogging in the Workplace Has Value

By Anindya Ghose, Robert L. & Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow & Associate Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences

ghose blog research article

Companies adopting social media for internal use should invest in displaying reputation metrics for content contributors and make them prominent on the enterprise-wide blogging forums to create incentives for employees to contribute content.

Workers of the world, blog on! That’s the message from NYU Stern professor Anindya Ghose, who found that blogging within enterprises by employees during their work day has positive long-term benefits for their employer. Somewhat counter-intuitively, that goes for both work-related (professional content) and leisure-related blogging.

Over a 15-month period, Ghose and colleagues studied bloggers in a Fortune 500 IT consulting and services company with generous policies on blogging, as well as work environments where the company prohibits leisurely blogging.
They found that when organizations permit leisure blogging, it positively affects the writing and sharing of work-related blog posts and creates opportunities for strengthening employee networks. By contrast, when organizations restrict leisure blogging, the sharing of online work-related knowledge decreases.

The theory -- articulated in their paper “A Structural Model of Employee Behavioral Dynamics in Enterprise Social Media” and blogged about in Forbes -- is that creating social media content at work not only helps employees educate colleagues who are seeking information, but also helps them build social relationships in the workplace. An employee can attract fellow employees to his blog with an entertaining or leisure post and, because work-related posts are on the same page, there is a spillover effect as people tend also to read the work-related articles. Moreover, “Online conversations can also reinforce offline conversations,” says Ghose. As workers stay more connected around the clock through electronic devices, Ghose and his co-authors are trying to understand how changing relationships and modes of communication are affecting workplace productivity.

In addition, Ghose suggests, “Companies adopting social media for internal use should invest in displaying reputation metrics for content contributors and make them prominent on the enterprise-wide blogging forums to create incentives for employees to contribute content.”