Research project: Social media and team creativity model (SMTCM)


Research project: Is social media a distraction or an enhancement for organizations? A social media and team creativity model (SMTCM)

This project is supported under the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS) 2016/2017 of the Research Grants Council (RGC).

Principal Investigator: Dr. CUI Xiling, Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration

Amount awarded: HK$755,650

Dr. CUI Xiling

Social media is widely used nowadays and changing people’s lives. Many existing studies have examined the influence of social media on our daily life or customer service. However, research on the application of social media among employees in the organizational context is scant, especially on its influence on team creativity. According to Dr. CUI Xiling, the Principal Investigator of this research project, their study aims to fill in this gap.

Dr. CUI said, according to Facebook’s statistics, there is over 4.4 million users in Hong Kong in 2014, with a penetration rate of around 60%, and by the end of 2016, the ratio reached 72%. In addition, many people in Hong Kong use WhatsApp and WeChat for mobile instant messaging. In January 2017, around 66% of Hong Kong people are using mobile devices to access social media. Undoubtedly, social media and its applications are shaping the way individuals and organizations communicate. “But dose social media use impede or enhance some aspects of job performance, such as innovation, in an organizational context? This is what we want to find out.” She said.

Dr. CUI said whether they like it or not, employers realize that increasingly their employees use social media to communicate with each other. Leaving voice or text messages for team members is replacing some fact-to-face communication, due to its effectiveness and efficiency. Employees also use their organizational mobile devices at home, extending team communication beyond the traditional workplace boundaries. When mobile devices are incorporated into work processes, the traditional ways of structuring work patterns are altered to be more diversified. These changes in communication influence many aspects of a team, especially the interaction among team members, which in turn influences team creativity.

“This study aims to examine the social media usage of employees and its effect on team creativity. We propose a social media and team creativity model (SMTCM) based on group property framework. Group properties usually include role, cohesiveness, norms, status, size and diversity of groups. We examined each property from an interpersonal perspective with regard to social media use and then, developed five social-media-enhanced interpersonal factors for team creativity, including role trust, team cohesiveness, collaboration facilitation, conformity pressure reduction, and social loafing prevention.” Dr. CUI said.

According to Dr. CUI, these factors are believed to be influenced by social media use and thereby to influence team creativity. Moreover, they believe the ubiquity of social media positively affects social media use.

“This study is expected to contribute to the existing literature by highlighting the role of social media use on team creativity and offer important insights to both research and practice.” Dr. CUI said.

Source: May Issue 2017


Bookmark and Share