Main Article Content
The purpose of this paper is to assess the potential of using social media in employee engagement within the Singapore military through the theoretical lens of organizational listening, and to ascertain the implications to corporate organizational communication with the transferability of findings made possible by a common pool from which both military and corporate draw their employees. 20 interviewees with varied demographics were interviewed in this research. Findings showed that:
- Text messaging and social media were common communication platforms used for employee engagement;
- Employees feel proud when the organization showcases good work on social media;
- Social media use must be complemented by face-to-face interactions by the organization’s leaders; and
- Employees want to feel valued from the communication efforts by their organization.
Beyond the Singapore military, corporate organizations can better understand the potential of social media as a communication platform for the workforce and the importance of coordinated, consistent, deliberate and strategic communication internally. This study is arguably one of the first to apply findings from military employee engagement research into the corporate settings. Organizations should be cognizant of the high informational and emotional needs of the Gen Y workforce within organizations. Theoretically, it calls for organizational communication theories like organizational listening to reinforce existing internal communication strategies in the current mediascape, which this research attempts to spearhead by mapping its findings against the seven tenets of organizational listening – Recognition, Acknowledgement, Attention, Interpretation, Understanding, Consideration, and Response.
Bakker, A. B. (2011). An evidence-based model of work engagement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4), 265-269.
Beyer, A., & Figenschou, T. U. (2014). Human-Interest Fatigue: Audience Evaluations of a Massive Emotional Story. International Journal of Communication, 8, 1944-1963.
Bittman, M., Brown, J. E., & Wajcman, J. (2009). The mobile phone, perpetual contact and time pressure. Work, employment and society, 23(4), 673-691.
Bizzi, L. (2017). Should HR managers allow employees to use social media at work? Behavioral and motivational outcomes of employee blogging. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-28.
Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T.,... Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 245-267.
Bradburn, N. M., Sudman, S., & Wansink, B. (2004). Asking questions: the definitive guide to questionnaire design--for market research, political polls, and social and health questionnaires. John Wiley & Sons.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
Bray, R. M., Marsden, M. E., & Peterson, M. R. (1991). Standardized comparisons of the use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes among military personnel and corporates. American Journal of Public Health, 81(7), 865-869.
Buddin, R., & Kapur, K. (2002). Tuition assistance usage and first-term military retention. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Burnard, P. (1991). A method of analyzing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse education today, 11(6), 461-466.
Christofides, E., Muise, A., & Desmarais, S. (2009). Information disclosure and control on Facebook: are they two sides of the same coin or two different processes? CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(3), 341-345.
Cooper, L. O. (1997). Listening competency in the workplace: A model for training. Business Communication Quarterly, 60(4), 75-84.
Cooper, L. O., & Husband, R. L. (1993). Developing a model of organizational listening competency. International Listening Association Journal, 7(1), 6-34.
Creswell, J. W., Hanson, W. E., Plano, V. L. C., & Morales, A. (2007). Qualitative research designs selection and implementation. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(2), 236-264.
Currivan, D. B. (2000). The causal order of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in models of employee turnover. Human resource management review, 9(4), 495-524.
Curtis, L., Edwards, C., Fraser, K. L., Gudelsky, S., Holmquist, J., Thornton, K., & Sweetser, K. D. (2010). Adoption of social media for public relations by nonprofit organizations. Public Relations Review, 36(1), 90-92.
Da Cunha, D. (1999). Sociological Aspects of the Singapore Armed Forces. Armed Forces & Society, 25(3), 459-475.
Diga, M., & Kelleher, T. (2009). Social media use, perceptions of decision-making power, and public relations roles. Public Relations Review, 35(4), 440-442.
Eisenberger, R., Fasolo, P., & Davis-LaMastro, V. (1990). Perceived organizational support and employee diligence, commitment, and innovation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75(1), 51-59.
Ellison, N. B., Gibbs, J. L., & Weber, M. S. (2015). The use of enterprise social network sites for knowledge sharing in distributed organizations: The role of organizational affordances. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(1), 103-123.
Farrell, D., & Rusbult, C. E. (1981). Exchange variables as predictors of job satisfaction, job commitment, and turnover: The impact of rewards, costs, alternatives, and investments. Organizational behavior and human performance, 28(1), 78-95.
Frandsen, F., & Johansen, W. (2011). The study of internal crisis communication: towards an integrative framework. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 16(4), 347-361.
Gachago, D., Strydom, S., Hanekom, P., Simons, S., & Walters, S. (2015). Crossing Boundaries: Lecturers’ Perspectives on the Use of Whatsapp to Support Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice, 37(1), 172-187.
Heath, R. L., & Coombs, W. T. (2006). Today’s public relations: An introduction. California, CA: Sage.
Heise, D. R. (2002). Understanding social interaction with Affect Control Theory, In Berger, J. & Zelditch, M. (Eds.). New Directions in Contemporary Sociological Theory (pp. 17-40). New York, NY: Rowman and Littlefield.
Helms, M. M., & Haynes, P. J. (1992). Are you really listening? The benefit of effective intra-organizational listening. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 7(6), 17-21.
Hogg, M. A. (2016). “Social identity theory”, In McKeown, S., Haji, R. and Ferguson, N. (Eds.), Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory (pp. 3-17). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Holden, M. C., & Wedman, J. F. (1993). Future issues of computer-mediated communication: The results of a Delphi study. Educational technology research and development, 41(4), 5-24.
Hooley, T., Wellens, J., & Marriott, J. (2012). What is Online Research?: Using the Internet for social science research. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. Karabell, S. (2016, June 5). What bad bosses can teach you about good leadership. Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelliekarabell/2016/06/05/what-bad- bosses-can-teach-you-about-good-leadership/#2bb1fd524900.
Kent, M. L. (2013). Using social media dialogically: Public relations role in reviving democracy. Public Relations Review, 39(4), 337-345.
Kiesler, S., Siegel, J., & McGuire, T. W. (1984). Social psychological aspects of computer- mediated communication. American Psychologist, 39(10), 1123-1134.
Kim, B. S., Brenner, B. R., Liang, C. T., & Asay, P. A. (2003). A qualitative study of adaptation experiences of 1.5-generation Asian Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9(2), 156-170.
Krueger, G. P. (2001). “Military psychology: United States”, In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pp. 9868-9873). Oxford, England: Elsevier Ltd.
Kumar, V., & Mirchandani, R. (2012). Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), 55-61.
Kushlev, K., & Dunn, E. W. (2015). Checking email less frequently reduces stress. Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 220-228.
Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2017). Qualitative communication research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.
Lindzey, G., Gilbert, D., & Fiske, S. T. (1998). The handbook of social psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Lloyd, K. J., Boer, D., Keller, J. W., & Voelpel, S. (2015). Is my boss really listening to me? The impact of perceived supervisor listening on emotional exhaustion, turnover intention, and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 130(3), 509-524.
Lobdell, C. L., Sonoda, K. T., & Arnold, W. E. (1993). The influence of perceived supervisor listening behavior on employee commitment. International Listening Association. Journal, 7(1), 92-110.
Lowe, D., Levitt, K. J., & Wilson, T. (2008). Solutions for retaining Generation Y employees in the workplace. Business Renaissance Quarterly, 3(3), 43-57.
MacCormick, J. S., Dery, K., & Kolb, D. G. (2012). Engaged or just connected? Smartphones and employee engagement. Organizational Dynamics, 41(3), 194-201.
Macey, W. H., & Schneider, B. (2008). The meaning of employee engagement. Industrial and organizational Psychology, 1(1), 3-30.
Macnamara, J. (2015). Creating an “architecture of listening” in organizations: The basis of engagement, trust, healthy democracy, social equity, and business sustainability. Sydney, NSW: UTS.
Macnamara, J. (2016). Organizational listening: the missing essential in public communication. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Mangold, W. G., & Faulds, D. J. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), 357-365.
Markos, S., & Sridevi, M. S. (2010). Employee engagement: The key to improving performance. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(12), 89-96.
Mayfield III, T. D. (2011). A commander's strategy for social media. Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved from: https://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2 /a535374.pdf
Men, L. R. (2012). CEO credibility, perceived organizational reputation, and employee engagement. Public Relations Review, 38(1), 171-173.
Meho, L. I. (2006). E‐mail interviewing in qualitative research: A methodological discussion. Journal of the American society for information science and technology, 57(10), 1284-1295.
MINDEF (2018a, May 2). Cyber defence. Retrieved from https://www.mindef. gov.sg/web/portal/mindef/defence-matters/defence-topic/defence-topic-detail/cyber-defence
MINDEF (2018b, February 12). Fact Sheet: MINDEF Cyber NSF Scheme. Retrieved from https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/portal/mindef/news-and-events/latest-releases/article-detail/2018/february/12feb18_fs
Norris, N. (1997). Error, bias and validity in qualitative research. Educational action research, 5(1), 172-176.
Penna (2007). Meaning at Work Research Report. Retrieved from: https://ciodevelopment .com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2006-10-08-08-36- 31_Penna-Meaning-at-Work-Report.pdf.
Podsakoff, P. M., & MacKenzie, S. B. (1994). An examination of the psychometric properties and nomological validity of some revised and reduced substitutes for leadership scales. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79(5), 702-713.
Porath, C. (2015). The leadership behavior that’s most important to employees, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2015/05/the-leadership-behavior-thats-most-important-to-employees.
Reinke, K., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2014). When email use gets out of control: Understanding the relationship between personality and email overload and their impact on burnout and work engagement. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 502-509.
Rhoades, L., & Eisenberger, R. (2002). Perceived organizational support: A review of the literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 698-714.
Robinson, D., Perryman, S., & Hayday, S. (2004). The drivers of employee engagement, Report-Institute for Employment Studies. Retrieved from: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/408.pdf.
Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 600-619.
Schaufeli, W.B. (2013). What is engagement? In C. Truss, K. Alfes, R. Delbridge, A. Shantz, & E. Soane (Eds.), Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice (pp. 15-35. London: Routledge.
Shaw, J. D., Dineen, B. R., Fang, R., & Vellella, R. F. (2009). Employee-organization exchange relationships, HRM practices, and quit rates of good and poor performers. Academy of Management Journal, 52(5), 1016-1033.
Sitkin, S. B., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Barrios-Choplin, J. R. (1992). A dual-capacity model of communication media choice in organizations, Human Communication Research, 18(4), 563-598.
Smith, D. R., Holtom, B. C., & Mitchell, T. R. (2011). Enhancing precision in theprediction of voluntary turnover and retirement, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 290-302.
Snider, D. M., Priest, R. F., & Lewis, F. (2001). The civilian-military gap and professional military education at the pre-commissioning level, Armed Forces and Society, 27(2), 249-272.
Solnet, D., & Hood, A. (2008). Generation Y as hospitality employees: Framing a research agenda. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 15(1), 59-68.
Trenkov, L. (2014). Managing teacher-student interaction via WhatsApp platform, In Chova, L. G., Martinez, A. L. & Torres, I. C. (Eds.), Proceedings from 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (pp. 6596-6600). Barcelona, Spain: IATED Academy.
Turban, D. B., & Greening, D. W. (1997). Corporate social performance and organizational attractiveness to prospective employees, Academy of management journal, 40(3), 658-672.
Vaismoradi, M., Turunen, H., & Bondas, T. (2013). Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing & health sciences, 15(3), 398-405.
Wang, D. S., & Hsieh, C. C. (2013). The effect of authentic leadership on employee trust and employee engagement. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 41(4), 613-624.
Waters, R. D., Burnett, E., Lamm, A., & Lucas, J. (2009). Engaging stakeholders through social networking: How nonprofit organizations are using Facebook, Public Relations Review, 35(2), 102-106.
Wright, D. K., & Hinson, M. D. (2010). How new communications media are being used in public relations: A longitudinal analysis, Public Relations Journal, 4(3), 1-27.
Yazinski, S.S. (2009). Strategies for retaining employees and minimizing turnover. Retrieved from https://hr.blr.com/white papers.aspxid=80396
Yeaton, K. (2008). Recruiting and managing the ‘why?’ generation: Gen Y, The CPA Journal, 78(4), 68.
Yin, R. K. (2014). Case Study Research Design and Methods (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.