See you at LinkedIn - The complex link between employees and organizations

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to contribute with knowledge about how employees perceive their LinkedIn usage in relation to their organization. To increase the awareness of how organizations can work strategically with LinkedIn the link between organizations and employees has been studied. Other studies examining LinkedIn have mostly had a recruiter perspective or have not considered users as employees at an organization. The research is conducted by using a qualitative method, where the authors interviewed eleven employees at three different corporations. The interviews were made to gain a deep understanding of the employees’ perception and usage of the networking site. The origin of the study is within strategic communication, with contributing research about the Corporate Value Circle, alignment, and vision, culture, and brand. Additionally, the Uses and Gratification theory is used to gain knowledge about the participant's motivations of using LinkedIn. The findings show that sharing organizational related content at LinkedIn goes beyond just sharing content with organizational values, but rather, it is a channel where they can manifest. Employees can be seen as vital third-party endorsers, although the relationship is both complex and needs careful ethical consideration. The study also showed that for the organization to create shareable content on LinkedIn the employees’ needs and finding the right tonality is the most vital aspects. Findings from this study findings show that through communication activities, such as through the creation of relevant LinkedIn content, organizational values can get reflected through their employees. Further research could be able to investigate if this can create a stronger alignment for the organization as a brand.

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