Sharing Political and Religious Information on Facebook: Coworker Reactions

Felicia O. Kaloydis, Erin M. Richard, Erin M. Maas

Abstract


This study is the first to examine links between social media activity and workplace relationship outcomes. The study examines employees’ perceptions of coworkers who share political and religious information on Facebook. Authors piloted a measure of political and religious information sharing on Facebook (the PRISM-F). Results indicate that employees who frequently post political information on Facebook are less liked by their coworkers. In turn, this reduced liking relates to being less trusted, receiving less help, and receiving lower job performance ratings from coworkers. Religious information sharing was unrelated to these outcomes. Political and religious belief similarity did not moderate the effects of information sharing. This study offers evidence that although engaging in political discourse on Facebook can be tempting, it is associated with potentially negative workplace consequences. Furthermore, organizations may be well served by developing social media policies that caution employees about the potentially negative effects of sharing political information on Facebook. 


Keywords


Social media; information disclosure; interpersonal trust; liking; helping; job performance

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References


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The Journal of Social Media in Society is published by the Texas Social Media Research Institute, based at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.