Posted by: bluesyemre | May 23, 2013

Social Media and the Workplace: Legal, Ethical, and Practical Considerations for Management

  • The prevalence, widespread use, and influence of technology in society today, including the workplace, is undeniable. Computers, the Internet, email, and cell phones are now indispensable parts of social interaction as well as business; and their sophistication, uses, and reach are expanding continually. Social media has completely trans formed the life of many, many people. In particular, social media has materially changed the way in which people communicate. Social media affords people readily and easily usable ways to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers, including the ability to rapidly share information and commentary. Business today is also taking advantage of social media – for marketing, management, and human resource purposes. Furthermore, the conception of the “workplace” has been broadened with the advent of technology an d especially the existence of “telecommuting.” “The increase in work outside the office…has further blurred the boundary between work and home, public and private” (Gelms, 2012, p. 268). Social media, therefore, is being widely used in business and professional as well as persona l settings. Of course, social media sites and accounts can contain some very personal and intimate information about people. Consequently, employers, employees, job applicants, as well as the legal system, are confronting with ever-increasing frequency the advancement of technology, the growth and proliferation of social media, and the challenges and difficulties presented by the use of social media and the modern-day workplace. Courts as well as legislative bodies, however, are now just beginning to address legal claims caused by social media and employment. Moreover, the extensive use of social media in the workplace also raises serious moral and ethical concerns.

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