Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


School of Communication and Media

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Philip Bakelaar

Committee Member

Todd Kelshaw

Committee Member

Christopher McKiney


Business communication, Online social networks--Economic aspects


Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook and Twitter have reinvented how publics communicate with one another. Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) are a form of Social Network Sites (SNS) which many organizations are adopting within their communication practices. The primary goal of ESNs is to engage employees through social interaction which is intended to create company communities which users can use to access business information, team updates and team performance statistics. The current study examines assumptions present in purveyor literature about how ESNs are intended to provide benefit in six aspects of organizational development: organizational communication, information communication technology, technology mediated communication, employee motivation, knowledge sharing and building relationship. Several ESNs were evaluated according to these six categories. Building Relationships and Organizational Communication were found in five of the ESNs analyzed; Technology Mediated Communication and Knowledge Sharing were found in four of the ESNs analyzed; Information Communication Technology was found in two of the ESNs; and Employee Motivation was not found in either of the ESNs analyzed. Overall, the study finds that purveyors intend ESNs to contribute to a variety, but not all, of the identified aspects.

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