1st Edition

Social Media, Work and Organisations Narratives of Identity, Power and Control

By Claire Taylor Copyright 2025
    254 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Social media use is a confounding aspect of organisations, aiding interconnection, communication and productivity. Its use has undoubtedly impacted on human resource management and the establishment of harmonious contemporary employment relationships. Its use challenges the traditional boundaries which existed between work and privacy and in doing so seemingly increases organisational power and management control. This book discusses the impact social media has on work; how it is used to stage the organisation, self-identity, power and control using four conceptual themes: Adoption, shaping and staging of social media in organisations; digitised regimes of power, control and surveillance; evolving identity, employee voice and dramaturgical performance online, and employee forms of resistance, sousveillance and social media misbehaviours. These themes are brought to life through the lived experiences and narratives of workers who hold roles in human resources, management, and frontline operations. This approach highlights a unique multi-perspective on social media use by giving voice to these workers. The book uses these individual narratives to reposition the ways employees utilise social media for sousveillance, dissent and resistance purposes. In doing so, the book encourages wider debate, critical reflection, and self-reflexivity on rarely discussed management approaches or (mis)behaviours associated with social media use and their profound implications for power dynamics in organisations.

    Introduction: About this book


    Section 1: The Opening: Concepts, Corporate Environments and Central Characters


    Section 2. Act 1: Adopting, shaping, and staging social media use in organisations


    Act 1. Scene 1: Hegemonic forces: How organisations adopt, stage and use particular social media in work


    Act 1. Scene 2: Players and voices: How differing organisational actors adopt, stage and use a variety of social media in work


    Section 3. Act 2: Digitised regimes of power: How control and surveillance are established at work


    Act 2. Scene 1: Discipling discourses; social media rules and regulation


    Act 2. Scene 2: Digital panopticons; Towers of surveillance in social media use


    Section 4. Act 3: Evolving identities and dramaturgical performance online


    Act 3. Scene 1: The multi-dimensional self: Identity and new ways of being online


    Act 3. Scene 2: Keeping up appearances: aesthetic labour in digitised working contexts


    Section 5. Act 4: Conflict, resistance, and social media (mis) behaviours


    Act 4. Scene 1: Can you hear me? Stories of resistance, employee voice and sousveillance in online contexts


    Act 4. Scene 2: People do dumb stuff on social media: Novel crimes and contradictory social media (mis)behaviours


    Section 6. Finale: Illusory social butterflies: Conclusions, future research and reading


    Claire Taylor is a Principal Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Nottingham Trent University. Her research interests and recent publications have focused on employment relations, social media use, identity, emerging surveillance and sousveillance practices, organisational (mis)behaviour, and the impact these have on freedom of expression, employee voice, management approaches and power dynamics at work.