Academics and Social Media Usage: The Role of Informal Communication on Social Capital Development and Work Performance


The use of social media in organisations including academia setting is important, relevant and pervasive. Scholarly discussion on social media status as an educational platform for innovative pedagogy and richer learning experience has been well established. However, the reliance and impact of social media as an informal platform among academics themselves are less explored. This qualitative study looked at the pattern of social media interaction and explored the role informal communication on social capital development and work performance among communication lecturers. More specifically, the research questions are: 1) What is the pattern of informal communication among communication lecturers? 2) To what extent does informal communication shapes social capital development and 3) In what ways do informal communication helps in work performance? This research paper draws from seven in-depth interviews of communication lecturers who are currently teaching in Malaysian private universities. The discussion on pattern of informal communication include the preferred types of social media, timing of usage, types of massage shared, and types of responses toward messages shared. In terms of social capital development, the majority of them believed that the use of social media foster relationships, but only if one is tactful and mindful is using them. The perceived performance of the lecturers have also been found to have increased not due to trust development but rather better teamwork development via social media interaction.

Author Information
Zulqarnain Abu Hassan, Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
Wan Puspa Melati Wan Halim, SEGi University, Malaysia

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2019
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology

This paper is part of the MediAsia2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon