Social Media and Their Affordances for Organizing: A Review and Agenda for Research


Published: 5Dec2016

Authors: Leonardi, P., Vaast, E. 

PublicationAcademy of Management Annals 


Social media - computer-mediated tools of the web 2.0 generation that make it possible for anyone to create, circulate, share and exchange information in a variety of formats and with multiple communities - have become increasingly widespread in today's organizations. Social media have started to affect multiple organizational facets and processes. This paper pursues three interrelated goals. First, it provides a theoretical framework, based upon the concept of affordances, to theorize the potential implications of social media use for organizing. Second, it reviews existing scholarship on social media and organizing, highlighting social media diffusion, use, and its implications for organizational processes of communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Third, it relies upon the affordance perspective and existing scholarship in order to articulate an agenda for future research on social media and organizing, advocating for a diversification of the phenomena under study and for greater diversity and innovativeness in the methodological approaches devised to investigate these phenomena.

Read full article: Academy of Management Annals, October 3, 2016