Society for Case Research MBAA 2020

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Kristi M. Bockorny

Did You Post That? The Impact of Social Media on the Organization

This case describes the conflict that can be caused when an employee turns to social media to discuss work issues. In this instance, an employee was dissatisfied with the three finalists who were announced to fill the provost/vice president of academic affairs position for a small mid-western liberal arts university. This employee had over 900 friends on Facebook that could have potentially seen the post. Members of the employee search committee, administration officials, and community members were all among those who saw the post. Some search committee members were surprised and hurt by the post. The case brings attention to the role stakeholders have within an organization. It also poses the question on whether employees (a stakeholder group) can post whatever s/he wants to say on social media, especially when it is directed at the organization. The specific questions at the end are focused on what a supervisor would do in this situation. What would you do if someone came to you to complain about this Facebook post? Do you believe this employee should be able to make any comment on her personal Facebook page? What are the implications to the university when posts like this are made?