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“When Social Networks Cross Boundaries” by Skeels and Grudin Research Paper

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Updated: Feb 12th, 2021

Problem description

In this study, the researcher tried to assess the significance of publicly accessible social networking sites. The utilization of social networking software is very simple compared to other technologies that existed initially. Questions are therefore raised whether these sites boost the productivity and potentiality of organizations. The usage of social networking software by experts is growing rapidly. Actually, in the past few years, social networking sites have become so important in different enterprises. Even though the usage of Facebook was initially limited to universities, it has opened up to commercial users. Numerous individuals who participated in this research/study were employees in a company using Facebook as a social networking site. A similar proportion of workers also utilized LinkedIn accounts. In the past years, the number of employees using LinkedIn has grown tremendously (4 times). This shows that, currently, the use of social networking at workplaces has become widespread, about complex designs that vary with software structure and networking age. This research, therefore, helps to clearly understand why there is the increased usage of social networking sites incorporates.


Total random samples of 1000 individuals were taken for the study. However, only 430 participants responded. The survey involved demographic information such as age, sex, and their roles in the company. Also, behavior, as well as attitudes towards social networking software, was included. Participants of the survey were allowed to give free-text answers that described their opinions and experiences with social networking software. “Atlas.it” and open coding was utilized to aid in the analysis of answers for subjects.

It is vital to note that semi-structured interviews were executed on nearly 30 respondents. The kind of responses received was used to choose 9 interview participants. This was to analyze how social networking software affects different ages, their roles, and levels in the organization regarding their approach, geographic positions. All interviews were carried out by both authors, particularly in an office. They were recorded willingly. Participants that were distant geographically were interviewed through the phone. All those who participated were requested to describe their experience in their professions and any other earlier experience in using social networking software. Also, they were asked their present usage, when, where, and how they began using it. Those who commonly used social networking software were asked how they speculate the evolution of social networking software.

Records were typed after every interview. Audio recordings were also retrieved to verify information that was not fully clear. “Atlas. ti” software was used to “open-code” the data obtained from the interview. Different opinions collected from the participants were coded. Several themes emerged from both the free-text survey data as well as the interrogation data.


Studies showed that most of the participants that were interviewed and worked abroad used other social network sites. However, most of the employees in this association are in the United States. All of those who responded to the survey agreed that social networking software is indeed useful not only for socializing at a personal level but also for networking within a company as well as exterior professional networking. Besides, younger employees (aged below 26 years) were found to appreciate this technology most. Other age groups were found to appreciate social networking sites for personal socializing and networking.

The incidence of accepting new associates decreased with age. The highest use of LinkedIn was recorded amongst employees between the age of 26 and 45. Conversely, the use of Facebook is remarkably high among younger employees and this reduces with age. According to the study, LinkedIn is most useful for recruiters or those who are seeking jobs and business consultants or vendors. Though, the existing assertiveness of older specialists is evident in the common feeling that LinkedIn is only used by those seeking jobs (Skeels, 2009).

The study also reveals that families, who already have recognized careers, showed very little concern for online social networking. They do not consider social networking suitable for them since most of them remind them about the available job offers. The question remains whether there are benefits that this category of people can get from social networking sites. Besides, LinkedIn also offers smart clarification to a social dilemma. Studies also reveal that LinkedIn allows an individual to maintain a healthy relationship by conserving awareness of the activity of other people. From the connections, a person can sometimes analyze networks to check who changed their jobs. The use of social networking is more common amongst some age groups. Some respondents observed that older employees use LinkedIn to recruit or get vendors.

Social networking software allows for trivial communication with no interruption. Most participants appreciated the significance of networking technology than using email since an individual can schedule when to check for information whenever they like without necessarily waiting for notifications from the senders. Facebook has minimal obstruction when it comes to creating connections/friendships. Studies revealed that although Facebook is used widely, it is not used everywhere in maintaining the responsiveness of coworkers and in building healthy relationships. This makes most people use it in creating stronger exterior networks.


From the study, it is notable that social networks are utilized extensively by numerous organizations. Even though LinkedIn is preferably meant for younger specialists, it is commonly used in creating and maintaining external expert networks. Facebook, another social networking site, was embraced by most employees for communication with families, friends as well as past classmates. About work environments, the benefits of social networking software are more inclined to building and reinforcing close relations. Professionally, social networking software has been embraced. However, pressures rise from incorporating work and professional acquaintances and from traversing organizational heights. There are also social resolutions that govern the usage that develops together with the software.

Notably, various workers at Microsoft have adopted and embraced social networking sites. Persons using these sites range from individual subscribers to topmost management, although usage is linked with age. It is conceivable that several people are enthusiastically creating social networks. Not only young employees are embracing social networking but also older employees who need to join new professional groups or those who need to recruit people or want to do sales. This study is also appropriate and useful as it is related to other studies. It has covered most of the important areas on the usefulness of social networking; however, its major weakness is that it did not take the perceptions of the management of organizations into much consideration.


Skeels, M. & Grudin, J. (2009). When Social Networks Cross Boundaries: A Case Study of Workplace Use of Facebook and LinkedIn. Web.

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