Using the E-leadership theory as the conceptual framework, the study examined strategic communicators’ perceptions of the impact of social media use on their work, leadership behaviors, and work-life conflict. Through a national sample of communication professionals (N = 458), this study revealed the following key findings. The use of YouTube in professionals’ work, social media use in media relations, employee communications, and cause-related marketing/social marketing were significantly, positively associated with participants’ perceptions of the enhancing impact of social media use. Social media use in crisis management and employee communications significantly, positively predicted professionals’ perceptions of social media’s aggravating impact (e.g., extended work hours, increased workload) on their work. The use of Facebook and YouTube in strategic communication, the use of social media in environmental scanning, as well as the positive and negative impact of social media use all significantly and positively predicted communication professionals’ leadership behaviors. When the unintended negative effects of social media use happened, professionals perceived a low control over their work and thereby experienced a high level of time-based and strain-based work-life conflict. Finally, public affairs/governmental relations professionals who were frequent users of social media for their work reported a high level of strain-based work-life conflict.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science