Crossing the hierarchies in organizations: Making sense of coworker dissent and circumvention on internal social media

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The paper explores how and why the visibility and persistence of coworker communication on internal social media (ISM) influence organizational dissent. A single case study was conducted in a Danish Bank. Discussions initiated by coworkers on internal social media were studied for four months, and 24 coworkers were interviewed about their communication behavior and their perception of communication on internal social media. The study found that coworkers would deliberately use the visibility of communication in the ISM arena to put forward issues that had been ignored by middle managers or support staff. Senior managers were perceived to watch the arena, and this would influence middle managers or other employees responsible for different issues to respond. The efficacy of dissent therefore seemed to increase with the presence of ISM. Especially when a post was perceived as well-formulated and an act of prosocial behavior. A new unwritten rule therefore seemed to have emerged that dissent and even circumvention on ISM was acceptable when framed in a constructive manner, and the dissent was for the benefit of the organization.
TidsskriftGlobe: A Journal of Language, Culture and Communication
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 6 nov. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • ISM
  • circumvention
  • coworkers as communicators
  • employee communication
  • enterprise social media
  • internal social media
  • organizational dissent