DOI: 10.5176/2251-1970_BizStrategy13.14

Authors: Ricky Yuk-kwan Ng, Heather Höpfl

Abstract:  This paper discusses the technologies enabling social networking in workplaces and specifically, on the work relationships amongst employees by which employees use social networking as a means to form ‘tribes’ for personal identity and recognitions from others in the workplace.

Elaborating the concepts of Everett’s (2011) ‘networked organization’, Godin’s (2009) technologies connected ‘tribes’, Gabriel’s (2005) ‘glass cage’ of surveillance, Goffman’s (1959, 1961) physical ‘secondary adjustments’ and the psychological ‘third type of space’ to resist against the regulations and orders in workplaces, this paper proposes that online social media may formulate a ‘fourth type of space’ in contemporary offices that empowers the employees to territorialize and thereby subvert or challenge the authority structure at work.

An alternative way of looking at this might mean that, the proposed ‘fourth type of space’ may be conducive to enhancing communication and work relationships so as to generate a more congenial and preferential work culture.

Keywords: networked organization; tribes; fourth type of space; work culture

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