Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Individuals are increasingly connected with their coworkers on personal and professional social network sites (SNS) (e.g., Facebook), with consequences for workplace relationships. Drawing on SNS research and on social identity and boundary management theory, we surveyed 202 employees and found that coworkers’ friendship acts (e.g., liking, commenting) were positively associated with closeness to coworkers when coworkers were similar in age to or older than the respondent and were positively associated with organizational citizenship behaviors towards coworkers (OCBI) when coworkers were similar in age. Conversely, harmful behaviors from coworkers (e.g., disparaging comments) were negatively associated with closeness when coworkers were older than the respondent, and with OCBI when coworkers were older than the respondent and coworkers’ friendship acts were high. Preferences for work-life segmentation moderated the relationship between coworkers’ friendship acts and OCBI (but not closeness) such that the positive relationship was stronger when the respondent had low (vs. high) preferences for segmentation. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this study and propose an agenda for future research.





When commenting on articles, please be friendly, welcoming, respectful and abide by the AIS eLibrary Discussion Thread Code of Conduct posted here.