Drawing on Habermas’ theory of communicative action, this conceptual paper proposes the Organizational Social Media Lifeworld (OSML) as a useful model for disentangling the complex use of social media in organizations and its enabling role for organizational communication. Based on the OSML model, we show how social media are intrinsic to each of these four elements—actors, action, entity and culture—and how it enables the two overarching organizational processes of structuration and socialization. Herefrom we delineate a set of communication archetypes for making sense of the plethora of social media activities in organizational contexts, which can further guide research and practice. In order to illustrate the OSML model, we provide seven illustrative vignettes of the use of Facebook Pages for organizational communication pertaining to the various foundational actions and processes within an organization that are supported through four functional material properties. Finally, we provide implications for future research.
Van Osch, Wietske and Coursaris, Contantinos K., "The Duality of Social Media: Structuration and Socialization through Organizational Communication" (2012). SIGHCI 2012 Proceedings. 12.