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School of Business and Management

The contested terrain of social media in employment

29 March 2017

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: 4.04/4.08 Bancroft Building

Speaker name and affiliation

Prof Paula McDonald, Queensland University of Technology, Australia


Sociology, Psychology, Organization Studies, Flexible Work, Gender, Employment Relations, Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Social Media, Youth

Seminar title

'The contested terrain of social media in employment'


A small body of emerging research suggests that employers are increasingly profiling employees and institutionalising social boundaries by codifying, monitoring and enforcing professional online conduct. This presentation addresses three primary sources of contestation: profiling, disparaging online posts, and private use of social media. In each area, the key tensions and underlying concerns of employees and employers are identified. Findings from a survey derived from 2,000 working age adults in Australia and the UK will also be discussed. More broadly, the presentation explores how the architecture of social media disrupts traditional workplace relations and reshapes the boundaries between public and private spheres.

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