Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Daniel Zantedeschi, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Balaji Padmanabhan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Giti Javidi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ehsan Sheybani, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Denny Yin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nasir Ghani, Ph.D.


Employee Performance, Career Mobility, Knowledge Sharing, Social Networking


In recent years, the interest of practitioners and managers in social networking applications and social knowledge-sharing has increased. While these platforms allow individuals to collaborate, form/maintain social ties, and share/receive knowledge and expertise, and share/receive knowledge/expertise, they also provide a unique collaborative environment for organizations, enabling leaders to promote communication and collaboration among employee silos, engage them with others, and promote corporate core values once adopted internally.

Despite increasing efforts by scholars to uncover the underlying factors that influence members' participation in such platforms, there is still a lack of understanding of the fundamental motivating factor for such contributions and the major factors that influence it. Prior research has examined the motivations, concerns, and barriers to participation, and it has been asserted that intrinsic (e.g., self-satisfaction) and extrinsic (e.g., economic value) motives play significant roles in motivating participation.

We argue, however, that while social knowledge-sharing applications have revolutionized how individuals and employees communicate and interact socially within and outside of organizations, they may have a significant impact on their careers and performance, i.e., participation in such platforms may influence individuals' job outcomes.

Moreover, while there has been a great deal of research on the use of social networking and social knowledge-sharing applications and platforms, there has, to the best of our knowledge, been relatively little research on the role of enterprise social networking and knowledge-sharing usage contexts, i.e., within the boundaries of (medium to large) organizations, and how these attributes can influence employees' performance and job mobility events. This dissertation investigates how individuals utilize social knowledge-sharing platforms and the impact that these applications have on their performance and job mobility.

The first chapter investigates the relationship between an individual's participation in a closed social knowledge-sharing platform and job mobility events centered on their promotions through employees’ actions on an enterprise social networking platform. In this study, we identify the contexts in which employees use enterprise social networking (ESN) platforms by employing cutting-edge text-mining algorithms on employees' actions on an S&P500 company's ESN platform. We then examine the relationship between people's participation in an ESN platform and job mobility events. According to our analysis based on modern topic modeling methods, employee participation on workplace social networking platforms has multiple dimensions; however, it is primarily used for knowledge-sharing, social networking, employee engagement, and volunteer activities. In addition, we utilized Survival (hazard rate) models to determine how employee participation in organizational social networking sites influences career mobility events such as promotions. Due to their adaptability and capability, hazard models have been widely utilized in the I.S. domain. Hazard models are a statistical method for calculating the probability that an individual will experience an event within a specified time frame, given that the individual has been exposed to the possibility of the event occurring.

We provide empirical evidence in this chapter that employees' contributions to knowledge-sharing, social networking, and organizational engagement via ESN increase the likelihood of job mobility; however, a higher number of complaints is, perhaps surprisingly, associated with an increased likelihood of job mobility. We hypothesize that higher levels of knowledge-sharing, social networking, and employee engagement, as well as fewer complaints, are associated with self-promotion, resulting in a greater chance of promotion.

In addition to enterprise social networking applications, we were interested in seeing if the participation of employees in workplace communication programs (also known as Instant Messaging applications) has an impact on their performance (which has a direct impact on employees' job mobility events). These programs were introduced to the market for the sole purpose of communication, but they also contain elements that facilitate social networking and knowledge-sharing activities. Using longitudinal data on employees' I.M. activities and performance evaluation, the second chapter examines the relationships between I.M. usage at work and performance evaluation, the company's key assessment measure. In this study, we define the fundamental reasons for I.M. usage in the workplace and use cutting-edge text-mining tools to quantify the impact of these qualities on employee performance. We believe that the adoption of Instant Messaging (IM) programs in the workplace will continue to be challenging due to the difficulty of measuring organizational benefits and how they affect individual performance. Prior research on the effect of I.M. usage on employee performance has primarily relied on primary data (i.e., survey methods), making the extrapolation to a constantly evolving workplace difficult. Using longitudinal data from a U.S. Fortune 500 financial corporation on employees' I.M. activities and performance evaluation, we investigate the relationships between these individuals' I.M. usage at work and their organization's most important assessment metric, performance evaluation. Using cutting-edge multi-label classification algorithms, we identify the key motivations for I.M. adoption in businesses and investigate the impact of these characteristics on employee performance.

In this chapter, we specified several regression models to assess the relationship between employee performance and I.M. usage goals (social networking, team communication, knowledge sharing, and interruption) in the workplace. The initial fixed-effects (F.E.) model accounted for the repeated-measurement nature of the data (i.e., each employee used I.M. for multiple purposes) by allowing each employee to have their own intercept. Consequently, both observed and unobserved heterogeneity are incorporated into the models. Our findings indicate that I.M. in the workplace can enhance team communication, knowledge sharing, and employee social networking, but it can also be disruptive in all circumstances. Conversely, the combined effect of team communication and knowledge-sharing on employee performance can counteract the negative impact of I.M. interruptions on employee performance.

In the first two chapters, we investigate the relationship between participants' contributions to closed (also known as enterprise) social knowledge-sharing applications. In the third chapter, however, we investigate the impact of online open social knowledge-sharing activities on contributors' personal brands and measure the effect of this mediation role on professionals' job mobility events. This chapter contributes to the existing body of literature on Self-Presentation Theory in the context of Personal Branding with the research study presented here.

This chapter argues that Personal Brand is a mediator of Job Mobility. Instead of presenting a direct relationship between the dependent variable (Job Mobility) and the independent variables, we propose that the independent variables affect the mediating variable, personal brand, which in turn influences the dependent variable, Job Mobility.

Our findings support the effects of skill sets, the quality of members' shared content, content sentiment on personal branding, and the mediating role of personal branding in employee job mobility events. As a mediator variable, personal branding influences job mobility for individuals who participate in online knowledge-sharing networks like Stack Overflow, whereas work experience and education do not. According to our findings, the probability of job mobility rises by 0.3% for each point of reputation improvement.

This dissertation backs up and expands on previous research by recognizing that social networking applications and platforms are excellent channels for individuals to obtain and share knowledge, create and maintain social links, engage with others, and get their views heard by other professionals. Our findings show that the primary usages of such applications are for knowledge sharing and social networking purposes, which can directly impact employee performance and job mobility events. However, our research has limitations that require more study. First, the findings should be validated against a larger sample of individuals from different industries to gain more insights. Even though we worked with a unique dataset in each chapter, we propose more organizations from different markets and industries to make similar datasets available to scholars. Access to a dataset with more variables (e.g., performance) could improve the statistical identification. Moreover, having access to a dataset that includes both individuals’ contributions before and after Covid-19 will provide scholars a unique opportunity to reassess the analysis and check whether the pattern of participants’ contribution differs concerning the Covid incident and whether new patterns have any impact on individuals performance and job mobility events.