U5 L13: Social media and organizational culture

Social media has changed everything.

You have businesses/brands using it to spread a variety of messages, including promotions…


new products…


and even jokes.

But what is also interesting is that businesses are using it as a platform to show what their organization climate is like: or what they want you to imagine it is.

A close friend of mine confided in me and told me how her place of employment was being deceiving. It was a small business and the owner would constantly ask people to pose for photos to post on Facebook and Twitter. It made it look like the employees were always laughing and having a ball in the office. Little did their audience know, most of the employees felt that the environment was toxic and felt forced to pose for these photos.

Although, perhaps the genuine underlying values of the owner were in line with how it was being presented on social media, the organizational climate was far off, according to the employees.

I see this as an ethical issue, as it shows how companies are trying to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape and sometimes are creating content that is not completely transparent. In this case, the owner of the company was being a bit selfish, in wanting his company to come across as “cool” and also maintaining a “cosmopolitan” perspective but lacked being in tune with the local viewpoint of his employees.



Pennsylvania State University. (2016). PSY 533 SP16. [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from:  https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1775390

One Comment

  1. John K. Theiring April 24, 2016 at 5:49 PM #

    I guess an organization can try to mask or deceive people through social media regarding their organization and ethical culture and climate. However at some point this is going to backfire. Most business whether brick-and-mortar or web based require some level of customer satisfaction in order for repeat business and growth. Even by using social media to portray a happy and wonderful environment, if the employees are dealing with the reality of a toxic environment, they will not be motivated or care about customer service and satisfaction. Along with dysfunctional and withdrawal behavior this can cause people to quit and not the organization is burdened with the expense of hiring and training new people. This culture and climate would not be sustainable for a company wishing to grow and be successful


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