Web 2.0 and communication processes at work: Evidence from China

L.H.M. Wong, Carol Ou, R.M. Davison, H. Zhu, C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Research problem: Web 2.0 applications, such as instant messengers and other social media platforms, are fast becoming ubiquitous in organizations, yet their impact on work performance is poorly understood. Research question: What is the relationship between Web 2.0 use, and work-based communication processes and outcomes in China? Literature review: Literature in the fields of information systems and media and communication research supports the value of Web 2.0 for organizations. However, how Web 2.0 can facilitate the organizational communication process and subsequently improve performance is underinvestigated. By adapting and extending the communicative ecology framework and previously published work, we developed and tested a theoretical model to investigate these impacts in the Chinese workplace. Methodology: We conducted a quantitative study using the survey method, with participants randomly selected from a panel database in China. Results and conclusions: We analyzed survey data from 179 organizational employees and found that vertical and horizontal communication contribute significantly to individual and teamwork performance, with high levels of variance explained. In this study, we provide empirical evidence of how Web 2.0 applications enable employees to reach out to collaborators and business partners, thereby boosting individual productivity and team collaboration. The study also highlights the fit between Web 2.0 and the need for organizational horizontal communication in this era of knowledge, information, and creativity. Future researchers should verify the research model in different countries, including local contextual characteristics as either independent variables or moderators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-244
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • communicative ecology framework
  • social media
  • Web 2.0
  • work performance


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