Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

William O. Dwyer

Committee Member

Robert Cohen

Committee Member

Charles Pierce

Committee Member

Frank Andrasik


Through two studies, this research is some of the first to-date to test how the use of social networking websites affects worker well-being and career success. In a period of less than a decade, online social media has quickly redefined many core aspects of human relationships. In 2012, the website, Facebook, reported that one in eight people worldwide used the site weekly. Given such prevalence, this research has far reaching implications for U.S. workers and organizations. The first study (N = 238) used structural equation modeling to examine the effect of site use with coworkers on well-being through increases in the job resource, coworker support, and the potential reduction of burnout, effort reduction, and turnover intentions. Partial support for the first study’s hypotheses was detected, specifically concerning the negative consequences of stress-focused online coworker interactions. Study 2 (N = 298), a social capital approach, compared the amount of career resources between those who use online social media and those who do not. The results widely supported the hypotheses with the social media users reporting more contacts in other functions and higher levels, potential and acted-on career endorsement relationships, and weak tie work-related relationships. These results remained significant when controlling for the potentially biasing effects of age and personality. Additional research is needed to provide individuals with valid and reliable direction for how online social media may benefit their careers and well-being.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.