Social media policy on campus: A case study of the development and implementation of a social media policy for university administrators, faculty, and staff
Michelle Brooks Garber, Mercer University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, Mercer University . Awarded
This single-site qualitative study sought to address the challenges associated with the growing use of social media by university administrators, faculty, and staff (Wandel, 2007) through a case study analysis of a university with a social media policy for university employees. The study describes the development and implementation of a university social media policy for staff, faculty, and administrators and incorporates data the researcher gathered from Sophia University's websites and documents, as well as interviews and focus groups with Sophia University faculty, staff, and administrators.
Two main research questions guided the study, each with its own sub-questions: (1) How did Sophia University develop a social media policy governing social networking practices? (a) What was the context for developing a social media policy at Sophia University? (b) What role did the staff, faculty, and administrators play in developing and implementing the social media policy at Sophia University? (c) What are the key components in Sophia University's social media policy? (d) What were the primary concerns and goals of the social media policy developers at Sophia University? (2) How has the social media policy been implemented at Sophia University? (a) Have the intended outcomes of the social media policy at Sophia University been achieved? (b) How have employees at Sophia University interpreted and experienced their social media policy?
The researcher conducted four semi-structured, open-ended interviews and two focus groups sessions with key staff, faculty, and administrators in order to explore each perspective and to obtain recollections of how and why the social media policy was developed and implemented, as well as its impact on employees and students. The researcher based the findings for this study on data organized into 34 minor themes, each of which appeared in at least four of the six transcripts. The minor themes were then assigned to one of four major themes: (a) "Risk and Control with Social Media," (b) "Goals and Means for Social Media," (c) "Content and Platforms for Social Media," and (d) "Process and Implementation of the Social Media Policy.
Garber, M.B. Social media policy on campus: A case study of the development and implementation of a social media policy for university administrators, faculty, and staff. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Mercer University.
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