Internal Social Media

Vibeke Thøis Madsen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingEncyclopedia chapterResearchpeer-review


Internal social media (ISM) is a web-based communication arena that provides members of an organization with a communication opportunity. ISM paves the way for both horizontal and upward communication, and it also has the ability to develop knowledge sharing and participatory communication across the organizational hierarchy. In this respect, employees become increasingly active and influential communicators in organizations, and this leads to new challenges and opportunities for strategic communication. Communication on ISM differs from other types of internal communication due to the visibility and persistence of the communication and the ease with which employees can contribute (Treem & Leonardi, 2012). In addition to the communication itself, the names, faces, and perhaps even the job positions and locations of the employees communicating are visible to everyone in the organization. This visibility gives employees a powerful voice in organizations, one that can increase their organizational engagement as well as highlight any shortcomings in the organization. At the same time, ISM turns coworkers into reflective and strategic communicators and allows organizations to become more reflective. Following rhetorical arena theory, ISM is defined as an interactive and dynamic communication arena in which multiple voices act and communicate to, with, against, past, and about each other (Frandsen & Johansen, 2017).The communication arena is perceived as being watched by imagined audiences (Marwick & boyd, 2011), and this influences not only the perceived risks of communicating, but the strategies used by organizational members when they communicate. Coworkers and leaders can discuss and negotiate the organizational identity, and communication in the arena can help them to make sense of their work and of the organization.
Translated title of the contributionInterne sociale medier
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication
EditorsR. L. Heath, W. Johansen
Number of pages9
VolumeVol II
Place of PublicationBoston
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-119-01071-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Internal social media

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Internal Social Media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this