This is not what I wanted

This is not what I wanted Purpose– Many fresh graduates have unrealistic career expectations. When reality sets in after graduation, they may be disappointed. Due to factors such as the limited availability of feasible alternative career options, employees who have to stay in jobs they dislike may feel trapped. To alleviate the resulting stresses, they may engage in avoidance coping strategies, such as non-work-related social media use, to discharge their mental strains. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the perception of being trapped can result in the adoption of avoidance coping strategies, and how these strategies can influence individual performance and social media use. Design/methodology/approach– Based on the literature on avoidance coping strategy, goal orientation theory, and performance theory, the authors proposed a theoretical model on how the avoidance coping strategy of an individual can influence their performance and workplace behavior. Findings– The authors propose that when a fresh graduate feels “trapped” in a job, the stresses experienced may cause them to hide behind their defense mechanisms. An avoidance coping strategy may then be adopted, and this will influence the individual’s workplace behavior (in terms of non-work-related use of social media) and performance. Practical implications– If an avoidance coping strategy is an antecedent to non-work-related use of social media, then controlling the use of social media in the workplace may only cause these employees to switch to other forms of self-distraction (for instance, spending more time chatting with colleagues). Under some circumstances, the use of such control mechanisms may even give cyberloafers stronger urges to use social media for non-work-related purposes. If this is the case, managers should reconsider their current approach in handling the related behavior. Social implications– If the cause of non-work-related use of social media in the workplace is an avoidance coping strategy, then the engagement of such workplace behaviors should not be considered “intentionally harmful actions”. One important criterion for workplace behavior to qualify as a type of counterproductive behavior is that such behavior must be conducted to be intentionally harmful. Given this, the resulting actions of an avoidance coping strategy should not be considered a form of counterproductive behavior, and the authors should reconsider the conceptualization of cyberloafing provided in the organizational literature. Originality/value– The authors believe that this research represents one of the first attempts to bridge the gap between clinical and managerial literature. It attempts to explain non-work-related use of social media in the workplace from the perspective of trapped perception and avoidance coping strategy, and it argues that not all forms of non-work-related use of social media in the workplace are instances of cyberloafing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Employee Relations: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/this-is-not-what-i-wanted-SoU5rZFDTe
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0142-5455
DOI
10.1108/ER-12-2015-0216
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– Many fresh graduates have unrealistic career expectations. When reality sets in after graduation, they may be disappointed. Due to factors such as the limited availability of feasible alternative career options, employees who have to stay in jobs they dislike may feel trapped. To alleviate the resulting stresses, they may engage in avoidance coping strategies, such as non-work-related social media use, to discharge their mental strains. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the perception of being trapped can result in the adoption of avoidance coping strategies, and how these strategies can influence individual performance and social media use. Design/methodology/approach– Based on the literature on avoidance coping strategy, goal orientation theory, and performance theory, the authors proposed a theoretical model on how the avoidance coping strategy of an individual can influence their performance and workplace behavior. Findings– The authors propose that when a fresh graduate feels “trapped” in a job, the stresses experienced may cause them to hide behind their defense mechanisms. An avoidance coping strategy may then be adopted, and this will influence the individual’s workplace behavior (in terms of non-work-related use of social media) and performance. Practical implications– If an avoidance coping strategy is an antecedent to non-work-related use of social media, then controlling the use of social media in the workplace may only cause these employees to switch to other forms of self-distraction (for instance, spending more time chatting with colleagues). Under some circumstances, the use of such control mechanisms may even give cyberloafers stronger urges to use social media for non-work-related purposes. If this is the case, managers should reconsider their current approach in handling the related behavior. Social implications– If the cause of non-work-related use of social media in the workplace is an avoidance coping strategy, then the engagement of such workplace behaviors should not be considered “intentionally harmful actions”. One important criterion for workplace behavior to qualify as a type of counterproductive behavior is that such behavior must be conducted to be intentionally harmful. Given this, the resulting actions of an avoidance coping strategy should not be considered a form of counterproductive behavior, and the authors should reconsider the conceptualization of cyberloafing provided in the organizational literature. Originality/value– The authors believe that this research represents one of the first attempts to bridge the gap between clinical and managerial literature. It attempts to explain non-work-related use of social media in the workplace from the perspective of trapped perception and avoidance coping strategy, and it argues that not all forms of non-work-related use of social media in the workplace are instances of cyberloafing.

Journal

Employee Relations: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2016

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off