This study explored social capital theory by investigating the relationship between enterprise social media use (ESM) as measured by an adapted instrument and employee belongingness as measured by the balanced measure of psychological needs (BMPN) scale of employees in USA, moderated by generational age groups. A survey of 155 employees from US corporations was conducted. The results support the theoretical model of social capital as well as three hypothesized relationships. While there was no significant relation between Social-related ESM use and employee belongingness, there was a statistically significant relationship between Work-related ESM use, age generation groups, and employee belongingness. Overall, Generation-X employees showed a higher belongingness score compared to Millennials, and even higher compared to Generation-Z employees. The results indicate that using an internal social media technology for work-related purposes can help employees feel that they belong and are a part of the social makeup of the organization. Work related social media use can also foster greater organizational social capital such as team building resulting in the achievement of organizational objectives and goals. These findings offer implications for research on social capital’s value as an asset for the organization as well as enterprise social media’s ongoing and ever-increasing value.
Keywords: Enterprise Social Media Use, Enterprise Social Networks, Employee Belongingness, Generational Differences, Social Capital