Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Harold Goldstein

Committee Members

Charles Scherbaum

Yochi Cohen-Charash

Zhiqing Zhou

Ken Yusko

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


termination, fired, social media


Facebook firing (i.e. employee termination due to social media activity) is a novel type of termination that has developed in recent decades. Though Facebook firing is becoming increasingly common, almost no research has been conducted on this practice. Using a multi-step, multi-method approach, this dissertation attempted to better define the construct and examine its implications for inciting negative reactions from surviving employees, or those employed with the terminated employee at the time of termination, who knew or knew of the employee but were uninvolved in the incident. Study 1 details an effort to identify Facebook firing’s characteristics through a case review. In Study 2, surviving employees were interviewed to identify characteristics pertinent for reactions to this practice. The main study consisted of a 2x2x2 between-subjects, cross-sectional experiment designed to test the main and interactive effects of three characteristics (i.e. post job-relatedness, post authorship, organizational transparency) on survivor fairness and privacy invasion perceptions, as well as the main effect of organizational transparency on survivor organizational trust. Main study hypotheses were largely unsupported, suggesting the characteristics examined had no impact on survivor privacy invasion perceptions, organizational trust, or fairness perceptions. However, exploratory analyses suggest the characteristics examined are differentially important for justice sub-dimensions (i.e., distributive, procedural, and informational justice). As this dissertation was among the first to examine Facebook firing, results improve our understanding of Facebook firing and highlight promising areas for future research. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.