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The construction of social performance in social media channels
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2572-9020
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Media, Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8304-5321
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Firms face pressure to deliver social performance that is acceptable to their stakeholders. The feedback that a firm receives from its stakeholders is therefore an essential source of information to understand whether it needs to change its social performance-related strategies. However, feedback on a firm’s social performance tends to be messy, particularly in social media, to which firm-stakeholder communication increasingly turns. We present a longitudinal case study that unpacks the underlying processes of social performance feedback construction in social media and subsequent change in firms’ social performance strategies. We identify recurring communication loops in which managers interact with stakeholders who self-police discussion channels, which reduces the heterogeneity of feedback and supports managers’ ability to comprehend feedback. We find that managers adapt their social initiatives based on mixed feedback, while positive feedback has little effect, and negative feedback leads to threat-rigidity responses if isolated and leads to change if it is the result of a concerted stakeholder effort.

National Category
Business Administration Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-51460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-51460DiVA, id: diva2:1516773
Note

A previous version of this paper has been presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019 in Boston, USA, and the 36th EGOS Colloquium 2020 in Hamburg (virtual conference due to COVID-19).

Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. How organizations incorporate insights from stakeholder communication: The role of media and modal affordances
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How organizations incorporate insights from stakeholder communication: The role of media and modal affordances
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Organizations are increasingly opening up to external voices that might carry new insights and help organizations to find their place in society. But the context through which organizations communicate with their stakeholders shapes how communication unfolds. Traditionally, organizations communicated with their stakeholders through shareholder letters, town hall meetings, or printed advertisements. Nowadays, cyberspace has opened up communication in multiple ways. It affords fast and boundless two-way communication between organizations and stakeholders and among stakeholders, that can be both a blessing and a curse. In any case, changes in the communication landscape have affected all types of organizations—large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and newly started ventures.

My research connects to ongoing discussions on how new media have shaped the landscape of organizations. Specifically, I explore how organizations incorporate insights from stakeholder communication from a practice-based view. This view allows me to magnify and understand better how the communication context shapes the interaction. My empirical research focuses on stakeholder communication in a single-case study of the world’s largest miniature model railway exhibition and three new venture ideation cases. I employ a mix of qualitative research methods, including digital data collection techniques.

A bricolage of the four papers included in this dissertation frames the insights under the assumption that communication constitutes organization. It allows me to conceptualize the incorporation of new insights from stakeholder communication as a co-authoring process. Specifically, I show that modes provide the meaning-making resources through which humans communicate organizations into being. Media act as vessels of modes and shape how stakeholders can interact with—and co-author—the modes.

My future research agenda focuses on two aspects. First, I suggest following more closely how new narratives that stakeholders offer during the co-authoring process subsequently travel through an organization. This question is particularly relevant in larger corporations where the newly proposed narratives have to travel more considerable distances between stakeholder communication practices and decision-making practices. Second, I suggest investigating stakeholder communication from a design perspective, that is, a study of the heuristics that managers and entrepreneurs employ before engaging in stakeholder communication.

Abstract [sv]

Öppenhet blir mer och mer karaktäriserande för detta århundrades stereotypa organisation eftersom lednings- och entreprenörskapstrender antyder att beslutsfattare bör engagera sig med sina intressenter. Nya medier driver på sådana tendenser genom att öppna snabba och gränslösa kanaler för tvåvägskommunikation genom vilka intressenter lätt kan uttrycka sina åsikter. Trots ämnets betydelse har vi begränsad kunskap om hur organisationer använder sådana insikter från kommunikation med intressenter. Denna doktorsavhandling belyser relaterade teoretiska blinda fläckar genom att presentera kvalitativ forskning från två kontexter. Den första kontexten är ett online-community för Miniatur Wunderland – världens största modelljärnvägsutställning och en av Tysklands mest populära turistattraktioner. Den andra kontexten redogör för svårigheterna med att anpassa nya företagsidéer för satsningar efter återkoppling från externa intressenter . Reflektioner över de empiriska studierna från båda kontexterna antar att organisationer är sammansättningar av konversationer och texter. Detta antagande gör det möjligt att konceptualisera införlivandet av intressentinsikter som en medförfattarprocess. Den belyser hur media och verktyg kommunikationssätt som organisationer använder för kommunikation möjliggör intressenters deltagande i skapandet av texter som utgör organisationer. Dessa insikter har konsekvenser för teori och praktik.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, 2021. p. 113
Series
JIBS Dissertation Series, ISSN 1403-0470 ; 144
National Category
Business Administration Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-51465 (URN)978-91-7914-007-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-02-02, Zoom webinar, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2022-02-02Bibliographically approved

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Cyron, ThomasSteigenberger, Norbert

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