Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.795236
Title: Organisational use of social media and stakeholder engagement
Author: She, C.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Abstract:
This thesis consists of three empirical studies examining how social media are used by corporations, advocacy non-governmental organisations (A-NGOs) and hybrid organisations to engage with stakeholders and enhance stakeholder accountability. The first study examines the use of social media by corporations to disclose CSR information and manage stakeholder perceptions. Drawing on organised hypocrisy and organisational theory and through the analysis of Facebook posts from S&P100 companies, this study finds that CSR actions disclosures attract both positive and negative stakeholder reactions. CSR talk and decisions disclosures generate positive reactions and reduce negative perceptions. It is also evident that the reputational façade in CSR disclosures is more likely to attract positive reactions and less likely to attract negative reactions than the rational façade. The progressive façade is more likely to attract positive reactions than the rational façade, and it is more likely to attract negative reactions than the reputational façade. Overall, the findings suggest that corporations employ various strategies in social media CSR disclosures to manage stakeholder perceptions and maintain legitimacy. The second study examines the use of social media by A-NGOs to attract stakeholder engagement, and whether such engagement leads to large-scale stakeholder support outside social media platforms. This study draws on Castells' (2013) network-making power perspective and employs a unique dataset of Greenpeace signups (i.e. the proxy for stakeholder support) to the "Save the Arctic" (STA) petition from over 236 countries and a sample of 8,336 Greenpeace Facebook messages related to the STA campaigns in 29 languages. The findings suggest that Greenpeace communicates advocacy information that appeals to logic and emotions to attract stakeholder engagement. In examining the social impacts of A-NGO social media engagement, the level of national stakeholder support is positively associated with the effectiveness of advocacy information in attracting stakeholder engagement at the Facebook account level. The level of global stakeholder support is positively associated with both the effectiveness and global dissemination of advocacy information at the Facebook network level. Overall, this study affirms that social media can assist A-NGOs in engaging with stakeholders and obtaining their support on advocated issues on a large scale, thereby enhancing downward accountability. The last study focuses on the use of social media by a type of hybrid organisation - B Corp - and examines the effect of its governance mechanisms on social media engagement activities. B Corp firms face a mission drift risk in which financial objectives may overshadow CSR considerations. This study posits that B Corp's legal responsibility, ethical standards and mission-alignment policies positively influence the extent and quality of its social media engagement. After analysing CSR-related tweets posted by 1,074 U.S. B Corp firms certified between 2014 and 2018 and those posted by stakeholders towards the firm, it is found that the quality of social media engagement is positively associated with B Corp's legal responsibility, ethical standards and mission-alignment policies. In addition, this study finds that the extent of social media engagement is positively associated with mission-alignment policies. Overall, the findings highlight the importance of B Corp's governance mechanisms in improving stakeholder accountability.
Supervisor: Michelon, G. ; Kiosse, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.795236  DOI: Not available
Share: