Month: September 2015

Strategies of Legitimacy Through Social Media: The Networked Strategy

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Several years ago we started a research project, Responsible Business in the Blogosphere, together with, among others, members from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) group at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The research project looked at social media, companies and their corporate social responsibility. The start of the project coincided with the ascent of Twitter and a number of our research publications from the project considered data analysis of Twitter message. Among them were my A new ANEW: Evaluation of a word list for sentiment analysis in microblogs about the development and evaluation of my sentiment analysis word list AFINN and Good Friends, Bad News – Affect and Virality in Twitter with analysis of information diffusion on Twitter, that is, retweets.

Strategies of Legitimacy Through Social Media: The Networked Strategy is our latest published work in the project. It describes a pharmaceutical company adopting Twitter for communication of CSR-related topics. It is a longitudinal case study with interviews of the people behind the company Twitter account and data mining of tweets. Itziar Castelló, Michael Etter and I authored the paper.

While I did not participate in the interviews nor the interesting analysis of that information, I did a sentiment analysis and topic mining of the tweets that we collected from the company Twitter account and by searching for the company name via the Twitter search API. The results are displayed in Table I and Figure 2 of the paper.

A note from the paper that I find interesting comments on the issues faced by the company as they developed the social media method:

“… the institutional orientation to hierarchical processes requiring approval for all forms of external communication; and the establishment of fixed working hours that ended at 4pm local time coexisting alongside a policy that customer complaints must be resolved within 48 hours, which prevented SED managers from conducting real-time conversations over the Twitter platform.”

Our paper argues for “a new, networked legitimacy strategy” for stackholder engagement in social media with “nonhierarchical, non-regulated participatory relationships”.

Strategies of Legitimacy Through Social Media: The Networked Strategy is available gratis in September 2015.