Barriers to dialogue

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Barriers to dialogue

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Title: Barriers to dialogue
Organizational challenges for CSR communication in social media
Author: Etter, Michael; Morsing, Mette; Castello, Itziar
Abstract: Purpose: Social media hold promises for companies to engage with a variety of stakeholders about CSR issues and thereby enhance stakeholder relationships. However, by implementing a social media strategy companies face different constraints. With this paper barriers diminishing stakeholder dialogue in the Web 2.0 are identified. Design and methodology: With a single case in‐depth‐study we analyze the implementation of a communication strategy of a recently launched CSR‐twitter‐account of a European based pharmaceutical company leading in CSR. Data is derived from interviews with four managers with central roles in strategy formulation and implementation. Findings: Five factors diminishing stakeholder dialogue are identified: Lack of resources, unfamiliarity with social media, managerial scepticism, internal guidelines and culture, and external regulations. These barriers prevent basic principles of relationship building online, such as regular updates or conversational human voice. Research limitations: With a single case study the representative value of the results is limited. However, the results give valuable insights into the challenges and concerns management faces when implementing a CSR communication strategy in social media. Practical implications: The results show that organisational constraints have to be addressed in order to implement a successful social media strategy. We therefore argue that corporate communications has to increasingly emphasis organisational aspects. Originality: To date, only little research has been done about CSR communication in social media. Furthermore, the research paper presents highly relevant and new findings by drawing the attention to organizational rooted challenges of corporate communication and strategy implementation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8530
Date: 2012-10-06
Notes: Paper presented at CSR Communication Conference. 26-28 Oct. 2011. Amsterdam, Holland.

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