Understanding evolving organisational issues in social media
Published inJyväskylä studies in humanities
The aim of this dissertation is to better understand the spread of issues in social media, a relatively new phenomenon that is not fully understood in academia. The phenomenon has also captured the interest of organisations, as it may cause or coincide with organisational crises. Following issue spread is not easy, as issues emerge in dynamic interaction amongst many actors who are engaged in voluminous debate within varying media environments. This research was based on insights from different disciplines – in particular, communication sciences and information systems. It utilised quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. Literature reviews provided a solid basis, whereas various cases provided empirical datasets for analysis. Five studies were conducted and reported in seven articles. The studies clarified the process of monitoring and described factors that influence issue spread. Their findings contribute to capturing and interpreting issue patterns online. Examples of cases studies are the lost aircraft of Malaysia Airlines, and the Volkswagen emission crisis. Twitter and Facebook data were collected and analysed for this research, together with some other real-time media data. Frequency graphics over time showed the lifecycle of an issue and pointed to issue transfer between news and social media. Within crisis discourse, various lifecycles of (sub) issues were revealed. Moreover, the level of interactivity and strategies of crisis response by a focal organisation were scrutinized. Issue spread in social media can only be understood by acknowledging its complexity. Therefore, this research offers a comprehensive approach to explain how issues evolve in social media, as a result of interaction by multiple actors with multiple purposes, using multiple strategies in multiple interrelated media. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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