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Reinventing organizational control: Meaning contest surrounding reputational risk controllability in the social media arena

Marion Brivot (Faculté des Sciences de l’Administration, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada)
Yves Gendron (Faculté des Sciences de l’Administration, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada)
Henri Guénin (Faculté des Sciences de l’Administration, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how a constellation of actors seek to define, shape, and reinvent the notion of organizational control at the confluence of social media (SM) and corporate reputational risk.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the approach suggested by Janesick (1998) and Denzin and Lincoln (1998), the authors undertook an in-depth qualitative analysis of a large number of data sources including interviews, best-selling books by renowned SM specialists, relevant press articles drawn from a Factiva search, and documents published by the Big Four firms and professional accounting institutes in Canada on how organizations should use SM to protect their reputational capital.

Findings

Four competing SM reputational risk control perspectives inductively emerged from the analysis: the Beyond Control frame, the Subveillance frame, the De-territorialization frame, and the Re-territorialization frame, with large accounting firms and professional accounting institutes especially promoting the latter.

Originality/value

The control literature has been criticized by many scholars as being in urgent need of updating. By inductively theorizing four original control frames in the SM arena, the research aims to move management control research in new directions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of the Accounting, Accountability, Social Media and Big Data: Revolution or Hype? Special issue.

Citation

Brivot, M., Gendron, Y. and Guénin, H. (2017), "Reinventing organizational control: Meaning contest surrounding reputational risk controllability in the social media arena", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 795-820. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-06-2015-2111

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited