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