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Measuring online dialogic conversations’ quality: a scale development

Stefania Romenti (Department of Marketing, Behavior, Communication and Consumption, IULM University, Milan, Italy)
Chiara Valentini (School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)
Grazia Murtarelli (Institute of Economics and Marketing, IULM University, Milan, Italy)
Katia Meggiorin (IE Business School, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 7 November 2016




The purpose of this paper is to develop a measurement scale for assessing the quality of dialogic conversations among companies and digital publics in social media. Dialogic conversations are defined as sequences of communicative actions and counteractions taken by social actors for different purposes based on specific linguistic choices and characterised by diverse communicative approaches and the role played by the involved parties.


A multidimensional scale for measuring dialogic conversations is developed from relevant literature concerning dialogue and public engagement in the fields of corporate communication, public relations, management studies and conversation analysis. The scale is built on three main dimensions: organisation turn-taking, sequencing of conversation, repair strategies and procedures. A pilot study was conducted to purify it from irrelevant variables.


Results of the pilot study show a general good level of reliability for the majority of the proposed variables for Facebook but not for Twitter. This may indicate that Facebook is a more dialogical forum than Twitter.


This is the first study proposing a systematic measurement of the dialogue orientation of online conversations that takes into consideration the role of language and communicative actions. The proposed measurement offers corporate communication managers a concrete tool for evaluating the quality of their online communications and for identifying those areas of their online communication that need improvement.



Romenti, S., Valentini, C., Murtarelli, G. and Meggiorin, K. (2016), "Measuring online dialogic conversations’ quality: a scale development", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 328-346.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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