Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department


Committee Member

Dr. Varun Grover, Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Jason Bennett Thatcher, Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Heshan Sun

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Mazer


The increasing proliferation of social media use by organizations has amplified the need to address the means by which organizations can utilize this new form of communication most effectively. Social media offer organizations enhanced abilities to communicate with outside stakeholders, made possible through unique communication characteristics and an increased level of communicative connectivity. This dissertation advances our understanding of organization-stakeholder communication by investigating the phenomenon across three levels. At the global level, we present a categorization of interaction behaviors, with prescriptions for researching each category across three research perspectives. At the organizational level, we utilize three case studies to describe how different organizations can implement social media uniquely, differentiated by the degree of emphasis on regulated or empowered communications. At the individual level, we examine the motivating factors which influence an individual's desire to use a personal technology (such as social media) for a work-related purpose. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on organizational social media use in two forms. For practice, we explicate numerous mechanisms which both enable and advance the use of social media for stakeholder interaction. The three essays uniquely describe how organizations can increase the effectiveness of social media interaction strategies. For research, we extend the current understanding of the phenomenon through a detailed, tri-level investigation. Our findings break some new ground into the utilization of social media and motivate future research on this new form of communication.



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