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Examining the impact of negative, user-generated content on stakeholders

Examining the impact of negative, user-generated content on stakeholders Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ( n =472) examine how negative, user-generated content on Facebook impacts stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization. Design/methodology/approach – At Phase 1, stakeholders’ perceptions about the organization – public relationship, corporate social responsibility, attitude toward the organization, and reputation of the organization were assessed. A week later, at Phase 2, participants were exposed to negative Facebook comments. This study employed the theory of inoculation as a way to bolster stakeholders’ attitudes to protect against attitude shift following exposure to negative, user-generated comments. Findings – Paired sample t -tests indicate stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization – public relationship and corporate social responsibility significantly decrease after stakeholders read negative, user-generated content. The pattern of means supports the idea inoculation can prevent against attitude shift. Practical implications – Strategic communication professionals should be aware of the impact negative posts can have and develop a strategy to respond to negative comments on Facebook. Originality/value – There is limited experimental research examining the impact of negative Facebook posts on stakeholders. It extends current literature and provides practitioners with some guidance on the impact of negative, user-generated content. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corporate Communications: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Examining the impact of negative, user-generated content on stakeholders

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1356-3289
DOI
10.1108/CCIJ-02-2013-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ( n =472) examine how negative, user-generated content on Facebook impacts stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization. Design/methodology/approach – At Phase 1, stakeholders’ perceptions about the organization – public relationship, corporate social responsibility, attitude toward the organization, and reputation of the organization were assessed. A week later, at Phase 2, participants were exposed to negative Facebook comments. This study employed the theory of inoculation as a way to bolster stakeholders’ attitudes to protect against attitude shift following exposure to negative, user-generated comments. Findings – Paired sample t -tests indicate stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization – public relationship and corporate social responsibility significantly decrease after stakeholders read negative, user-generated content. The pattern of means supports the idea inoculation can prevent against attitude shift. Practical implications – Strategic communication professionals should be aware of the impact negative posts can have and develop a strategy to respond to negative comments on Facebook. Originality/value – There is limited experimental research examining the impact of negative Facebook posts on stakeholders. It extends current literature and provides practitioners with some guidance on the impact of negative, user-generated content.

Journal

Corporate Communications: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 2, 2015

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