Stakeholders versus Firm Communication in Social Media: The Case of Twitter and Corporate Social Responsibility Information
European Accounting Review, Forthcoming
70 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2019 Last revised: 15 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 16, 2019
Building on legitimacy theory and prior work on stakeholder management, we study firm Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication in social media. In particular, we analyze the content of over a million microblogs on Twitter relating to CSR in the banking industry. We focus on key issues considered by banks in their CSR reports, which we classify into Core or Supplementary depending on their connection with core business activities. We find that the use of Twitter to communicate CSR information in social media suggests that significant differences exist between the information interests of companies and stakeholders. Outside stakeholders focus on Core CSR issues, whilst firm insiders are relatively more likely to communicate Supplementary CSR issues. Firm insiders’ information dissemination appears biased towards favorable information, and consistent with a legitimacy-based use of social media. Event studies conducted on dates with significant exogenous CSR news confirm the findings of ‘parallel’ talking, and no resemblance in the CSR issues communicated by firms and stakeholders in social media.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Stakeholder Management; Social Media; Twitter; Banking Industry
JEL Classification: M14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation