This paper is intended to demonstrate current uses of smartphone and social media technology by consumers. The three cases discussed show ways in which consumers have built communities through social and mobile media for a range of purposes—1) to organize their purchasing activities to get businesses to reduce their ecological footprint in immediate and concrete ways, 2) define consumer point of purchase information sources about product goodness for health, community and the environment, or 3) to push their agendas for using corporate resources for aid purposes. These consumers organize to engage with business about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Second, it discusses how this technology calls for an expansion of our understanding of how to interact with stakeholders. This includes moving from a communication-focused perspective to an engagement perspective, meaning that consumers now have the ability to engage with knowledge resources related to CSR made available through innovative uses of smartphone and social media technology. In these cases of consumer initiated sustainability-on-the go—the Good Guide, CarrotMob and Colalife— organizations founded by activist individuals have built up an increasingly global presence since their founding in 2007-2008. Given the longevity of these organizations, which are still operating in 2012, their versions of CSR, and the internet presences they have built up, these cases demonstrate examples of consumers mobilizing through social and mobile media to address strategy issues with businesses. Thus, these cases reveal a technology-enabled blurring of the boundaries between companies and their stakeholders through consumers' actions.
Stakeholders in Action, 2014
Social Media; Stakeholder Models; Mobile Media; CSR