Little attention has been paid to the importance of social media in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature. This deficit is redressed in the present paper through utilizing the notion of ‘citizenship arenas’ to identify three dynamics in social media-augmented corporate–society relations. First, we note that social media-augmented ‘corporate arenas of citizenship’ are constructed by individual corporations in an effort to address CSR issues of specific importance thereto, and are populated by individual citizens as well as (functional/formally organized) stakeholders. Second, we highlight that, within social media-augmented ‘public arenas of citizenship’, individual citizens are empowered, relative to corporations and their (functional/formally organized) stakeholders, when it comes to creating, debating, and publicizing, CSR-relevant issues. Third, we posit that information and communication technology corporations possess specific, and potentially very important, capacities, when it comes to creating, or helping construct, public arenas of citizenship from within which individual citizens can influence their broader political–economic environment. Following this, we discuss how social media can contribute to ‘dysfunctions’ as well as ‘progressions’ in corporate–society relations, and conclude with a number of suggestions for future research.
Journal of Business Ethics, 2013, Vol 118, Issue 4, p. 777-790
Corporate responsibility; Corporate Social responsibility; Public Sphere; Social media; Stakeholder