Opening strategy – the use of social media in organizational strategizing

Opening strategy – the use of social media in organizational strategizing 


Prof. Robert Galliers

Monday 10th of April 2017


Abstract:          Social media can increase transparency and inclusiveness in organizational strategizing by widening engagement between strategy content and organizational actors. However, just relying on the feedback features of social media is insufficient for an open strategy approach. Instead, emergent feedback from social media use can lead to tensions initially between the participatory nature of the technology and certain management practices. We examine the effects of social media on established and emerging flows of rhetorical practices in organizations, focusing in particular on the expanding, and in some cases switching, roles played by senior management and employees. Adopting an interpretive, multiple case study approach, we study the use of social media in three multi-national organizations in the telecommunications industry. Our findings reveal that social media enable and facilitate the shaping of organizational rhetorical practices by (i) adding multivocality; (ii) increasing reach and richness in communication, and (iii) enabling simultaneous consumption and co-production of rhetorical content. Ultimately, new internal capabilities to appropriate feedback structurally into the organization can emerge. We conceptualize the emergence of this new organizational capability as reflexiveness and argue that it is the development of this capability that, along with transparency and inclusiveness may explain the shift towards more open forms of strategizing and the potential to move organizations towards stewardship as a governance model more consistent with opening strategy.

BIO:                      Bob Galliers joined Bentley in July 2002 as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He became the inaugural University Distinguished Professor in July 2009, having headed up Bentley’s progress to university status and EQUIS and EDAMBA accreditations. In line with his university-wide role, he holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Information & Process Management and Sociology departments and a fractional professorial appointment in the University of Loughborough’s School of Business & Economics in the UK. Previously, he was Professor of Information Systems and Research Director in the Department of Information Systems at the London School of Economics (LSE). Before joining LSE, Galliers served as Lucas Professor of Business Management Systems and Dean of Warwick Business School in the UK, and earlier as Foundation Professor and Head of the School of Information Systems at Curtin University in Australia. He holds an AB (honors) degree in Economics from Harvard University; a Master’s degree with distinction in Management Systems from Lancaster University; a PhD in Information Systems from the London School of Economics, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Turku School of Economics & Business Administration, Finland. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Strategic Information Systems; one of eight IS journals recognized for their quality by the Senior Scholars of the Association for Information Systems. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and the Association for Information Systems (FAIS), of which he was President in 1999. He received the AIS LEO Award for exceptional lifetime achievement in Information Systems in 2012.