Contrasting the two examples
By picking a positive
and a negative application of social media governance carried out by the two
organisations it is possible to compare the examples previously stated and to
compare them against each other and analyse the different ways the companies
have failed or succeeded and if there is any way that both of these companies
behave with relation to social media governance.
A notable trend between
both Adidas and CNN had to do with both of these organisations’ growing
recognition of social media and professionalisation of their response to them.
For example, the policies enacted as mentioned earlier often provided
statements explicitly defining their scope and detailing the activities and
tools the policy covered, however in CNNs case it was far detailed far too late
and only upon receiving negative publicity. In this sense, both of the earlier
policies included an opening paragraph defining and Describing Social Media applications.
addition to delimiting the perimeter of their authority, these definitions and
descriptions of social media offered a pedagogical dimension as they informed
employees about social media, suggesting an acknowledgement of the new, and
still rather unknown, character of social media in the organizational context.
Our analysis revealed that the sampled policy documents
contained elements representative of organizations’ perceptions of social media
affordances as well as of the governance principles put forth by organizations
in response to these affordances. Overall, the organizations did indeed
acknowledge the four affordances of visibility, persistence, editability, and
association in the policies. Yet, they placed uneven emphasis on different
affordances as well as highlighted certain unanticipated facets for some of the
affordances. Our analyses also unexpectedly found relationships among the four
affordances as well as between affordances and governance principles.