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Tweetjacked: The Impact of Social Media on Corporate Greenwash

Thomas Lyon () and A. Montgomery ()

Journal of Business Ethics, 2013, vol. 118, issue 4, 747-757

Abstract: We theorize that social media will reduce the incidence of corporate greenwash. Drawing on the management literature on decoupling and the economic literature on information disclosure, we characterize specifically where this effect is likely to be most pronounced. We identify important differences between social media and traditional media, and present a theoretical framework for understanding greenwash in which corporate environmental communications may backfire if citizens and activists feel a company is engaging in excessive self-promotion. The framework allows us to draw out a series of propositions regarding the impact of social media on corporate decisions whether to greenwash, and what channels to use for environmental communication. We conclude with a number of suggestions for future research. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Decoupling; Greenwash; Information disclosure; Legitimacy; Social media (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1958-x

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