IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Online entrepreneurial communication: Mitigating uncertainty and increasing differentiation via Twitter

  • Fischer, Eileen
  • Rebecca Reuber, A.
Registered author(s):

    Research shows that some narratives and symbolic actions produced by entrepreneurial firms can help to reduce audience uncertainty about their quality and differentiate them from rivals. But can communications via online social media channels – which we characterize as “communicative streams” – be used to reduce uncertainty and enhance differentiation? This seems debatable, given that such streams comprise multiple, brief messages (a) that encode signals lacking narrative cohesion; (b) are only fleetingly accessible; and (c) are minimally customized. We address this puzzle using qualitative methods to compare the communications enacted by eight firms that are using Twitter in order to pursue growth. Our theoretical contribution rests in positing links between specific types of communicative streams and audience responses that reflect reduced uncertainty or enhanced differentiation. Our analysis suggests that firms enacting a “Multi-dimensional” communicative stream (which entails a high volume of posts, a high proportion of which signal quality, relational orientation, distinctiveness, and positive affect) are most likely to elicit audience affirmation of firms' quality and/or distinctiveness. Implications for theory, research methods and practice are discussed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883902614000160
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 565-583

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:29:y:2014:i:4:p:565-583
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Ted Fuller & Yumiao Tian, 2006. "Social and Symbolic Capital and Responsible Entrepreneurship: An Empirical Investigation of SME Narratives," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(3), pages 287-304, September.
    2. Fischer, Eileen & Reuber, A. Rebecca, 2011. "Social interaction via new social media: (How) can interactions on Twitter affect effectual thinking and behavior?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, January.
    3. Scott Shane & Daniel Cable, 2002. "Network Ties, Reputation, and the Financing of New Ventures," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(3), pages 364-381, March.
    4. Muzyka, Dan & Birley, Sue & Leleux, Benoit, 1996. "Trade-offs in the investment decisons of European venture capitalists," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 273-287, July.
    5. Fournier, Susan & Avery, Jill, 2011. "The uninvited brand," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 193-207, May.
    6. Elizabeth Goodrick & Trish Reay, 2010. "Florence Nightingale Endures: Legitimizing a New Professional Role Identity," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 55-84, 01.
    7. Jean Clarke, 2011. "Revitalizing Entrepreneurship: How Visual Symbols are Used in Entrepreneurial Performances," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1365-1391, 09.
    8. Reuber, A. Rebecca & Fischer, Eileen, 2011. "International entrepreneurship in internet-enabled markets," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 660-679.
    9. Reuber, A. Rebecca & Fischer, Eileen, 2007. "Don't rest on your laurels: Reputational change and young technology-based ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 363-387, May.
    10. Baron, Robert A. & Markman, Gideon D., 2003. "Beyond social capital: the role of entrepreneurs' social competence in their financial success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 41-60, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:29:y:2014:i:4:p:565-583. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.