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Tweetjacked: The Impact of Social Media on Corporate Greenwash

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  • Thomas Lyon

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  • A. Montgomery

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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

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Lyon & A. Montgomery, 2013. "Tweetjacked: The Impact of Social Media on Corporate Greenwash," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(4), pages 747-757, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:118:y:2013:i:4:p:747-757
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1958-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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