media release

Social media paper wins SFU recognition

November 04, 2011

Derek Moscato, SFU Beedie, 778.782.5038,
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035,

New research on social media has earned four researchers at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business recognition from the American government and three high profile international organizations.

The management journal Business Horizons and Elsevier, published by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, has awarded Kristopher Hermkens, Ian McCarthy, Jan Kietzmann and Bruno Slivestre its Best Article Award for 2011.

The Beedie School foursome has earned the award for the paper Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media.

The paper’s authors argue managers need to understand the different functionalities behind different social media platforms before they can effectively use and respond to the communication tool.

The authors advise firms on how to develop strategies for monitoring, understanding and responding to different social media activities based on the premise that different social media arenas correspond with different organizational functions.

“The social media ecosystem is rapidly evolving and many managers struggle to understand the implications, both opportunities and threats, posed by this ecosystem, and as a result they are feeling the pressure,” says McCarthy. The SFU Beedie professor and Canada Research Chair in technology and operations management adds: “There is an abundance of evidence indicating that social media can significantly impact a firm’s reputation, sales and even survival.”

The authors conclude that firms need to carefully analyze social media’s layered ecosystem to identify which social media activity best achieves a desired impact.

“Differences do matter in social media, which is why you need to set your priorities,” says Kietzmann, a Beedie School assistant professor. “That’s why it is important for companies to understand and where necessary develop these social media platforms.”

The United States government has added the paper to its list of recommended reading material for health care professionals on emerging health communication issues.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has flagged the paper, as key reading on social media’s impact on employers and trade unions. The ACAS is a London-England based employee relations consulting firm.

ScienceDirect lists the SFU paper among the top 10 in its list of the hottest 25 articles published in its portfolio of business management and accounting journals. Produce by Elsevier, a science and health information provider headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ScienceDirect is one of the largest online collections of published scientific research worldwide.


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