Socio-technological encounters and new discursive dynamics in social media spaces

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandlingSamling av artiklar


Social media have become tightly integrated into contemporary work and organizational lives. Accessible on mobile devices, they are used at work and outside of work, for individual and organizational purposes. Social media are online interactive platforms where content is created and shared by users and steered by technologies such as algorithms and as such, they provide socio-technological spaces for interaction where new dynamics of interaction emerge. This thesis illustrates that there are new discursive dynamics at play in these spaces, and that their use blurs the boundaries of and widens the discursive grounds for organization and work. Work and organization increasingly take place in space, time, and language traditionally considered ‘extra-organizational’. This impact makes social media particularly relevant from a contemporary organization studies perspective.
The thesis consists of three empirical and one conceptual paper. Paper 1 studies commentary on Twitter and Reddit revolving around Wall Street’s reactions to #MeToo and shows how it takes on new discourses and discursive practices which, in their tone and scope, effectively open up what goes on within organizations for public scrutiny on online arenas. Paper 2 studies citizens and politicians getting organized on Facebook to discuss a city merger process in Finland. In this debate, societal discourses like urbanization intertwine with citizens’ identity work and lead to complex, multimodally discursive struggles over identity. Paper 3 studies how professionals in the field of politics in Finland discursively draw and make sense of the digital boundaries between their work and personal lives on Instagram where the two increasingly overlap and collide. Paper 4 presents social media algorithms and algorithmic bias as an example of the overall changing dynamics of interaction on social media.
This thesis contributes to the emerging stream in organization studies exploring the impact of social media spaces in work and organizational lives. First, it illustrates how the use of social media changes the where, how, and by whom of interaction in work and organizational contexts. Specifically, social media provide new, technologically embedded spaces where interaction is fundamentally socio-technological and as a result, new discursive dynamics emerge. Second, it provides insight into how the use of social media and these new discursive dynamics obscure the boundaries of and widen the discursive grounds for contemporary work and organizational lives. Third, it engages in the discussion on methodological development and research ethical concerns in social media research and argues for a need to catch up with the newly vast, dynamic, and open data available in online spaces.
KvalifikationDoktor i filosofi
  • Tienari, Janne, Handledare
  • Nordbäck, Emma, Handledare
Tryckta ISBN978-952-232-482-5
Elektroniska ISBN978-952-232-483-2
StatusPublicerad - 2023
MoE-publikationstypG5 Doktorsavhandling (artikel)


  • 512 Företagsekonomi


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