Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication
Edited By Andrea Catellani, Ansgar Zerfass and Ralph Tench
Ethical Hateholders and Negative Engagement. A Challenge for Organisational Communication
Ethical Hateholders and Negative Engagement
A Challenge for Organisational Communication
Matias LIEVONEN & Vilma LUOMA-AHO
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Negative stakeholder emotions have become an urgent topic for organisations. Negatively engaged stakeholders or hateholders are challenging due to their strong emotions and ability to harm the organisation through sharing negative experiences online. Hateholder behaviour affects organisational reputation and may also cause increasing negative word-of-mouth, activism and boycotts. This preliminary conceptual study looked at what causes negative engagement online and turns stakeholders into hateholders. Through a literature review on stakeholder and customer anger, the chapter asks what role organisations and ethics play in creating stakeholder anger. By applying the TARES framework, the goal was to distinguish different ethical breaches of organisations. The results yielded that most common organisational faults included lack of respect and fairness. Results also showed that in most hateholder cases, the organisations themselves were somehow to blame. This seems to highlight the lack of strategic thinking of organisations. Thus, the chapter also calls for more dialogue and interaction with stakeholders in cases of anger.
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