Stakeholder interactions as sources for organisational learning: insights from the water sector

Giacomini, Davide; Paredi, Diego and Sancino, Alessandro (2022). Stakeholder interactions as sources for organisational learning: insights from the water sector. Meditari Accountancy Research, 30(7) pp. 1–25.



Purpose - This paper aims to understand stakeholders' sentiments with respect to company policies in the water utilities (WU) sector and to explore if and how these sentiments could be a source for organisational learning.

Design/methodology/approach - This study investigates the use of social media in WUs’ and stakeholders’ reactions as a source of data for organisational learning. This paper relies on a mixed-methods approach based on sentiment analysis of Facebook (FB) pages and semi-structured interviews with sustainability managers from a sample of Italian WUs.

Findings - Findings show that WUs increasingly use FB mainly to promote and disclose environmental issues and as a source of information for organisational learning. A longitudinal analysis of environmental disclosure via FB reveals a growing trend of both companies’ posts and stakeholder interactions and significant differences among organisations in their ways of using information and knowledge obtained from social media.

Originality/value - Theoretically, this paper builds an original link between disclosure via social media and organisational learning processes. Empirically, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies to identify the quantity and quality of environmental disclosure via FB and the related stakeholders’ reactions.

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