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CPA-AGRC Distinguished Speaker Series - Giovanna Michelon Wealthier

A governance approach to social media engagement in social enterprises

Date & Time

February 8, 2022


Link provided in reminder email the day before the event


Kathy Cunningham

In conjunction with the Telfer Research Seminar Series

***M.Sc. Students, this event can count towards one of the six mandatory Research Seminars Series needed to attend (MHS6991 or MGT6991).***

Giovanna Michelon, PhD

Social enterprises face a risk for which the pressure over financial sustainability “crowds out” their impact mission. Corporate governance arrangements can play an important role in managing the tensions between the two objectives, by steering and driving stakeholder engagement processes. At the same time, the rise of social media has provided firms with a platform for undertaking stakeholder engagement on a large scale. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine how the governance arrangements of social enterprises affect engagement with stakeholders in social media. Specifically, we identify three distinctive mechanisms for a governance approach to stakeholder engagement in social enterprises: the legal responsibility towards stakeholders, the embeddedness of ethical standards, and the adoption of non-financial mission policies. We argue that each of them matters for the extent to which social enterprises engage with stakeholders on social media, as well as the quality of this engagement. By scraping and classifying non-financial tweets posted by 1,074 U.S. B Corps between 2014 and 2018 and those posted by stakeholders towards the firm, we find that the legal and ethical mechanisms are positively related to the quality of engagement while the policy mechanism is positively related to both the extent and quality of engagement. Our study sheds lights on the implications of governance mechanisms in steering social media stakeholder engagement in social enterprises.

About the Speaker

Giovanna Michelon is Professor of Accounting at the University of Bristol. She obtained her PhD from the University of Giovanna Michelon Padova. Broadly speaking, her research interests are in the field of sustainability accounting and reporting, while her published work has focused on the governance process and systems that underpin corporate actions and accountability on sustainability issues, as well as on the role that sustainability information plays in capital markets. Giovanna has more than 40 publications in leading academic journals such as, among others, Accounting, Organizations and Society, European Accounting Review, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, Journal of Business Ethics and Science. Highly engaged with both the academic community and practitioners, she is currently Editor of Accounting Forum, where she advocates and promotes the diversity of interests and epistemologies in accounting research and also serves on the editorial board of several Journals. She is Chair of the EAA Virtual Activities Committee, and a member of the EAA Management Committee and EAA Publications Committee. She is also a Council member of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (University of St. Andrews).

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