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The dynamic nature of social accounts: an examination of how interpretive processes impact on account effectiveness

  • Barlow, JG
  • Tucker, DA
  • Hendy, J
Publication Date
Jun 24, 2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.06.014
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository


Social accounts are a powerful tool in influencing the behavior of organizational members during major change. Examination of their effectiveness has largely focused on the design of accounts to influence behavioral and affective responses. However, when used in real life practice, more individualized, interpretive and agentic responses to social accounts have been found to influence effectiveness. Using an example of large-scale organizational change, moving from one hospital facility to another, we explore the dynamic and contextual interpretation of social accounts over time. Our findings expand social account theory by examining how potentially successful change communications are derailed by the relevance of the account in relation to an individual's past, by the individuals' ability to express agency and by temporality; how over time, lived experience can alter the perceived truthfulness of an account and alter its potency.

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