Customer dialogue increasingly important for companies

Miniatur Wunderland i Hamburg

Pressbild/Miniatur Wunderland

The interaction with followers on social media is becoming increasingly important for organizations. Thomas Cyron, Jönköping International Business School, shows that customer relations cannot be ignored in his dissertation "How organizations incorporate insights from stakeholder communication: The role of media and modal affordances".

Thomas Cyron

Organizations are increasingly opening up to external voices that might carry new insights and help them find their place in society, however, the context through which organizations communicate with their stakeholders shapes how communication unfolds.

Traditionally, organizations communicated with their stakeholders through shareholder letters, town hall meetings, or printed advertisements. Nowadays, internet has opened up the communication in multiple ways. It provides fast and borderless two-way communication between organizations and stakeholders but also between stakeholders. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Changes in the communication landscape have affected all types of organizations: large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and newly started ventures.

However, there is limited knowledge of how companies and organizations make use those insights they have gained through this communication. Thomas Cyron's dissertation follows three Swedish start-ups and the world's largest model railway exhibition, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, one of Germany's most popular tourist attractions.

He has studied how companies' stakeholders communicate with each other, but also how companies communicate with their “followers” and how they use the knowledge that arises in that interaction to develop the business.

“It no longer works to say: ‘In our company we do not have time to devote to social media’. Direct communication is far too important today. Companies can’t afford to miss it,” says Thomas Cyron.

Read a longer article about Thomas Cyron's dissertation on (in Swedish)

Read the dissertation in full text at DiVA