Hypertextuality and Social Media: A Study of the Constitutive and Paradoxical Implications of Organizational Twitter Use

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    Texts and conversations are central to the constitution of organizations. Through the use of social media technologies, organizational members and nonorganizational members alike have the capacity to author organizational texts that co-constitute an organization as an entity with a specific identity in a situational space and time. The implications of this ability are underexplored. This study focused on how two organizations used the social media technology Twitter to interact with their constituents. The article adopts communication-centered and sociomateriality perspectives to illustrate how Twitter interactions (hashtags) become hypertexts that simultaneously coproduce an organizational actor and act as a pastiche of the organization (i.e., a vehicle of contestation for the specific identity they were designed to bring into existence). The findings provide a novel understanding of hypertextuality as the process through which an organization is temporarily co-constituted by both inter- and intraorganizational discursive-material interactions across spaces and times.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)5-31
    Number of pages27
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Communicative constitution of organization
    • Social media technologies
    • Organizational identity
    • Hypertextuality

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