Online Communication and its Influence on the Collaborative Meaning-construction in an Organizational Crisis: A Research of the Meaning-construction in the MH370 Twitter-hashtag

Christian Hildonen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The introduction of social media has given communication managers a double-edged sword through providing both challenges and opportunities. A first-step towards better management of crisis communication activities starts with improving our understanding the dynamics of online communication, which can be used to improve their communicative efforts towards the crisis stakeholders. Through theoretical and a case research of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 crisis, this study attempts to explore how meaning is co-constructed in the social media context of Twitter through conducting a narrative research on collected tweets.
This study explores how Twitter-users make sense of a crisis event through looking at the many personal contributions that was posted to the MH370-hashtag during a longer period of the MH370 crisis. Gathering and identifying the different personal contributions posted to the MH370-hashtag over close to a month-long period, from June 24th to July 22nd, 2015, made it possible to identify the different narrative contributions to the aspects of the MH370 crisis narrative, addressing the “what has happened?”, “why has it happened?”, and “what will be done?” aspects of the crisis.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages89
SupervisorsXiao Xiao