Conceptual Framework

I just tweeted that I would write this blog update and so I thought I better get it done now or I might forget about it. So I wrote a paper for a doctoral seminar last year that I have decided to come back to, tweak, and try to submit for publication. The paper is about organizational identity and the use of social media to manage/maintain that identity. In short I have done some research and I continue to see from the blogosphere that many nonprofit organizations use or are trying to use social media for a host of different things. I have always wondered if any of these organizations, and some have, ever took the time to think critically about the organization’s identity and how that will take shape in the social media environment?

The paper I wrote is more of a conceptual paper and I am having trouble flushing out my framework. Here is a Rough draft of my framework with the concepts/ideas I plan on using. Conceptual Framework SM NPO Identity

I am basing the framework in Identity Formation theory, using a bit of symbolic interactionism, and calling for nonprofit organizations to critically think about three areas as they utilize social media. Those areas are Transparency, Accountability, and Authenticity. But I also don’t want to neglect the whole point about interaction, as this is crucial both in the use of social media, and in how image/identity is constructed. So I hope you take a minute to provide some input as I try to untangle my brain and provide something useful for nonprofit administrators to use.


About jimmysw
Associate Professor of Social Work with a focus on the Future of Social Media, Social Work Education and all things technology.

5 Responses to Conceptual Framework

  1. Pingback: Conceptual framework | SeigneUx

  2. njsmyth says:

    I’m not sure I can help you out of the conceptual tangle you’re in. But you have validated my current struggle with social media. I maintain my own Twitter account and our School’s account (for now…have someone starting soon who I hope will be taking that over). As I have worked with both I have found myself trying to sort out how I should be using the School account versus my own. I have thought carefully about follows I thought would be inappropriate, retweets, etc. from the School account based on some of the identity issues that I’ve thought about. I try to remember that I am speaking for the School when I post from there. But honestly, I haven’t quite figured it out. I need to think through more carefully all of the values/topics that I think should be associated with that account. The issue comes up frequently for me (e.g.,when I come across something that I want to retweet I ask myself which account it should come from).

    I definitely feel the need to flesh out the identity issues more behind the School Twitter account. I have stayed pretty close to topics that link directly to the School vision and mission, but I also think I’ve interpreted these too narrowly. I was just thinking last week that I need to do a concept map around the School Twitter account to help me develop my thoughts about it further.

    At any rate, reading your post was very helpful to me in thinking this through a bit more. Thanks!

    • JimmySW says:

      Thanks for your comments Nancy. Always appreciated. It is awesome that you think before you tweet, hold on is that a new phrase? Maybe I could trademark it šŸ™‚ But anyways, I do think that it is critical to use mission/vision in social media strategies. One agency I interviewed for my research does this very well. The main reason I think it is important is because with each tweet or status update, you create an artifact of your organizational identity or image. This image is used by many to determine what you or the organization is about. I’m just not totally convinced that many have taken the time to actually analyze this in their social media pursuits.
      Hopefully, I will figured out a great framework and get this published. But I am trying to get that dissertation thingy started anf finished as well šŸ™‚

  3. Awesome post. Do you mind if I ask what your source is for this information?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: