Probing the Implications of Facebook use for the organizational form of social movement organizations
HM | social movements; social media; organizational studies
This article examines the use of Facebook by social movement organizations (SMOs) and the ramifications from that usage for their organizational form. Organizational forms have been viewed to be in flux as networked communication becomes embedded in mobilization repertoires. In what follows, it is shown that the utilization of Facebook by networked heterarchical organizations is seen to grant them access to a hitherto untapped demographic for the purpose of mobilization. Concurrently, questions are raised pertaining to organizational form, particularly in relation to the role the Facebook audience plays in movement organizations. Communication on Facebook may catalyze deliberation, information sharing and mobilization. Moreover, evidence was found pointing to its use for the self-organization of protest participation. Yet, engagement between SMOs and their Facebook audience bore little on decision-making within the organizations. Although limited in scope, the emerging contribution of such communication may be by way of channelling items into decision-making agendas.