Organizational Culture on the Facebook Page of an Emergency Management Agency: A Thematic Analysis

Jayan Kurian, Dion Hoe Lian Goh, Blooma John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to identify organizational cultural factors and overarching themes on emergency management evident across the Facebook page of an emergency management organization. This study also aims to understand the dimensions of social capital that influence the reputation of emergency management organization using the lens of organizational culture.

Design/methodology/approach
The organizational cultural factors defined in the literature were used to classify content posted by the organization during a six-month period. The posts were read and analyzed thematically to determine the overarching themes evident across the collected posts. The dimensions of social capital defined in the literature were used to determine its influence on the reputation of an emergency management organization.

Findings
The organizational cultural factors that emerged from the analysis are Openness and Future orientation without any evidence on Risk-taking and Flexibility. An analysis of cultural factors indicates that organizational culture facilitates knowledge exchange and knowledge combination. The key themes embedded in the organization's posts are Emergency Preparedness, Communication devices for Emergency Management, Coordination, and Admiration. The dimensions of social capital that influenced the reputation of emergency management organization were group characteristics, volunteerism, generalized norms, and togetherness. Though previous studies have found the influence of culture on social capital, this study extends those findings by identifying the dimensions of culture (i.e. openness and future orientation) that reflects the social capital dimensions (i.e. generalized norms and group characteristics) in an organizational setting.

Research implications
This study contributes to theory on the identification of cultural factors from content posted by emergency management organizations on a public social networking site. The organization benefited in terms of its reputation through the dimensions of social capital which are group characteristics, volunteerism, generalized norms, and togetherness. One of the organizational reputation dimensions that was evident in this study was moral reputation which is a contribution of this study.

Practical implications
Among the guiding principles of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, three guiding principles were evident in the posts of the emergency management organization. These principles which represent the practical implications of this study are, disaster risk reduction through cooperation, inclusiveness of minority community members, and implementing cost-effective and sustainable development policies for future through investment.

Originality/value
Previous studies have examined organizational culture in general, but to date there has been very little research into determining cultural factors that facilitate knowledge exchange and knowledge combination. This is also a unique study which identified the dimensions of social capital and organizational reputation in emergency management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalOnline Information Review
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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