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Reconfiguring relations of accountability: materialization of social media in the travel sector

Scott, Susan V. ORCID: 0000-0002-8775-9364 and Orlikowski, Wanda J. (2012) Reconfiguring relations of accountability: materialization of social media in the travel sector. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 37 (1). pp. 26-40. ISSN 0361-3682

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.aos.2011.11.005


Expanding use of Web 2.0 technologies has generated complex information dynamics that are propelling organizations in unexpected directions, redrawing boundaries and shifting relationships. Using research on user-generated content, we examine online rating and ranking mechanisms and analyze how their performance reconfigures relations of accountability. Our specific interest is in the use of so-called "social media" such as TripAdvisor, where participant reviews are used to rank the popularity of services provided by the travel sector. Although ranking mechanisms are not new, they become "power-charged"-to use Donna Haraway's term-when enacted through Web 2.0 technologies. As such, they perform a substantial redistribution of accountability. We draw on data from an on-going field study of small businesses in a remote geographical area for whom TripAdvisor has changed 'the rules of the game,' and we explore the moral and strategic implication of this transformation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier
Divisions: Management
Centre for Economic Performance
Centre for Analysis of Risk & Regulation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 10:17
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2024 22:51

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