IFKAD 2016 presentation: Does strategic and innovative fit indicate smart social media use in a company? We investigated the relationship between strategic management, innovation management and social media use. Study was conducted in collaboration with Tampere University Technology (Industrial Management and Engineering & Information Management and Logistics) and University of Calabria (Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering). Co-authors include Heli Aramo-Immonen, Olli Rouvari, Pasi Porkka and Salvatore Ammirato.
Does strategic and innovative fit indicate smart social media use in a company
Does strategic and innovative fit
indicate smart social media use in a
Jari J. Jussila1, Heli Aramo-Immonen2, Olli Rouvari2, Pasi L.
Porkka2, Salvatore Ammirato3
1Tampere University of Technology, Information Management and
2Tampere University of Technology, Pori Unit, FINLAND
3University of Calabria, ITALY
Motivation for the study
• Several authors claim that companies need to have a
clear social media strategy in order to benefit from
social media utilization (Wilson et al., 2011; Andzulis et
al., 2012; Antikainen and Valkokari, 2015) and to avoid
the negative effects of inappropriate social media
management (Werder et al., 2014).
• However, many companies are struggling with how to
adopt social media into their models and strategy
(Andzulis et al., 2012; Jussila et al., 2015).
Social media in Business vs.
Consumer use (in Finland)
• The adoption and understanding of social media in the
business context is still quite low. For example, in the
study of Federation of Finnish Technology Industries,
17% of the companies in the machinery and metal
products sector used social media internally, but only 4%
used social media with customers.
• In contrast, consumers are adopting social media more
rapidly, for instance, in a study commissioned by the
Finnish broadcasting company YLE of Finnish citizens’
social media use (N=4261 and n=1003) revealed the
number of users of Facebook to be 56%, WhatsApp
37%, Twitter 10% and LinkedIn 9% (Taloustutkimus,
Focus of this study
• This study was conducted in order to find out if the
strategic management maturity and the innovation
capability of companies are also indicators of the extent
of the use of social media tools
• This study was conducted among companies in the
Finnish car retail and service business. The sample
covered all member companies in the of the Finnish
Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs (147
• We obtained responses from 37 company managers at a
response rate of 25.2%. A structured in-depth interview
was also conducted with some of the managers.
• The empirical research questionnaire was divided into
three categories: 1) strategic management, 2) innovation
management and 3) use of the social media.
• The strategic management part comprised 24 Likert-
scale statements. In the innovation part, we utilized Tidd
and Bessant’s (2009) innovation assessment capability
tool, which consists of 40 Likert-scale statements. In the
social media survey, the use and knowledge of social
media tools was studied with 13 multiple choice and five
• After the survey and statistical calculations, we
conducted interviews with three CEOs to find out more
details about social media related questions among
• We were able to discover statistically significant
differences amongst variables between clusters of
Strategic Management and Innovation Management.
• However, the Mann-Whitney test we run on the Social
Media Usage statements to find whether there were also
differences between the clusters, revealed that not a
single one of the 13 statements showed a difference.
These results are gathered in Table 1.
• In all 14 Strategic Management and 16 Innovation
Management statements, the replies in the smaller
cluster were higher. This indicates that in the
organizations belonging to the smaller cluster, certain
strategic and innovation issues fitted better.
• However, the same distinction did not show up in the
social media statements. Therefore, the strategic and
innovative fit does not indicate smart social media
use in the investigated companies. In fact, when the
outliers were also taken into account, there were no
observable differences in social media usage
between the ‘good’ companies, the mediocre
companies and the outliers.
• We can summarize that the usefulness of social media
was seen in customer relationships (Q1).
• Even though we investigated company strategy and
innovation processes, these were not seen as potential
beneficiaries from social media platforms.
• Our findings from the survey were validated in the
interviews concerning the lack of strategy in social media
utilization in companies (Q2). There was no or very little
regulation from car manufacturers for dealers concerning
the use of social media (Q4). The process of choosing
social media channels varied in the companies (Q5).
There seem to be followers and companies who try to
manage their social media processes.
• Whereas the analysis of strategic management maturity and
innovation capability was able to distinguish the factors that
determine low performing and high performing groups of
companies (Rouvari et al., 2016), no clear evidence from
statistical analysis was found that strategic management
maturity and innovation capability would indicate smart social
• One possible reason that may explain why we did not find any
links between strategic management maturity and smart use
of social media is that the companies did not have a separate
social media strategy. While it is debatable whether
companies should have a separate social media strategy or a
holistic business strategy which includes social media as an
element, the interviews revealed that companies in the
Finnish car retail and service business had neither.