Publications Database

Welcome to the new Schulich Peer-Reviewed Publication Database!

The database is currently in beta-testing and will be updated with more features as time goes on. In the meantime, stakeholders are free to explore our faculty’s numerous works. The left-hand panel affords the ability to search by the following:

  • Faculty Member’s Name;
  • Area of Expertise;
  • Whether the Publication is Open-Access (free for public download);
  • Journal Name; and
  • Date Range.

At present, the database covers publications from 2012 to 2020, but will extend further back in the future. In addition to listing publications, the database includes two types of impact metrics: Altmetrics and Plum. The database will be updated annually with most recent publications from our faculty.

If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Search Results

Saxton, G., Singhal, A., Wang, H. and Xu, W. (2019). "Social Media Fandom for Health Promotion?", SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research, 11(1), 1-14.

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Abstract As digital media technologies proliferate and social media spaces expand, how does one leverage popularity and cultivate fandom to promote health? Despite the easy entry, broad reach, and interactive features of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, health promoters are unsure how to meaningfully engage users and build lasting online communities. In this article, we examined the Facebook Insights and Twitter hashtag network over a nine-month period for Season 1 of the exemplary transmedia edutainment show East Los High. Premiered on Hulu, the popular entertainment streaming site, East Los High was purposefully designed to serve Latino youths in the United States, spurring conversations and promoting healthy relationships and safe sex practices across different digital platforms. We used Facebook analytics to gauge the audience reach, engagement, and dissemination; developed a 10-indicator index to identify the most successful among the 352 Facebook posts; analysed the position of East Los High in the Facebook co-commenting network; and assessed the top word pairs from those Facebook comments in accordance with the show’s social objectives. We also studied the underlying structure of the Twitter hashtag network representing the interactions between @EastLosHighShow and its 2,136 followers with tweets that included #ELH, #ELHaddict(s), and/or #EastLosHigh. While challenges exist in initiating and maintaining user engagement on these social media platforms, our findings revealed effective and actionable strategies for health promotion by cultivating fandom and building communities on social media.

Saxton, G. and Xu, W. (2019). "Does Stakeholder Engagement Pay off on Social Media? A Social Capital Perspective", Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 48(1), 28-49.

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Abstract Nonprofits use social media to pursue a broad range of mission-related outcomes. Given the centrality of user connections and social networks on these sites, attaining these outcomes is contingent on first generating a stock of online social capital through investing in online relationships. Yet, little is known empirically about this process. To better understand the return on social media, this study develops empirical measures of four key dimensions of social media–based social capital centering on the nature of nonprofits’ network positions and stakeholder ties. The study then tests a series of hypotheses relating the increase in social capital to different types of stakeholder engagement tactics. Using Twitter data on 198 community foundations, the study finds that content with multiple communication cues and intersectoral stakeholder targeting predict higher levels of social capital; communicative and stakeholder diversity, thus, appear to play a key role in the successful organizational use of social media.

Guo, C. and Saxton, G. (2018). "Speaking and Being Heard: How Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations Gain Attention on Social Media", Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 47(1), 5-26.

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Abstract The social media era ushers in an increasingly “noisy” information environment that renders it more difficult for nonprofit advocacy organizations to make their voices heard. How then can an organization gain attention on social media? We address this question by building and testing a model of the effectiveness of the Twitter use of advocacy organizations. Using number of retweets and number of favorites as proxies of attention, we test our hypotheses with a 12-month panel dataset that collapses by month and organization the 219,915 tweets sent by 145 organizations in 2013. We find that attention is strongly associated with the size of an organization’s network, its frequency of speech, and the number of conversations it joins. We also find a seemingly contradictory relationship between different measures of attention and an organization’s targeting and connecting strategy.

Guo, C. and Saxton, G. (2014). "Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy", Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 57-79.

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Abstract How are nonprofit organizations utilizing social media to engage in advocacy work? We address this question by investigating the social media use of 188 501(c)(3) advocacy organizations. After briefly examining the types of social media technologies employed, we turn to an in-depth examination of the organizations’ use of Twitter. This in-depth message-level analysis is twofold: A content analysis that examines the prevalence of previously identified communicative and advocacy constructs in nonprofits’ social media messages; and an inductive analysis that explores the unique features and dynamics of social media-based advocacy and identifies new organizational practices and forms of communication heretofore unseen in the literature.

Guidry, J., Saxton, G. D. and Waters, R. D. (2014). "Moving Social Marketing Beyond Personal Change to Social Change: Strategically Using Twitter to Mobilize Supporters into Vocal Advocates", Journal of Social Marketing, 4, 240-260.

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Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to examine what type of messaging on Twitter is most effective for helping move social marketing beyond focusing on personal changes to fnd out what messages help turn members of the public into vocal advocates for these organizations’ social changes. Social marketing scholarship has regularly focused on how organizations can effectively infuence changes in awareness and behaviors among their targeted audience. Communication scholarship, however, has repeatedly shown that the most infuential form of persuasion happens interpersonally. As such, it is imperative that organizations learn how to engage audiences and facilitate the discussion about organizational messages between individuals. Social media provide platforms for such conversations, as organizational messaging can be shared and discussed by individuals with others in their networks. Design/methodology/approach – Through a content analysis of 3,415 Twitter updates from 50 nonproft organizations, this study identifes specifc types of messages that are more likely to get stakeholders retweeting, archiving and discussing the organizations’ messaging through regression analysis. Findings – Messages focusing on calls-to-action and community building generated the most retweets and Twitter conversation; however, they were also the least used strategies by nonproft organizations. Originality/value – Research has regularly examined the types of messages sent out by nonproft organizations on Twitter, but they have not tested those messages against measures of engagement. This study pushes the understanding of social media communication to the next level by analyzing those message categories against metrics provided by Twitter for each tweet in the sample.

Fischer, E. and Reuber, A. (2014). "Online Entrepreneurial Communication: Mitigating Uncertainty and Increasing Differentiation Via Twitter", Journal of Business Venturing, 29(4), 565-583.

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Abstract Research shows that some narratives and symbolic actions produced by entrepreneurial firms can help to reduce audience uncertainty about their quality and differentiate them from rivals. But can communications via online social media channels – which we characterize as “communicative streams” – be used to reduce uncertainty and enhance differentiation? This seems debatable, given that such streams comprise multiple, brief messages (a) that encode signals lacking narrative cohesion; (b) are only fleetingly accessible; and (c) are minimally customized. We address this puzzle using qualitative methods to compare the communications enacted by eight firms that are using Twitter in order to pursue growth. Our theoretical contribution rests in positing links between specific types of communicative streams and audience responses that reflect reduced uncertainty or enhanced differentiation. Our analysis suggests that firms enacting a “Multi-dimensional” communicative stream (which entails a high volume of posts, a high proportion of which signal quality, relational orientation, distinctiveness, and positive affect) are most likely to elicit audience affirmation of firms' quality and/or distinctiveness. Implications for theory, research methods and practice are discussed.

Lovejoy, K., Saxton, G. and Waters, R. (2012). "Engaging Stakeholders Through Twitter: How Nonprofit Organizations are Getting More Out of 140 Characters or Less", Public Relations Review, 38, 313-318.

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Abstract While it may seem difficult to communicate in a meaningful manner with 140 characters or less, Twitter users have found creative ways to get the most out of each Tweet by using different communication tools. This paper looks into how 73 nonprofit organizations use Twitter to engage stakeholders not only through their tweets, but also through other various communication methods. Specifically it looks into the organizations utilization of tweet frequency, following behavior, hyperlinks, hashtags, public messages, retweets, and multimedia files. After analyzing 4655 tweets, the study found that the nation's largest nonprofits are not using Twitter to maximize stakeholder involvement. Instead, they continue to use social media as a one-way communication channel as less than 20% of their total tweets demonstrate conversations and roughly 16% demonstrate indirect connections to specific users.

Lovejoy, K. and Saxton, G. (2012). "Information, Community, and Action: How Nonprofit Organizations Use Social Media", Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 17(3), 337-353.

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Abstract The rapid diffusion of “microblogging” services such as Twitter is ushering in a new era of possibilities for organizations to communicate with and engage their core stakeholders and the general public. To enhance understanding of the communicative functions microblogging serves for organizations, this study examines the Twitter utilization practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. The analysis reveals there are three key functions of microblogging updates—“information,”“community,” and “action.” Though the informational use of microblogging is extensive, nonprofit organizations are better at using Twitter to strategically engage their stakeholders via dialogic and community-building practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media appears to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.

Nah, S. and Saxton, G. (2012). "Modeling the Adoption and Use of Social Media by Nonprofit Organizations", New Media & Society, 15, 294-313.

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Abstract This study examines what drives organizational adoption and use of social media through a model built around four key factors – strategy, capacity, governance and environment. Using Twitter, Facebook, and other data on 100 large US nonprofit organizations, the model is employed to examine the determinants of three key facets of social media utilization: (1) adoption, (2) frequency of use and (3) dialogue. We find that organizational strategies, capacities, governance features and external pressures all play a part in these social media adoption and utilization outcomes. Through its integrated, multi-disciplinary theoretical perspective, this study thus helps foster understanding of which types of organizations are able and willing to adopt and juggle multiple social media accounts, to use those accounts to communicate more frequently with their external publics, and to build relationships with those publics through the sending of dialogic messages.

Chen, Y., Fischer, E. and Smith, A. (2012). "How Does Brand-Related User-Generated Content Differ Across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter?", Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26, 102–113.

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Abstract This study tests hypotheses regarding differences in brand-related user-generated content (UGC) between Twitter (a microblogging site), Facebook (a social network) and YouTube (a content community). It tests them using data from a content analysis of 600 UGC posts for two retail-apparel brands (Lululemon and American Apparel), which differ in the extent to which they manage social media proactively. Comparisons are drawn across six dimensions of UGC; the dimensions were drawn from a priori reading and an inductive analysis of brand-related UGC. This research provides a general framework for comparing brand-related UGC, and helps us to better understand how particular social media channels and marketing strategies may influence consumer-produced brand communications.