Date of Conferral







Robert Levasseur


As a tool for rapid communication, social media (SM) have the potential to revolutionize the way in which nonprofit organizations and stakeholders communicate. Most nonprofit organizations in the United States use some form of SM to engage with stakeholders, however, there is an underutilization of SM used for board decision-making purposes. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine SM and its potential use for board decision-making in nonprofit organizations. The conceptual framework incorporated stakeholder theory, organizational ambidexterity, and an organizational media-user typology. The research question related to the experience of nonprofit board member use of SM for organizational decision-making and stakeholder engagement. Vagle's postintentional phenomenological research approach guided the study. Data collection involved interviewing a purposeful sample of 25 board members and leaders from 501(c)(3) nonpro�t organizations in Texas. Data analysis included combining coded data into categories and themes to determine underlying commonalities related to SM use and organizational decision-making. The primary finding was that nonprofit boards rarely use data generated from SM for decision-making purposes. Other findings from the study may improve board decision-making theory and practice and reveal how nonprofit organizations may leverage unfiltered, real-time SM feedback to benefit strategic organizational decision-making. The potential contribution to social change is to deepen the understanding of the effects of SM on nonprofit board decision-making so that boards may be more responsive to a broader range of stakeholder social interests.