The Unfriend Coal Campaign sponsored by Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization, was designed to deter Facebook from establishing a new data center in Oregon based on the revelation that their facility would be powered by carbon fuels that would contribute towards pollution and environmental degradation. One of the interesting aspects of this particular study is that Greenpeace’s main strategy involved campaigning using Facebook’s own product, which is another example of the numerous managerial problems that affect multinational companies. Coming up with new approaches that can address the existing challenges in a way that solves the demands presented by other stakeholders while maintaining the company’s objectives
The position adopted by Facebook will determine the future of the organization particularly in terms of profitability, relationship with different partners and customer perception. Choosing to make a public response in the media concerning the Oregon controversy is an effective strategy that can save the company’s reputation (Champoux, Durgee, & McGlynn, 2012). In such a situation, the decision made by the Facebook management involved exposing their activity to the public (Diener, 2014). The benefit of coming clean to the consumers and shareholders is that they can finally see the company as one that embraces transparency. The highly beneficial feature improves the standing, allowing Facebook to regain consumer faith as well as justify their Prineville initiative.
One of the cons of meeting and talking with Greenpeace about the Prineville project is that it can furnish them with additionally information that can be used against them. It is necessary to categorize these two parties as being in conflict. Therefore, assuming that the two parties cannot trust each other, it would be detrimental for any form of collaboration to occur. Both parties have different agendas and assuming that they can work together towards a common goal is unrealistic and not advisable (Diener, 2014).
One of the advantages of meeting and discussing with Greenpeace about the Prineville project is that it falls in line with Facebook’s overall company policy concerning stakeholders and community social responsibility. In a way, collaboration between the two parties allows for the sharing of ideas and information that can help in raising the success the rates of establishing a new data center (Champoux et al. 2012). The advantage of this type of arrangement is that the two parties can cooperate in influencing regulations, code of ethics and policy among other aspects that guide the relationships among stakeholders (Diener, 2014). Company strategy and mission are always given the highest priority and in this case, Facebook will definitely ensure that their interests are met.
One of the disadvantages of responding publicly in the media is that Facebook will be categorized as an unethical company. The public response can also draw attention to other law enforcement agencies including environment conservationist, municipal authorities, and related organizations. Additionally, sticking to the company strategy as the company’s position paints it as inhuman. On the other hand, one of the cons of ignoring the movement and continuing with business as usual is that it can lead to increased pressure especially at the management level (Diener, 2014). The protests at using non-renewable energy can continue to mount to a level that can affect the company in the long term.
One of the advantages of ignoring the issue altogether is that the customers and other stakeholders learn to appreciate the company’s stand. Facebook is an international company that has a massive customer base that operates based on confidence. If the company can show confidence, the rest of the stakeholders can rest assured that their financial and social interests are preserved. Stability is an important aspect in any business and Facebook is no exception. Their customers are the main priority and taking an indifferent stand may definitely lead to increased sales margins as well as increased positive reputation (Ott, & Theunissen, 2015). Conversely, giving the Greenpeace party a chance to engage in a discussion has the reverse effect. It shows the customers that the company is willing to bend or later its core systems or strategies to suit different demands (Diener, 2014). This is a bad indicator as it shows the instability and ease of bowing to pressure from stakeholders.
One of the
biggest advantages of responding to the media is that it shows the willingness
of the company to engage in industrial change. Through announcing to the public
that they are dealing with the Prineville situation, Facebook emerges as an
entity that cares for the environment as well as ethical business activities. Taking
this position will also allow Facebook to speed up the process of policy change
by cooperating in any areas that need their support. Meeting and talking with
the Greenpeace, organization has the advantage of increasing the reputation of
Facebook within different stakeholders (Diener, 2014). By taking into
consideration the interests of other parties, it becomes easier to incorporate
the demands of both parties in the future. It is easier to include the rest of
Facebook customers into the decision made by the company rather than deliberate
and negotiate with the rest of the opponents including Greenpeace (Katz-Kimchi,
& Manosevitch, 2015).
Champoux, V., Durgee, J., & McGlynn, L. (2012). Corporate Facebook pages: when “fans” attack. Journal of business strategy, 33(2), 22-30.
Diener, J. (2014). Greenpeace’s unfriend coal campaign and Facebook. A case study. Richard Ivey School of business foundation.
Katz-Kimchi, M., & Manosevitch, I. (2015). Mobilizing Facebook users against Facebook’s energy policy: The case of greenpeace unfriend coal campaign. Environmental communication, 9(2), 248-267.
Ott, L., & Theunissen, P. (2015). Reputations at risk: Engagement during social media crises. Public Relations Review, 41(1), 97-102.
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