Journal of Business Ethics 162 (2):473-485 (2018)

Abstract
The current study examines the micro-linguistic details of Twitter responses to the whistleblower-initiated publication of the Panama Papers. The leaked documents contained the micro-details of tax avoidance, tax evasion, and wealth accumulation schemes used by business elites, politicians, and government bureaucrats. The public release of the documents on April 4, 2016 resulted in a groundswell of Twitter and other social media activity throughout the world, including 161,036 Spanish-language tweets in the subsequent 5-month period. The findings illustrate that the responses were polyvocal, consisting a collection of overlapping speech genres with varied thematic topics and linguistic styles, as well as differing degrees of calls for action and varying amounts of illocutionary force. The analysis also illustrates that, while the illocutionary force of tweets is somewhat associated with the adoption of a prosaic and vernacular ethical stance as well as with demands for action, these types of voicing behaviors were not present in the majority of the tweets. These results suggest that, while social media platforms are a popular site for collective forms of voicing activities, it is less certain that these collective stakeholder voices necessarily result in forceful accountability demands that spill out of the communication medium and thus serve as an impulse for positive social change.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-018-3997-9
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Limited Inc.Jacques Derrida - 1988 - Northwestern University Press.

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