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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Corporate Communication | 2015
Thesis number: 14139
Legitimacy in the mobile era: student perceptions on smartphones, mobile applications and stakeholder communication
Author: Koljonen, Tomi
Title: Legitimacy in the mobile era: student perceptions on smartphones, mobile applications and stakeholder communication
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Corporate Communication
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; viestintä; communication; matkapuhelimet; cellular phones; ohjelmistot; software; mobiilitekniikka; mobile technology; verkostot; networks; Aalto-yliopisto; Aalto University
Pages: 101
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14139.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1072448)
Key terms: smartphone, mobile, technology, stakeholder, legitimacy, corporate communication
Objectives of the study:

The research is set in the context of Aalto University School of Business, where the students' practices with mobile technology and communication with the university are studied. The implications of the emerging mobile era for corporate communications are also emphasized, especially from the view of organizational legitimacy.

Methodology The current study is a single case study conducted at Aalto University School of Business. The research data consisted of eight semi-structured interviews with the school's students.

Key findings:

The study resulted in four main findings: 1) Users have an incredibly strong relationship with their phones, prior quantitative studies haven't completely clarified the intensity of the relationship. 2) Smartphones are primarily used for communication purposes, while entertainment and informative usage are growing in importance as well. 3) Utilization of smartphones and mobile applications at the case organization are almost non-existent. 4) Lack of successful stakeholder communication through appropriate channels may have implications for the lack of legitimacy.


Smartphones and mobile applications are extremely important for their users. The mobile era presents companies with possible legitimacy challenges as stakeholders' social environment changes. Focus on communicating with stakeholders through appropriate channels is key in dealing with this issue and answering to stakeholders' demands.
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