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Information Warfare and New Organizational Landscapes: An Inquiry into the ExxonMobil–Greenpeace Dispute over Climate Change

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Iain Munro


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A defining characteristic of the emergence of new organizational landscapes is that information is not just being used as a tool by organizations, as it is more usually understood, but also as a weapon in a 'war of position'. As organizations seek to influence public perception over emotive issues such as climate change, conflict at the ideational level can give rise to information warfare campaigns. This concerns the creation and deployment of often ideologically infused ideas through information networks to promote an organization's interests over those of its adversaries. In this article, we analyse the ways in which ExxonMobil and Greenpeace employ distinctive informational tactics against a range of diverse targets in their dispute over the climate change debate. The purpose of this article is to advance the neo-Gramscian perspective on social movement organizations as a framework for understanding such behaviour. We argue that information warfare is likely to become common as corporations and non-governmental organizations are increasingly sensitive to their informational environment as a source of both opportunity and possible conflict.

Publication metadata

Author(s): MacKay B, Munro I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organization Studies

Year: 2012

Volume: 33

Issue: 11

Pages: 1507-1536

Print publication date: 01/11/2012

ISSN (print): 0170-8406

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3044

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0170840612463318


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