The internet as potential equalizer: New leverage for confronting social irresponsibility Academic Article uri icon


  • Activists historically have been viewed as "powerless" groups. For instances, stakeholder theory consistently places activists in the less powerful categories of stakeholders. This lack of power is evidenced when activists attempt to change what they perceive to be irresponsible behavior by organizations. A powerless group is easy to ignore. Now activists have a new weapon which can change the organization-stakeholder dynamic - the Internet. This article uses recent developments in stakeholder theory to explain how the Internet, when used effectively, can allow activist groups to become more powerful and to command the attention of organizations. Two case analyses are used to illustrate the theoretical points presented in the article.

published proceedings

  • Public Relations Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 152

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • September 1998