Organisations & Social Media Teaser

Organisations and Social Media

How do people in online communities react to each other and what consequences does this have for organisations and society? Can influencers perform their work ethically? What are the effects of online group polarisation and filter bubbles on society? And when is content meaningful?

These are relevant questions that the Professorship Organisations and Social Media studies through practice-based research, together with students, teachers and organisations. The starting point is meaningful communication, which the professorship sees as communication in which people and/or organisations enter into dialogue with each other, become involved  and establish lasting relationships. The professorship has translated this into a model of Meaningful Circular Communication and the Meaningful Communication Canvas - a tool to analyse meaningful communication.

Our mission statement 

"We study mediated interaction in online communities to support meaningful communication. We transform insights and results into workable, tailored media and communication recommendations and/or formats for our stakeholders."

The professorship is happy to contribute to the development of knowledge, professional products and networks around media literacy and derived themes, such as online group polarisation and intercultural communication.

''The Professorship Organisations and Social Media is the research group that will broaden your knowledge about meaningful communication. We do this by monitoring and interpreting online communication together with students and lecturers. Together we strive to solve practical issues and contribute to innovations that strengthen the dialogue and involvement in education and the professional field." Dr. Deike Schulz

Who we are

The Professorship Organisations and Social Media is part of the Communication & Creative Business academy at NHL Stenden and has an integral role within the curricula of the various study programmes. Collaborations with lecturers and students on issues from professional practice are central to us. This can be implemented in various ways, for example by taking on the role of client or as a co-creator to solve issues together. The professorship works together in an interdisciplinary team of lecturers/researchers, project leaders and interns.

Highlighted project

European Influencers Academy

With the European Influencers Academy we want to bring influencers together to learn from each other, to do research on how influencers communicate, and on what the effect is on their followers. During the Swipe Up week, ten European influencers will gather in Leeuwarden to share knowledge and follow activities around the theme of responsible influencing.

Do you want to know more about the European Influencers Academy? Check our project page or visit the website we developed for the influencers.

Collaboration partners

With the focus on meaningful communication in digital environments, the professorship deals with relevant and topical subjects that concern society. Therefore the professorship colaborates with various organisations such as Leeuwarder Courant, Platform Mediawijsheid Friesland, Instinct3 and the research group Cybersafety.

Curious? We are always open to new meaningful collaborations with organisations. Whether it's about starting new research projects, setting up an assignment for students, organising workshops or deepening your knowledge through practice-oriented research. You can reach us via our e-mail address For inspiration, you can also take a look at our publications below.

We also like to work with interns and graduates. Are you looking for a meaningful internship or would you like to do your graduation project in the context of this theme? Send us an e-mail to discuss the possibilities.

Team members

  • Deike Schulz
  • Afke van der Woud

  • Mirjam Lasthuizen

  • Martin Eenkhoorn

  • Charlotte van Hassel

  • Sara de Hoog

  • Ilse Dijkslag

  • Selina Spanhaak

Visiting lecturers

  • Martsen Hut
  • Maggie Dundas
  • Jeroen Westhof
  • Abram Kleijweg



  • Schulz, D., Jonker, J., & Faber, N. (2018). Outside-in constructions of organizational legitimacy: Sensitizing the influence of evaluative judgments through mass self-communication in online communities. International Journal of Communication, 12, 290–312.
  • Schulz, D., van der Woud, A., & Westhof, J. (2020). The Best Indycaster project: Analysing and understanding meaningful YouTube content, dialogue and commitment as part of responsible management education. The International Journal of Management Education, 18(1):100335.
  • Schulz, D. (2020a). Legitimacy theory II: Legitimacy judgments. In: Idowu S., Schmidpeter R., Capaldi N., Zu L., Del Baldo M., Abreu R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management. Springer, Cham.
  • Schulz, D. (2020b). Online communities. In: Idowu S., Schmidpeter R., Capaldi N., Zu L., Del Baldo M., Abreu R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management. Springer, Cham.
  • Schulz, D. (2020). Betekenisvolle Communicatie. NHL-Stenden. University of Applied Science, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-94-6402-239-1
  • Schulz, D. (2021). Evaluating the evaluators: Investigating the multilevel dynamics of outside-in constructions of organizational legitimacy. Doctoral Dissertation. Radboud University Nijmegen. ISBN 978-94-6421-299-0
  • Schulz, D., Kleijweg, A. (2021). Co-Creating Online Research Methods During COVID-19: Using Teams and Padlet to Co-Create a Codebook for Online Content Analysis. SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. (In review).

  • Van der Giessen, M., Brouwer, A., Nijhuis, L., and Schulz, D. (2021). Being Aware: Responsible Consumers Asking for Purposeful Products and Services. Designing an Interdisciplinary Research Minor at NHL Stenden in Coelen, R.J., Geitz, G., Donker, A., and Assen, H. (eds.) Stepping into Design-Based Education. Leeuwarden: NHL Stenden UAS
  • Schulz, D. (2020, January 30th). Front end user commitment as a critical success factor for Solid: Don't make me think. [Presentation]. Solid Amsterdam Meetup, VU Amsterdam.