Big Data Analytics Capabilities, Sustainability Reporting on Social Media, and Competitive Advantage: An Exploratory Study

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Fareyha Said
Azlina Abdul Jalil
Dalilawati Zainal


Manuscript type: Research paper
Research aims: Drawing from the lens of dynamic capability view (DCV), this study investigates whether companies with big data analytics (BDA) capabilities, specifically BDA management, infrastructure, and personnel capabilities, disclose more sustainability posts on social media and whether such disclosure affects their competitive advantage.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Data from 100 public listed firms in Malaysia were obtained from questionnaires and content analysis of Facebook pages. Smart PLS was employed to analyse the data.
Research findings: The results suggest that in the context of Malaysia, BDA management capability significantly impacts sustainability reporting on social media (SRSM). The evidence also points to SSRM positively impacting a company’s competitive advantage.
Theoretical contribution/Originality: Theoretically, this study contributes to the literature on DCV. The findings provide insights into how BDA capabilities can help organisations focus on social media platforms and communicate with their stakeholders on sustainability performance. It also suggests that sustainability reporting on social media is associated with competitive advantage, as it allows for two-way interaction between organisations and its stakeholders.
Practitioner/Policy implications: Practically, this study provides insights into the roles of accounting, social media, and big data within the current digital revolution. Specifically, it offers guidance to executives and managers on identifying the conditions that need to be present for BDA capability to add value to SRSM. Additionally, the findings here have implications for policymakers and businesses looking to use BDA in the context of SRSM to gain competitive advantage.
Research limitation/Implications: Future studies could consider increasing the sample size. This study sheds light on the relevance of BDA capabilities in promoting sustainability issues using social media.


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