HMV’s Twitter Mishap

It was hard to miss the tweets sent by an employee who was being made redundant at HMV on 31st January. HMV bosses handled this conflict by simply deleting the existence of the tweets. Unfortunately for them, this had already spread like wild fire and thousands of twitter uses had already read the tweets, shared the tweets and re-tweeted it. I think that this is a bad case of conflict resolution and communication within the much loved organisation all with the intent of protecting whatever reputation that remains.

HMV on Oxford Street in London

Entertainment retailer HMV has received a lot of media attention since it announced going into administration on 15th January and currently 166 stores have closed.  Many employees have continued their loyalty to the company and have continued working even though many do not know of their looming fate. This has been a popular news feature and stores are still continuing to close.

Controversial tweets coming from HMV’s official Twitter page during what they describe as a ‘mass execution’ is a not-so-professional way of dealing with issues within the company (Although providing excellent reading on our Twitter timeline’s).  Personally, I think that it would have been logical to change the password of the account before telling employees they no longer had a job?

hmv tweets

One of the tweets said that they were ‘under contract’ and unable to tell the truth about the issue, potentially the source of the conflict. This fits with Thomas’s (1976) conflict resolution model as the employees are showing their assertiveness by updating the public with what is going on and not being told what to do by management. They are also being uncooperative because they were not leaving quietly!

“How do we shut down Twitter”

Instead of working through the issues, tweets were deleted as quick as they were posted. I think it was their attempt of ignoring the issue which in my opinion, is a bad way of communicating such a sensitive situation.  I think that deleting the tweets from their social media site is the easy way out instead of trying to resolve the issue and shows no empathy towards the employees being made redundant. What do you think?


7 thoughts on “HMV’s Twitter Mishap

  1. Very informative introductory post, this is one of the biggest Twitter scandals of the year so far – something, no doubt, people will be looking for up for some time yet. I look forward to reading the rest of your articles.

  2. Thank you very much for your kind comment. I agree with you that this is a big scandal, do you think that it will be spoken about for positive or negative reasons though?

  3. As with everything, there are two sides to each story but hopefully it will serve as a lesson to organisations for just how seriously they need to take their social media activity across the board. It can’t just be the responsibility of interns.

  4. Dang, That’s crazy. I can’t believe that they would do that . I never use Twitter and think that many people use it for the wrong purposes.

  5. I think this is a prime example of social media and the workplace mixing in an ugly way, management should have handled things differently and the fact that twitter has created a huge audience for any business has completely backfired on them here.

    • Thank you Joe for your comment. I agree that this was not handled well and backfired on the company. The comments spread really quickly and became a trending topic on Twitter where thousands had seen the tweets. Do you think that it was right for the employees to have expressed their views on HMV’s Twitter account or was the conflict necessary?

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