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Communicating sustainable development initiatives: Applying co‐orientation to forest management certification

Michael von Kutzschenbach (Institute of Forest Utilization and Work Science, Albert‐Ludwigs‐University, Germany)
Carl Brønn (Department of Economics and Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 1 July 2006

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Abstract

Purpose

The co‐orientation model is used as a vehicle for framing the perceptions of different stakeholder groups. This study aims to operationalize the principles of sustainable development in the chain‐of‐custody and measure two selected stakeholder groups' perceptions of their importance.

Design/methodology/approach

The co‐orientation model provides guidance for improving communications and stakeholder relationships by identifying different co‐orientation states of the communicating parties. The implications for the development of effective sustainability communication strategies for organizations are discussed.

Findings

Sustainability communications requires a systematic approach in which all the communication activities are directed toward achieving increased understanding between the organization and its relevant stakeholders about the issues. The co‐orientation model enables the identification of unique initiatives to overcome the communication problems caused by the different co‐orientation states. This insight can be utilized by communication managers to fine‐tune their organization's communication strategy to be more sensitive to the specific requirements of the communication situation. Some of the recommendations to manage the communication process include assumption surfacing, orgainzational reflection, improved stakeholder management and dialogue.

Originality/value

The co‐orientation model is a quite complex concept. This study tries to use the model in a concret case and develops different approaches for improving communications and stakeholder relationships by identifying different co‐orientation states of the communicating parties.

Keywords

Citation

von Kutzschenbach, M. and Brønn, C. (2006), "Communicating sustainable development initiatives: Applying co‐orientation to forest management certification", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 304-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540610681185

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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