How others see us: leaders’ perceptions of communication and communication managers

Peggy Simcic Brønn (Norwegian Business School, Communication, Culture and Languages, Oslo, Norway)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 28 January 2014



This paper aims to assess other leaders’ perceptions of the importance and contribution of communication to organizational success and the abilities of their communication executives to contribute to strategic decision making.


A quantitative approach was used through a questionnaire sent to 5,000 business leaders in small, medium, and large firms across the country of Norway.


Overall results indicate that communication is viewed as not as important to business success as other management disciplines, but leaders rate communication skills as the most important communication discipline. In general, communication executives must improve their strategic orientation if they are to be engaged in decision processes where more than communication is discussed. There is moderate but significant correlation between strategic orientation and involvement in decision making and being invited to the strategic planning process.

Research limitations/implications

This research was performed in a small country with all the limitations that creates; only a small percentage of the respondents had a unique communication department or head of communication, although there is some evidence this is not unusual. There also might be issues with definitions of terms such as public relations and corporate communication; while they are familiar to communication professionals, they are not so well understood by others.

Practical implications

Hopefully this study will give a greater understanding of the view of communication in organizations and its contribution to organizational success.


This study appears to be one of the first to ask other leaders opinions on communication and communication executives’ role in organizations. Most studies have asked communication executives their opinions on how their leaders view them.



Simcic Brønn, P. (2014), "How others see us: leaders’ perceptions of communication and communication managers", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 58-79.

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