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From ad-man to digital manager: Professionalization through Swedish job advertisements 1960-2010

Maria Ellinor Rosén (Department of Strategic Communication, Ronnowsgatan, Lund University, Helsingborg, Sweden)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 28 January 2014




The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze changes in the descriptions and requirements of professional communicators in Swedish job advertisements between 1960 and 2010.


Through a quantitative content analysis, this study approaches organizational requirement information in order to better understand changes in the description of the ideal candidate and professionalization.


The results show that job titles have gradually become more specified and strategically orientated. Tactical qualifications dominated the first decades but operational and strategic skills were increasingly required in the material over the last two decades.

Research limitations/implications

Even if job advertisements could expose the historical changes in expectations and demands on communicational professional practitioners, further studies could entail complementary material such as interviews with senior communications managers and headhunters.

Practical implications

In order to be legitimized as a field of profession, scholars, teachers and practitioners need to create ideals and ideologies that can justify and defend business and education. This paper stimulates practitioners to reflect critically on such issues.


The key contribution of this paper is to explicate how the image of communication practice and the demands on communication practitioners have changed during the last 50 years.



Ellinor Rosén, M. (2014), "From ad-man to digital manager: Professionalization through Swedish job advertisements 1960-2010", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 16-39.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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