Communicating the Leadership Status of Organisations: A Cross-National Study in 10 European Countries

The Management Game of Communication

ISBN: 978-1-78635-716-8, eISBN: 978-1-78635-715-1

ISSN: 2398-3914

Publication date: 26 August 2016


This chapter builds on status as sociological ordering and introduces the relevance of high status for organisations and their strategic communication. It offers new insights into organisational leadership perceptions from a stakeholder perspective. A neo-institutional framework is combined with social judgement theory and positioning theory to emphasise the importance of high status for organisations. Research questions are derived from previous research and tested in a representative online survey among 4,054 citizens and an online survey among 1,346 communication professionals in 10 European countries. Results suggest that trustworthiness and quality are the main attributes that describe a high-status position. Communication professionals in the surveyed countries overestimate innovation for building a leadership position. In contrast, customer service is clearly underestimated. Not only do the leadership attributes differ widely across the surveyed countries, but so do the communication activities that form a view on the leadership of a company or organisation.



Zerfass, A. and Wiesenberg, M. (2016), "Communicating the Leadership Status of Organisations: A Cross-National Study in 10 European Countries", The Management Game of Communication (Advances in Public Relations and Communication Management, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 121-142.

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