This chapter attempts to broaden corporate communications and public relations research by introducing a theoretical foundation for the inbound (in contrast to the outbound) perspective of communication. The idea of organisational listening has recently been introduced by a small number of researchers. However, current concepts are mostly based on the relational paradigm of public relations. Listening is positively connoted in those concepts because it might help to foster mutual understanding, advance favourable relationships with stakeholders and support normative ideals of deliberation in democratic societies. This is not convincing from the point of view of communication managers who align their strategies and budgets to overarching organisational goals. The chapter aims to develop a new approach beyond the relational approach by linking corporate listening to corporate value. In a first step, current definitions and concepts of organisational listening are discussed in order to underline the need for a new approach. Secondly, the need for an inbound perspective of communication is explained by referring to Giddens’ structuration theory and its consequences for managing communications. Thirdly, corporate listening is conceptualised as a strategic mode of communication by referring to the overarching concept of strategic communication. Last but not least, the chapter elaborates on the value of listening for corporations and concludes with a broadened understanding of strategic communication.
Borner, M. and Zerfass, A. (2018), "The Power of Listening in Corporate Communications: Theoretical Foundations of Corporate Listening as a Strategic Mode of Communication", Public Relations and the Power of Creativity (Advances in Public Relations and Communication Management, Vol. 3), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2398-391420180000003001Download as .RIS
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