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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Intranet editors as corporate gatekeepers and agenda setters
Article Type: Abstracts From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 7.
Lehmuskallio S. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2008, Vol. 13 No. 1, Start page: 95, No. of pages: 17
Purpose - Aims to explore the decision-making practices and processes related to gathering, selecting, and publishing of internal corporate news through intranets in large multinationals in Finland. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on eight semi-structured interviews of intranet editors responsible for the corporate news on the intranet. Findings Intranet editors are the main corporate gatekeepers and agenda setters making news publication decisions; i.e. determining what is important and newsworthy. These editors make decisions independently rather than collectively, thus news gathering is greatly affected by the networking and organizational skills of the individual editors. Companies prefer neutral news. Honesty and openness are principles that justify also the publication of “bad news.” Research limitations/implications This study explored how intranet editors construct reality through shaping internal communication content. The study did not attempt to assess the effects or effectiveness of this communication. Similarly, although intranet’s goals and purposes were assessed, the extent to which the intranet helps the company achieve its strategic goals was not analysed in detail. Further, research is needed to explore these important issues. Practical implications Offers practical examples of how large multinationals convey internal news through intranets. It highlights aspects that may help companies improve intranet’s strategic value by enhancing internal communication through the intranet. Originality/value - Reveals the power of individual editors in constructing reality for the organization. It also offers practitioners, researchers, teachers, and students a rare view into the real-life processes and practices related to communication via intranets that can rarely be accessed and evaluated by outsiders. ISSN: 1356-3289 Reference: 37AE165 DOI: 10.1108/13563280810848229
Keywords: Communications, Corporate communications, Intranets