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While several extant studies have discussed the strategic importance of investor relations (IR) for listed corporations, few have tried to apply findings from strategic…
While several extant studies have discussed the strategic importance of investor relations (IR) for listed corporations, few have tried to apply findings from strategic communication research to IR. Therefore, little is known about the planning and evaluation of IR programs, with even less data available on IR's involvement in top management decision-making. The purpose of this paper is to examine research on planning and evaluation practices in German Prime Standard corporations' IR departments.
The method entailed a survey of 51 heads of IR departments from the largest corporations listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange concerning the topic of measurement and evaluation.
The findings highlight an intermediate stage in the professionalization of the still-emergent IR function. While IR has been established as an independent function with some consideration in strategic leadership, strategic management of the function is still evolving. This study shows that while some form of planning is the norm, IR departments at smaller companies tend to focus more on departmental objectives than on deriving objectives from the corporate strategy. Also, systematic evaluation remains lacking in many smaller companies' IR departments. As a result, IR managers from smaller companies are consulted less frequently during top management meetings on corporate strategy.
This study is based on data collected only from German Prime Standard corporations. While satisfactory in the context of quantitative IR studies, the response rate from the reported survey was only 32%. Furthermore, the average level of strategic IR management among German listed companies actually may be somewhat lower than reported in this paper, as large listed companies are somewhat overrepresented in the sample.
This study addresses an apparent research gap, i.e. to date, little is known about the strategic management of the IR function, especially in a non-US context. This analysis shows that theories and frameworks from strategic communication management can be applied to the IR function.