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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Carmen Daniela Maier and Silvia Ravazzani

The purpose of this paper is to address the need to reconsider online external communication that integrates diversity management (DM) and corporate social responsibility…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the need to reconsider online external communication that integrates diversity management (DM) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) by examining the multimodal discursive strategies purposefully employed by organizations to reflect the symbiotic relationship between these two areas of management practice and to communicatively emphasize their corporate commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the recently emerged stream of literature linking DM and CSR, and adopting a critical perspective on discourse analysis, this study delves into the multimodal discursive strategies that help bridge DM and CSR in online external communication. The analytical approach proposed is used for the qualitative analysis of 43 web pages selected from Microsoft company’s “Global Diversity and Inclusion” website.

Findings

Findings highlight the discursive efforts made by the organization to strategically integrate DM and CSR communication into one single framework. The analysis reveals how the coordinates of social practices (social actors and social actions) are purposefully and multimodally recontextualized in the corporate discourse when communicating this integration.

Originality/value

This study extends the focus of critical discourse analysis from exclusively language to the interplay of different semiotic modes, offering a fine-grained exploration of the multimodal meaning construction performed by organizations in the context of online external communication.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Silvia Ravazzani and Carmen Daniela Maier

The purpose of this paper is to show how the strategic selection of discursive and interactive strategies generates specific framings of an issue to advocate opposite…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the strategic selection of discursive and interactive strategies generates specific framings of an issue to advocate opposite positions, embodying a struggle of power between parties with their own agendas.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on literature within framing, digital issue arenas and critical discourse, this study analyses qualitative hypermodal data retrieved from two websites: Protect Mauna Kea, and Maunakea and Thirty Meter Telescope. These two websites frame the internationally renowned telescope’s construction on Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii from alternative perspectives.

Findings

On each website, frame articulation attempts to connect the event to specific concerns, values and beliefs in order to construct alternative versions of reality which can possibly fit with those of supporters. Simultaneously, this is reinforced by frame amplification concretized in selected discursive and interactive strategies that highlight or downplay the issue from particular perspectives.

Originality/value

The study offers a deep insight into the complexity and dynamic nature of framing, in particular into how framing can vary and compete across actors. It also responds to “the need for critical awareness of discourse in contemporary society” (Fairclough, 2010, p. 554) by revealing how the power positions of “challengers and powerholders” (Steinberg, 1998, p. 846) are discursively reproduced and reinforced through distinctive discursive and interactive strategies. Finally, this study adopts a critical approach to hypermodal discourse.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Silvia Ravazzani and Carmen Daniela Maier

The purpose of this paper is to explore how organizations can strategically frame their legitimate perspective on a specific issue in order to gain salience and public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how organizations can strategically frame their legitimate perspective on a specific issue in order to gain salience and public support in a social media context.

Design/methodology/approach

By means of framing theory and a critical perspective on strategic discourse in hypermodal spaces, the study examines in detail the discursive strategies and framing processes employed by a non-profit organization that faces local and global contestation of its corporate operations.

Findings

Through a critical discourse analysis of the organization’s 385 Facebook posts during two periods of time, the results not only show how the corporate perspective is strategically framed and legitimized, but also challenged and consequently adapted in this hypermodal issue sub-arena. In addition to legitimizing the organizational perspective by providing evidence-based facts and external expert views as reliable and neutral sources, and echoing supporters’ voices and actions as further endorsements, the organization also strategically manages the Facebook dialogue by delegitimizing counterarguments.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the corporate communication field by revealing how framing can be materialized in specific discursive strategies aimed to legitimize and delegitimize. It shows how such strategies are interrelated in hypermodal clusters in ways that sustain the organizational discourse, and can evolve across time and within the same actor’s strategy. Methodologically, this study expands the research toolkit by introducing hypermodality in exploring framing and strategic organizational discourse.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Silvia Ravazzani

– The purpose of this paper is to explore managers’ perspectives on and practices of internal crisis communication in multicultural environments.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore managers’ perspectives on and practices of internal crisis communication in multicultural environments.

Design/methodology/approach

After a review of relevant literature on crisis, culture and internal communication to define the framework and relevance of this study, results from qualitative interviews with Danish managers are presented.

Findings

Interviewees acknowledge the relevance of the cultural backgrounds of employees in relation to internal communication, especially in crisis situations. Cultural aspects affect message framing and employee sensemaking, especially when it comes to employees located in other countries. Line managers and local communicators are key in the adaptation of verbal and non-verbal communicative features. Employees are also seen as active sensegivers and communicators.

Research limitations/implications

Findings show how demographic and globalisation patterns, which are changing domestic and international workplaces, have important implications for internal communication and internal crisis communication. There is therefore a call for further research, especially from the perspective of employees.

Originality/value

Although cultural aspects have been highlighted as a recurrent feature of most crises today, and one of the new research areas to be explored, studies within this area are very few and concern mainly external audiences and practices. The present research study contributes to this overlooked area by offering valuable insights into internal crisis communication in organisations with a multicultural environment.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Silvia Ravazzani

– The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of why and how companies implement diversity management in practice, and of factors that may explain their approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of why and how companies implement diversity management in practice, and of factors that may explain their approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes inspiration from existing typologies depicting organisation-wide perspectives on diversity management, and articulates them in more detail by applying practice-driven indicators and highlighting possible contingent factors at play. The resulting framework is used to investigate diversity management in Italy. Data from a survey conducted among 90 companies and two focus groups with experts and managers are presented.

Findings

The most common approach among Italian companies focuses on addressing social expectations, seemingly shaped by isomorphic pressures and the need to secure legitimacy in their environment. Results also point to an understanding and practice of diversity management in Italy that also incorporate compliance and opportunity-oriented aspects, in an interplay between coercion and voluntarism that reflects local perspective and priorities.

Originality/value

This study makes an effort to address the paucity of studies linking approaches to managing diversity with managerial interventions and contextual factors. The research model connecting approaches with practice-driven aspects and explanatory factors shows descriptive and predictive potential, although it should be contextualised to the specific setting under investigation. This study also fills a research gap in Italy, where existing research primarily involves case studies and qualitative approaches and focuses on gender issues. Implications for research and practice drawn from this study can be useful to scholars and practitioners in other countries.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Alessandra Mazzei and Silvia Ravazzani

The purpose of this paper is to provide a suitable framework for managing diversity in organizations coping with social, communication, marketing, and organizational challenges.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a suitable framework for managing diversity in organizations coping with social, communication, marketing, and organizational challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The issue of diversity is explored from the organizational, marketing, and corporate communication viewpoints. This multidisciplinary approach leads to the design of qualitative exploratory research based on three case studies of multinational companies.

Findings

The companies cover a wide range of diversity, including all visible and non‐visible features, especially in relation to competencies and expertise. They pursue social, competitive and communication aims and strive to reflect internal and external stakeholders' expectations. They all implement integrative managerial practices and show an increasing orientation to the leveraging of people's uniqueness in their daily activity.

Practical implications

Managing the diversity issue means that companies must develop a concept of variety, which involves more than mere diversity. They must balance social, communication, marketing and organizational aims and enhance the development of individual talent. All organizational functions must be included in the definition of a contextual approach to the implementation of diversity policies.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a model centred on the leveraging of variety that goes beyond assimilating minorities and integrating diversity. The “Leveraging Variety Model” takes into account both economic and social pressures in order to maximize the ability to satisfy stakeholders' expectations, reflect the external environment, enhance the knowledge creation potential and communicate effectively from an intercultural perspective.

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Alessandra Mazzei and Silvia Ravazzani

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of internal communication during a crisis by comparing how Italian companies communicated to employees during…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of internal communication during a crisis by comparing how Italian companies communicated to employees during the 2008‐2009 global financial crisis and how employees interpreted these efforts.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used interviews with internal communication managers and employees. It also drew data from two focus groups and a survey involving internal communicators.

Findings

The results indicate a misalignment between what companies meant to communicate and what employees perceived. Companies planned excellent communication, made extensive use of official instruments and depicted the crisis as an opportunity, while employees complained about the lack of listening and about the clarity of messages, disliked hierarchical communication and accused their companies of opportunism.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to explore the antecedents of the effective manager‐employee sensemaking process during a crisis.

Practical implications

To reduce misalignment, companies should strengthen trust relationships before a crisis occurs and should focus on open and continuous listening during a crisis.

Originality/value

The two perspectives of managers and employees used simultaneously offer a more comprehensive understanding of the complexity of internal communication during crises.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2017

Alessia Sammarra, Silvia Profili, Fabrizio Maimone and Gabriele Gabrielli

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term…

Abstract

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term sustainability and success, both researchers and practitioners face a strategic dilemma: namely, finding ways to cultivate greater knowledge sharing among different age cohorts.

In this chapter, we claim that age diversity adds relevant opportunities and distinct challenges. On one hand, it increases demands for effective knowledge sharing: Employees of different ages are likely to hold diverse knowledge and capabilities that may be lost and/or poorly exploited if they are not effectively shared. On the other hand, age differences can activate age-related stereotypes and foster the formation of age subgroups, which can hamper social integration, communication, and ultimately, knowledge sharing.

Building on these insights, this chapter looks at the role of the human resource management (HRM) system as a key facilitator of effective knowledge sharing in age-diverse organizations. To this end, the chapter focuses on HR planning, training and development, performance appraisal, and reward systems, each of which can be used to develop the motivations, norms, and accountability structures that encourage employees of different ages to bridge their differences and integrate their unique perspectives and knowledge. This chapter suggests ways of tailoring HRM practices to unlock the benefits of age diversity, which may help organizations exploit and capitalize on the knowledge-based resources held by their younger and older employees.

Details

Age Diversity in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-073-0

Keywords

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