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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2021

Ieva Zaumane and Maira Leščevica

Despite the proven link between internal communication and more effective business results, only a few attempts have been made to answer the essential question of who is…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the proven link between internal communication and more effective business results, only a few attempts have been made to answer the essential question of who is responsible for managing internal communication in an organisation. This paper aims to examine the presence of internal communication management (ICM) practices in companies in Latvia and launch a new discussion on who should manage internal communication in a modern company to support business strategy and development.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first phase of the study, a survey was conducted in three business sectors in Latvia involved in managing and implementing the internal communications function. Using the multiple case study method, the second phase of the study examined in-depth, ICM and the implementation practices in four different Latvian companies. In total, 13 in-depth interviews were conducted within 4 companies, and thematic analysis was used to analyse the material gained from the interviews.

Findings

The target companies and relevant professionals from different fields have divergent opinions about who should manage the internal communication function. From the research across four companies, it was concluded that internal communication was implemented in a fragmented manner. There was a weak understanding of the meaning and goal of internal communication. The potential of effective internal communication in reaching strategic goals has not been realised. Responsibility for ICM is often limited to the reactive performance of public relations departments, human resources or marketing specialists. The companies clearly did not have a defined scope of responsibilities for managing internal communication amongst the different parts of their organisations. It can be concluded that company managers should pay attention to how internal communication is conducted, clearly delegate this function to a manager and define the expected results that meet the company’s strategic goals. The results of this research can be used to inform recommendations for integrating the ICM function.

Originality/value

Only a few research papers have discussed responsibility for internal communication functions. This research particularly fills this gap and emphasises the need to assign responsibility for an organisation’s ICM function as it is the core factor in strategic implementation and input related to business goals.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2021

Christian Pieter Hoffmann and Sandra Binder-Tietz

While several extant studies have discussed the strategic importance of investor relations (IR) for listed corporations, few have tried to apply findings from strategic

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2003

Benita Steyn

Strategic management theory differentiates between enterprise, corporate, business, functional and operational strategy. Corporate communication strategy is conceptualised…

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Abstract

Strategic management theory differentiates between enterprise, corporate, business, functional and operational strategy. Corporate communication strategy is conceptualised as a functional strategy, providing focus and direction to the corporate communication function. Acting as a framework for the communication plans developed to implement the strategy, it makes the corporate communication function relevant in the strategic management process by providing the link between key strategic issues facing the organisation and communication plans. Corporate communication strategy is seen to be the outcome of a strategic thinking process by senior communicators and top managers taking strategic decisions with regard to the identification and management of, and communication with, strategic stakeholders.

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Ansgar Zerfass and Sophia Charlotte Volk

The purpose of this paper is to clarify and demonstrate the core contributions of communication departments to organizational success beyond traditional ideas of messaging…

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3582

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify and demonstrate the core contributions of communication departments to organizational success beyond traditional ideas of messaging or information distribution. The main aim is to develop a better understanding of the different facets of value that the communication function delivers by introducing a distinction between strategic and operational contributions, following established management models.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an extensive literature review at the nexus of communication management and strategic management research and ten qualitative case studies in large, internationally operating German organizations from different industries, combining in-depth interviews and document analyses.

Findings

The newly developed Communications Contributions Framework demonstrates that communications serve the corporation in four strategic and operational dimensions and emphasizes the critical role of communications in reflecting and adjusting organizational strategies, i.e. through identifying opportunities to innovate or securing intangible assets.

Practical implications

The paper outlines different application scenarios for how the new framework can be used in practice, i.e. as a multi-faceted rationale for explaining the impact of communication departments in the language of top management and reporting communication success in the logic of business.

Originality/value

The framework provides the first theoretically and empirically based “big picture” of communications’ contributions to corporate success, designed to lay ground for further discussions both in academia and in practice.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Triveni Kuchi

Purpose – Libraries have been experiencing relentless change and uncertainty in their environment. The literature on corporate communications, strategic management and…

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5869

Abstract

Purpose – Libraries have been experiencing relentless change and uncertainty in their environment. The literature on corporate communications, strategic management and planning, marketing and public relations more recently, has been recommending using communications as a strategy to coherently and proactively handle and foresee change. Planning and using an overall communications strategy will bring integrity and adherence to the library's goals and direction while reducing the discomfort of change. This selected bibliography is a quick starting point for understanding the significance of an overall communication strategy and its use for managing conflicts and changes in the library's environment strategically. Design/methodology/approach – This article covers books and articles from mid‐1980s to 2004, published around the world. The sources are listed alphabetically by author and then chronologically for different sources by the same author, providing brief but useful information about the content covered for each source. Findings – This bibliography illustrates a variety of research from corporate communications, strategic planning, communications management, marketing and public relations literature that emphasize the role of communication in strategic management. Research limitations/implications – It records a comprehensive list of publications covering international perspectives as well as publications about communication strategy. Practical implications – This selected bibliography is primarily intended for librarians, library planners, managers or administrators, but is also relevant to corporate and business professionals, planners and administrators. Further, it would also be a useful resource for students, faculty and researchers of communication. Originality/value – This bibliography presents a much needed resource list for gathering insights into the strategic role of communication for organizations such as the library that are in a state of constant change.

Details

Library Management, vol. 27 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Helle Kryger Aggerholm and Birte Asmuß

The purpose of this paper is to link the authentic, communicative activities, e.g. organization-wide meetings at the micro-level, to the institutionalized practices at the…

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2756

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to link the authentic, communicative activities, e.g. organization-wide meetings at the micro-level, to the institutionalized practices at the macro-level within an organization, e.g. change management decisions and communication strategy (Steyn, 2003). Thus, the concern is with the relationship between institutionalized strategic management and the real-life strategic communication processes, thus advancing the understanding of the role of texts and discourses in the actual practice of strategic communication in an organizational context of strategic change processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are based on a large corpus of video-taped management meetings and organization-wide meetings in a large Danish public, knowledge-based organization. The method applied for studying the management discourse is a conversation-analytical approach (Sacks et al., 1974; Sidnell, 2010). This method has been chosen as it enables the authors to focus on micro-aspects of organizational practices (Nicolini, 2013) by investigating the interactional patterns that serve as resources for doing legitimation as an institutionalized practice.

Findings

The common denominator for the entire analysis is legitimation accomplished through the discursive use of distanciation and the analysis identifies three different discursive elements or micro-level strategies directly related to the concrete doing of strategic communication. First, legitimation is created by reference to the socio-economic context of the organization. Second, legitimation is generated by means of pointing to the abnormality of the strategic situation. And third legitimation is fostered by the use of idiomatic expressions. These different ways of accomplishing legitimacy are in a strategy-as-practice perspective related to the specific, in-situ communicative praxis and accomplished by the concrete actions of the strategic communicators, and thus the authors can position the instances of strategic communication at the organizational micro-level.

Originality/value

This paper studies at a micro-level how strategic actors use various discursive resources to legitimize strategic decisions and how these resources constitute the discursive basis of strategic communication as a managerial practice. The authors focus on the role of discourse in the legitimization processes of strategic managerial decisions analyzing micro-level instances of organizational communication. The paper thereby links the actor process activities (Langley, 2007), e.g. organization-wide meetings at the micro-level, to the institutional field practices at the macro-level within an organization, e.g. strategy and planning (Johnson et al., 2007).

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Juliana Raupp and Olaf Hoffjann

The purpose of this article is to provide a new perspective on the relationship between communication management as a strategic process and corporate strategy.

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6760

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide a new perspective on the relationship between communication management as a strategic process and corporate strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper compares approaches of the prescriptive and the descriptive branch of strategy research and highlights how these seemingly contradictory strategy concepts are interrelated. It integrates decision‐making and interpretive perspectives on strategy in management and transfers those perspectives to strategy in communication management. Two areas of communication management, problem definition and the identification of stakeholders, serve as examples to illustrate the conceptual framework.

Findings

A conceptual model of strategic decision making in communication management is developed. Strategy in communication management is understood as deliberately creating decision‐making situations. Strategic decisions in communication management are part of both retrospective and prospective sensemaking processes in organizations.

Originality/value

This paper points to fruitful tensions between different strategy concepts and suggests ways to resolve this tension partly. It offers further insights into the role of strategy in communication management by providing a comprehensive view on strategies of communication management from the perspectives of strategy content and strategy process research.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Shannon A. Bowen

The purpose of this paper is to examine three perspectives on autonomy: communication management or public relations autonomy, autonomy in management theory, and the…

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3349

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine three perspectives on autonomy: communication management or public relations autonomy, autonomy in management theory, and the autonomy of moral philosophy.

Design/methodology/approach

These arguments for autonomy are combined and studied to ascertain their impact on: the contribution of the communication function to strategic management of the organization, and, the enactment of an ethics counselor role by public relations. This research examines autonomy in communication at two global organizations through 43 interviews, observation, and document analysis. Factors influencing and contributing to autonomy are discussed.

Findings

Autonomy was found to be necessary for optimal contribution to strategic management and acting as ethical counsel in the public relations function. In both ways, autonomy contributes to the stature of the communication function within an organization and the development of public relations as a profession. Autonomy should be high on the research agenda of public relations scholars and a primary goal of communication professionals.

Practical implications

Communication managers should work for autonomy, inclusion in the strategic management team, and a rational approach to problem solving.

Originality/value

This research provides important theoretical value and enormous implications for communication professionals. Many conclusions about autonomy can be drawn from this conceptual and empirical research. Using systems and excellence theory as a framework, then building on that basis with empirical research in two world‐wide organizations, the research takes a novel approach in applying and studying the autonomy concept from moral philosophy in modern business. Data show that autonomy is necessary for excellence in communication, defending against encroachment, inclusion in strategic management, using empowering or collaborative management, and enacting the role of ethics counselor. These important implications for communication management have the potential to make business more ethically and socially responsible and to enhance the overall value of the communication function within organizations.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Peggy Simcic Brønn

This paper aims to assess other leaders’ perceptions of the importance and contribution of communication to organizational success and the abilities of their communication

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7406

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess other leaders’ perceptions of the importance and contribution of communication to organizational success and the abilities of their communication executives to contribute to strategic decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was used through a questionnaire sent to 5,000 business leaders in small, medium, and large firms across the country of Norway.

Findings

Overall results indicate that communication is viewed as not as important to business success as other management disciplines, but leaders rate communication skills as the most important communication discipline. In general, communication executives must improve their strategic orientation if they are to be engaged in decision processes where more than communication is discussed. There is moderate but significant correlation between strategic orientation and involvement in decision making and being invited to the strategic planning process.

Research limitations/implications

This research was performed in a small country with all the limitations that creates; only a small percentage of the respondents had a unique communication department or head of communication, although there is some evidence this is not unusual. There also might be issues with definitions of terms such as public relations and corporate communication; while they are familiar to communication professionals, they are not so well understood by others.

Practical implications

Hopefully this study will give a greater understanding of the view of communication in organizations and its contribution to organizational success.

Originality/value

This study appears to be one of the first to ask other leaders opinions on communication and communication executives’ role in organizations. Most studies have asked communication executives their opinions on how their leaders view them.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Book part
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Cidália Oliveira, Adelaide Martins, Mark Anthony Camilleri and Shital Jayantilal

There is a relationship between the organizations’ strategic objectives and their corporate communications. The latter is an important feature of organizational…

Abstract

There is a relationship between the organizations’ strategic objectives and their corporate communications. The latter is an important feature of organizational performance. Organizational leaders are continuously facing the challenge of communicating their strategic goals to their stakeholders. Very often, they are adopting performance management tools to meet this challenge. Consequently, this chapter explains that the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) can be used to evaluate and measure the firms’ corporate communications and their organizational performance. This tool has been widely recognized by academics and managers as it is capable of aligning organizational strategies (including their missions and visions), strategic indicators (leading and lagging indicators) and stakeholder management. A review of the relevant literature review suggests that many practitioners are becoming strategic in their corporate communications. In this light, this chapter clarifies that the BSC approach can be used to support them in their stakeholder engagement. This contribution is useful for both academics and practitioners as it aligns the corporate communication practices with organizational strategy and performance management in the digital era.

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