Purpose – Development and expansion of the communication management function in organizations has lately been discussed in relation to the concept of institutionalization. Empirical evidence has illustrated that the role of communication executives and communication managers varies between organizations, and could also be subjected to change within an organization. In this paper, institutionalization of communication management is conceptualized as a process. A theoretical framework is developed, which integrates important factors that influence and regulate this process.
Design/Methodology – A literature review resulted in a number of factors potentially influencing the institutionalization process. These factors were attributed to three main theoretical areas and four different levels of analysis, using institutional theory as a guiding framework. The theoretical areas and analysis levels, were proposed to be mutually interdependent, and were compiled in a theoretical framework, illustrated in a model.
Findings – The theoretical framework includes three main areas: organizational structure, social capital, and perceptions of the profession; and four levels of analysis: the societal, the organizational field, the organizational and the individual levels.
Originality/Value – This paper contributes to the study of institutionalization of communication management in organizations by providing a theoretical framework, which can be used to further investigate the development of the communication function and the role of communication executives and communication managers in organizations. By conceptualizing institutionalization of communication management as a process – and exploring and defining important elements that influence and regulate this process, an important theoretical contribution to the field is made.
2011. Vol. 17, no 2, 209-227 p.