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Strategic Communication Found in Translation: Practices, Practitioners and Perceptions
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation seeks to explore how institutional, organizational and individual factors influence the development of strategic communication. The dissertationillustrates how new institutional theory can be applied to address the development of strategic communication as a process that is produced on different interrelated institutional levels. It also shows that multiple levels need to be addressed in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of strategic communication. Further, it describes how the development of strategic communication is restricted and enabled by societal and organizational discourse in processes that are not always controlled by communication professionals. The dissertation also explores howpopular ideas or successful recipes for strategic communication are spread between organizations in the same field, but are adjusted or translated in order to fit organizational preconditions. The results also highlighthow professionalism is understood differently by communication practitioners depending on the organizational sector they work in and how the institutional embeddedness of communication practitioners influences the ways in which practitioners commit to their occupation.Moreover, it suggests that the inhabited and perceived moral taint that is associated with communication practitioners shapes the professional discourse and hampers the development of a shared occupational identity. Finally, it is suggestedthat knowledge about the development of strategic communication can be found in the translations and local adaptions of new ideas and practices. Insights about the institutionalization of strategic communication might not only be found in realized structures and routines, but in micro changes that happen as the result of local circumstances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet , 2016. , 197 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 251
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28573ISBN: 978-91-88025-81-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-28573DiVA: diva2:954231
Public defence
2016-09-09, M102, Sundsvall, 14:00 (English)
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 2 under utgivning, delarbete 3 under utgivning, delarbete 4 inskickat, delarbete 5 accepterat.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 2 in press, paper 3 in press, paper 4 submitted, paper 5 accepted.

Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Institutionalization of communication management in organizations – A theoretical framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutionalization of communication management in organizations – A theoretical framework
2011 (English)In: Corporate Communications. An International Journal, ISSN 1356-3289, Vol. 17, no 2, 209-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword
Institutionalization, communication management, theoretical framework
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-14723 (URN)10.1108/13563281211220247 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-11-30 Created: 2011-11-14 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved
2. Organizing and disorganizing strategic communication: Discursive institutional change in dynamics in two communication departments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizing and disorganizing strategic communication: Discursive institutional change in dynamics in two communication departments
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Strategic Communication, ISSN 1553-118X, E-ISSN 1553-1198, Vol. 10, no 4, 332-351 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the institutionalization of strategic communication as a dynamic interplay between macro- and mesolevel discourses. The change processes in the two cases of this study involved both a reorientation of the purpose of the communication function and a physical relocation of the professionals to a centralized department. In both organizations, the transformation toward a strategic management function failed and the communication professionals are now working in ways similar to those before the change was initiated. The analysis illustrates that the institutionalization of strategic communication is effected by organizational-level processes and mechanisms that are not always controlled by communication professionals. The institutionalization of strategic communication is bound by organizational discourses as well as by the actions of communication practitioners and general managers. The study also shows that macro- and mesolevel discourses influence the ways in which change initiatives are translated and strategic communication effected on an organizational level. Hence, institutionalization processes of strategic communication will comply with management trends but can change direction when these trends are challenged. Our results expose that new ideas or practices of strategic communication are translated discursively within organizations in processes of recontextualization, reinterpretation, and reframing. Consequently, new ideas and practices of strategic communication are adjusted to organizational discourses and organizational settings. The translation of a new idea or practice will therefore change the initial meaning of that same idea or practice. For that reason, institutionalization of strategic communication should not be reduced to a unidirectional process but conceptualized as a dynamic interplay between discourses on different levels that moves institutionalization in multiple directions.

National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28575 (URN)10.1080/1553118X.2016.1196692 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved
3. Organizational and occupational commitments of communication practitioners: sectorial comparisons of the role of the employing organization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational and occupational commitments of communication practitioners: sectorial comparisons of the role of the employing organization
(English)In: Journal of Communication Management, ISSN 1363-254X, E-ISSN 1478-0852Article in journal (Refereed) In press
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28576 (URN)
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved
4. Pulling together and tearing apart: Tensions in the occupational branding of public relations and the management of taint
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pulling together and tearing apart: Tensions in the occupational branding of public relations and the management of taint
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28577 (URN)
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved
5. Where you lead we will follow: A longitudinal study of strategic political communication and inter-party relations in election campaigning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where you lead we will follow: A longitudinal study of strategic political communication and inter-party relations in election campaigning
(English)In: Journal of Public Affairs, ISSN 1472-3891, E-ISSN 1479-1854Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28578 (URN)10.1002/pa.1625 (DOI)
External cooperation:
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-09-15

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