This book examines the state of strategic communication as a discipline and how it has emerged as a unique area of scholarship in the beginning of the 21st century. Strategic communication encompasses all communication that is substantial for the survival and sustained success of entities like corporations, governments, non-profits, social movements, and celebrities. A major aspect of the field is the purposeful use of communication by an organization to engage in conversations of strategic significance to its goals. The contributions in this book provide unique insights, make compelling arguments, and highlight promising areas of scholarship in strategic communication. Presented in four parts, the chapters explore the emergence of strategic communication, its conceptual foundations, its expanding body of knowledge, and the foundation for further development and new directions in the field.
Of interest to those studying communication from the perspectives of communication science, management theory, organizational studies, or business administration, this volume will also be useful for readers who are new to strategic communication, and who are interested in the field for its new avenues of research. This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Strategic Communication.
Table of Contents
Howard Nothhaft, Kelly Page Werder, Dejan Vercic and Ansgar Zerfass
Part I: The Emergence of a Paradigm
1. Strategic Communication as an Emerging Interdisciplinary Paradigm
Kelly Page Werder, Howard Nothhaft, Dejan Vercic and Ansgar Zerfass
2. Strategic Communication: Reflections on an Elusive Concept
Howard Nothhaft, Kelly Page Werder, Dejan Vercic and Ansgar Zerfass
Part II: The Conceptual Foundations of Strategic Communication
3. Communication Theory: An Underrated Pillar on Which Strategic Communication Rests
Betteke van Ruler
4. Strategic Communication and Emergence: A Dual Narrative Framework
Peter Winkler and Michael Etter
5. A Multidimensional Network Approach to Strategic Communication
Amy O’Connor and Michelle Shumate
6. Evolutionary Psychology: A Framework for Strategic Communication Research
Part III: Expanding the Body of Knowledge
7. Alignment: Explicating a Key Concept in Strategic Communication
Sophia Charlotte Volk and Ansfar Zerfass
8. Expanding the Scope of Strategic Communication: Towards a Holistic Understanding of Organizational Complexity
Mats Heide, Sara von Platen, Charlotte Simonsson and Jesper Falkheimer
9. Expanding Evaluation to Progress Strategic Communication: Beyond Message Tracking to Open Listening
Jim Macnamara and Anne Gregory
Part IV: Future Directions of Strategic Communication
10. Strategic Communication: Defining the Field and its Contribution to Research and Practice
Ansgar Zerfass, Dejan Vercic, Howard Nothhaft and Kelly Page Werder
Howard Nothhaft is Associate Professor in the Department of Strategic Communication at Lund University, Sweden. His research interests include strategic communication theory; the democratic impacts of corporate communication; and techniques, stratagems and strategies of counter-influence.
Kelly Page Werder is Associate Professor in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, USA. Her expertise includes strategic communication message effects, campaigns, corporate social responsibility, and stakeholder activism. She is the Editor of the International Journal of Strategic Communication.
Dejan Verčič is Professor and Head of the Department of Communication at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; and partner and knowledge director for the consultancy Stratkom. He is a recipient of the Pathfinder Award, the highest academic honor bestowed by the Institute for Public Relations. He is a founding member of the European Communication Monitor research team.
Ansgar Zerfass is Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication at Leipzig University, Germany, and Professor of Leadership and Communication at BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway. He is the Editor of the International Journal of Strategic Communication and has received the Pathfinder Award by the Institute for Public Relations. His areas of research are corporate communications, communication value, and international communication.
"A timely edition of collected scholarship on a subject of significant interdisciplinary importance. Emerging scholars have much to draw on here, as do practitioners who are actively seeking out relevant paradigms and frameworks for the work they do in the field."
Rupert Younger, Director, Centre for Corporate Reputation, Saïd Business School, Oxford University, UK
"This book challenges and disrupts what we know—and what we think we know—in the strategic communication field. It uses theoretically-driven insights to inform novel and adventurous new thought, advancing and challenging us at once. Each chapter adds new value by exploring underutilized and novel topics, to develop a forward-thinking approach to communicating with purpose. This work is a must for any scholar or serious student of strategic communication management."
Professor Shannon A. Bowen, Ph.D., School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, USA
"Future Directions of Strategic Communication is a timely and groundbreaking effort to synthesize the nascent field of strategic communication. It provides expert assessments regarding the current state of the domain and focuses on directions to advance the purposive use of communication. It is a must read for anyone interested in Strategic Communication."
Professor May O. Lwin, Ph.D., Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
"Self-reflection is critical to the development of any field. This book is a blueprint for such an endeavor as it reflects upon strategic communication beginning with the analysis of published research during the last decade and ending with a revised definition of the concept. Along the way there are plenty of points to stimulate debate including the potential emergent nature of strategic communication and an explanation of nonstrategic communication. The book raises questions and is not simply an overview on the field – this is a good thing."
Professor W. Timothy Coombs, Ph.D., Department of Communication, Texas A&M University, USA
"This book shows how far the discipline of strategic communication has come since the launch of the International Journal of Strategic Communication in 2007. The knowledge of the discipline has expanded exponentially, and I no longer view it as an immature discipline. It now has a strong foundation and the outstanding and internationally represented authors of this book have raised the discipline to the next level."
Professor Derina R. Holtzhausen, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communication, Lamar University, USA
"This volume is an important landmark that opens up the field of strategic communication to consider the complex, multidirectional and emergent character of communication in organizational settings."
Professor Dr. Dennis Schoeneborn, Department of Management, Society & Communication, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark