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Organizing and disorganizing strategic communication: Discursive institutional change in dynamics in two communication departments
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6645-2980
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, no 4, 332-351 p.
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28575DOI: 10.1080/1553118X.2016.1196692Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84976418064Local ID: DEMICOMOAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-28575DiVA: diva2:954294
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2017-08-30
In thesis
1. Strategic Communication Found in Translation: Practices, Practitioners and Perceptions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic Communication Found in Translation: Practices, Practitioners and Perceptions
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:nbn:se:miun:diva-28573 (URN)DEMICOM (Local ID)978-91-88025-81-4 (ISBN)DEMICOM (Archive number)DEMICOM (OAI)
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

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Citation style
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