Table of contents for The communicating company : towards an alternative theory of corporate communication / Hartmut Hübner.


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I. Theoretical context.................................                1
1 Introduction .............................................           3
1.1 Corporate communication as a management instrument.................. 4
1.2 The knowledge gap - corporate communication reviewed .............. 5
1.2.1 Communication as discourse.................................. ...............
1.2.2 Communication as strategic practice....................    9
2  Purpose of the study  ..................................t0t.................................... 1 1
2.1 Extant corporate communication theories .....................................11
2.1.1 Grunig's concept of communication management ............. 12
2.1.2 Argenti's functional definition of corporate communication .. 13
2.1.3 Van Riel's principles of corporate communication............ 14
2.1.4 Bruhn's concept of integrated corporate communication........ 15
2.1.5 Cornelissen's approach to the organisation of corporate
communication.......................................................................   16
2.2 Implications of the discourse perspective.................................. .........20
2.2.1 Constitutive capacity of communication  ............................. 20
2.2.2  Sensem aking ....................       ... ....................................................... 21
2.2.3  Identity  .............................. ......................................... ....... 22
2.3 Implications of the strategy-as-practice perspective................. 22
2.3.1 Corporate communication in context.......................... 23
2.3.2  Organisational paradigm .......................................................... 24
2.4  Purpose  ..................................................................... ................... 25
3 Methodological considerations ..................................... ................ 27
3.1  Social constructionism ................................ .................................. 28
3.1.1 Epistemological considerations ........................................   28
3.1.2 Ontological considerations .................................................. 29
3.2 Towards a general research design............................... .... ..  30
3.2.1 Selecting suitable methods .................................... ............ 30
3.2.2 Elements of case study research.........................................31
3.2.3 Elements of an ethnographic approach.................................... 32
3.2.4 Using extant theory........................................................... 34
3.2.5 Selecting the Intech case....................... 35
3.2.6 Overview of analytical strategy .............................................. 36
3.3 Quality and ethical considerations.............................................. 38
3.3.1 Issues in case study research ........................................39
3.3.2 Issues with regards to an ethnographic approach ..................40
4 Reference points for theory development......................................... 45
4.1 From practices to processes .......................................................45
4.2 An integrative framework of strategy processesh...................    46
4.3 Matching strategy and communication processes ....................... 48
4.4 Concluding concrete research questions................ 52
5 Presentation of case study ...I............................................................... 55
5.1 Intech  corporation  (IC).................................................................. 55
5.1.1  H istory  ..................................................... ............................ 56
5.1.2  Structure  ............................................................................... 57
5.1.3 Strategy and communication functions .............................. 59
5.2  Intech  business unit (IBU) ....................................................... .. 59
5.2.1  H istory ................................................................................... .  60
5.2.2 Structure ...............................................         60
5.2.3 Strategy and communication functions ...................................61
5.3 Situational focus ........................................................ 61
5.4 Definition of corporate communication discourse....................63
5.5 Scope and timing ........................................................................ 64
II Analysis.....6.........................7.........*........6................ ........... 67
6 Analysis of case study ........................................................... ..........  69
6.1 Theoretical considerations ................................ .............................. 69
6.1.1 Rigorous process ........................................................... 69
6.1.2 Interpretive analysis..........   ................ ... .......................70
6.1.3 Theory as a 'lens' ........................................ ..........70
6.1.4 Hermeneutic understanding ............................................... 71
6.2  Data  preparation  ............................................................................ 71
6.2.1 Computer-assisted collection, storage and analysis................. 72
6.2.2 Naturally occurring talk.................... .................. ...........73
6.2.3 Text    ...................................... 73
6.2.4  Interviews ....................................................................  74
6.2.5 Issues with data collection.............. ............................... 75
6.3 Thematic analysis ...................................................................... 77
6.3.1 Approach to thematic analysis............................................. 78
6.3.2 Process of thematic analysis ........................ ...................... 79
6.4  Discourse  analysis  .................................................. .................... 81
6.4.1 Approach to discourse analysis ................... 81
6.4.2 Process of discourse analysis............................................. 83
6.5 Framework for analysis ......   .................          .... 85
7 Role and analysis of context........................... .......................... 89
7.1 Definition  of context.......... ............................................................ 89
7.2 Developing a taxonomy......................... ................................. 90
7.3 Analysis of generic themes........... ................i......................... 92
7.3.1 Management framework....................    ................. 93
7.3.2 Managers ..................................... ................................ 94
7.3.3 Stakeholders ..................................................  94
7.3.4 Market factors      ..... ....... .............................................. 96
7.3.5  Intech  fam ily...............  ........9............ ............ .....7................97
7.3.6  Regulations .................................................. ........ ............ 98
7.4  Context review ed  ...........................................................................  98
8 Coordinating the company around dynamic purposes .................. 101
8.1 Developing  a taxonomy ..................................................  102
8.2  Them atic  analysis  ......................................................................  104
8.2.1 Business concept.. ......    ................... 105
8.2.2  Identity.......... .................. ........... ...  ...... ...... .... ..... 108
8.3 Communicational review of business concept and identity....... 113
8.3.1 Discursive character of business concept and identity ......... 113
8.3.2 Relations between business concept and identity.................. 114
8.4 Discourse analysis .......I........................ 116
8.4.1 Interplay between business concept and identity...............  116
8.4.2  Negotiating  identity  .................. ............................... ..... 120
8.5  Theorising... .............. ................ .......... ...... .... ... ......................... 128
8.5.1 Understanding the complexity of the field ............ ........... 132
8.5.2 Plea for more 'substance' in corporate communication ........ 133
8.5.3 Taking identity negotiation seriously ........................... 135
9 Organising by linking decisions and actions ................... .................137
9.1 Developing  a taxonomy.............................................................  138
9.1.1 Cascading .......................                ........ 138
9.1.2 Modes of decision-making ........................ ....................... 139
9.1.3  Sense-m aking  ...................................... ..................... .........  139
9.2  Them atic  analysis ............................................................... ......  140
9.2.1 Cascading communication.................         ....      140
9.2.2 Sense-making ............................................................. 143
9.3 Communicational review of organising........................................ 145
9.3.1 Taylor's 'communicational basis of the organization' ......... 146
9.3.2 Contributions from strategy theory..................................... 149
9.4  Discourse  analysis ...................................................................  150
9.4.1 To decide or not to decide ....................................  150
9.4.2 Facilitating the legitimisation process ................................ 153
9.4.3 Re-evaluating conduit tools................................................  157
9.5 Theorising .....   ................................... 159
9.5.1 Giving decisions voice ........................................ ............. 163
9.5.2 Facilitating the legitimisation process .............................. 165
9.5.3 From cascading to using the performative capacity of
communication............... ....................                     166
10 Facilitating implementation and change processes .................... 169
10.1 Developing a taxonomy ........       ........................ ........................ 170
10.1.1 Implementation..........................                      170
10.1.2 Initiating change ...........................                 170
10.1.3 Perceptions ................................................................ .......... 171
10.2 Thematic analysis ............................................................ 172
10.2.1 Multiple worldviews......................................................... 173
10.2.2  M ultiple  expectations .......................................................... 174
10.2.3  M ultiple  perceptions ............................................................ 175
10.3 Communicational review of change communication ............ 177
10.3.1 Continuity and change ........................................w............. 177
10.3.2 Towards a communicational model of change.............      ... 178
10.3.3 Communication as a strategic practice ................ 180
10.4 Discourse analysis ...................................... ........ .............. 181
10.4.1 Initiative.............   .................                   182
10.4.2  Understanding..................................................................  183
10.4.3  Perform ance......................................................................  185
10.4.4  C losure.............. ................. ................... ......................... 186
10.5  Theorising  .............. . ........ .. ............................... ..................... 187
10.5.1 Understanding intention and structures ...........................  191
10.5.2 Ensuring full participation................................................ 192
10.5.3 Focus on sense-making.......................................... ... .............. 193
11 Leveraging competitive position and distinctive competencies.... 195
11.1 Developing a taxonomy........................................................... 198
11.1.1 Issue communication ...................................................... 198
11.1.2 Branding .....................................                199
11.2  Them atic  analysis ....................................................................  199
11.2.1 Issue communication ........................................................ 200
11.2.2 Branding ............    ...........................................  204
1 1.3 Communicational review of genres ........ ... ..... ....... . ................ . 206
11.3.1 Issue communication ........................................... ............. 206
11.3.2  Branding   .................................... ......... .. .... .............. ............ 209
11.4  D iscourse  analysis  ............. ................ . ................................... ... .. 211
11.4.1 Constructing issues ......................  ............... .............. ..1... 211
11.4.2 Deconstructing the brand ............. .................................... . 214
11.5  Theorising ........                     .......... ............................. 216
11.5.1 Stakeholders as sources of competence ............................... 220
11.5.2 Creating communicational platforms ............................    221
III Integration of findings ..................................................................... 223
12 Key conclusions ..*........*....*.......... ...........  ***        .......f lf** 225
12.1 Summary of initial findings ........................................................ 225
12.1.1 Gaps identified from the analysis of Strand 1 ..................... 225
12.1.2 Gaps identified from the analysis of Strand 2 .....................226
12.1.3 Gaps identified from the analysis of Strand 3 ..................... 227
12.1.4 Gaps identified from the analysis of Strand 4 ..................... 227
12.2 Interdiscursivity of management practices ................... ............ 228
12.3 Interdiscursivity in the Intech case .... ................................ .. 229
12.3.1 Recurrent practices ...................................................... ......230
12.3.2 Interrelations between practices ............ ....................... 235
12.4 Towards an alternative theory of corporate communication ...... 238
12.5 Achievements in terms of theory-building . ............................... 240
12.5.1 Review of orthodox corporate communication theory ........ 240
12.5.2 Propositions for an integrated framework of alternative
corporate communication .... ..... . .. . .. ... ....... .. ........... .. ..... 241
12.5.3 Contrasting orthodox and alternative corporate
communication theory ................. ............ .. ................. ................ 241
12.6 Achievements in terms of understanding ............... ................... 242
12.6.1 Performative capacity of corporate communication........... 243
12.6.2 Use-value of findings ....... ....................................... ....... 243
12.7 Achievements in terms of practical implications........................244
12.8 Methodological review ..................................... .................. ...... .246
12.9 Suggestions for further research .................. ..... .. .. ......... .. .... 249
Appendix... .......... .. ...... .......... .................... ............. ... ....... o........... 251
References .... ........... .... .. .. ... ... ................o...o ........o..* ....o........... ... o...... 253



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Communication in management, Communication in organizations, Corporate culture