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The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication
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The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication
A Competing Values Perspective



August 2007 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"It provides an integrated an broad perspective for addressing the diversity of corporate communications as a field of study and a community of practice.  As an organizing scheme it helps capture the richness, complexity and interdependence of communication theories."
BUSINESS INDIA

"Professor Belasen's integration of theoretical insights with practical experience distinguishes this book from any other on the subject. The value to students is that it will enable them to think about corporate communication in a sophisticated and critical way. Not only will they learn to do their jobs well, they will also understand why." —Gary P. Radford, Fairleigh Dickinson University


The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication: A Competing Values Perspective offers an integrative approach to corporate communication. Author Alan T. Belasen covers theoretical aspects and uses practical examples and case applications to illustrate the broader, strategic view of the field of corporate communication. The book draws on an adaptation of the Competing Values Framework to provide a fuller and more coherent view of corporate communication in which a dynamic interplay of complementary and often competing message orientations takes place.

As an organizing schema, the Competing Values Framework for Corporate Communication (CVFCC) helps capture the richness, complexity, and interdependence of communication approaches (e.g., rationalistic, humanistic), functions (e.g., media relations, employee relations, government relations, investor relations), managerial roles (e.g., broker, director, mentor, innovator), and organizational stakeholders (e.g., employees, customers, regulators, investors, reporters). As a practical approach, it enables corporate communication executives and professionals to operate under the burden of contradictory and often inconsistent expectations coming from diverse constituencies. Responding to these expectations is vital for building a strong identity and sustaining a credible organizational image.

The CVFCC brings the whole (corporate communication) and parts (marketing communication, financial communication, organizational communication, management communication) into a more sophisticated theoretical treatment of corporate communication that goes beyond merely discussing "best practices."

Key Features

· The CVFCC is integrated throughout, providing the necessary roadmap for navigating the diverse range of activities and organizational functions that fall under the heading of "corporate communication"

· Using case studies and practical applications (from such companies and organizations as Starbucks, NASA, the American Red Cross, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, and Oracle, among others), the book promotes the teaching of corporate communication from a strategic viewpoint

· Each chapter ends with a case study to help readers make sense of the connections between actual situations (what happened?) and theory (how do we make sense of what happened?)

· By examining recent corporate failures, learning methods for identifying effective corporate governance practices, and developing integrity programs, readers learn that corporate social responsibility requires not only ethical leaders, but also effective corporate communication strategy, strong corporate culture, and individual involvement



 
Introduction
 
Foreword by Elliot Luber: The Science of Corporate Communication
Gods and General Managers

 
L'essence de L'elephant

 
Just in Time...

 
A Brave New, Flat World

 
The Take Away

 
 
A. Why a New Book on Corporate Communication?
 
1. Corporate Communication as a Field of Study and a Community of Practice
The Missing Link of Corporate Communication as a Field of Study

 
Corporate Communication as a Community of Practice

 
Attempts to Integrate the Field of Corporate Communication

 
The Challenge to Identify the Construct Space of Corporate Communication

 
Overhauling the Field

 
The Need for a Theoretically Based Organizing Framework

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
 
B. Strategic Corporate Communication: An Integrated View
 
2. Competing Values Framework for Corporate Communication (CVFCC)
Communication Perspectives

 
Functionalism

 
Interpretivism

 
Critical Approaches

 
Self-Efficacy

 
Communication as Organizing

 
Apollo 13

 
High Reliability Organizations

 
Communication Systems and Goals

 
Balancing Competing Tensions

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Satellite Systems

 
 
3. Strategic Corporate Communication: External Image, Internal Identity
Integrated Corporate Communication

 
Sustaining and Managing Identity Programs

 
Primary Functions of Corporate Communication

 
Media Relations

 
Employee Relations

 
Government Relations

 
Investor Relations

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Starbucks Coffee Company

 
 
4. Identity, Reputation, and the Functions of Corporate Communication: A Strategic View
GE: Managing Image and Corporate Identity

 
Target: Managing Corporate Reputation

 
McDonald’s: Promoting the New Image

 
Effective Communication Strategies

 
External Communications

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: The Power of Symbols: Creating Corporate Identity at Agilent Technologies

 
 
C. Functions of Corporate Communication
 
5. Media Relations
Reputation and Media Relations

 
Enhancing Public Image through Issue Management

 
Branding the Image and Identity

 
Public Relations and Media Relations

 
Johnson & Johnson

 
Public Relations and Investor Relations

 
The Corporate Spokesperson

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Adolph Coors Company

 
 
6. Investor Relations
Stakeholders

 
Working with Financial Analysts

 
Managing Stockholder Confidence

 
Financial Reporting

 
Investor Relations and Corporate Reputation

 
Corporate Social Responsibility

 
Financial Performance and Corporate Reputation

 
Investor Relations Success Story

 
Financial Ethics

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: The Press and the Stockholders

 
 
7. Government Relations
Externally Derived, Internally Enforced

 
Policy Fields

 
Firms Rush to End Reform

 
Importance of Government Relations

 
Altria

 
American Red Cross

 
Regulations and Boundary Spanning

 
Interdependence

 
Shaping Favorite Policies through Issue Management

 
Supplier Relations

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: The Anti-Trust Case against Microsoft

 
 
8. Employee Relations
Aligning Identity with External Image

 
Strategic Conversation

 
Asking the Right Questions Rather than Giving Solutions

 
Motivating Employees

 
Integrating and Assimilating Employees—The Role of Culture

 
Mapping Culture in the Training Organization

 
Avoiding the Trap of Knowing-Doing

 
Positive Communication Relationships

 
Message Orientations

 
Mapping Message Orientations

 
A Diamond Model of Interactions

 
Managing for Organizational Integrity: The Social Contract with Employees

 
FedEx

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Hanover Software

 
 
D. External and Internal Communication
 
9. Marketing Communication and Corporate Advertising
Integrated Marketing Communication

 
Southwest Airlines

 
Sustainability

 
Issue Management and Corporate Advertising

 
PR and Corporate Advertising

 
Nonprofit Organizations

 
Managing Organizational Constituencies

 
Marketing Communication in Nonprofit Organizations

 
Marketing to Employees in Nonprofit Organizations

 
E-Channels for Nonprofit Organizations

 
Marketing Communication and Ethical Advertising

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Wal-Mart and Its Communications Strategy

 
 
10. Financial Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility
Enron: The Corporate Tactics

 
Arthur Andersen: Turning the Blind Eye

 
Tyco: Stealing the Vanity

 
WorldCom: The Giant Falls

 
Union Carbide

 
Financial Communication: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 
Implementation Challenges

 
Enforcement

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Illinois Power and “60 Minutes”: Communicating About the Communications

 
 
11. Organizational and Management Communication
Rule Theory: Rationalistic Approach to Communication

 
The Humanistic Approach

 
Rationalistic and Humanistic Communication Roles: A Competing Values Perspective

 
Facilitating Vertical Communication

 
Information Communication Technology

 
The Role of Informal Networks in Management Communication

 
Aligning Communication with Structures

 
Horizontal Management

 
Aligning Communication Processes in Loosely Coupled Structures

 
Managerial Ethics and Social Responsibility

 
The CEO and the Board of Directors

 
Structural Regulations

 
Policies and Standards

 
Reforms

 
The Ethical CEO

 
Communication between the CEO and Board Members

 
Building an Effective Board of Directors

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: The Paradoxical Twins—Acme and Omega Electronics

 
 
E. Analysis and Control
 
12. Stakeholder Analysis
Communicating with Stakeholders: A CVFCC Approach

 
Firm-Stakeholder Relationships

 
StarKist

 
Principles of Stakeholder Management

 
Communicating Messages to Stakeholders

 
Steps in Stakeholder Analysis

 
Sources of Power

 
Assessing Stakeholders’ Perceptions Using the CVFCC

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Granite City: Doing More with Less

 
 
13. Communication Audits within Organizations
Functionalism

 
Interpretivism

 
Uncertainty Reduction

 
The Process of a Communication Audit

 
Benefits

 
Identifying Communication Activities Across Managerial Levels

 
The Importance of Contextual Factors

 
Assessment of Managerial Communication Roles and Skills

 
Diagnosing Organizational Culture

 
Cultural Types

 
Cultural Audit in a Health Care Organization

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Planning the Project

 
 
F. Crisis Communication and Patterns of Corporate Response
 
14. Crisis Communication and Message Strategies
Fire at Deloitte Office Tower in Madrid: Deloitte Spain Maintains Activity

 
Southwest Airlines

 
Communication Failures

 
Failure at Dow Corning

 
Failure at the University of Maryland

 
Success for NASA

 
Success for Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation

 
Verizon: Effective Corporate Communication

 
Protecting the Image

 
Organizing the Exchange of Information

 
Restoring the Image

 
Stages of Crisis

 
The Importance of Culture in Managing Crises

 
Summary

 
Review Questions

 
Case Study: Tylenol Tampering Scare

 
 
15. Conclusion
Corporate Communication: The Maestro

 
Strategic Corporate Communication

 
The Theory and Practice of Corporate Communication

 
Integrative Case Study: The Acquisition of Abbott Hospital

 
Case Study: Mt. Mercy Acquires Abbott

 
Case Study: The End of the First Six Months

 
Integrative Case Study: BelBeck Production

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

"His framework for CC's "system and goals" has "innovation, information, regulation and integration" in the four quadrants, with associated words "transform, perform, conform, and reform", to answer important questions...a book that can add pep to the hassled in "corp comm"!"
—Businesslike

Businessline
Businessline

It is excellent, informative and very well structured. The book gives excellent insight into the structure of corporate communications. Thank you

Mr Lefteris Emmanuel Heretakis
Communications , Izmir University of Economics
March 9, 2016

This book is very well written and the concepts of trade-off and stakeholder analysis are key to understanding corporate communication (especially when dealing with foreign students).

Dr Jennifer Breese-Vitelli
Communication, Lasell College
July 16, 2013

A useful book to provide students with a more varied and up-to-date understanding of corporate communication. This book covers a large section of the students curriculum and will be highly recommended.

Miss Katie Angliss
Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth
May 16, 2013

Comprehensive, well-written guide to corporate communication.

Ms Anne Stuart
Communications , Lasell College
April 19, 2012

Excellent text; very suitable for course

Dr Barry Eisenberg
Business Mgmt Economics Dept, Suny Empire State College - Saratoga
March 11, 2010
Key features
  • The Competing Values Perspective is based on over 15 years of consulting work, academic teaching, curriculum development, conference papers, and publications in the areas of communication, management development, cultural transformation, and organizational leadership.  As the framework for the book it presents a balance among the four perspectives on corporate communication: marketing communication with its emphasis on media relations; financial communication with its emphasis on investor relations; organizational communication with its emphasis on government and supplier relations; and management communication with its emphasis on employee relations. The framework is particularly useful in helping communication students, researchers, and practitioners form a better understanding of the scope and range of communication activities that affect organizations both internally and externally.
  • Practical examples and case studies from a wide variety of industries illustrate theoretical concepts and aid student understanding.
  • Encourages critical thinking and planning by promoting the development of communication responses that consider the objectives and consequences of employing different messages when addressing different audiences.
  • Communication audit instruments help students and practitioners diagnose their communication roles and skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop action plans for improvement.
  • Teaches students that corporate social responsibility not only requires ethical leaders, but also effective strategy, strong corporate culture, and individual involvement.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 12


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