BIs Norwegian Communication Research Group Goes Nordic

25 May 2020

BI initiates a cooperative Nordic think tank to bridge the fields of communication and management.

Building on the legacy of BI’s Centre for Corporate Communication, communication researchers at the school are launching a new regional, cross-disciplinary think tank. The new Nordic Alliance for Communication & Management (NORA) will bring together the academic disciplines of communication and management.

The Alliance’s focus will be less on public relations and corporate communication and more broadly on communication as a strategic driver of sustainable organizational performance and success to include perspectives from a wider range of fields.

Alexander Buhmann, associate professor in BI’s Department of Communication and Culture, will be director of the Alliance. According to Buhmann, a similar network in the German speaking countries served as inspiration.

Nordic expertise

NORA will harness the brainpower of leading Nordic researchers working at the intersection of communication, leadership, new technology, and management. To date the think tank includes scholars from Jyväskylä University in Finland, Mid-Sweden University and Lund University in Sweden, and Copenhagen Business School and University of Århus in Denmark.  

– There are several important scholars in the Nordic countries that work to bridge communication perspectives with problems and insights form management research. We want to connect them in order to create a deeper pool of experts and knowledge. This will be a win-win situation for academia and practice, not just in Norway but also in the entire region, says Buhmann.

An interdisciplinary approach is key for success, and other researchers and scholars interested in joining are welcome to get in touch.

Connecting academia and practitioners

The alliance aims to influence both the worlds of academia and practice by developing research through continuous dialogue with industry partners.

– We will bring together leading communication executives in the Nordic region with researchers from communication and management to jointly identify emerging trends and topics and develop new research-based knowledge, explains Buhmann.

Industry feedback will serve as inspiration for the researchers, and industry partners will have access to latest research and its practical implications.

Common meeting grounds

Key activities will be workshops and seminars, as well as breakfast meetings. All events will build around a joint agenda to work towards common topics.

In the longer run, the goal is to join forces and develop larger research projects. Research topics will be identified together in meetings and workshops to ensure that the projects will be both useful for organizations and conducive to advancing academic research.

Knowledge for the future

All organizations face increasing demands for contributing to solving societal and environmental problems. As a result, the way organizations communicate and engage with their stakeholders is rapidly changing.   

Sustainable organizational performance and success is dependent not only on managers’ ability to understand how they relate to their organizations but also on their understanding of the impact of their personal communication along with that of their organization, both internally and externally.  In this sense, management and communication are natural allies.

The new alliance will contribute to this relationship by identifying emerging trends and topics, building new research-based knowledge, and shaping the debate in the Nordic countries.

Expanding from a strong position

The Centre for Corporate Communication (CCC), established by Professor Peggy Simcic Brønn, has been a primary contributor to the research-based development of the public relations and corporate communication fields in Norway for the last 13 years. The Centre has been supported throughout the years by leading Norwegian organizations and interests. Now the time has come to go Nordic.

NORA is currently funded by: DNGV GL, Orkla, The Research Council of Norway, BI Norwegian Business School

You can also see all news here.