Centres, groups and other initiatives

The Nordic Alliance for Communication & Management

Leveraging communication as a strategic driver of sustainable organizational performance and success in a changing world.


  • Johansen, W., Doberts, S., Frandsen, F., Buhmann, A., Luoma-aho, V., Falkheimer, J., & Zerfass, A. (2022).

    The Nordic Communications Report 2022

    The insights presented in the report shed light on current and future trends in the communication field in the Nordic region. The study explores important themes such as diversity, equality and inclusions; empathic leadership in communication teams and dimensions such as organizational commitment, work engagement and mental health; CommTech and the digital transformation of communications; external consulting in communications including complexity, quality and the need for quality standards.

    It also covers a look to the future by exploring strategic issues and work practices in the profession in the years to come. All results are compared across the Nordic countries and they are benchmarked against the rest of Europe.


  • Buhmann, A., Link, J. A., Frandsen, F., Luoma-aho, V., Falkheimer, J., & Zerfass, A. (2021).

    The Nordic Communications Report 2021

    For this report, the Nordic Alliance for Communication and Management (#NORA) has collaborated with national communication associations in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden as well as with the European Communication Monitor series to publish the first ever pan-Nordic study of the communication field. The respondents of the survey work in communication agencies and in communication departments in joint stock companies, private companies, government-owned organisations, public sector organizations, political organisations, as well as non-profit organisations and associations.


  • Anne Gregory, Gregor Halff

    The damage done by big data-driven public relations

    Over the last two decades it has been argued that public relations contributes to hegemony by corporate organizations over stakeholder groups who have less power and resources. In its original formulation, the concept of hegemony had two defining features: firstly, it was conceived of as a society-wide, macroscopic formation and second as self-reinforcing i.e. self-replicating.

    This article argues that the rise of big-data in public relations is a hegemonic development that further re-enforces the current institutional logics and power in the three main spheres of society: corporate, governance and civic.

    Using the economic notion of externalities, the authors argue that loss of agency over personal data is the unpriced, unrecognized externality that drives the big-data market. This externality is dependent on those who are the losers of agency not having the requisite information, power or resources to negotiate alternatives that might re-dress the balance. As users and proponents of the use of big data, the public relations profession has a number of key questions to answer if it is not to re-inforce arguments that it is a hegemonizing force in organizations and society. Normal economic remedies to address externalities are not adequate to a case that is both ethical as well as economic in nature. The article therefore concludes with five arguments that the public relations profession should debate to provide leadership within organisations and society.

  • Hanna Reinikainen, Jaana T. Kari, Vilma Luoma-aho

    Generation Z and Organizational Listening on Social Media

    Young people are avid users of social media and have appeared as a powerful force for social change, as shown by the ranks of those who have joined Greta Thunberg in the global climate movement.

    In addition to challenging political institutions and governments, young people today are also holding the corporate world accountable. To respond to young people’s expectations, brands, and organizations have turned to social media to interact and build relationships with them. However, critics have lamented that these attempts often fail and that young people’s trust in institutions, brands, and organizations continues to decline.

    This article asks how young people perceive organizational listening on social media and whether their perceptions are related to their trust in the information shared by brands and other organizations on social media. Data for the study were gathered through an online survey in Finland and the UK. The respondents (N = 1,534), aged 15–24, represent the age cohort known as Generation Z.

    The results show that organizational listening is connected to higher levels of perceived benefits from social media as well as higher levels of trust in the information that brands, public authorities, and non-governmental organizations share on social media. The results highlight the role of competent listening on social media, bolstering the previous literature connecting both organizational listening and trust with higher levels of participation and engagement online.

  • Vilma Luoma-aho, María José Canel

    The Handbook of Public Sector Communication (Handbooks in Communication and Media)

    A multidisciplinary collection on global public entity strategic communication. Research into public sector communication investigates the interaction between public and governmental entities and citizens within their sphere of influence.

    Today’s public sector organizations are operating in environments where people receive their information from multiple sources. Although modern research demonstrates the immense impact public entities have on democracy and societal welfare, communication in this context is often overlooked. Public sector organizations need to develop “communicative intelligence” in balancing their institutional agendas and aims of public engagement. The Handbook of Public Sector Communication is the first comprehensive volume to explore the field. This timely, innovative volume examines the societal role, environment, goals, practices, and development of public sector strategic communication.

  • Gregor Halff, Anne Gregory

    Information leaks before CEO change: financial gain and ethical cost

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether there are information leaks immediately before CEOs change and – if so – whether some investors take financial advantage of such prior knowledge.

    It thirdly investigates the ethical, practical and professional options for communication managers to deal with such situations. Working from sentiment theory of financial markets, the authors studied Internet search patterns for incoming CEO names and stock market movements immediately prior to the public mention or speculation of CEO change.

    The authors find that in nearly a quarter of CEO changes at Fortune 500 companies, the name of the future CEO seems to have been leaked. Additionally, nearly half of those companies also experience extreme, otherwise unexplainable movements in the stock market.

    This paper discovers the prevalence of extreme stock market movements for a company when the name of that company's next CEO has likely been leaked. Such leaks are an opportunity for unscrupulous investors, but they create ethical dilemmas for organizations. Communication managers typically respond by organizing tighter governance. However, to keep up with the speed of information and investments traveling through algorithms, organizing radical transparency could become an alternative instead.

  • Hanna Reinikainen, Juha Munnukka, Devdeep Maity, Vilma Luoma-aho

    ‘You really are a great big sister’ – parasocial relationships, credibility, and the moderating role of audience comments in influencer marketing

    This study examines the moderating role of audience comments in influencer marketing. A YouTube vlog entry by a social media influencer featuring the endorsement of a brand was studied, and an experimental design featuring two conditions related to audience comments was created.

    The results indicate that a parasocial relationship with the influencer builds the perceived credibility of the influencer, while comments by other audience members moderate the effect. Influencer credibility positively affects brand trust and purchase intention. The findings enhance the understanding of the role of an active audience in influencer marketing.


  • Alexander Buhmann, Erich J. Sommerfeldt

    Drivers and barriers in public diplomacy evaluation: understanding attitudes, norms, and control

    While the need for evaluation has become increasingly emphasized within the global public diplomacy community, recent research suggests the state of the practice is grim. However, the few writings that exist on evaluation practices in public diplomacy are anecdotal and focus mainly on obstacles to enacting evaluation behavior. Little is known about evaluation-related perceptions, motivations, and attitudes of public diplomacy practitioners themselves.

    As practitioners are under increasing pressure to deliver evaluations, understanding the perspective of practitioners and their motivations is necessary. Drawing on the theory of planned behavior, this study presents the results of interviews with 25 public diplomacy practitioners in the U.S. Department of State. The results lend insight into the attitudes, norms, and behavioral controls that influence practitioners’ intentions to engage in evaluation. The article also suggests explanations as to why evaluation struggles to gain a foothold within public diplomacy, and makes proposals for improving future practice.

  • Finn Frandsen, Winni Johansen

    Advice on Communicating During Crisis: A Study of Popular Crisis Management Books

    In this study, we investigate a sample of 15 popular crisis management books (PCMBs), written by crisis consultants and published between 1986 and 2018 in the United States or in the United Kingdom.

    The aim of the study is to examine (1) how the authors of PCMBs position themselves in front of their readers, clients, and competitors, including public relations professionals and academics; (2) how they understand and present organizational crises and the practice of crisis management and crisis communication as their field of expertise; and (3) how they promote this expertise using various types of message strategies and rhetorical packaging.

    The findings of the study reveal that PCMBs are more diverse than expected and that they cover important aspects of crisis management often neglected by academic publications. The article concludes with some implications for practice, research, and education.

  • Vilma Luoma-aho ,Tuisku Pirttimäki, Devdeep Maity, Juha Munnukka, Hanna Reinikainen

    Primed Authenticity: How Priming Impacts Authenticity Perception of Social Media Influencers

    Though organizations increasingly collaborate with social media influencers, such as bloggers and videobloggers, little is known as to how the contextual cues related to sponsored content affect the authenticity perception of the social media influencers among audience members.

    This study explores how positive and negative priming of sponsored content shapes the authenticity perception of the vlogger among its audience members. Four different manipulation conditions were constructed to study a U.S. based travel vlog on Qualtrics, with data collected via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. A theory-guided content analysis of 211 open viewer responses was conducted to compare perceptions of authenticity between the manipulation groups.

    The results verified the significance of priming: the same sponsored content can result in opposite reactions among the audience members depending on the positive/negative valence of the introductory text attached, highlighting the central importance of strategic communication related to the perception of sponsored content.

    The results also point out the importance of audience member engagement for experienced authenticity: The manipulation of audience participation with the vlog had a stronger effect on the perception of authenticity of the vlogger than the positive/negative valence of the introductory text.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Johannes Paßmann, Christian Fieseler

    Managing Algorithmic Accountability: Balancing Reputational Concerns, Engagement Strategies, and the Potential of Rational Discourse

    While organizations today make extensive use of complex algorithms, the notion of algorithmic accountability remains an elusive ideal due to the opacity and fluidity of algorithms. In this article, we develop a framework for managing algorithmic accountability that highlights three interrelated dimensions: reputational concerns, engagement strategies, and discourse principles.

    The framework clarifies (a) that accountability processes for algorithms are driven by reputational concerns about the epistemic setup, opacity, and outcomes of algorithms; (b) that the way in which organizations practically engage with emergent expectations about algorithms may be manipulative, adaptive, or moral; and (c) that when accountability relationships are heavily burdened by the opacity and fluidity of complex algorithmic systems, the emphasis of engagement should shift to a rational communication process through which a continuous and tentative assessment of the development, workings, and consequences of algorithms can be achieved over time.

    The degree to which such engagement is, in fact, rational can be assessed based on four discourse-ethical principles of participation, comprehension, multivocality, and responsiveness. We conclude that the framework may help organizations and their environments to jointly work toward greater accountability for complex algorithms. It may further help organizations in reputational positioning surrounding accountability issues. The discourse-ethical principles introduced in this article are meant to elevate these positioning contests to extend beyond mere adaption or compliance and help guide organizations to find moral and forward-looking solutions to accountability issues.

  • Erich J. Sommerfeldt, Alexander Buhmann

    The status quo of evaluation in public diplomacy: insights from the US State Department

    In recent years, expectations for demonstrating the impact of public diplomacy programs have dramatically increased. Despite increased calls for enhanced monitoring and evaluation, what texts exist on the subject suggest the state of practice is grim.

    However, while the current debate is based mostly on practice reports, conceptual work from academics or anecdotal evidence, we are missing empirical insights on current views of monitoring and evaluation from practitioners. Such a practice-level perspective is central for better understanding factors that may actually drive or hamper performance evaluation in day-to-day public diplomacy work. The purpose of this paper is to update knowledge on the state of evaluation practice within public diplomacy from the perspectives of practitioners themselves.

  • Øyvind Ihlen, Anne Gregory, Vilma Luoma-aho, Alexander Buhmann

    Post-truth and public relations: Special section introduction

    With spindoctoring, publicity seeking stunts and evidence of mal-practice, public relations is easily associated with the development of post-truth society. The elevation of bullshit as political coinage presents a challenge for the rational public debate which the public relations profession at large should have an interest in maintaining. In this introduction, we briefly highlight some of these challenges for public relations.

    We point to how papers in the special section tie into these challenges, by for instance, helping to understand the construction of truth, how to construct a defense for legitimate public relations and engage with publics, as well as to build a professional practice through developing and measuring communication.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Jim Macnamara, Ansgar Zerfass

    Reviewing the ‘march to standards’ in public relations: a comparative analysis of four seminal measurement and evaluation initiatives

    To many, development and adoption of professional standards for measurement and evaluation (M&E) is one of the most promising approaches for advancing public relations practice.

    In recent years, there has been a surge in efforts to develop standards for M&E in different parts of the world. Prominent examples of this include standard terminologies, metrics, principles for best practice in the field, and evaluation frameworks. Regardless of their alleged importance, however, the acceptance and application of such M&E standards in the practice varies significantly.

    To better understand the process by which standards in this field are developed and adopted, this article draws on recent concepts from organization studies (cf. Slager, Gond, & Moon, 2012) to analyze the trajectories of four seminal standards attempts: The Barcelona Principles and the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework on an international level, the DPRG/ICV Framework used in German-speaking countries, and the GCS Framework in the United Kingdom.

    The article reveals, by way of an interpretive qualitative approach, the various strategies undertaken to a) develop common sets of terms and rules, b) engage relevant actors in the design, promotion, and implementation of proposed standards, and c) to reinforcing standards symbolically.

  • Suzanne van Gils, Kate E. Horton

    How can ethical brands respond to service failures? Understanding how moral identity motivates compensation preferences through self-consistency and social approval

    We examine how the two dimensions of moral identity - internalization and symbolization - impact on customers' relationships with ethical brands, as well as their satisfaction with different types of (private versus public) compensation and apologies following service failures.

    We propose and find in a field study of customers of a green social enterprise (N = 159) and in an online scenario study (N = 214) that high moral identity internalization is associated with higher satisfaction with private apologies, but not with public apologies and compensation, while high moral identity symbolization is associated with higher satisfaction with public compensation and apologies, but not with private apologies and compensation.

    Study 2 extends these findings by confirming that self-consistency mediates the relationships between moral identity internalization and private apologies and compensation, while social approval mediates the relationships between moral identity symbolization and public apologies and compensation. Unexpectedly self-consistency also mediated the effect of symbolization on public compensation. Implications of these findings are discussed.


  • Ágústa D. Árnadóttir, Gerjo Kok, Suzanne Van Gils, Gill A. Ten Hoor

    Waste Separation in Cafeterias: A Study among University Students in the Netherlands

    Recycling waste is important to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses. The aim of this project was to understand determinants of cafeteria waste separation behavior among university students.

    First, the determinants of waste separation behavior among university students (n = 121) were explored using an online questionnaire. In study 2 (pre-/post-test design), the effect of a small intervention (based on study 1) on actual waste sorting behavior was observed. Finally, a semi-qualitative study in 59 students was conducted as process evaluation of the intervention.

    The following results were revealed: (1) Students have limited knowledge about waste separation, have a high intention to separate waste, are positive about waste separation in general, and believe that they can separate waste correctly. (2) Just over half of the waste is correctly recycled. An intervention with extra information had no significant effect on improving recycling behavior. (3) Students evaluated the intervention positively. Some students suggested that more information should be available where the actual decision making takes place.

    Ultimately, this paper concludes that although students have a positive attitude and are willing to behave pro-environmentally, there is a gap between intention and actual behavior. These results may also apply to other organizations and members of those organizations. New interventions are needed to trigger students to make correct waste separation decisions where the actual decision making takes place.

  • Diana Ingenhoff, Candace White, Alexander Buhmann, Spiro Kiousis

    Bridging Disciplinary Perspectives of Country Image Reputation, Brand, and Identity

    Country image and related constructs, such as country reputation, brand, and identity, have been subjects of debate in fields such as marketing, psychology, sociology, communication, and political science.

    This volume provides an overview of current scholarship, places related research interests across disciplines in a common context, and illustrates connections among the constructs. Discussing how different scholarly perspectives can be applied to answer a broad range of related research questions, this volume aims to contribute to the emergence of a more theoretical, open, and interdisciplinary study of country image, reputation, brand, and identity.

    Get the book here.

  • Gillian Warner‐Søderholm Morten Huse

    In search of an institutional framework for anticorruption: Lessons from Scandinavia

    Scandinavian countries continue to build strong reputations as the world's least corrupt countries. In this case study, in a search for an institutional framework that other countries and policy makers can learn from, we explore sources of high transparency and anticorruption norms in Scandinavia.

    The most important lesson from this study is that legislative, normative, and cultural institutional pillars must be aligned to achieve the highest level of transparency and anticorruption.

    We made three main observations. First, adequate and comprehensive legislation in addition to severe noncompliance consequences contribute to an ethical business environment in Scandinavian countries. Second, a willingness to embrace integrity norms and standards through active participation in international conventions and agreements on anticorruption movements contributing to high transparency and integrity management in the Scandinavian countries. Third, a national culture that emphasizes high governmental and civic trust makes bribery and corruption less sustainable. Residents' high level of trust in public officials and police in addition to high civil and media engagement in antibribery cases results in corruption being “starved of oxygen”.

    The findings suggest high trust levels, enforced regulative legislation, small country size, and high human development help craft a framework that drives a transparent business environment.

  • Carl Brønn, Peggy Simcic Brønn

    Sustainability: A Wicked Problem Needing New Perspectives

    Business Strategies for Sustainability.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn

    Relationship Management

    In the 1980s Professor Mary Ann Ferguson inspired a shift in public relations from an instrumental or functional focus to an emphasis on relationships between organizations and their publics. This focus is known as the “relational approach,” and public relations was subsequently viewed as being about building and maintaining an organization's relationships with its stakeholders.

    Subsequently, Hutton defined relationship management and Ledingham suggested it as a general theory of public relations. Broom, Casey, and Ritchey, however, noted that, in the increasing research and writing on relationships, the concept was assumed to have a common meaning that needed no clarification. They made the case that, while everyone talks about relationships, few attempt to actually define them. This entry reviews the definition of relationships and its application to organizations, first in marketing and then in public relations.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn

    Engaging With Stakeholders

    Engaging With Stakeholders: A Relational Perspective on Responsible Business.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Peggy Simcic Brønn

    Applying Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior to predict practitioners’ intentions to measure and evaluate communication outcomes

    The purpose of this paper is to understand factors that may stimulate or inhibit communication practitioners when it comes to measurement and evaluation (M&E) of communication initiatives at the outcome level (i.e. impact on stakeholder’s attitudes and behavior or business results).

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn, Alexander Buhmann

    Building and Managing Reputation: Current Debates and Future Directions

    This chapter takes up the subject of reputation and its strategic importance for organizations. We provide an overview of generally accepted definitions of reputation and recognize the complexity of reputation by introducing a discussion on why managing reputation is a wicked problem and how organizations can best "solve" it by building awareness of reputation into organizational DNA. The chapter offers insight into a number of areas where future research might better assist all organizations in realizing the potential of their reputation.

  • María José Canel, Vilma Luoma-aho

    Public Sector Communication: Closing Gaps Between Citizens and Public Organizations

    How to communicate with the citizens of the future? Why does public sector communication often fail? Public Sector Communication combines practical examples from around the world with the latest theoretical insights to show how communication can help bridge gaps that exist between public sector organizations and the individual citizens they serve.

    The authors—two experts in the field with experience from the public sector—explain how public entities, be they cities, governments, foundations, agencies, authorities, municipalities, regulators, military, or government monopolies and state owned businesses can build their intangible assets to future-proof themselves in a volatile environment.

    The book examines how the recent digitalization has increased citizen expectations and why one-way communication leaves public sector organizations fragile. To explain how to make public sector communication antifragile, the authors map contributions from a wide variety of fields combined with illustrative examples from around the world. The authors propose a research-based framework of different intangible assets that can directly improve communication in the public sector.

    Get the book here.

  • Maria Isaksson, Poul Erik Flyvholm Jørgensen

    Connecting with Citizens: The Emotional Rhetoric of Norwegian and Danish Municipal Websites

    This article suggests that current research on the use of new digital technologies by the public sector should move beyond its focus on their facility for e-government and e-democracy.

    It is important to observe that the same technologies can also be a resource for developing public enthusiasm and identification with local authorities by adopting a rhetoric of friendship.

    The backdrop of the study is the forthcoming Norwegian reform of municipal structure, informed by a similar reform in Denmark in 2006/2007. If Norway, like Denmark, significantly reduces its number of municipalities, the majority of municipalities will undergo significant change and risk losing citizens’ sense of local identity. Each new municipality will need to create meaningful community building to ease the public’s fear of losing their good life.

    The study examines how municipalities reach out to connect with their publics, and whether they employ emotional and engaging discourse to achieve this. Our data consist of twenty Norwegian and twenty Danish municipal websites.

  • Suzanne van Gils, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Jan Borkowski, Daan van Knippenberg

    Respectful leadership: Reducing performance challenges posed by leader role incongruence and gender dissimilarity

    We investigate how respectful leadership can help overcome the challenges for follower performance that female leaders face when working (especially with male) followers.

    First, based on role congruity theory, we illustrate the biases faced by female leaders. Second, based on research on gender (dis-)similarity, we propose that these biases should be particularly pronounced when working with a male follower. Finally, we propose that respectful leadership is most conducive to performance in female leader–male follower dyads compared with all other gender configurations. A multi-source field study (N = 214) provides partial support for our hypothesis. While our hypothesized effect was confirmed, respectful leadership seems to be generally effective for female leaders irrespective of follower gender, thus lending greater support in this context to the arguments of role congruity rather than gender dissimilarity.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Fraser Likely, David Geddes

    Communication evaluation and measurement: connecting research to practice

    The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the current state of communication evaluation and measurement (E&M) as a vital field connecting academics and practitioners in communication management.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Fraser Likely

    Evaluation and measurement in strategic communication

    The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication.

  • Gillian Warner-Søderholm, Annika Søderholm

    Ansattes preferanser for lederkommunikasjon: Finnes det regionale forskjeller i Norge?

    I denne artikkelen spør vi hva slags lederkommunikasjon som er foretrukket av ansatte i Norge, og om det finnes regionale forskjeller. Dette er viktig å undersøke fordi manglende forståelse for ansattes (følgeres) preferanser for kommunikasjonsadferd fra en leder lett kan svekke organisasjonen på mange områder. Derfor er aktivt følgeskap (followership) i økende grad trukket frem i litteraturen som drivkraften i organisasjoner som et alternativ til lederskap.

    Forskning viser at ansattes preferanse for lederkommunikasjon predikerer lederes suksess (Judge, Piccolo, & Iles, 2004). Hvilke typer lederkommunikasjon foretrekker ansatte i Norge som ‘følgere av en leder’? Vi viser i denne studien til empiriske data og analyser som svarer på dette.

    Undersøkelsen er basert på et utvalg på 801 norske følgere ved bruk av LBDQXII-instrumentet (Littrell, 2013), Dette er et godt validert spørreskjema som operasjonaliserer og tester ELT (eksplisitt ledelsesteori) med et følgersentrert perspektiv på ledelse og kommunikasjon.

    Studien setter søkelyset på hva slags type lederkommunikasjon og lederadferd følgere anser som viktig. Hovedfunn i studien viser at norske ansatte foretrekker 1) klar kommunikasjon for bedre konfliktløsning, 2) kommunikasjon som viser hensyn til andre, og 3) tydelig kommunisert problemløsning. Studien viser også at de tre elementene som er minst viktig for ansatte i Norge, er 1) eksplisitt kommunikasjon om produktivitet, 2) mye snakk om fremtidig planlegging, samt 3) bruk av rik overtalelsesretorikk.

    Studien finner også interessante regionale forskjeller i Norge, spesielt gjelder dette i hvilken grad en leder burde kommunisere med følgere for å finne løsninger på hverdagslige, jobbrelaterte problemer, og i hvilken grad lederen kommuniserer eksplisitt om produktivitet. Praktiske implikasjoner oppsummeres i form av fem konkrete råd til ledere som ønsker å kommunisere i tråd med følgeres preferanser.


  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Secrets of Public Affairs

    van Ruler, Betteke; Smit, Iekje, Ihlen, Øyvind & Romenti, Stefania (red.). How strategic communication shapes value and innovation in society.

    Read the book here.

  • Suzanne van Gils, Michael A. Hogg, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Daan van Knippenberg

    When Organizational Identification Elicits Moral Decision-Making: A Matter of the Right Climate

    To advance current knowledge on ethical decision-making in organizations, we integrate two perspectives that have thus far developed independently: the organizational identification perspective and the ethical climate perspective.

    We illustrate the interaction between these perspectives in two studies (Study 1, N = 144, US sample; and Study 2, N = 356, UK sample), in which we presented participants with moral business dilemmas. Specifically, we found that organizational identification increased moral decision-making only when the organization’s climate was perceived to be ethical. In addition, we disentangle this effect in Study 2 from participants’ moral identity.

    We argue that the interactive influence of organizational identification and ethical climate, rather than the independent influence of either of these perspectives, is crucial for understanding moral decision-making in organizations.


  • Daniel Gläser, Suzanne van Gils, Niels Van Quaquebeke

    Pay-for-Performance and Interpersonal Deviance: Competitiveness as the Match That Lights the Fire

    Many organizations use pay-for-performance (PfP) programs in order to fuel employee motivation and performance. In the present article, we argue that PfP may also increase employees’ interpersonal deviance (i.e., active harming behavior toward coworkers) because it might induce social comparison and competition.

    In order to uncover the underlying process, we further argue that this effect should be particularly pronounced for employees who are high in individual competitiveness, that is, employees who have a strong desire for interpersonal comparison and aspire to be better than others.

    A cross-sectional field study (N = 250) and two experiments (N = 92; N = 192) provide support for our interaction hypothesis. We discuss the theoretical implications regarding PfP and competitiveness, and offer suggestions concerning the practical implementation of PfP.

  • Ralph Tench, Dejan Vercic, Ansgar Zerfass, Ángeles Moreno, Piet Verhoeven

    Communication Excellence: How to Develop, Manage and Lead Exceptional Communications

    Exploring the implications of 10 years of data from more than 21,000 communication professionals across Europe, combined with case studies and interviews with senior communication directors from top European companies and organisations, this book provides an insight into how to build, develop and lead excellent communication.

  • Peggy Brønn, Carl Brønn

    Systems Thinking: A Method for Reducing Reputation Risk

    As firms strive to meet stakeholder expectations, gaps can occur between various organizational members’ understanding of what these expectations are and what behavior organizations should deliver to meet them. Fulfilling expectations is important, as it is the basis for building reputation. Furthermore, minimizing gaps between expectations and behavior delivery reduces reputation risk.

    The systems thinking methodology is concerned with developing and testing operational explanations of organizational behavior and as such requires an understanding of the “whole” through the relationships between “organizational pieces.” We use the PZB service quality model as a framework to illustrate the inter-relationship between internal organizational pieces where stakeholder expectations, if unknown, misinterpreted or simply ignored can create gaps that provide potential hot spots for reputation risk.

  • Tor Bang

    Targeting Crowds: A study of how the Norwegian Labour Party adapted Nazi rhetorical methodology

    This study explores the similarities between propaganda practices in the parallel worlds of the 1930s labour movement in Scandinavia, with emphasis on Norway, and the NSDAP, the German Nazi-Party, and how the Norwegian Labour Party knowingly utilized methods developed by the NSDAP.

  • Diana Ingenhoff, Alexander Buhmann

    The entity-agent-framework as a starting point for international public relations and public diplomacy research

    Much contemporary public relations research demonstrates a hegemony of functionalist approaches. In the fields of international public relations and public diplomacy research, one such functionalist approach with great influence is nation branding.

    This literature tends to favor a view of the country as a manifest entity that can be subjected to branding and image management. In this chapter we argue that this kind of concretism overlooks central properties and effects related to possible variability in constructing countries as social entities and propose an alternative view drawing on concepts on the perception of collective entities as well as agency.

    Get the book here.

  • Markus Wiesenberg, Ansgar Zerfass, Ángeles Moreno

    Big Data and Automation in Strategic Communication

    Big data and automation pose huge challenges for strategic communication. A large-scale survey, with respondents from across more than 40 countries, explores the expertise of communication professionals, applications within communication departments and agencies, and consequences for the profession at large.

    The study shows a large gap between the perceived importance and current practices, a lack of competencies and ethical reflection, and a limited use of opportunities. The full potential of big data analytics and algorithms has not been leveraged until now, which calls for new initiatives in the practice and further research.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn, Stefania Romenti, Ansgar Zerfass

    The Management Game of Communication

    The book provides insight into the expanding field of corporate communication by exploring the benefits of research and education which merge insights from the disciplinesof business and communication. Thebook provides a uniquely European view and stimulates discussions in a continuing area of interest among academics and practitioners alike.


  • Tor Bang

    Innholdsmarkedsføring i praksis

    Barland, Jens (red.). Innholdsmarkedsføring. Konsept, forretningsmodeller, juss, etikk og praksis.

  • Christian, Hoffman, Peggy Brønn, Christian Fieseler

    A good reputation: Protection against shareholder activism

    Over recent years, shareholder activism has become more frequent, professional and costly to corporations. Large companies are held to be most susceptible to activist interventions, potentially damaging their corporation reputation.

    In this study, we analyze the effect of a good corporate reputation on the susceptibility of public companies to shareholder interventions in the form of proxy fights. Findings indicate that a good corporate reputation serves as a two-fold inoculation against shareholder interventions, reducing both the frequency and success of proxy fights.

  • Alexander Buhmann

    The constitution and effects of country images: Theory andmeasurement of a central target construct in international publicrelations and public diplomacy

    The article introduces a model for analyzing the constitution and effects of country images. The modelcombines well-established concepts from national identity theory and attitude theory with a modelfrom reputation management. The model is operationalized and tested in two surveys. Results showhow different cognitive and affective dimensions of the country image affect each other and how theyultimately bear on the facilitation of behavioral intentions. Lines for future inquiry in country imageresearch are suggested.

  • Ansgar Zerfass, Dejan Vercic, Markus Wiesenberg

    The dawn of a new golden age for media relations?: How PR professionals interact with the mass media and use new collaboration practices

    The article reviews the status of media relations in Europe while it reflects the upcoming media shift from mass mediated communication to own produced and delivered content by strategic communicators. An empirical study was carried out based on a quantitative survey among 2253 communication practitioners across Europe.

    The survey results emphasize a strong shift from the prevalence of mass media to owned media especially in Western and Northern Europe. However, the rising importance of new content practices is considered important in all European regions alike. Nevertheless, the study identifies large gaps between the considered importance and the usage of these new media relations practices.

  • Diana Ingenhoff, Alexander Buhmann

    Advancing PR measurement and evaluation: Demonstrating the properties and assessment of variance-based structural equation models using an example study on corporate reputation

    This paper aims to add to the growing discourse on methods in public relations research by showing how variance-based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) can be used to analyze effects between multiple intangible target constructs in PR.

    We introduce the properties of the method, compare it to conventional covariance-based SEM, and demonstrate how PLS-SEM can be applied to public relations evaluation using an example study on organizational reputation and its effects on trust, and stakeholder behavior (n = 1892). This paper offers a consequent methodological discussion of PLS-SEM and provides a valuable resource for public relations research aiming to apply the variance-based approach.

  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Commodifying and Politicising Insight. A Case of Mediated Debate of Revolving Doors in Norway

    Catellani, Andrea; Zerfass, Ansgar & Tench, Ralph (red.). Communication Ethics in a Connected World.

  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Åpenhet om kommunikasjonsbransjens hemmeligheter

    Alm, Kristian; Brown, Richard Mark & Røyseng, Sigrid (red.). Kommunikasjon og ytringsfrihet i organisasjoner.

  • Maria Isaksson

    Ytringsanstendighet. Norsk utenrikspolitikk i møte med moskéens retoriske ytringsrom

    Alm, Kristian; Brown, Richard Mark & Røyseng, Sigrid (red.). Kommunikasjon og ytringsfrihet i organisasjoner.

  • Gillian Warner-Søderholm, Charles J Cooper

    Be Careful What You Wish for: Mapping Nordic Cultural Communication Practices Values in the Management Game of Communication

    Whether executives are sharing their organization’s strategy goals, financial projections, marketing initiatives, crisis management, or perhaps disseminating HRM issues, culture-with regard to differing ways of communicating-matters. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to understand Nordic managers’ cultural practices -and wished for values-within the context of delivering and receiving communication messages, not only within their organizations, but also with a keen eye to external stakeholders.

    Minor yet significant differences in communication norms may surface, even when representatives from similar cultures work together (Adler, 2002). As a follow on from the GLOBE project (House et al., 2004), data based on the GLOBE instrument collected on culture and communication values (Warner-Søderholm, 2012) are applied in this present study in order to explore to what degree cultural values impact how we form, deliver and receive an organization’s business communication messages within the Nordic cluster.

    Thus, this supports the proposition that better cross-cultural business communication practices contribute to an organization’s bottom line in the management game of communication today. Moreover, we contribute to the field with an analysis of the differences between managers’ cultural practices and wished for values.

  • Alexander Buhmann

    Measuring Country Image. Theory, Method, and Effects

    Alexander Buhmann develops a new model for measuring the constitution and effects of country images by combining well-established concepts from national identity theory and attitude theory with a recent model from reputation management. The model is operationalized and tested in two surveys. Results show how different cognitive and affective dimensions of the country image affect each other and ultimately lead to the facilitation of behavioral intentions.


  • Steffen R. Giessner, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Suzanne van Gils, Daan van Knippenberg, Janine A. J. M. Kollée

    In the moral eye of the beholder: the interactive effects of leader and follower moral identity on perceptions of ethical leadership and LMX quality

    Previous research indicated that leader moral identity (MI; i.e., leaders’ self-definition in terms of moral attributes) predicts to what extent followers perceive their leader as ethical (i.e., demonstrating and promoting ethical conduct in the organization).

    Leadership, however, is a relational process that involves leaders and followers. Building on this understanding, we hypothesized that follower and leader MI (a) interact in predicting whether followers will perceive their leaders as ethical and, as a result, (b) influence followers’ perceptions of leader–follower relationship quality. A dyadic field study (N = 101) shows that leader MI is a stronger predictor of followers’ perceptions of ethical leadership for followers who are high (vs. low) in MI. Perceptions of ethical leadership in turn predict how the quality of the relationship will be perceived. Hence, whether leader MI translates to perceptions of ethical leadership and of better relationship quality depends on the MI of followers.

  • Poul Erik Flyvholm Jørgensen, Maria Isaksson

    The compassionate organisation: Contesting the rhetoric of goodwill in public sector value statements

    The purpose of this paper is to test whether organisations in the public domain have embraced a corporate type of discourse, mirroring the private sector’s preferred orientation towards expertise, or whether they maintain their traditional discourse of goodwill towards the publics they serve.

    The paper applies a rhetorical framework to provide a detailed analysis of organisational value statements posted on the web sites of public and private organisations. The research considers the value priorities of 50 organisations in the UK and Scandinavia. The research shows that the public sector sticks to its guns in maintaining a web-transmitted values discourse which forefronts goodwill towards its clients. It also shows that the public and private sectors take different approaches to goodwill.

  • Francesca Righetti, Laura B. Luchies, Suzanne van Gils, Erica B. Slotter, Betty Witcher, Madoka Kumashiro

    The Prosocial Versus Proself Power Holder: How Power Influences Sacrifice in Romantic Relationships

    Romantic partners often have to sacrifice their interests to benefit their partner or to maintain the relationship. In the present work, we investigated whether relative power within the relationship plays an important role in determining the extent to which partners are likely to sacrifice.

    Drawing from both classic theories and recent research on power, we tested two competing predictions on the relationship between power and sacrifice in romantic relationships. We tested whether (a) power is negatively related to sacrifice and (b) power is positively related to sacrifice. Furthermore, we also explored whether the association between power and sacrifice is moderated by commitment and inclusion of the other in the self. To test our hypotheses, we used different methodologies, including questionnaires, diary studies, and videotaped interactions. Results across the five studies (N = 1,088) consistently supported the hypothesis that power is negatively related to tendencies to sacrifice in close relationships.

  • Christian Fieseler, Giulia Ranzini

    The networked communications manager A typology of managerial social media impression management tactics

    The rise of social media has caused a shift in organizational practices, giving rise, in some cases, to genuinely “mediatized” organizations. The purpose of this paper is to explore how communications managers employ social media to influence their professional impressions. Analyzing a sample of 679 European communications professionals, the authors explore with factor and cluster analysis these emerging impression management tactics as well as how managers promote, involve, assist and reproach using social media.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn

    The Future of Corporate Communication in Norway: Expert Practitioner Outlook and New Directions

    The Future of Corporate Communication in Norway Expert Practitioner Outlook and New Directions Report on BI’s Centre for Corporate Communication’s, 2015 Annual Communication Summit.

  • Christian Fieseler, Christoph Lutz, Miriam Meckel

    An inquiry into the transformation of the PR roles’ concept

    Recent years have seen resurgent interest in professionalism in public relations, with several initiatives to enquire about the state of the communication profession and its part in organizational strategy. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the findings of a quantitative investigation into the work roles of European communication professionals.

    The research investigates different professional roles, as developed in previous roles research, while taking a particular look at managerial role enactment. The authors report the findings of an explorative study among 551 European communication professionals. The measures used are closely aligned with previous roles research, but modernized.

  • Andrea Catellani, Ansgar Zerfass and Ralph Tench

    Communication Ethics in a Connected World. Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication

    What are the main ethical challenges for strategic communication and public relations professionals today? How can researchers help in understanding and dealing with these challenges in a complex and interconnected world? This book offers answers to these questions, based on contributions by researchers from different European countries and other continents.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn, Øystein Bonvik, Tor Bang

    En innføring i PR. Teori, prosess og praksis

    En innføring i PR dekker teori, prosess og praksis på fagområdet Public Relations, og er spekket med moderne norske eksempler og problemstillinger som gjør faget håndgripelig og relevant for både studenter og yrkesutøvere.

    Leserne vil blant annet bli introdusert for: definisjonene og det teoretiske grunnlaget agets historie, i Norge og internasjonalt PR-prosessen, inkludert analyse, strategi, taktikk og evaluering utøvelsen innenfor næringsliv, organisasjoner og offentlig sektor situasjonsbestemt PR, inkludert medarbeiderrelasjoner og markedskommunikasjon.

    Kjøp boken her.

  • Derina Holtzhausen, Ansgar Zerfass

    The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication

    The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication provides a comprehensive review of research in the strategic communication domain and offers educators and graduate-level students a compilation of approaches to and studies of varying aspects of the field. The volume provides insights into ongoing discussions that build an emerging body of knowledge.


  • Suzanne van Gils, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Daan van Knippenberg, Mariusvan Dijke, David De Cremer

    Ethical leadership and follower organizational deviance: The moderating role of follower moral attentiveness

    The literature on ethical leadership has focused primarily on the way ethical leaders influence follower moral judgment and behavior. It has overlooked that follower responses to ethical leaders may differ depending on the attention they pay to the moral aspects of leadership.

    In the present research, we introduce moral attentiveness as an important moderator for the relationship between ethical leadership and unethical employee behavior. In a multisource field study (N = 90), we confirm our hypothesis that morally attentive followers respond with more deviance to unethical leaders. An experimental study (N = 96) replicates the finding. Our paper extends the current leader-focused literature by examining how follower moral attentiveness determines the response of followers to ethical or unethical leadership.

  • Alexander Buhmann, Diana Ingenhoff

    The 4D Model of the country image: An integrative approach from the perspective of communication management

    This conceptual article proposes a new integrative model of the country image by drawing on advances from the fields of business studies, social psychology, political science, and communication science. To interrelate different approaches, a communication management perspective is applied, providing a basic terminological framework systemizing the central constructs of country image, country reputation, country brand, and country identity.

    On this basis the authors develop the ‘4D Model’ of the country image by integrating well-established concepts from national identity theory, attitude theory, and reputation management.

  • Peggy Simcic Brønn

    The Future of Corporate Communication in Norway: Expert Practitioner Outlook and New Directions

  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Medieøkonomi: Konflikt og samspill

    Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

  • Tor Bang, Jens Barland, Arne H. Krumsvik, Johann Roppen, Mona K. Solvoll

    Brukerinvolvering: fra passive mottakere til aktive produsenter

    Bang, Tor & Solvoll, Mona K (red.). Medieøkonomi: Konflikt og samspill.

  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Medienes inntektskilder

    Bang, Tor & Solvoll, Mona K (red.). Medieøkonomi: Konflikt og samspill.

  • Tor Bang, Mona K. Solvoll

    Medieøkonomiske begreper

    Bang, Tor & Solvoll, Mona K (red.). Medieøkonomi: Konflikt og samspill.

  • Tor Bang

    Medier i samfunnet

    Bang, Tor & Solvoll, Mona K (red.). Medieøkonomi: Konflikt og samspill.



  • Peggy Simcic Brønn

    The Alignment Factor: Leveraging Total Stakeholder Support

    Report from the Corporate Communication Summit 2012 at Kleivstua. At the 2012 Corporate Communication Summit, renowned professor Cees van Riel of the Erasmus University and Reputation Institute explained "The Alignment Factor" in communications.