Research Centre

Centre for Corporate Communication

     

BICCC has a strong commitment to advancing corporate communication research both nationally and internationally. Since the foundation of BICCC in 2007 our team of researchers has published more than 90 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 30 books, and 50 book chapters on key topics such as: Reputation, Risk, Trust, and Legitimacy; Organizational Identity and Corporate Branding; Communication Measurement and Evaluation; Digital and Social Media; Place Branding and Public Diplomacy; Crisis Communication and Crisis Management; Issues Management and Environmental Scanning.

Selected publications:

2017

Book: Communication Excellence: How to Develop, Manage and Lead Exceptional Communications
Edited by Ralph Tench, Dejan Vercic, Ansgar Zerfass, Ángeles Moreno, Piet Verhoeven

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.

Article: Systems Thinking: A Method for Reducing Reputation Risk
By Peggy Brønn, Carl Brønn

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.

Magazine: Communication for Leaders, Summer Issue
Edited by Peggy Brønn, Gillian Warner-Søderholm

In this issue we focus on how digitization impacts the workplace through new ways of working, how breaking the rules is necessary for social media success, and our partner Gassnova contemplates how digitization is influencing hers and others’ communication departments. Other topics are: achieving excellence in communication departments, organizational trust, and leadership types. With contributions by: Ansgar Zerfass, Peggy Brønn, Gillian Warner-Søderholm, Tor Bang, Mona Solvoll, Alexander Buhmann, Johannes Passmann, Sut I Wong, Steiner Bjartveit, Audun Farbot

Article: Targeting Crowds: A study of how the Norwegian Labour Party adapted Nazi rhetorical methodology
By Tor Bang

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.

Chapter: The entity-agent-framework as a starting point for international public relations and public diplomacy research
By Diana Ingenhoff, Alexander Buhmann

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.

Article: Big Data and Automation in Strategic Communication
By Markus Wiesenberg, Ansgar Zerfass, Ángeles Moreno

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.

Book: The Management Game of Communication
Edited by Peggy Simic Brønn, Stefania Romenti, Ansgar Zerfass

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.

2016

Article: The dawn of a new golden age for media relations?: How PR professionals interact with the mass media and use new collaboration practices
By Ansgar Zerfass, Dejan Vercic, Markus Wiesenberg

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.

 

Book: Measuring Country Image. Theory, Method, and Effects
By Alexander Buhmann

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.

 

Article: A good reputation: Protection against shareholder activism
By Christian, Hoffman, Peggy Brønn, Christian Fieseler

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.

Article: Advancing PR measurement and evaluation: Demonstrating the properties and assessment of variance-based structural equation models using an example study on corporate reputation
By Diana Ingenhoff, Alexander Buhmann

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.

 

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

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.

 

2015

Article: An inquiry into the transformation of the PR roles’ concept
By Christian Fieseler, Christoph Lutz, Miriam Meckel

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.

 

 

Article: The compassionate organisation: Contesting the rhetoric of goodwill in public sector value statements
By Poul Erik Flyvholm Jørgensen, Maria Isaksson

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.

 

Book: Communication Ethics in a Connected World. Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication
Edited by Andrea Catellani, Ansgar Zerfass and Ralph Tench

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.

 

Article: The 4D Model of the country image: An integrative approach from the perspective of communication management
By Alexander Buhmann, Diana Ingenhoff

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.

 

Article: The networked communications manager A typology of managerial social media impression management tactics
by Christian Fieseler, Giulia Ranzini

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.

 

 

Book: En innføring i PR. Teori, prosess og praksis
By Peggy Simcic Brønn, Øystein Bonvik, Tor Bang

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.

 

 

Book: The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication
Edited by Derina Holtzhausen, Ansgar Zerfass

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.

 

2016

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

      • Wednesday, December 14, 2016
      • Saturday, December 31, 2016

    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
    Read the report here

  • Leadership Communication / Communicating for Leadership

    Report from the Corporate Communication Summit 2013 at Kleivstua.

    At the 2013 Corporate Communication Summit, Dennis Larsen shows examples of insight-driven engagement - Thought Leadership 

    Read the full report here

2012

  • The Alignment Factor: Leveraging Total Stakeholder Support

      • Saturday, September 1, 2012
      • Sunday, September 30, 2012

    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.

    Read the full report here.

2011

  • Authenticity in organizational identity, and how to communicate it to different target groups

      • Friday, July 1, 2011
      • Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Report from the Corporate Communication Summit 2011 at Kleivstua.

    The theme for the 2011 Corporate Communication Summit was authenticity in organization, and how to communicate it.

    Read the full report here.

2010

  • Integrated communication: Organizational challenges, possibilities and pitfalls

      • Wednesday, September 1, 2010
      • Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Report from the Corporate Communication Summit 2010 at Kleivstua.

    Integrating communication was the theme at the Corporate Communication Summit in 2010.

    Read the full report here.

Corporate communication summit summaries:

 

Reasearch articles:

Peggy Simcic Brønn

  • Brønn, P. S. (2013). Communication and Organizations, in: Brønn, P. S. and J. K. Arnulf (eds.), Kommunikasjon for organisasjoner og ledere, (Communication for organizations and managers). Fagbokforlaget.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2013). Corporate Branding, in: Encyclopedia of Public Relations. R. Heath (Ed.).  Sage.  
  • Brønn, P. S. (2013), Corporate Communication, in: Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation, C. Carroll (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2013), CSR and Communication, in: A. Midttun (Ed.), CSR from a Nordic Perspective.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2012), Bruk av sosiale medier for intern samhandling, in: Sosiale medier fra innsiden og ut, Oslo: Kommuneforlaget.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2011), Marketing and CSR, in: The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility, Ø. Ihlen, J. Bartlett and S. May (eds.), Wiley Blackwell.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2011), Keys to Understanding Reputation, in: Omdømmehåndtering i Offentlig Sektor (Reputation Management in the Public Sector), A. Wæraas, H. Byrkjeflot og S. I. Angell (eds.), Universitetforlaget, Oslo.
  • Bonvik, Ø. with Brønn, P. S., (2010), Virksomhets Stemme, Gyldendal, Oslo.
  • Brønn, P. S. (2010), Reputation, Image and Brand Equity, in: Handbook of Public Relations, R. Heath (ed.), Sage.
  • Brønn, Peggy Simcic, & Vidaver-Cohen, Deborah. 2009. Corporate Motives for Social Initiative: Legitimacy, Sustainability, or the Bottom Line? Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 87: 91-109. 
  • Brønn, Peggy Simcic. 2008. Why aren't we measuring relationships? Communication World, Jan/Feb, vol. 25 (1): 32-34.
  • Brønn, P. S. and Ø. Ihlen. 2008. Åpen eller innadvendt: omdømmebygging for organisasjoner. Oslo, Norway: Gyldendal. 
  • Vidaver-Cohen, Deborah, & Brønn, Peggy Simcic. 2008. Corporate Citizenship and Managerial Motivation: Implications for Business Legitimacy. Business & Society Review, vol. 113 (4): 441-475.

Maria Isaksson

  • Isaksson, M., & Jørgensen, P. E. F. 2010. Communicating Corporate Ethos on the Web: The Self-Presentation of PR Agencies. Journal of Business Communication, vol. 47 (2): 119-140.
  • Jørgensen, P. E. F., & Isaksson, M. 2010. Corporate Credibility in Corporate Discourse. In: Pragmatics across Languages and Cultures. Eds: Anne Trosborg; K. K. Luke. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter (Handbooks of Pragmatics).
  • Isaksson, M., & Jørgensen, P. E. F. 2009. The Rhetoric of Corporate Mission Statements: Virtues and emotions for the market. In: Language and the Market. Eds: H. Kelly-Holmes & G. Mautner. New York, NY: Palgrave-MacMillan (Language and Globalization series).
  • Jørgensen, P. E. F., & Isaksson, M. 2008. Building Credibility in International Banking and Financial Markets: A study of how corporate reputations are managed through image advertising. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 13 (4): 365-379.

Christian Fiesler

  • Bucher, E., Fieseler, C., & Suphan, A. (2012). The stress potential of social media in the workplace. Information, Communication & Society, in press. 
  • Suphan, A., Fuels, M. & Fieseler, C., (2012). Social Media’s Potential in improving the Mental Well_Being of the Unemployed. Book chapter Springer. Hoffman, C.P., & Fieseler, C., (2012). Investor relations beyond financials: Non-Financial factors and capital market image building. Corporate Communications, an International Journal, 17, 2, 138 – 155. 
  • Fieseler, C. (2011). On the CST perceptions of financial analysts. Business Ethics: A European Review, 20, 2, 131 – 147.
  • Fieseler, C., Fleck, M. & Meckel, M. (2010). Corporate social responsibility in the Blogosphere. Journal of Business Ethics, 91, 4, 599 – 614.
  • Etter, M. & Fieseler, C. (2010). On Relational Capital in Social Media. Studies in Communication Science, 10, 2, 167 – 189
  • Fieseler, C., Beurer-Zullig, B. & Meckel, M., (2009). Typologies of Communicatiors in Europe. Corporate Communications, an International Journal, 14, 2, 158 – 175. 
  • Fieseler, C., Meckel, M., & Ranzini, G. (2012). Me, Myself and My Team: How communications teams can harness the power of online impression management.Communication Director, 2, 34 – 37. 
  • Bucher, E. Fieseler, C., & Meckel, M. (2011). Cowboys and Cowards. Communication Director, 2, 24 – 27.