Dialogics of Strategic Communication: Embracing Conflicting Logics in an Emerging Field

Emma Christensen, Lars Thøger Christensen

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Abstract

Purpose:
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the field of strategic communication is shaped and driven by several different logics that not only simply underpin each other, but also and simultaneously oppose each other and point in many different directions.
Design/methodology/approach:
The authors address the multiple logics in strategic communication and their interplay by drawing on Edgar Morin’s theory of “dialogics.” According to Morin, complex systems are characterized by multiple logics that are at once complementary, competitive and antagonistic with respect to one another.
Findings:
The authors present and discuss five dialogics that challenge conventional notions of managerial control: deliberate vs emergent perspectives on communication strategy; top-down vs participatory approaches; bounded vs unbounded notions of communication; consistency vs inconsistency in organizational messages; and transparency vs opacity in organizational practices.
Originality/value:
While the dialogical perspective defies the ideal of strategic communication as a unitary discipline, the authors argue that the field can only develop by acknowledging, embracing and bringing to the fore of analysis principles that are at once complementary, competitive and antagonistic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCorporate Communications
Volume23
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)438-455
Number of pages18
ISSN1356-3289
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Strategic management
  • Communication management
  • Corporate communications

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