2017 - Vol 02. No. 01

Volume 02, Number 01

Editor's Note

Yan Jin, Juan Meng, Bruce K. Berger: The Influence of Communication Leadership Qualities on Effective Crisis Preparedness Strategy Implementation: Insights from a Global Study

Based on an international online survey of communication management leaders in multiple countries, this study analyzed the responses from a total of 532 leaders who indicated crisis preparedness as a top issue for their organizations. Our results indicate: 1) Communication leaders in North America, Europe and a combination of Asia, Middle East and South America differed significantly in their implementation of crisis preparedness strategies; and 2) Different communication leadership qualities jointly predicted communication leaders’ implementation of each of the crisis preparedness strategies, respectively. Our findings provide important implications for global crisis leadership theory development. Research insights from this study also shed light on the importance for international organizations to integrate communication leadership qualities with crisis preparedness strategy development and implementation.

Irina Lock, Peter Seele: The Consequences of Astroturf Lobbying for Trust and Authenticity. Findings and Implications from an Experiment

In contrast to authentic grassroots activism, in astroturfing, lobbyists sponsor an interest group that pretends to be a grassroots movement. In a vignette-based experiment, we investigate for the first time how astroturfing, compared to grassroots lobbying, reflects on stakeholders' perceptions of organizational trust and authenticity, how perceived frequency of the practices relates to them, and the associations they trigger. Our results indicate that stakeholders perceive an astroturfing organization as barely trustful and authentic, even less so if the practice is perceived as occurring more frequently. Astroturfing triggered negative associations of manipulation. Such perceptions damage organizations’ trustful relationships with their publics.

Nadine van Wissen, Anke Wonneberger: Building Stakeholder Relations Online: How Nonprofit Organizations Use Dialogic and Relational Maintenance Strategies on Facebook

Although Facebook provides organizations with the opportunity to easily engage with stakeholders online, very little is known about the effectiveness of organizational communication strategies. This study examines how nonprofit organizations (NPOs) use Facebook to engage with stakeholders through stakeholder dialogic strategies and relational maintenance strategies with the goal of fostering stakeholder relationship growth and obtaining social legitimacy. Furthermore, this study takes full advantage of the research opportunities of social media by taking stakeholders’ online responses to these organizational strategies into account. A manual content analysis of N=216 posts and N=1,676 comments of the Facebook profiles of ten international NPOs was conducted over one month in 2015. The results demonstrated that NPOs were more focused on technical and design aspects while true stakeholder dialogue and relational maintenance strategies were barely applied. Stakeholder dialogue positively influenced stakeholders’ interest and engagement. Conversational human voice as a relational maintenance strategy positively affected stakeholders’ engagement.

Susan Vermeer, Paola Remmelswaal, Sandra Jacobs: Heineken in the House: Improving Online Media Reputation through Featuring a Sponsored Brand Community

Nowadays, more and more organizations use social media to promote their sponsorships of big events. Heineken has created a major brand community by facilitating the Holland Heineken House during the Olympic Games. This study investigates to what extent featuring a sponsored brand community on social media affected Heineken’s online media reputation. A quantitative content analysis on Heineken’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts before, during and after the Olympic Games in 2016 was performed to analyse the relation between the promotion of the Holland Heineken House and this company’s online media reputation. The use of humour, hashtags, key events and videos have been taken into account. The results show that the promotion of the Holland Heineken House positively influences Heineken’s online media reputation merely on Twitter. This study thus provides valuable insights into how an organization’s online media reputation can score with sponsoring a brand community.

Anika Batenburg: Healthcare Workers Sharing Knowledge Online: Intrinsic Motivations and Well-Being Consequences of Participating in Social Technologies at Work

To increase efficiency, knowledge sharing behaviour, and collaboration at work, social technologies are being rapidly implemented within organizations. However, there is a lack of studies showing how these new communication technologies affect employees. The goal of the current study was to indicate intrinsic motivations for online knowledge sharing behaviour and to find out if employees actually experience improvements in terms of well-being at work due to online participation. A survey study among 260 employees of a healthcare organization showed that feelings of competence in using the internal social media platform to share knowledge were positively related to online knowledge sharing behaviour. Moreover, employees who shared their knowledge more actively online also claimed that the platform made them more competent at work, autonomous at work, and improved their relationship with co-workers. Furthermore, a relationship between online knowledge sharing behaviour and job satisfaction was found, mediated by feelings of competence at work.

Book Reviews

Marta Takahashi: Ralph Tench, Dejan Verčič, Ansgar Zerfass, Angeles Moreno, Piet Verhoeven - Communication Excellence: How to Develop, Manage and Lead Exceptional Communications

Darija Jeger: Damir Jugo - Menadžment kriznog komuniciranja (Management of Crisis Communication)

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