The co-presence of clarity and ambiguity in strategic corporate communication

an exploratory study

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the co-presence of clarity and ambiguity in the formulation, interpretation and implementation of corporate communication strategies. Following a growing scholarly interest in how ambiguity can be seen as a productive strategic resource in strategy work, this article focuses on the interdependency of clarity and ambiguity in corporate communication strategies. Through an exploratory study, using interpretive discourse analysis of interviews with employees at a corporate communication department, the present article analyses how the employees perceived the writing, reading and enactment of their organization’s new corporate communication strategy. The analysis reveals that the employees sometimes use shared understandings to produce ambiguity in relation to engagement and responsibility, and how they use ambiguity to create a shared understanding on objectives and practices. Though this co-presence might cause the members to feel a lack of ownership, it does not impede the department’s ability to execute strategy-work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Volume13
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)95-109
ISSN1553-118X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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