Strategic communication and issues management are inevitably linked in what Heath and Palenchar (2009) described as an ancient business and communication practice. Strategic communication deals with how an organisation functions as a social actor to advance its mission (Hallahan et al, 2007). Issues management is a strategic process by which organisations identify, analyse and deal with issues that are important to them to help plan and manage (Heath & Palenchar, 2009, Jaques, 2009a, 2009b). Contingency theory is an aspect of general systems theory and holds that “one thing depends on something else” (Hodge, Anthony & Gales, 2003, p. 17): In a management context, this means organisational structure depends on the context the organisation faces. Applied to strategic communication, contingency theory suggests that practitioners select positions and strategies to react to internal and external factors that apply to an organisation (Kang & Cheng, 2008). Pang, Jin and Cameron (2010) argued that contingency theory “liberates” (p. 27) communication strategists to think outside the box and to engage in strategic analysis. This paper suggests how that might be done. It uses contingency theory to explore the links between strategic communication and issues management to advance the discussion beyond a focus on the realities of practice (Pang et al, 2010) to one at a strategic level. The paper uses the significant drivers of strategic communication identified in communication and management literature to argue these “contingent variables” need to be considered in the context of the three horizons approach to management proposed by Baghai et al (2000).
|Name|| ANZCA Conference|
|Publisher||Australian and New Zealand Communication Association|
|Conference||2011 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association conference|
|Period||6/07/11 → 8/07/11|