The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication

James Mahoney

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contribution

    Abstract

    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).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge
    EditorsDr Alison Henderson
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association
    Pages1-15
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event2011 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association conference - Hamilton, New Zealand
    Duration: 6 Jul 20118 Jul 2011

    Publication series

    Name ANZCA Conference
    PublisherAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association
    ISSN (Print)1448-4331

    Conference

    Conference2011 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association conference
    CountryNew Zealand
    CityHamilton
    Period6/07/118/07/11

    Fingerprint

    Brazil
    Contingency
    Strategic communication
    Contingency theory
    Issue management
    Communication
    Communication management
    Strategic issues
    External factors
    General systems theory
    Internal factors
    Organizational structure
    Strategic analysis
    Strategic process

    Cite this

    Mahoney, J. (2011). The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication. In D. A. Henderson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge (pp. 1-15). ( ANZCA Conference). Australia: Australian and New Zealand Communication Association.
    Mahoney, James. / The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication. Proceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge. editor / Dr Alison Henderson. Australia : Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, 2011. pp. 1-15 ( ANZCA Conference).
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    abstract = "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).",
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    Mahoney, J 2011, The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication. in DA Henderson (ed.), Proceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge. ANZCA Conference, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, Australia, pp. 1-15, 2011 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association conference, Hamilton, New Zealand, 6/07/11.

    The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication. / Mahoney, James.

    Proceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge. ed. / Dr Alison Henderson. Australia : Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, 2011. p. 1-15 ( ANZCA Conference).

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contribution

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    Mahoney J. The Butterflies from Brazil: issues, contingency and strategic communication. In Henderson DA, editor, Proceedings of the 2011 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication on the Edge. Australia: Australian and New Zealand Communication Association. 2011. p. 1-15. ( ANZCA Conference).