Organisational Communication and Public Spheres
“Communication is not the only factor in creating value added – but without communication, everything else is nothing!”
Peter Stücheli-Herlach, Professor of Organisational Communication and Public Spheres
Those responsible for organisation in a company deal with interlinked public spheres. So, success in terms of company performance depends on the practices followed in linguistic and medial communication (pragmatics, communicative constructivism, linguistic, practical and medial turn).
We analyse these practices to find ways of optimising them and, thereby, to improve company performance in the public arenas of industry, politics, science and civil society. We also conduct (transdisciplinary) research in collaboration with company leaders, teams and individual communication experts. And, through our consulting services, academic programmes and continuing education courses, we share our knowledge of strategic corporate communication with those who analyse and reflect on professional practice in this field and with those who wish to develop these skills.
Companies generate value added under the conditions set by the communication society. The permanent flow of information facilitated by the media is decisive in determining whether it is worth establishing structures, differentiating between products or focussing on brand loyalty. This means that company strategies are always also communication strategies, which are condensed into core messages. They explain and justify the identity of an organisation, translate this message into the language of discourse and convey it according to the requirements of different situations and media.
Message Design – the design and optimisation of core messages – therefore plays a key role in the management of corporate, media, online and event communication. We see Media Design as an essential component of Corporate Public Storytelling – alongside communication, media, content and speech design. Up to now, we have collaborated on Corporate Public Storytelling with the following partners (among others): Zurich Airport, Allgemeine Baugenossenschaft Zürich (cooperative housing association construction society Zurich), Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, AXA Winterthur, Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) in German-speaking Switzerland, Delegation of the European Union to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
We conduct transdisciplinary research on strategic practices in linguistic corporate communication in collaboration with project partners.
We focus on three fields of practice:
- Practices of medial-discursive corporate communication: development and optimisation of positioning, core messages, storyboards, media, multimodal content and speeches
- Practices of corporate communication management: leadership, executive management and consulting
- Practices of corporate governance: economic, political, cultural and community communication
We use both interpretative and mixed methods (situation, discourse, content and process analysis), and we develop strategic perspectives by means of interactive, performative processes (design research and thinking). We make scientific contributions to organisational and corporate communication research, public relations teaching, management research, discourse analysis and applied linguistics.
Narrative research as an artistic intervention in the context of local politics and public authorities
The company is subject to change processes. And with it organizations, institutions and companies. The way we think, act and communicate is changing. How do we respond to these changes? How do we shape change? With which images, with which stories do we tell about ourselves? How do we give our social, our ...
Public COVID-19 pandemic discourses
The containment of the COVID19 pandemic relies heavily on the communication between public health organizations and individual social groups. Therefore, public discourses and discursive practices of specific audiences play a crucial role in the policy implementation during a pandemic. Through discourse analysis and ...
Digital Transfer Platform for COVID-19 Research
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic force researchers to identify and classify the many different events and developments during the crisis period within a short period of time in order to develop and work on targeted research questions on COVID-19. The data and digital tools of corpus and discourse linguistics ...
Discourse analysis on Antibiotic Resistance (German linguistic usage)
Due to the increase in antimicrobial resistance in Switzerland and in the light of the health policy priorities "Health 2020", the Confederation has launched a national strategy against antibiotic resistance (StAR strategy) in cooperation with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Food Safety and Veterinary ...
Energy discourses in Switzerland
Issues surrounding the production, supply, and use of energy will be of concern to Switzerland in the next few years and the decades to come. In the project “Energy discourses in Switzerland”, researchers in the ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics are investigating the communicative prerequisites for the anticipated ...
At the Bachelor level (BA), we teach the principles of pragmatic and constructivist organisational communication to students who seek to gain personal competences in this field, to hold their own in organisational networks and to establish a position in social environments.
At the consecutive Master’s level (MA), we convey the knowledge and skills required to manage and research corporate communication in specific public spheres.
At the executive Master’s level (MAS/EMBA/EMPA), we teach the knowledge and skills required to lead and analyse corporate communication in specific public spheres and complex organisational networks.
We share our knowledge of strategic corporate communication practices with teams and individuals responsible for company leadership, management and consulting and with professional organisations. All of these players want to become more successful in specific public spheres. Through reciprocal exchange, we apply our knowledge to practical problems and develop performance-focused solutions.
Scientists in the research and work domain of Organisational Communication and Public Spheres regularly publish their findings in scientific publications.