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Monitoring Public Perception of Organisations

Authors:
  • Ex- University of Jyväskylä
Book

Monitoring Public Perception of Organisations

Abstract

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... Monitoring is a listening function; it includes listening and interpreting what people are conveying (Rappaport, 2010) to gain insights into public perceptions and information needs (Vos and Schoemaker, 2006) and to track changing perspectives over time (Kavanaugh, Fox, Sheetz, Yang, Lin and Shoemaker, 2012). The aims of monitoring are diverse; one can focus on understanding changing stakeholder views or use real-time results to adjust one's policies or actions, for example, improving crisis communication and response activities as a crisis evolves. ...
... In the literature on organisational reputation crises, some have focused on image repair while other authors have emphasised organisational renewal (Ulmer and Pyle, 2016). After a reputation crisis, policy adaptation is often called for (Benoit and Brinson, 1994) to meet public expectations and bring the actual corporate identity closer to the desired identity (Vos and Schoemaker, 2006). When an organisation failed to meet stakeholder expectations of competence and responsibility, this creates a legitimacy gap (Spence et al., 2016). ...
Book
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Open access link http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7147-2 (115 pages, with contributions by Irna van der Molen and Markus Mykkänen). Keywords: continuity management, corporate communication, crisis communication, disasters, emergencies, issue arenas, issues management, monitoring, organisational resilience, social media. This book is characterised by a broad approach towards corporate communication, emphasising change and crisis. The focus is not on crises as an exceptional situation but rather on broader volatility in the environment. The purpose of this book is to increase the understanding of multi-stakeholder communication concerning organisational issues and crises. From the perspective of organisational management, this book clarifies how communication contributes to organisational resilience—the ability to adapt to a changing environment and mitigate emergency crises. In todays’ world, change is not the exception but a constant presence. Moreover, issues and risks occur that may grow to become crises. Coping with change and unexpected events, is what the concept of ‘resilience’ is about. Organisational resilience is the basis for the long-term viability of organisations in a turbulent environment. Communication, in various ways, is a bridging activity that supports the capacity of the organisation to function despite risks and disruptive incidents. Attention is needed for a resilient culture and collective mindfulness, in particular, in high reliability organisations. This book explains that the roots of current crises are complex. As many crises combine different kinds of threats, cooperation with other actors is needed for their mitigation. Communication brings such actors together. Communication has often aimed at enhancing dyadic relations between an organisation and its stakeholder groups. The issue arena approach instead focuses on competitive multi-actor interaction and poses that people primarily have a stake in issues that matter to them, rather than in organisations. Issues spread fast in social media and, hence, may result in organisational crises. To understand fast changing public views, developing digital communication and monitoring online discourse are vital. In addition, the diversity of environmental dynamics and crises requires a range of different communication strategies. Research can offer a better understanding of evolving multi-actor interaction concerning issues, risks and crises, and support communicative decision making. This also calls for attention for methodological and ethical constraints in using big data for monitoring purposes. Finally, the book advocates the use of simulations and serious gaming to investigate multi-actor interaction in turbulent environments.
... Given the significance of their role in risk management, it is considered essential to understanding the views of civil protection personnel [42,43], and the effect that such factors can have on organizational handling and response to risks. This can be particularly important in areas of the world, where the presence of a diversity of natural hazards tests the capacity of organizations. ...
Article
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The views and perceptions of the civil protection community have a central position in any risk management process or initiative, and are crucial to its success. However, knowledge of the views and perceptions of officials, and what affects them remains limited in the current literature. This work uses questionnaires to explore the views of civil protection personnel in Greece on different elements of flood risk management and identify factors that influence them. Results provide a basic understanding of officials' views, indicating certain shortcomings in various sectors and dissatisfaction in several aspects of everyday practice. Interestingly, responses of participants to perception-and knowledge-related questions show a pattern, relating to respondents' attributes and characteristics, such as experience, age, qualifications, and others. On the contrary, their views on everyday practice issues of flood risk management are associated with the type of position they have in the civil protection community. The findings contribute to the overall effort to improve the understanding of the characteristics of civil protection organizations across Europe, as a means to enhance cooperation.
... There is previous evidence of the positive impact of trust on information sharing (Wilson, 2010). Furthermore, since trust, positive perception of the organization, and information sharing have all been identified as both outcomes and antecedents of social capital (e.g., Vos and Schoemaker, 2006), it was plausible to expect that these constructs would be linked. In this sense, the present findings support earlier empirical and theoretical research that underline the bidirectional influence of the factors affecting information sharing; for instance, in the notion of social capital. ...
Article
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Purpose While there is relatively plenty of evidence for the positive impact of communication on the perceptions of organizational change, how organizational changes affect information sharing is relatively unknown. The purpose of this paper is to investigate if a favorable perception of ongoing organizational changes has a positive impact on information sharing and whether trust mediates this relationship. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire ( n =317) was administered to the employees of a large Finnish multinational organization. Partial least square structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses based on earlier research findings. Findings The results show that a positive perception of recent organizational changes improves information sharing both directly and indirectly, mediated by trust. Consequently, when changes are perceived negatively, employees recoil from information sharing which is known to have negative implications for organizations. Research limitations/implications Data were collected in a single organization. The nature of the specific changes in the studied organization and its particularities undoubtedly had an effect on respondents’ perceptions. Originality/value This paper contributes to organizational information management research by elaborating on the relationship between organizational changes and interpersonal information sharing between employees. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first quantitative study confirming the impact of the perception of organizational changes on employee information-sharing behavior.
... Organizations cannot afford to distance themselves from their social environment, but need to have a reflective and inclusive approach (Waymer and Heath, 2007). During issues management analysis, the salience of issues related to the organization and its stakeholders as well as suitable communication tools are evaluated (Vos and Schoemaker, 2006). Issues managers are responsible for analyzing issues and making strategic decisions about which issues are relevant (Bowen, 2004). ...
Thesis
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This PhD thesis focuses on strategic use of framing in the multi-actor debate on human rights to create issue salience. The research results add to the understanding of the strategic choices made by actors in agenda setting and framing related to power relations in issue arenas. The results come together in a conceptual model of the framing processes involved. The results of this PhD thesis show how actors debate and make decisions concerning their communication. Actors can belong to multiple networks and discuss in various issue arenas, and additionally not all actors interact in the same issue arenas. Competition may arise concerning causal relations as well as on how and in what context issues are debated and by whom, which consequently creates power relations, making some actors gatekeepers and some less central in the interaction. Human rights issues are seen as important and universal. However, this is not the reality in the issue arenas influenced by selectiveness and power relations. What this research tells us is that, by using strategic framing in the communication, central actors can selectively push human rights issues and frames to the debate and create different causal relations between issues and actors. By illustrating how framing is used as a tool in enhancing salience and creating a context of causal relations, this PhD thesis adds to the transparency of the human rights debate and, in particular, casts light on the processes of issue selection and framing. By opening up the human rights debate, the selective nature of issue debates is explained. With more transparency, all actors will be better equipped to participate in the debate, thereby benefiting the problem solving of human rights issues.
Article
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Contrary to subsequent studies focused on the construction of corporate identity, this article aims to examine the stakeholder’s perception of corporate identity projected to the public through language and visual manifestations on corporate “About us” pages. A qualitative, data-driven approach has been taken in the study. The results, based on data collected from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with twenty professionals, demonstrate the interviewees’ deep scepticism towards corporate narrations, which are interpreted as persuasive and serving corporate ends. Thus, online projections of corporate identities do always match actual images held by stakeholders. The interviewees have emerged as critical readers of corporate communications and active constructors of corporate image.
Chapter
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Vos, M. (2016), Reputation monitoring. In Carroll, C.E. (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation, section Research, Measurement and Evaluation, pp. 657-659. Sage, Thousand Oaks. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-sage-encyclopedia-of-corporate-reputation/book244532
Conference Paper
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Considering the dynamics in the environment, and the growing interdependence and complexity in society the field of communication for organizations needs to review its priorities. Communication is a functional area of organizations, a management perspective that contributes to the functioning of organizations and to solving or preventing organizational problems. It has a boundary-spanning function. In this paper a range of tasks of communication are defined that are of vital importance for a responsive and proactive organization. The organization might anticipate or react to chances and threats in the external environment in various ways. It may decide to change its own operations and in this case communication can support change management. It may also try to change the conditions for its functioning and that case communication can arrange participation in the public debate about related topics. Legitimacy can be created by focusing on accountability. Organizations operate in a complex field of power. Communication experts monitor public perception and need to understand the nature of the public debate, and processes such as framing.
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