Research of Strategic Communication

In our research, we address communication within and across three themes: Communication, Organization, and Change; Communication and Behavior; and lastly Communication, Contestation, and Cooperation. These research themes reflect the nature of the communication processes that we seek to understand and contribute to, the societal issues we address, and the aspirations we have with our research.

Approach

We see communication as a process that involves individual people, groups, institutions but also materiality, context and a variety of communication instruments. The relations and interactions between these elements together shape the nature and outcomes of the communication dynamic. Understanding the interplay involved is fundamental for contributing to mitigating societal challenges.
Depending on the context and the research questions at hand, we may consider communication as part of multi-stakeholder processes, as the deliberate use of communicative strategies by organizations while relating to certain social groups, and as everyday communication strategies that people adopt.

Our starting point is that different communication questions require different disciplinary angles, such as communication science, sociology, anthropology, policy analysis, social psychology, anthropology, and political science. Our research is applied to different life science domains. Therefore, we engage in interdisciplinary teamwork. Thus, we seek synergies between disciplines within our group and collaborate with researchers of other domains. Projects often involve beta-gamma collaborations, in which our staff members are connected to life scientists. Moreover, our research often requires us to directly engage with a wide range of governmental, societal, and business actors in the life sciences domain.

We develop our research questions, and theoretical and methodological approaches iteratively, and in conjunction with one another. Depending on the research objective at hand, we use different qualitative, practice-based, and quantitative methodologies, also in combination. For example, qualitative methodologies that we use are discourse analysis, narrative analysis, ethnography, interviews, framing analysis, focus groups and participatory observation. Participatory action research is an example of an approach of our practice-based research. Examples of quantitative methodologies that we use are content analysis, surveys and experiments.

Our group aims to publish in journals in which we expect to find the greatest scientific and societal impact. We often publish in interdisciplinary journals that address a topic (e.g. climate change or urban planning through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including communication. We also publish in communication science journals, including specialist communication science journals focusing on risk communication, health communication, environmental communication and journalism. Finally, we publish in journals centering on other disciplines such as social psychology, sociology and political science where we engage the discipline from a communications perspective.

Research themes