This chair studies the dynamics and consequences of strategic communication of themes and issues in the Wageningen domain. Such studies involve both the deliberate use of communicative strategies by organizations that wish to connect to certain audiences, and the everyday communication strategies that citizen-consumers employ to achieve their own ends, often in response to actors like governmental agencies, industries, scientific communities NGOs or managers in organizations.
Thus, the research of the chair contributes to insights about the inter-human processes through which public images, opinions and risk perceptions come about (e.g. around new technological opportunities), the role of persuasion and other communicative strategies in fostering individual and collective behavioral change, the interaction between planned and self-organized processes of change, and the way in which interpretative communities create, maintain and manage different viewpoints, frames and discourses.
The chair aims to develop high-quality theoretical, methodological and contextual insights supportive to the University’s ambition to improve the quality of life. Hence, the chair aims to analyze, understand and improve practices and approaches to designing behavioral change campaigns; developing risk and science communication strategies; balancing internal and external communication in public and private organizations; fostering organizational learning and adaptation; and building bridges between different interpretative communities (e.g. government and citizens, scientists and the general public, doctors and patients, and different interest groups involved in complex life science issues). As interrelated developments in the media landscape (e.g. mobile internet, the rise of social media) and society at large (i.e. the emergence of ‘multiple centers’ and the increasing importance of self-organization) are likely to have implications for all aspects and forms of strategic communication, this chair pays special attention to new challenges and opportunities for strategic communication in the ‘network society.’