Alignment: Explicating a Key Concept in Strategic Communication

Published on Aug 8, 2018in International Journal of Strategic Communication
· DOI :10.1080/1553118X.2018.1452742
Sophia Charlotte Volk3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Leipzig University),
Ansgar Zerfass22
Estimated H-index: 22
(BI Norwegian Business School)
ABSTRACTThis article seeks to build a better understanding of the concept of alignment, which has been acknowledged as a central aspect of strategic communication, but never explicitly defined. Building upon a comprehensive literature review and systematization of concepts at the nexus of strategic communication and management research, a working definition and an integrative conceptual framework of alignment of strategic communication are suggested. The new definition describes alignment of strategic communication both as an outcome and an ongoing process and introduces a distinction between primary and secondary alignment. The new framework combines the multiple perspectives and types of alignment discussed so far, differentiating between external and internal alignment, intrafunctional and cross-functional alignment, management–strategy–activities alignment and process–structure–culture–people alignment. Six avenues for future conceptual, empirical, and critical research are pointed out to provide insp...
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