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Our Mission

The Academic Society for Corporate Management & Communication seeks to bring theory and practice closer together and to further professionalize corporate communications.

It has the following priorities:

Interdisciplinary research across universities

Today’s communication managers need a variety of skills that allow for interdisciplinary thinking – especially at the interface of communication, management and politics. Yet university departments often focus on specific topics and rarely go beyond traditional subject boundaries.

The Academic Society was set up as an interdisciplinary initiative uniting various universities and integrating different subjects. The universities of Leipzig, Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Münster, and the Humboldt University of Berlin are all leading universities in the field of corporate communications, but specialize in different topics.

Examples of our areas of expertise:

  • Management and leadership (Professor Schwalbach, Professor Zerfass)
  • Internal communications and change (Professor Mast)
  • CSR and compliance communication (Professor Röttger, Professor Bentele)
  • Trust and reputation (Professor Bentele, Professor Schwalbach)
  • Communication controlling and evaluation (Professor Zerfass, Professor Mast, Professor Röttger)
  • International communication (Professor Zerfass) and
  • Digital communication and media change (all)

Due to their extensive professional networks, the professors are able to consult national as well as international researchers on a wide variety of research topics, as is currently happening with the research program Value Creating Communication.

Exchange of experience and collaboration with communication managers and researchers

Our annual events – the Leadership Forum in spring, the Hermes Dinner in fall and thematic workshops as part of the research program Value Creating Communication – bring together communication executives and researchers several times a year to discuss the current challenges in corporate communications, giving participants the opportunity to exchange their views and experiences on a wide range of topics.

The aim of these events is also to identify common interests and to transform these into research projects and, as a result, make a long term contribution to the further professionalization and acceptance of corporate communications. In the end, both sides can benefit greatly from this collaboration.


Practical research that provides answers to communication executives’ questions

In recent years, PR research has focused on topics such as PR instruments, stakeholder relations, digitalization and web 2.0. However, the most pressing questions for communication executives have barely been discussed in scientific studies. These questions include: 

  • How can the acceptance of their own communication function be increased in order to be able to communicate with top management on an equal footing?
  • How do corporate communications create value within a company and contribute to a company’s success?
  • How should communication activities be structured and how should communication departments be set up?
  • What skills do employees need?
  • What role do digitalization and globalization play in transforming  society’s opinion-building process?

The Academic Society aims to address these questions and to provide scientifically sound answers.

The continuing professionalization of corporate communications

The Academic Society initiates research projects that are both practical and future-oriented. They aim to go beyond disciplinary boundaries and are designed as long-term and comprehensive studies that support the on-going professionalization of corporate communications.

Bachelor/BA and Master/MA Communication classes at universities attempt to combine research and teaching. However, the intensive mentoring of students and young researchers, leaves little time and money for professors’ own research projects. The majority of research projects are kept small and focus on specific aspects of communication, but do not have the scope to look at the bigger picture. However, there is the need for systematic, ground-breaking and innovative research programs that have the capacity to focus on complex issues as well as incorporate the practical experience and knowledge of companies.

Only by these means can corporate communications and its acceptance as a profession in the corporate world and society be advanced. In addition, communication executives must also be able to communicate a clear self-image – both internally and externally.

The Academic Society aims to address this deficit by initiating research projects that are both practical and future-oriented and look at the big picture.