Internationalization: Organizational Structures and Competencies

Speakers included Professor Jim Macnamara, University of Technology Sydney and Professor Ralph Tench (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK) who shared their research and practical insights into corporate communications in Asia and Australia, challenges for communication managers and skills needed by future communication professionals.

The participants discussed the impact of social media, active stakeholders and new forms of civic engagement, the massive loss of trust in politics and business as well as the need for sustainable economic activity in companies. Furthermore, they were able to compare the developments in Asia and Australia with current trends in Europe and beyond. Tench spoke about the skills and competences of communication managers as well as communication skills at the management level in general and identified further areas for research.

Communication executives not only require communication skills but, most importantly leadership skills. Ansgar Zerfass (University of Leipzig) and Ulrike Röttger (University of Muenster) addressed the topic of Leadership in Communication Management and presented the findings of the international benchmark study from the Plank Centre for Leadership in Public Relations (Alabama, USA).

Elisabeth Schick, Senior Vice President of Communications & Government Relations at the BASF Group, and Dr. Christof E. Ehrhart, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications at Deutsche Post DHL, gave important insights into how organizations can structure their communication function to deal with these challenges, especially on a global level.

Joachim Schwalbach presented background information of the study Image Profile 2012 conducted by the manager magazin and the Humboldt University of Berlin. He supervised the data collection and asked approx. 4000 decision makers about the reputation of Germany’s leading 170 companies.

Claudia Mast (University of Hohenheim) highlighted and discussed the latest trends in business journalism and their implications for corporate communications.