Corporate communications in agile organizations


Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfass - Universität Leipzig

Prof. Ansgar Zerfass

About the research project

Project period: 2017 – 2018

Digital transformation, accelerating climate change, new ways of working: the world is changing and putting pressure on businesses. To remain competitive in the future, organizations must become faster, more flexible, and more responsive – in other words, more agile. Although the concept of agility is not new, it is one of the most relevant management approaches today.

This means identifying strategically relevant changes early, responding proactively and flexibly, and using resources efficiently and effectively. What are the implications for the organization and tasks of a communications department?


  • What does being agile mean and what are drivers of this change?
  • What are the six dimensions of agile departments?
  • What agile tools & methods are useful?

Follow-up study


  1. Comprehensive literature analysis on the concept of agility and its key dimensions
  2. Analysis of different conceptual frameworks for agility and synthesis of the aspects relevant for communication management
  3. 38 interviews with CCOs and senior communications executives at multinational companies between January and March 2018
  4. Case studies in selected communications departments, conducted between August and September 2018