perception and positioning of communication departments
About the research project
Title: Perception and positioning of communication departments: A multi-method study on the recognition and acceptance of communications departments in German companies
Team: Professor Ansgar Zerfass, Jana Brockhaus (Leipzig University)
Many communications departments report a higher internal appreciation of their work after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is rarely accompanied by an increase in resources. According to recent benchmark studies for Germany and Austria, personnel and budgets are mainly insufficient to achieve the strategic goals that corporate communications have set for itself.
The new research project at Leipzig University investigates how colleagues perceive communications departments and how they position themselves strategically to increase their recognition within the company.
Professor Ansgar Zerfass, Leipzig University
“It is not enough to propagate the value contribution of corporate communications in one’s profession and to define new roles. In the internal organizational battle for mandates and responsibilities, it is much more a matter of recognition and acceptance.”
- Internal perception and acceptance: How do the top management, executives, and employees in German companies perceive the performance of communications departments, including their goals and tasks?
- Internal positioning: What strategies do communications managers in German companies pursue to secure and expand the mandates and resources of their departments?
Using a multi-method design, empirical data will be collected for the first time for the German-speaking region:
- As a first step, a quantitative survey among top management, executives, and employees in German companies will measure the perception of communications departments.
- In the second step, a qualitative survey will examine how communication departments position themselves internally. By interviewing communication professionals, the researchers will investigate strategies for securing and expanding the respective mandates and resources.
Added value for communication departments
Communications leaders can use the findings to challenge perceptions of their department and its performance and develop or improve their positioning strategy based on the identified best practices.