School of Business publications portal
Aaltodoc publication archive
Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Languages and Communication | International Business Communication | 2010
Thesis number: 12352
CEO perceptions of the strategic importance of communication
Author: Wuolanne, Noora
Title: CEO perceptions of the strategic importance of communication
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Languages and Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainvälinen; international; viestintä; communication; strategia; strategy; johtaminen; management; johtajat; managers
Pages: 77
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12352.pdf pdf  size:683 KB (698585)
Key terms: International business communication; Corporate communication; CEO; Strategy; Management; Management communication
CEO Perceptions of the Strategic Importance of Communication

Objectives of the study The objective of this study was to investigate CEOs’ perspectives on communication and its role in strategy work within organizations. Instead of exploring how communication should be conducted, this study focused on how CEOs perceive it. The study aimed to answer the main research question: What is the nature of communication and the communication function in strategy work from the perspective of the CEO? The main research question was answered by posing three sub-questions: How is communication involved in strategy work? What are the main benefits and challenges of the communication function in strategy work? And how does the CEO see him/herself as a communicator of the corporate strategy?

Methodology This study was based on a qualitative approach. Empirical data was collected through seven semi-structured interviews: six CEOs and one Communication Director of international companies were interviewed. The CEOs interviewed had extensive working experience in management and chief executive positions. One Communication Director was chosen for the study to represent an experienced business professional with communicational background. In addition, his working wide experience with multiple CEOs was seen as an important aspect for the study.

Results of the Study The research findings indicate that the nature of communication and the communication function in strategy work was important and it is seen as an essential part of management in their strategy work. Furthermore, the communication function contributed extensively to the overall strategy work of the company, also the CEO contribution to the communication plan of the strategy was seen significant. The main tasks of communication in the strategy work was to simplify the core ideas of the company’s strategy and to make sure that it is communicated correctly to all interest groups. The cooperation between the Communication Director and the CEO was the key to the successful strategy communication. All external communication was perceived as strategy communication since its main task is to establish and maintain the company’s image and reputation. While the interviewees argued that media was an aspect that the external communication should influence, it was also seen to create challenges. The CEO’s role in strategy work was varied depending on the person. The CEO as a company’s spokesperson was perceived crucial.

Key Words International business communication, Corporate communication, CEO, Strategy, Management, Management communication
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.