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10 February 2015
Theme of the month: Communication management consulting

Steffen Raub: The value of team building for effective management consulting

Steffen Raub, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (CH), talks about the importance of team building to improve the effectiveness of consulting, a practice that today requires multifunctional and multicultural teams to help the management tackle complex problems. Watch the interview.

Suggested reference for practitioners:

  • Katzenbach, J et al. (1993), The discipline of teams, Harvard Business Review


Matthias Graf: Creativity and co-creation in communication management consulting

Matthias Graf, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Switzerland, shares insights on the key factors to ensure good communication mangement consulting, illustrating the value of creativity and trust in the co-creation process between client and consultant. Watch the interview.


Jeanne Mengis: Benefits of qualitative research in communication management consulting

Jeanne Mengis, Professor of Organization Communication at USI Università della Svizzera italiana (CH), gives us an overview on qualitative research methods and illustrates how interpretative research can be beneficial to corporate communication practitioners and consultants. Watch the interview.

Suggested references for practitioners:

  • Newsletter of the American Political Science Association on Qualitative Methods (2003), Symposium: Interpretivism, Vol. 1, Issue 2. The newsletter provides, among others, an overview on what interpretivism is (see p. 3) and an interview with one of the founding fathers of the methodological movement, Cliff Geertz (see p. 24). 
  • Schwartz-Shea, P. Yanow, D. (2012), Interpretive Approaches to Research Design: Concepts and Processes, Introduction, p. 1-14, New York/London (UK): Routledge. This introduction by two of the main proponents of interpretive research provides not only insights on how to design a research from an interpretive standpoint provides, but – more importantly – provides an overview on the grounding and relevance of interpretive research.
  • Alvesson, M., Hardy, C. & Harley, B. (2008), Reflecting on Reflexivity: Reflexive Textual Practices in Organization and Management Theory, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 45, Issue 3, 480-501. This paper provides an overview on one of the core characteristics of interpretative research: reflexivity. It explains on what levels, we as researchers can become reflexive of how we – with our methodological practices and interpretations – are influencing the findings of the communication and management issues we study.
  • Milne, E.J. & Mitchell, C. & De Lange, N. (eds.) (2012), Handbook of Participatory Video, Plymouth (UK): Alta Mira Press. An edited book on participatory approaches to video-based research. Video reflection, also called video reflexivity is a method whereby people are recorded in their everyday communications and practices. Excerpts of these recordings are then played back to the people recorded so that they can see their practices from an outsider perspective. In this way, they become part of the research not only for data collection, but also for data analysis. From an interpretive stance, the advantage of this method is that the researcher does not simply impose his interpretations on the data, but also actively tries to involve the participants in this process. 


Suzanne Suggs: The contribution of quantitative research methods in communication management consulting

Suzanne Suggs, Professor of Social Marketing at USI Università della Svizzera italiana (CH), introduces quantitative research and explaines how organizations can benefit from quantitative tools and from big data to understand and tackle corporate communication problems. Watch the interview.

Suggested references for practitioners:

  • Tucker, B. and Lowe, A. (2014), Practitioners are from Mars; academics are from Venus?, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27, Issue 3, 394-425

  • Richter, J. P., McAlearney, A. S., and Pennell, M. L. (2014), The influence of organizational factors on patient safety: Examining successful handoffs in health care, Health Care Management Review


Davide Ravasi: Organization's identity in communication management consulting

Davide Ravasi, Professor of Management at Cass Business School in London (UK),  illustrates the relevance of understanding organizations’ identity in communication management consulting and the skills needed to understand and properly manage the identities of organizations. Watch the interview.

Suggested references for practitioners:

  • Ravasi, D., and Phillips, N. (2011), Strategies of alignment: Organizational identity management and strategic change at Bang & Olufsen. Strategic Organization, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 103-135

  • Canato, A., and Ravasi, D. (2015), Managing long lasting cultural changes, Organizational Dynamics (available online)

  • Collins, J. C., and Porras, J. I. (1996), Building your company's vision, Harvard business review, Vol. 74, Issue 5, 65-77


EMScom news

Next EMScom Excellence-in-communications Lecture to focus on communication crafting to accentuate the positive

At the 18th EMScom Excellence-in-communications Lecture, that will take place on March 12, 2015 at Swiss Life in Zurich, John Hayes, Emeritus Professor of Change Management at Leeds University Business School (UK), will present the theme Crafting communication to accentuate the positive. Hayes will illustrate how communication can be designed to emphasize the positive aspects of organizations and help people focus on what is good and working well in organizational life. Registrations are open.


Read more


Want to know more about EMScom? Join our online information sessions

Interested in knowing more about EMScom? Join our next online information session taking place on February 13, 2015. Interested candidates will have the opportunity to interact with the management team, asking questions through a live chat.


EMScom Alumni news

EMScom alumni career advancement

Carolin Hoyer (EMScom16), former Issues and Corporate PR Officer at Unilever, has been appointed Corporate Brand & Sustainable Business Manager at Unilever.

Andrea Holenstein (EMScom12), owner of former Holenstein Communications Consulting, is now offering her services under the new label Greenfocus Communications.


A new Board elected to take the EMScom Alumni Association into the future

Eight new Board members were elected by the membership to serve a two-year term during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the EMScom Alumni Association, which took place on January 29 in Zurich. The AGM was preceded by the keynote presentation: "Challenges of corporate publishing - the modern art of PR cooperation" with Jon Bollmann, EMScom8, editor of Transhelvetica, the Swiss magazine for travel and culture, and Andreas Heinzer, Head of Market Communication Sales, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.

Read more


Joy and pain of a doctoral journey: Heinz Brodbeck, EMScom6, shares his view on his doctoral studies

Are you considering embarking on a doctoral thesis project? The retrospective paper based on Heinz Brodbeck's, EMScom6, presentation in Zurich last June is now available at https://strathclyde.academia.edu/HeinzBrodbeck. He shares learning’s, experiences and highlights of his own doctoral journey and also some helpful hints for those thinking about doctoral studies.



Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:15 pm CET

Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 05:30 pm CET


Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 08:00 am CET





Academic partners

Singapore Management University

Corporate partner

Burson Marsteller

Institutional partners

Global Alliance