A meta-theoretical framework for the role of the corporate communication strategist

10 Jul 2008

The aim of this research is to provide a meta-theoretical framework for the conceptualisation of the role of the corporate communication strategist. The latter has previously been conceptualised by the author as a role at the top management or macro level of the organisation. It entails gathering, interpreting and disseminating strategic intelligence on stakeholders and issues amongst decision-makers (obtained by means of environmental scanning) - to be used as input in the organisation's strategy formulation processes. The problem addressed in this research is the changing role of business in society and how the corporate communication function could assist the organisation in achieving a balance between commercial imperatives and socially responsible behaviour. Seven approaches to the role of business in society are identified and discussed. It is suggested that the meta-theoretical approach to the conceptualisation of the role of the strategist is a synthesis of six of these approaches, namely the social responsibility/ethical approach, corporate social responsiveness approach, the corporate social performance approach, the stakeholder approach, the issues approach and the corporate community approach.