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Corporate Communication

Critical Business Asset for Strategic Global Change

Michael Goodman and Peter B. Hirsch

The communication role in organizations has changed, just as the nature of organizations has changed in response to the explosion of new communication technologies as well as global networks within organizations. Communication is more complex, strategic, and vital to the health of the organization than it used to be, and it will become increasingly important in the information-driven economy. This book builds upon the authors’ 2010 book, Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice, which focused on the role of the communicator. This volume examines, analyzes, and illustrates the practice of corporate communication as a critical business asset in a time of global change. It looks at the major communication needs in the lifecycle of organizations: M&A (mergers and acquisitions), structural change, culture change, innovation, new leadership, downsizing, global expansion, competition, ethical decision-making, political action, and employee engagement. These are all significant value-creating, and potentially value-destroying, events in which corporate communication, if used correctly, functions as a critical and strategic business asset.
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Chapter Two: Corporate Communication as a Critical Business Asset in a Time of Global Change

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Corporate Communication as a Critical Business Asset in a Time of Global Change

This chapter discusses the critical thinking that enables executives to identify rapid changes in technology and in global business practices that require creative and strategic integration of knowledge to “connect the dots,” and then to develop effective action in response. Understanding and implementing four vital areas in communication and advocacy—public affairs, sustainability, consumer and data privacy, and the employment contract—establish the foundation for the communication strategy for the corporation.

Thinking about corporate communication as a business asset in today’s globalized economy, we find ourselves reflecting on significant recent changes. The first of these is the effectively complete integration of China into the global economy even as the specifically Chinese ways of funding companies and managing economic trends remain profoundly different. We are also now coping with a global ecosystem that is in many ways trending in exactly the opposite direction to where it was going prior to the onset of the “Great Recession” in 2008. Whereas the overall macro trend in the global economy between 2001 and 2007 seemed to be towards greater integration and increasing alignment in regulatory frameworks, the stresses of the recession have caused different countries and different regions to take divergent paths as they attempt to cope with unique local patterns of re-balancing. This reversal is most notable in the financial world, where Europe and the United States have taken distinct...

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