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Communication Ethics in a Connected World

Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication

Edited By Andrea Catellani, Ansgar Zerfass and Ralph Tench

What are the main ethical challenges for strategic communication and public relations professionals today? How can researchers help in understanding and dealing with these challenges in a complex and interconnected world? This book offers some answers to these questions, based on contributions by researchers from different European countries and other continents. The chapters of the first section focus on general concepts about communication and public relations ethics as well as corporate social responsibility. Three sections then deal with: the specific situation of communication and PR ethics in various European countries; the evolution of ethical skills of communication professionals; and the interaction between communication ethics and the public sphere. The final two sections offer insights on recent research in public relations, like employee communication and engagement, mentoring in public relations and the evolution of media relations and social media communication.
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Strategic Employee Communication – What Does it Really Mean? Towards Responsible Dialogue as a Missing Piece


Strategic Employee Communication – What Does it Really Mean?

Towards Responsible Dialogue as a Missing Piece

Elisa JUHOLIN, Leif ÅBERG & Pekka AULA

University of Helsinki, Finland

This chapter deals with strategic communication in the context of work organisations, from the point of view of employees. The starting point is the shift or turn towards a more active role of employees in strategic organisational communications. New operating and communication environments foster extended discussion about the role of contemporary communication models and their validity. Also, changes in working life and strategic management, as well as in communication practices and in perceptions of peoples’ communication roles, call for a wider point of view. The article suggests that responsible dialogue completes the communication palette. It emphasizes everyone’s duties and rights in communication by giving opportunities to participate and influence, and to strengthen commitment and engagement. The final objective is to empower organisations into better decisions, innovations and performance.


Any organization’s most valuable resource is its staff (Human Relations school, e.g. Lewin, 1943; Barnard, 1938/1968; Mayo, 1933/2003).

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it (Drucker, 1955/1984).

Every employee is a reputation ambassador or someone who can destroy the reputation of the company (Aula & Mantere, 2008).

Every employee is a communicator (Juholin, 2007a, 2007b; Heide & Simonsson, 2011).

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