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Anty, Laura, 2017. Making sense of strategic communication from an organizational culture perspective : a case study of a French NGO dedicated to water protection. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Problem statement: According to Hansen and Cox (2015), there is a current need to comprehend the underlying reasons why strategic communication is interpreted the way it is by environmental practitioners. The present thesis is an attempt to answer to this knowledge gap by offering insights on an NGO informing and educating people to protect water.

Aim: The aim of this research was to understand how environmental practitioners from a French Non Governmental Organization (NGO) make sense of strategic communication, and how this sense-making might be influenced by organizational culture. To that end, two research questions have been answered: How do the organizational members make sense of strategic communication? and, How does this sense-making towards strategic communication relate to the culture of the organization?

Research design and method: A social constructivist approach has been applied due to the focus on sense-making of members - who are both a source and result of their work culture. Using open-ended interviews, all the members of the organization (nine in total) have been interviewed to collect a large and complete range of understandings regarding strategic communication and organizational culture and thus enrich my findings. In addition, a content analysis has been carried out to study the consistency or inconsistency between how the members talk about strategic communication and how they apply it. Hence, reports of activities, institutional brochures, leaflets, web pages and others communication tools have been analyzed.

Theoretical framework: Two key concepts, namely strategic communication and organizational culture, serve as theoretical framework for the present study.

Findings: The data analysis pointed out that the sense-making (meanings behind actions) of the NGO members are reflected in their way of implementing strategic communication. They talk about strategic communication as a transmission process for conveying information and design it accordingly. Moreover, the research revealed that the strategic communication carried out by the NGO was not only based on transferring information from a sender to a receiver (linear model) - therefore not adapted to current societal and environmental issues - but seemed also unstructured and undervalued. This predominant finding can be explained by the lack of internal cohesion and common vision present in the NGO, which is the reflect of the organizational culture. Thus, the relationship between what is going on within the organization (its culture) and the way strategic communication is applied was found to be of great importance in this study.

Research limitations and implications: The fact that the data have been collected from and analyzed by a single source (myself) can be considered as one. Additionally, although t the results of this research cannot be replicated to others organizations due to the uniqueness of organization culture, it might motivate others research to empirically reveal the link between work culture and strategic communication.

Main title:Making sense of strategic communication from an organizational culture perspective
Subtitle:a case study of a French NGO dedicated to water protection
Authors:Anty, Laura
Supervisor:Westin, Martin
Examiner:Nordström Källström, Helena
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:strategic communication, environmental communication, sense-making, organizational culture, environmental NGOs
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Deposited On:26 Jun 2017 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:26 Jun 2017 09:43

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