The role of physical metaphors for decision-making in integrated corporate communication

Siano, Alfonso, Vollero, Agostino, Volpe, Maddalena Della, Confetto, Maria Giovanna, Foroudi, Pantea ORCID logoORCID: and Palazzo, Maria (2018) The role of physical metaphors for decision-making in integrated corporate communication. The Bottom Line, 31 (1) . pp. 42-55. ISSN 0888-045X [Article] (doi:10.1108/bl-09-2017-0030)

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Purpose – The role of metaphors in information management has generally been acknowledged due to their ability to convey immediately huge amounts of information and richness. Their role is more and more important in the current digital context of communication and marketing activities, as the decision speed and accuracy are crucial. The aim of this study is thus to analyse physical metaphors as tools for making sequential decisions to achieve effective Integrated Corporate Communication (ICC).
Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on critical analysis of literature on corporate communication and stakeholder management as building blocks for implementing an integrated approach to corporate communications.
Findings – A revision of two well-known physical metaphors in the communication literature (the “wheel” and “umbrella”) has been proposed. It is argued that integrated communication within corporate communications is more complex than in marketing communications, since it involves a greater variety of elements to coordinate and harmonize. The proposed physical metaphors suggest an effective sequential decision-making as they allow a clear distinction between different decision levels.
Research limitations/implications – The paper adds to the debate on the link between theory and practice of ICC. From a practical standpoint, the proposed metaphors as simple and concrete tools for handling complex information and ICC problems could aid novice practitioners and students of corporate communications courses.
Originality/value – The paper shows that while scholars have concurred that integrated corporate communication is crucial for different type of organisations, the use of physical metaphors can be beneficial for the reality-based challenge of ICC.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Keywords (uncontrolled): General Business, Management and Accounting, Library and Information Sciences
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 23379
Notes on copyright: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is the accepted version of the manuscript "The role of physical metaphors for decision-making in integrated corporate communication", published in the journal The Bottom Line, available via the journal site at:
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 14:07
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:07

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