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Communicating Under the Regimes of Divergent Ideas: How Public Agencies in Sweden Manage Tensions Between Transparency and Consistency

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Magnus Fredriksson
L. Edwards
Publicerad i Management Communication Quarterly
ISSN 0893-3189
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMG)
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1177/0893318919859478
Ämnesord consistency, organizational institutionalism, translation, transparency
Ämneskategorier Ekonomi och näringsliv, Kommunikationsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

In this article we draw on Scandinavian institutionalism to argue that ideas act as imperatives for organizations’ communication, whereby differences between ideas can generate tensions that organizations must manage. We focus on transparency and consistency, ideas that frequently underpin organizational communication, but are mobilized by different problems and offer different solutions. An analysis of communication policy and strategy documents in 188 Swedish public agencies shows how transparency and consistency coexist, but are translated into local settings in divergent ways. The resulting tensions relate to the purpose of communication, roles of organizational actors and of media, and stakeholder identities. Tensions are managed using three strategies: firewalling, ranking, and compromising. The findings show that ideas are fundamental to organizational communication, but that organizations also contribute to transformations and hybridizations of ideas. We suggest further analyses of interactions among institutions, organizations, and communication, particularly of how the translations of ideas generate tensions that must be resolved. © The Author(s) 2019.

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