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Struggling with New Media and Old Expertise: Reconstructing the Professional Role of Communication Consultancy

von Platen, Sara LU (2016) In International Journal of Strategic Communication 10(5). p.353-367
Abstract
This study investigates how communication consultants struggle to reconstruct their professional role in the digital media landscape. The extant literature on professional roles in public relations has a tendency to render roles as static pregivens. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to contribute conceptually and empirically to role research by focusing on the process of “role-making” and how role actors purposefully engage in role construction in order to maintain legitimacy. The qualitative study of Scandinavian communication consultants reveals how these actors effectively refashion their role as expert advisors by describing the client and her problems, the competitors, their own knowledge and values. The role construct is... (More)
This study investigates how communication consultants struggle to reconstruct their professional role in the digital media landscape. The extant literature on professional roles in public relations has a tendency to render roles as static pregivens. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to contribute conceptually and empirically to role research by focusing on the process of “role-making” and how role actors purposefully engage in role construction in order to maintain legitimacy. The qualitative study of Scandinavian communication consultants reveals how these actors effectively refashion their role as expert advisors by describing the client and her problems, the competitors, their own knowledge and values. The role construct is supported by a narrative strategy and an epic storyline, where social media serves as a vehicle for self-definition and the consultancy role is framed and reinforced by social media. However, the jurisdictional claims of professional expertise and values that constitute the core of a consultant’s role construct are becoming increasingly difficult to sustain in a digital society. A critical reading of the consultants’ narrative thus implies that social media may in fact constitute a professional identity crisis rather than a consolidation of the expert role. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
International Journal of Strategic Communication
volume
10
issue
5
pages
15 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84979703426
ISSN
1553-1198
DOI
DOI: 10.1080/1553118X.2016.1204612
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
48baf085-2508-45b9-b08d-1e2b539d3b02
date added to LUP
2016-08-11 10:42:40
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:31:29
@article{48baf085-2508-45b9-b08d-1e2b539d3b02,
  abstract     = {This study investigates how communication consultants struggle to reconstruct their professional role in the digital media landscape. The extant literature on professional roles in public relations has a tendency to render roles as static pregivens. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to contribute conceptually and empirically to role research by focusing on the process of “role-making” and how role actors purposefully engage in role construction in order to maintain legitimacy. The qualitative study of Scandinavian communication consultants reveals how these actors effectively refashion their role as expert advisors by describing the client and her problems, the competitors, their own knowledge and values. The role construct is supported by a narrative strategy and an epic storyline, where social media serves as a vehicle for self-definition and the consultancy role is framed and reinforced by social media. However, the jurisdictional claims of professional expertise and values that constitute the core of a consultant’s role construct are becoming increasingly difficult to sustain in a digital society. A critical reading of the consultants’ narrative thus implies that social media may in fact constitute a professional identity crisis rather than a consolidation of the expert role.},
  author       = {von Platen, Sara},
  issn         = {1553-1198},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {353--367},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {International Journal of Strategic Communication},
  title        = {Struggling with New Media and Old Expertise: Reconstructing the Professional Role of Communication Consultancy},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/DOI: 10.1080/1553118X.2016.1204612 },
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2016},
}