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A Framework for Strategic Communication Research : A Call for Synthesis and Consilience

Nothhaft, Howard LU (2016) In International Journal of Strategic Communication 10(2). p.69-86
Abstract

This essay suggests that the conceptualization of strategic communication as a field uniting several disciplines was an important step forward, but progress in absolute terms has been disappointing so far. Individual researchers open up new avenues of exploration and regularly arrive at answers to questions internally consistent with their respective perspectives. But the body of reasonably verified scientific knowledge that goes substantially beyond common sense remains underdeveloped. The author argues that biologist Edward O. Wilson identified the key characteristic of progressing fields correctly as consilience, i.e., the commitment to the unity of knowledge from physics to chemistry to biology and beyond: “a seamless web of cause... (More)

This essay suggests that the conceptualization of strategic communication as a field uniting several disciplines was an important step forward, but progress in absolute terms has been disappointing so far. Individual researchers open up new avenues of exploration and regularly arrive at answers to questions internally consistent with their respective perspectives. But the body of reasonably verified scientific knowledge that goes substantially beyond common sense remains underdeveloped. The author argues that biologist Edward O. Wilson identified the key characteristic of progressing fields correctly as consilience, i.e., the commitment to the unity of knowledge from physics to chemistry to biology and beyond: “a seamless web of cause and effect.” The article proposes that strategic communications research follow Wilson’s program, as other disciplines have done. For the field to mature, leading researchers need to work towards a consilient synthesis, i.e., a theoretical framework that contains nonrelativistic conjectures about the world which form a nucleus for research to accumulate around. It is furthermore necessary to reconnect strategic communication research to the rapidly progressing and highly relevant hybrid disciplines such as cognitive science and evolutionary psychology.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Consilience, Strategic Communication, Epistemology
in
International Journal of Strategic Communication
volume
10
issue
2
pages
18 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961878186
ISSN
1553-118X
DOI
10.1080/1553118X.2015.1124277
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5314ff33-16a2-4700-a65a-8ad71a514970
date added to LUP
2016-05-15 11:44:08
date last changed
2017-03-12 04:33:40
@article{5314ff33-16a2-4700-a65a-8ad71a514970,
  abstract     = {<p>This essay suggests that the conceptualization of strategic communication as a field uniting several disciplines was an important step forward, but progress in absolute terms has been disappointing so far. Individual researchers open up new avenues of exploration and regularly arrive at answers to questions internally consistent with their respective perspectives. But the body of reasonably verified scientific knowledge that goes substantially beyond common sense remains underdeveloped. The author argues that biologist Edward O. Wilson identified the key characteristic of progressing fields correctly as consilience, i.e., the commitment to the unity of knowledge from physics to chemistry to biology and beyond: “a seamless web of cause and effect.” The article proposes that strategic communications research follow Wilson’s program, as other disciplines have done. For the field to mature, leading researchers need to work towards a consilient synthesis, i.e., a theoretical framework that contains nonrelativistic conjectures about the world which form a nucleus for research to accumulate around. It is furthermore necessary to reconnect strategic communication research to the rapidly progressing and highly relevant hybrid disciplines such as cognitive science and evolutionary psychology.</p>},
  author       = {Nothhaft, Howard},
  issn         = {1553-118X},
  keyword      = {Consilience,Strategic Communication,Epistemology},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {69--86},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {International Journal of Strategic Communication},
  title        = {A Framework for Strategic Communication Research : A Call for Synthesis and Consilience},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1553118X.2015.1124277},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2016},
}