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Transboundary and Cultural Crisis Communication

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Abstract

The dominant paradigm in traditional crisis communication research is linked to functionalism, rationalism and modernity. This paradigm leads researchers and practitioners to focus on preparation, monitoring, control measures, plans and dissemination of mass information. In traditional research there has also been a tendency to emphasize crisis communication in a homogenous, and often national, setting. In this chapter the rationalistic and monophonic view on crisis communication is questioned, using a transboundary and cultural communication perspective. In the first part of the chapter the concept of culture, linked to crisis, is discussed. Two possible cultural approaches, out of several, are then analyzed, and partly criticized: national culture and organizational culture. Then the concept of transboundary crisis communication, inspired by Boin (2010), is presented as a valid concept, integrating the cultural dimension. Meeting the contemporary communicative challenge is not easy but it definitively means developing a new mindset for communicators, accepting that communication cannot be controlled, that multiple strategies should be used and using decentralized communication systems where the closeness to different publics, cultures (in a broad sense) and arenas may lead to better communication. The chapter ends with a part about practical consequences that highlights three relevant approaches: need for increased diversity in organizations, a focus on relational communication as well as an opinion leadership strategy.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Strategic CommunicationLund UniversityHelsingborgSweden

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