Organizational Communication & Reputation

This specialization belongs to the master's programme Communication Studies.


When people cannot reach a goal on their own, they look for help and organize themselves in groups. In the complex society we live in, such organizations are among the most important social groups in our lives. We buy things from organizations. We receive services from organizations. We work in organizations. This specialization explores the functioning of organizations from a communicative perspective, because organizing involves communication-based activities like collaboration, leadership, negotiation, decision-making, and building relationships. When societies and organizations change, this inevitably calls for rethinking and redoing communication. In this master specialization, students learn to ask the right questions and do challenging research to understand communicative processes within and around organizations. In that way, they will be able to strategically advise organizations on how to handle the complex situations they are dealing with today.


Organizations are constantly changing. With the lack of fixed structures, communication is the force that binds things together. Relevant changes in modern organizations include ‘new ways of working’, reorganizations and mergers, networked collaborations, and the introduction of new technologies in the workplace (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics). Such developments call for leadership and attention to communication processes. At the same time organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of facilitating employees’ personal development, contributing to their feelings of attachment with the organization, and creating and maintaining a fruitful organizational identity.

Examples of questions we address are:

  • How do ‘new ways of working’ affect employee identification with the organization?
  • What are the effects of the introduction of robotics on employees’ work meaning?
  • How is leadership constituted by communicative behaviours?
  • How do organizations effectively implement new strategies?
  • What are success and fail factors of mergers between organizations?


The success of organizations depends to a large extent to their relationships with internal or external stakeholders: employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, the government and the media, to mention a few. In these times of unprecedented transparency and a complicated and ever-evolving media landscape, organizations must try to build and maintain good relationships with all relevant stakeholders and secure a stable and respected position in society. Organizations must actively manage their reputation, decide how they relate to sustainability and social responsibility, and find way to balance self-interests with the interests of other stakeholders, for instance using public relations and public affairs.

Examples of questions we address are:

  • How do organization members present themselves to their outside world?
  • How can organizations deal with scandals and crises to protect their reputation?
  • How can organizations get into a dialogue with external stakeholders like local, national, or international governments by means of public affairs or lobbying?
  • What are innovative ways to start a company in the context of societal transformations?

Programme structure


First semester

Second semester

Note: The range of specialization courses and the block in which the courses are offered may vary from one academic year to the next. No rights may be derived from the information.

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