The ROCCS research cluster connects researchers of various disciplines who aim to address the dynamic interplay of organizations, media, and publics. The role of organizations continues to change and adjust to contemporary societal challenges. Modern organizations of any kind have to manage (corporate) responsibility, reputation, and risks, deal with issues of diversity and inclusion, digitalization, and balance a range of power relations. Our cluster’s research focuses on and benefits multinational enterprises, small and medium enterprises, platform organizations, start-ups, non-profit organizations, governmental institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
The first aim of this interdisciplinary research cluster is to contribute to theoretical developments and add to European-based research in the field of organizational communication. The second aim is to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and to make valuable contributions to organizational practice through qualitative and quantitative empirical research and by developing business cases.
Research as part of the ROCCS cluster focuses on the following overarching and interconnected themes:
- Responsibility. Cluster members study communication regarding organizations’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability efforts. The emergence of social media has meant an increase in organizational transparency and diverse stakeholders now have a platform to hold organizations accountable for their actions, including their treatment of employees, consumers, and society at large. Research topics under this theme include, for example, CSR communication, crisis communication, corporate reputation, organizational reflexivity, work ethics, workers’ rights and well-being, and stereotypes and biased behaviour in the workplace.
- Digitalization. Digital technologies and innovation play a significant role in organizational performance. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Distributed Ledger Technologies (e.g., Blockchain), amongst others, are continuously evolving, creating new opportunities to organize and do business. Part of this development are social media platforms: not only do these platforms support communication and collaboration processes, but they also enable and facilitate new ways of working. Members of this cluster study the implementation and consequences of adopting digital technologies in organizational and communication practices, as well as how this may lead to new opportunities.
- Diversity. This cluster studies workplace diversity in its broadest definition. The last decades have seen a rapid increase in cross-national organizational forms and practices such as multinational enterprises, global collaboration, and outsourcing. Broader societal changes include global migration patterns and an increasing freedom to be who one is and identify as. This has meant that organizations accommodate a more diverse workforce and publics. Research topics under this theme include, for example, intercultural communications, social identities, ageing workforce, discrimination, and integration of immigrants in the workforce.
- Relations. Organizations need to build and maintain relationships with an increasingly complex network of stakeholders, including their workers, competitors, collaborators, subsidiaries, consumers, governments, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, the general publics, and media. Under this broad theme, this cluster’s research projects analyse employee engagement, organizational citizenship behaviour, social identification in the workplace, consumer engagement and identification, (online) social networks, and organizational listening.
- Power. The history of organizations shows that the role of organizations and workplaces in everyday life changes over time. Such changes are often connected to larger social phenomena and events, and societal attitudes towards work and personal life. Organizations are not just subject to such phenomena and attitudes but are also equipped to (subtly) exert influence over them. Similarly, trends in power over and in organizational processes (e.g., leadership and management) and the role of employees continue to be areas of interest for research. These topics, as well as ethical organizational practices, are the subject of study for cluster members.
- Uncertainty. Societal changes and organizational changes go hand in hand. Such changes provide opportunities, but also generate uncertainty and risk. The role of organizational communication in phenomena that are especially susceptible to increased risk and uncertainty lies at the heart of this theme. This includes topics that pose clear questions with regards to risk, such as crises, but it also relates to organizational (communicative) responses and approaches to emerging markets, corporate activism, new approaches to organizing, risk and strategic communication, as well as other organizational changes.
This set of themes guide the research that is conducted as part of this cluster. Our international team of researchers approach their work from different perspectives and apply both quantitative and qualitative methods to gain insight into a range of organizational phenomena.
If you have any questions about this cluster, please contact Tessa Oomen.