Catching up with... dr. Yijing Wang

With a Master degree and a PhD from RSM in the field of corporate communication and corporate reputation management, Dr. Yijing Wang has been familiar with Erasmus University for quite a while. “It’s been about 10 years,” she says about her studies and work here in Rotterdam. In her current position as Assistant Professor at ESHCC, Yijing further researches the field of corporate communication and teaches Media & Communication students in both the Bachelor (IBCoM) and the Master programmes (Media Studies).

Yijing has been in the Department of Media & Communication since the start of this academic year (2015-2016). In the next few months, she will be focusing a bit more on her research ambitions. With her being fairly new in the department and its research centre ERMeCC, she explains what her research entails and where her interests lay.

Researching corporate communication and social responsibility

“My research in general is about organizational and corporate communication. Within this field I have two specializations: One is in corporate reputation management. It includes analyzing the formation and determinants of corporate reputation, assessing the value and consequences of corporate reputation strategies, identifying reputational change process, among others.”

“The other specialization is in corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Nowadays, many organisations spend a lot of money and effort promoting their green core values. However, it does not always turn out to be effective. Sometimes it is even recognized as window dressing or green washing by the general public. In my research, I investigate to what extent these efforts devoted to sustainability are beneficial to organisations and how organizations can align the interests of stakeholders with their objectives.”

In studying the impacts of corporate reputation management, Yijing looks at different roles, for instance of social media and corporate communication strategies. “How could they play a role and help an organization achieve a coherent strategy?” Yijing has great interest in such questions, and looks at it from the managerial and marketing perspective. Furthermore, her research has a cross-sectional approach, which allows her to look at different industries and investigate how organisations behave differently across them. This enables her to research whether these differences also result in a different outcome as well.

To broaden her perspective on her field as much as possible, Yijing works on other projects that contribute to her research. “An effective crisis management, for instance, may contribute to enhancing corporate reputation. In another project, I look specifically at different kinds of crisis scenarios an organisation encounters, and how that would lead to particular consequences at the corporate level.”

Upcoming

“You can find the deadlines which I need to meet for conferences and journals on the wall in my office. A lot of work in summer! Two upcoming conferences: one in Zurich in summer for Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility, and the other in London in October for Corporate Associations Research Group. I’m going to present my projects there.” Yijing has become very fond of conferences since her first experience. ”It is very inspiring to meet colleagues who are doing research in the same field, and learn from each other.”

Other than the conferences Yijing is preparing for, she writes articles for management journals, and communication journals related to reputation management. Examples are the Journal of Business Ethics, specialised in social responsibility and sustainability, and Corporate Reputation Review, an aspired journal in reputation management. Ambitious as she is, she is now also aiming at other communication journals.

Interactivity in IBCoM

So far, Yijing has taught four courses in the department, all fitting well in the organisation and corporate communication context. “I really enjoyed the Research Workshop Corporate Reputation Management for Master Media Studies. It was the first course that I developed at this department. It was a joyful experience to put my thoughts and knowledge together for this course and see how the students react to it.”

Seeing students participate and interact enthusiastically is what she most enjoys. “I taught a tutorial group for Organizations and Communication for IBCoM Bachelor 1 students. It was a very good experience. The group was highly engaged. They often brought innovative thoughts and different perspectives to class. I appreciated their activeness in participating in discussions. When everyone’s viewpoints and perspectives are put together for a comparison, a whole new angle may be discovered. It makes the discussion in class critical and fruitful.”

More information

Photo by Roy Borghouts