Moving from Strategy to Corporate Communication

34 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2016

See all articles by Professor Kelly Kingsly

Professor Kelly Kingsly

Independent; Regional Advisory Commision on Financial Markets; Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Students; Copperstone University ; Charisma university; University of Yaounde II ; Harvard kennedy school

Date Written: August 5, 2016

Abstract

The concept of strategy has evolved substantially in the past thirty years. Organisations have learned to analyze their immediate competitive environment, define their current position, develop competitive and corporate advantages, and understand weaknesses and threats to sustaining advantage in the face of challenging threats. Different approaches including industrial organization, the resource-based view, dynamic capabilities, and game theory have helped academics and practitioners understand the dynamics of competition and develop recommendations on how organisations should redefine their competitive and corporate strategies, corporate communication included. However, drivers such as globalization, deregulation, or technological change, just to mention a few, are profoundly changing the competitive game. Scholars and practitioners agree that the fastest growing organisations in this new environment appear to have taken advantage of these structural changes to compete “differently” and innovate in their business models. What about the Douala Stock Exchange?

His Excellency Mr. Paul BIYA, President of the Republic, in ordering the creation of a financial market in Cameroon, endowed the financial system, which was until then composed of banks, financial establishments and microfinance institutions, with a modern tool to finance the economy. Thus by rationalising the economic system and putting the country on course to become an emerging nation by 2035.

The ambitions of the Douala Stock Exchange (D.S.X) are: To establish the DSX as an attractive place for savers and to introduce the idea of Stock Market finance into the managerial culture of companies in Cameroon; To make the DSX an essential component of the economy of Cameroon; To make a contribution to the growth and development of Cameroonian companies by allowing them to adopt and implement wider ambitions and achieve more quickly their objectives of development into international markets; To participate in the wider diffusion of a culture of transparency and sound corporate governance; To make a contribution to the dematerialisation of financial assets; To make a contribution to increase awareness of Cameroon on international markets.

The Stock Exchange of Cameroon or the Stock Exchange or the Douala Stock Exchange or the DSX was created by, and is organised in accordance with the provisions of Law N° 99/015 of the 22nd December, 1999. The Stock Exchange of Cameroon shall be sole agent authorised to carry out the trade of stocks, shares, transferable securities and other investment products. The Stock Exchange of Cameroon shall be charged with organising the trade of transferable securities and other investment products registered in any of its departments. To this effect, it shall take upon itself the exclusive rights to regulate: access to the market; admission to quotation; organisation of transactions and the markets; suspension of negotiations; recording and publication of negotiations; conclusion of transactions.

The Stock Exchange shall monitor the legality of the operations carried out by the stockbrokers (Investment Service Providers or PSIs) acting as negotiators – compensators or by any persons acting on their behalf. It shall ensure especially the legality of negotiations during trading sessions. The Stock Exchange undertakes to inform the Financial Markets Commission of any irregularities, disrespect of market regulations, collusion between two or more participants or any other abnormality likely to negatively affect the integrity of the market. The Financial Markets Commission has sole powers to carry out investigations of the Investment Service Providers concerned or any other persons or body that cause, by their behaviour, a risk to be run by the Stock Exchange. This draft of the project aims at positioning the Douala Stock Exchange within the financial market of the CEMAC sub region.

The concept of strategy is well-known in management theory and practice. The key issue that should unite all discussion of strategy is a clear sense of an organization’s objectives and a sense of how it will achieve these objectives. However, the concept of ‘corporate communication strategy’ has received little attention in the public relations (corporate communication) body of knowledge. There is mention of a strategic role for the corporate communication practitioner, but few explanations or descriptions of what corporate communication strategy means in a strategic organisational context. Van Riel (1995:142) is of the opinion that academic knowledge with regard to the strategic management of an organisation’s communication is relatively limited. Although the corporate communication industry acknowledges that strategy should be an integral part of its communication programmes, few practitioners seem to understand the meaning of strategy. There are those who equate strategy with planning. According to this perspective, information is gathered, sifted and analysed, forecasts are made, senior managers reflect upon the work of the planning department and decide what is the best course for the organization. This is a top-down approach to strategy. Others have a less structured view of strategy as being more about the process of management. According to this second perspective, the key strategic issue is to put in place a system of management that will facilitate the capability of the organization to respond to an environment that is essentially unknowable, unpredictable and, therefore, not amenable to a planning approach.

Strategy and the communications world, and particularly the public relation (PR) part of that world, just do not seem to go together. It is certainly unusual to come across a memorable, cogent, sustained, and effective communications strategy. Not a brand strategy. Not a marketing strategy. Not an advertising strategy, a communication strategy (Tibble 1997:356).

After conducting a study on the professional views of corporate communication practitioners in the Netherlands, Van Ruler (1997:263) concluded that practitioners are not able to cope with abstract strategic planning practices. The key problem seems to lie in the application of ‘strategy’ to corporate communication issues. The purpose of this paper is therefore to stimulate debate on the meaning of the concept ‘strategy’ in a corporate communication context, as called for by Tibble (1997:358).

Firstly, as a meta-theoretical framework, the historical ‘shareholder’ and ‘corporate social responsibility/performance’ perspectives on management will be outlined, as well as the more recent ‘stakeholder’ and ‘corporate community’ approaches to strategic management. Secondly, the strategic management literature will be explored to gain insight into the meaning of the concept ‘strategy’. Thirdly, the strategic role of corporate communication and the use/meaning of the term ‘strategy’ within the public relations literature will be described. Fourthly, a conceptualisation and operationalisation of ‘corporate communication strategy’ will be provided.

Keywords: Communication, strategy, capital market, stock exchange, policy, infrastructure, development, budget deficit

Suggested Citation

Kingsly, Professor kelly and Kingsly, Professor kelly and Kingsly, Professor kelly, Moving from Strategy to Corporate Communication (August 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818848 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2818848

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