A Multidimensional Network Approach to Strategic Communication

Amy O’Connor, Michelle Shumate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In this article, we introduce a multidimensional network perspective as a theoretical and methodological touchstone for the study of strategic communication. The perspective embraces the various disciplinary traditions that are found under the strategic communication umbrella (e.g., advertising, corporate communication, organizational communication, and public relations) and gives primacy to communication as the constitutive element through which organizations make strategic decisions about network positioning and representation to stakeholders. We begin with an overview of the trends in strategic communication that suggest a network perspective is a viable and timely approach. Next, we present the underlying assumptions of a network perspective and identify the six network types applicable to strategic communication research and practice: activity coordination, affiliation, affinity, flow, representational, and semantic. Finally, we introduce a set of propositions to illustrate the heuristic value of the approach and lay the groundwork for future theorizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-416
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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