Strategic Communication: Reflections on an Elusive Concept

Howard Nothhaft, Kelly Page Werder, Dejan Verčič, Ansgar Zerfass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


The article explores how strategic communication successfully established itself as an academic discipline despite (or perhaps because of) being centered on an elusive concept. Drawing on ideas about the evolution of academic disciplines proposed by Alexander M. Shneider, we argue that strategic communication is currently caught in a cycle of constant reinvention obscured by a discourse of emergence. Although the discipline is undoubtedly becoming more sophisticated, it is doubtful whether there is genuine progress. The authors examine facets of strategic communication that contribute to the current state of affairs. Although clearer conceptualization and a more realistic understanding of the discipline are identified as a prerequisite for maturation, progress—as opposed to sophistication—ultimately depends on the development of discipline-specific, unique, and robust methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-366
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 8

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Studies


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