Perspectives to responsibility in organizational communication

Convenors: Heidi Hirsto and Cecilia Hjerppe, University of Vaasa


Organizations today face complex social, environmental and economic issues as well as growing concerns and demands from different stakeholders. Stakeholder expectations often represent varying conceptions of how to be responsible and how responsibility should be communicated.

Responsibility can be seen as a cross-cutting area of organization and organizing, and responsibility perspectives have become prominent in different realms of organizational communication. Responsibility is addressed and constructed when communicating about corporate social responsibility efforts, but also through investor and public relations, marketing and branding, and internal communication. In addition to organizations’ own channels, the meanings of responsibility are shaped by stakeholders and publics in social and journalistic media, where messages from different sources abound and intersect. From another viewpoint, responsibility connects to how something is communicated; organizations are expected to disclose truthful information and follow norms and regulations, while also creating inspiring stories and imageries contributing to positive social change.

This thematic panel aims to advance a multifaceted approach to the intersections of organizational communication and responsibility. We call for presentations from different research perspectives, including but not limited to:

– communication as constitutive of organization (CCO)

– discourse and interaction in organizations and organizing

– identities of organizations and stakeholders

– gender, diversity and inclusivity in organizations / at work

– organizational transparency

– CSR communication

– brand / consumer / shareholder / corporate activism

– communication related to (ethical, sustainable, responsible) investing, marketing and consumption

– transformative and emancipatory potential of organizational communication.


The panel session will be organized via Zoom as roundtable discussions consisting of short presentations by participants, feedback by (peer) discussants, and general discussion.