Towards institutionalization of communication as a strategic function in organizations of Argentina, Lithuania and Spain

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This research paper discusses the degree of institutionalization of communication as a strategic managerial function to explore the different scopes and status achieved across countries and organizational sectors. Empirical work was conducted in Lithuania, Spain and Argentina, chosen as pioneers and regional leaders towards institutionalization through the establishment of the first university-level communication studies, national and worldwide networks of communication researchers and practitioners. Purposeful convenience sampling also ensured data collection through 61 semi-structured interviews with communication experts, senior managers and scholars from these countries, and a pilot survey with 20 Lithuanian communication specialists. The results suggest that CEOs in Argentina (70.6%) and Spain (65%) are more aware of the communication value, 60% communication specialists hold executive/senior positions. All this is 10-15% lower in post-communist countries. For 90% Lithuanian respondents, the CEO’s full understanding of communication is the number 1 factor affecting the institutionalization of communication, followed by the evolution of their profession in the country, which influences the perception of the communication function. Strengthening their role and status is the 4th priority for communication professionals in Europe and Argentina. This requires further education to fill a widening gap of data competencies and management skills, expressed by 69% of Spanish communicators, 75-87% in the former communist bloc, and 45% of seasoned Argentinean communicators. The empowerment of communication specialists remains highly dependent on the communicative competence and willingness of CEOs, who also need ad hoc executive education, which is more widely available in Spain and Argentina than in Lithuania.

Acknowledgment
This paper was written under the Lithuanian Research Council and European Investment Funds grant No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712, as part of the post-doctoral research project “Towards an assessment model for mission-based strategic communication excellence”.

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    • Conceptualization
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Data curation
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Formal Analysis
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Funding acquisition
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Investigation
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Methodology
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Validation
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Writing – original draft
      Mariana Sueldo
    • Writing – review & editing
      Mariana Sueldo