External Interfaces of Communication Management. Cooperation with Communication Agencies and other Service Providers

Time span
October 2017 to September 2020
Leadership Prof. Dr. Ulrike Röttger
Dr. Christian Wiencierz
Funding Akademische Gesellschaft für Unternehmensführung und Kommunikation
Keywords strategic communication, external interfaces, digitalisation, service providers, communication agencies, agile management, trust.


External service providers and partners such as consultants and communication agencies play an important role in the organization and success of organizations’ strategic communication. So far, the cooperation between organizations’ communication departments and external service providers was investigated only by an economic point of view. The result is a lack of theoretical and empirical approaches in the field communication science.
The new research project, led by Prof. Röttger and Dr. Wiencierz, investigates the question, how current and future collaborations between communication departments and external service providers are shaped. Particularly important is the question, how organizations’ changing internal structures for coordinating and cooperating are effecting the structures and processes of cooperation with external providers (cue: agile management).


To identify external interfaces we will conduct explorative expert interviews with communicators from diverse enterprises. The project focuses on the perspective of members of corporate communication as the principal as well as on the perspective of service providers as the agent. To analyze relationships identified in the first study in detail, we will conduct further qualitative interviews with members of enterprises and service providers. Key issues of the interviews will be trust, digitalization and agility.