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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


BARKER, Rachel  and  SLABBERT, Yolandi. Towards shared meaning: Inline communication media as change agent for sustainable strategic stakeholder relationships. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2018, vol.58, n.4-1, pp.841-859. ISSN 2224-7912.

The accelerated capacity of the media can be to the advantage or disadvantage of individuals. From an organisational communication perspective, it is argued that shared knowledge through inline communication media could contribute towards sustainable strategic stakeholder relationships. To achieve this, this article is addressed from the Communicate Constitution of Organisations (CCO) school of thought as foundation with a specific focus on the knowledge management perspective as multidisciplinary approach to create shared knowledge and meaning. From a knowledge management perspective, it is argued that inline communication media could be used as change agent to create this meaning and awareness. For the purpose of this article, inline communication media refers to the integration of online and offline interactive communication between the organisation and stakeholders and the move towards shared meaning through cross-mediality for sustainable stakeholder relationship building. According to Larghi, Lemus, Moguillansky and Welschinger (2015:22) the integration of actions and behaviour are valuable to understand strategic stakeholders and it could be used as a manner to systematically change how they add meaning to reality. This underlines the need for an approach to combine online and offline interactive media to strengthen strategic stakeholder relationships. In line with the CCO school of thought, it is argued that connectivity, which creates perceptions over time, space and relationships, allows individuals to move from the digital to the physical envrionment and back (Larghi et al. 2015:28). Inline communication media therefore creates various cross-channel touch points to strengthen communication to apply relationship management with strategic stakeholders to the advantage of the organisation. An important aspect is the movement towards shared knowledge which, from an organisational communication perspective, differ from the mere transfer of information through the media to make provision for the continuous change in the new and social media context. This article addresses this gap to move from information transfer through the media towards shared information where inline communication media is used as change agent to create shared knowledge, meaning, innovative collaboration and problem-solving to contribute towards sustainable relationship building with strategic stakeholders. This article provides a two-fold contribution: Firstly, from an organisational communication viewpoint, this article proposes a new perspective where inline communication media could be used as change agent for the transfer of shared meaning; and secondly, that this shared meaning, made possible through knowledge management, could contribute towards strengthening the organisation's relationships with strategic stakeholders.

Keywords : knowledge sharing; knowledge transfer; shared meaning; inline communication media; strategic stakeholders; stakeholder relationships; Communicative Constitution of Organisations (CCO).

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