Rivera Prieto, Juan Carlos

Investigador Predoctoral
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First Name
Juan Carlos
Last Name
Rivera Prieto
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Organización de Empresas y Márketing
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Organización de Empresas
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PhD programs
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  • Publication
    Strategic communication: a key lever for stakeholder engagement in uncertain environments
    (2023) Rivera Prieto, Juan Carlos; Larrañeta Gómez-Caminero, Bárbara; López Cabrales, Álvaro
    This dissertation investigates the role of strategic communication by organizational leaders and stakeholder engagement in uncertain environments. Specifically, it explores how organizational leaders employ various communication strategies stories, frames, signals, and discursive strategies to achieve organizational objectives, such as gaining legitimacy, raising financial resources, and competitively positioning the organization effectively relative to its competitors. The dissertation further delves into the strategic purposes of communication in uncertain environments, characterized by the absence of pattern, unpredictability, and unexpected change. In these uncertain environments, strategic communication functions as a crucial conduit for mitigating uncertainty and maintaining stakeholder trust in the organization's ability to navigate these environments. Notably, the dissertation explores strategic communication in two distinct uncertain environments characterized by high information asymmetries and conflicts of interest among actors. First, the Initial Public Offering (IPO) process for new ventures presents an environment of uncertainty due to the limited track record of new ventures. This uncertainty makes strategic communication paramount for building trust and securing stakeholder engagement. However, the literature lacks a comprehensive, integrative framework that encompasses the entirety of the IPO process and considers the heterogeneity of stakeholders. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust organizations into uncertainty, necessitating swift strategic shifts and re-evaluation of stakeholder relationships. Amid the crisis, strategic communication has emerged as a crucial tool to foster stakeholder engagement, alignment with organizational goals, and resilience. However, the research points out the lack of in-depth understanding of how leaders' rhetorical frames facilitate turnaround and human resource strategies to engage stakeholders. This dissertation tackles significant gaps in existing research through a systematic literature review, qualitative analysis, and quantitative research methods. It takes a holistic approach, integrating literature from various disciplines (strategic management, entrepreneurship, human resource management, economics, and social psychology), focusing on several types of strategic communication (e.g., signals, discursive frames, narratives), various types of stakeholders (e.g., investors, employees, infomediaries), and two types of organizations throughout the organizational lifecycle (i.e., newly public ventures and established public firms). This dissertation substantively advances the study of strategic communication within uncertain environments, enhancing understanding of its pivotal role in stakeholder engagement, both internal and external. It highlights the importance of understanding stakeholder needs and motivations, and reveals that various stakeholders may interpret communication strategies differently depending on the specific context. Thus, it emphasizes the power of strategic communication in conveying information, illustrating its guiding role in shaping stakeholder attention and engagement. This dissertation offers critical insights for leaders, boards, and communication coaches, and sets a new agenda for future research in strategic communication within uncertain environments and stakeholder engagement. Overall, this dissertation advances our understanding of the critical role of strategic communication in engaging stakeholders in uncertain environments, provides valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners, and offers directions for future research.