Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze changes in the descriptions and requirements of professional communicators in Swedish job advertisements between 1960 and 2010. Design/methodology/approach – Through a quantitative content analysis, this study approaches organizational requirement information in order to better understand changes in the description of the ideal candidate and professionalization. Findings – The results show that job titles have gradually become more specified and strategically orientated. Tactical qualifications dominated the first decades but operational and strategic skills were increasingly required in the material over the last two decades. Research limitations/implications – Even if job advertisements could expose the historical changes in expectations and demands on communicational professional practitioners, further studies could entail complementary material such as interviews with senior communications managers and headhunters. Practical implications – In order to be legitimized as a field of profession, scholars, teachers and practitioners need to create ideals and ideologies that can justify and defend business and education. This paper stimulates practitioners to reflect critically on such issues. Originality/value – The key contribution of this paper is to explicate how the image of communication practice and the demands on communication practitioners have changed during the last 50 years.
Journal of Communication Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 28, 2014
Keywords: Strategic communication; Historical study; Job advertisements; Professional communicators
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