Università della Svizzera italiana Faculty of Communication Sciences ./index.htm

Corporate Communication, Reputation & Identity

Corporate communication research at IMCA deals with three main areas of research: How stakeholders influence organizations and how organizations manage their relationships with stakeholders, how organizational identities evolve and impact the way in which organizations operate and communicate and how corporate image and reputation are formed and change.


Stakeholder management traditionally has been at the core of public relations and corporate communication management as what is often called the outside-in perspective. At IMCA we have looked at how organizations communicate with stakeholders in the area of CSR, for instance, and in what way stakeholders have an impact on the identity of an organization. Recently we have shifted our interest to stakeholder segmentation, looking at the role of ethnocentricity, for example. Utilizing recent fieldwork findings, we are currently exploring new ways of segmenting stakeholders, using techniques that allow us to identify how stakeholders influence each other.



Alongside the outside-in perspective, corporate communication is characterized by the inside-out perspective: To prosper, an organization needs to know and nourish its soul. Research in this area has increased tremendously, bridging efforts between organizational and marketing studies. At IMCA we have worked on topics such as identity change, the role of social capital in organizational identification and identity formation in regional communities. Regarding this latter area of interest, we are currently working on identity communication by regional entities and cluster firms.


Image and reputation

Corporate communication, through its outside-in and inside-out activities influences an organization’s image and reputation. At IMCA we have recently focused our research on trying to understand what are the factors that make reputation resistant to change. Special attention is given to the social-cognitive factors, given the increasing interest in understanding the micro-foundations of reputation.



Current research projects:


Head of research area
Francesco Lurati
Professor in Corporate Communication
Email: francesco.lurati@usi.ch
Phone: +41 58 666 4582