Master of Arts Kaisu Koivumäki
Faculty and research unit
University of Oulu Graduate School,
Faculty of Humanities,
Research Unit for History, Culture and Communications
Field of study
Date and time of the thesis defence
Place of the thesis defence
Remote access: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/62260100734
Topic of the dissertation
Fragmented Science Communication. Mapping the contemporary challenges of organizational science communication
Professor John C. Besley, Michigan State University
Professor Erkki Karvonen, University of Oulu
Insights into the contemporary challenges of organizational science communication
Although an increasing amount of science communication is being conducted within and from organizational settings, research on science communication in the organizational contexts is limited. Underexplored research areas include the internal relationships and the collaboration between communication professionals and researchers, who together constitute organizational science communication. Against this backdrop, the field’s scholars have recently suggested an ‘organizational turn’ in science communication research with a more scholarly emphasis on strategic communication and management of science-related communication from, about, and within research organizations.
This qualitative interview study presents an empirically driven analysis that increases understanding of the ways different orientations to strategic thinking appear in the contemporary challenges of organizational science communication in general, and particularly in the researchers’ and communication professionals’ perspectives on digital science communication. The conceptual framework of the study builds upon theories related to the research field of public communication of science and technology (PCST).
The thesis consists of three studies in one context, involving an inter-organizational BCDC Energy Research project (2015–2021), based at five different academic organizations in Finland. The studies present an analysis of semi-structured face-to-face interviews with researchers (n=17) and communication professionals (n=15), with the help of thematic analysis and Scandinavian institutionalism as analytical frameworks.
The study provides novel insight into the contemporary challenges of organizational science communication and new knowledge on how different strategic orientations appear unevenly in research organizations; the influences of the funding system on the practical execution of science communication; and the potential to develop organizational capacity for strategic science communication as community goals to enhance the collective impact.
Last updated: 9.2.2021