Our friend and colleague Johan Jacobsen is currently visiting ISK. He is a PhD-student at the Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University, where he specializes in crisis communication. He held a highly interesting presentation at our department last week as part of ISK:s research seminar series. As a visiting scholar on ISK:s own turf, I figured it would be suitable to interview the fella. So here’s a very short interview with Johan.
So, who are you?
My name is Johan Hjorth Jacobsen and I am a PhD Fellow at the Department of Business Communication (BCOM) at Aarhus University in Denmark. I used to work as a practitioner in a corporate communication function, as well as teaching part-time at BCOM, before I became a PhD Fellow. My visit to ISK is a part of my three-year fellowship, as it is a tradition in Denmark. We are supposed to find inspiration and new networks in foreign research environments during our training to become researchers, so we go abroad in search of new knowledge. I chose to come to ISK because of the interesting research that takes place here, as well at the friendly relationship between several researchers from ISK and BCOM in Aarhus.
Tell us about your current research.
My current research is driven by the interest in creating knowledge about how organizational members perceive crises, and how these perceptions are influenced by, and influence, the crisis communication of the organization.
Why did you chose this particular subject?
I wrote my masters thesis in the field of crisis communication. And from my experience as a practitioner, as well as my knowledge of the crisis literature, I know that too much attention is given to what an organization should do in case of a crisis. I want to contribute to the growing literature in which the crisis understanding is processual and knowledge is also based on subjective perceptions.
What do you think of ISK as a research environment?
ISK and BCOM in Aarhus share many similarities, the most important of these for a visiting PhD Fellow is a good balance between widely published senior researchers and doctoral candidates. And while I came here because I know of your more published colleagues and their research, I have also
enjoyed the company and suggestions of the other doctoral candidates. I think that you enjoy an open communication climate here at ISK, where all colleagues are accessible and friendly, and I like to believe that this too is the case in Aarhus. And as most Danes do, I easily feel right at home here in Skåne.
What do you think of the future of crisis communication? Where is it headed?
I think that the interests of crisis communication researchers are so diverse that it is impossible to point out one stream of research as the most important. However, I think that the field will continue to grow at conferences and in journals, as more scholars are dedicated to doing crisis communication research. I also believe that the current interest in revisiting the assumptions in crisis communication for new inspiration, as well as getting inspiration from organizational theory and other developing fields of communication research, will continue. And I am sure that the researchers here at ISK will continue to be a strong voice in the field.