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The importance of mastering communication

10 September 2018
Disrupting markets through innovative messaging
In our knowledge-intensive and media-saturated economy, Associate Professor Eric Knight says it is vital for businesses and people to command the message and shape the markets in which they operate.

Research highlights with Eric Knight

Research by Associate Professor Eric Knight from the Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship focuses on the communication practices managers use to influence people inside and outside of their organisation.

US President Donald Trump’s unorthodox communications style, which includes late-night tweets and impromptu television appearances, reflects the latest corporate strategy of gaining power by delivering winning messages directly to consumers.

Dr Knight described Trump’s approach as both “innovative and extremely disruptive”. Trump has transformed the way in which politicians think about the power of their communication and message.

Uber is another interesting case study for thinking about the different ways in which communication can influence the fate of organisations. The company rose to success by building trust through technology and direct communication with users, but also fell victim to the #MeToo movement when aspects of its internal culture were aired through social media.

You can see how those who don’t hold power, whether they’re employees inside an organisation or small firms in large industries, can actually transform themselves by grasping the message in a very effective way.
Associate Professor Eric Knight

Dr Knight and his team have recently launched a new massive open online course (MOOC). Design strategy: Design thinking for business strategy and entrepreneurship looks at the challenges pioneering companies face with the aim of teaching students how to bring design thinking into their corporate strategy. To learn more about the course and enrol, visit Coursera.

Published work

Knight E R W, Paroutis S and Heracleous L, 2018, 'The power of Powerpoint: A visual perspective on meaning making in strategy', Strategic Management Journal, vol 39:3, pp 894-921

Knight E R W and Tsoukas H, 2018, ‘When Fiction Trumps Truth: What ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ mean for management studies’, Organization Studies


Listen to a podcast interview with Associate Professor Eric Knight about his research.

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