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I've used previous editions of this text for several years in facilitating a graduate course in organizational communication. Pound for pound for it's the best textbook out there -- but not because it's completely comprehensive or fully compelling. Indeed, the text is an excellent resource for providing students -- especially those coming to communication from outside the field of study -- with a baseline of concepts and discussion from which to spring off of in exploring related ideas that are arguably far more central to contemporary organizational communication concerns, including Habermas and communication pragmatics, a deeper dive on Karl Weick's notion of sensemaking, and Giddens' theory of structuration -- all of which provide both much firmer ground and rationales for adopting approaches to communication that go well beyond the very American and at times bizarre fixation in this text on reputation as the end all, be all of organizational communication.
For sure, reputation is important, but the priority placed on reputation as a macro-level outcome is often extolled at the expense of the myriad practical puts and takes organizations face in producing that outcome -- such as understanding on the most fundamental level that communication is successful when those engaged in it are earnest in speaking to truth, using appropriate context and aiming at understanding that accords with the reality of the situation. Or in the collaborative way stakeholders self-organize to make sense of key issues and opportunities, etc. Or in the way organizations must balance the needs of the individual agency as over against the constraints of corporate structure and culture -- creating the very abrasion whence innovation and progress often come.
Unfortunately, Cornelissen also too often comes dangerously close to advocating for traditional PR spin, and generally is hesitant in making a strong case for why communicators -- viz. by training and natural inclination -- are a primary source of intelligence and strategy in the organization, providing the main support for the very CEOs Cornelissen himself describes as often operating in the dark when it comes understanding the organization in all its social and environmental complexity. This then results in an inherent tension running throughout the text, where on the one hand Cornelissen champions the role of the kind of high-functioning communicator just described, but then on the other -- and sometimes in the same breath(!) -- reverts to describing communications as a middle-level "function" in service of those higher up who presumably know better (just ask the Canadian oil sands industry how *that's* all worked out for them).
Still, as a primary text covering the waterfront, Cornelissen's book is exceptionally well laid out and illustrated with valuable diagrams and case studies (the Chapter on Stakeholder Relations is excellent). Conceptually, then, it does deliver, even though some of the theory (Media Richness theory? seriously?) seems wan at best. But overall, one simply wishes Cornelissen hadn't compromised his European proclivity for culturally and conceptually sophisticated theory in favour of reputation as the more easily quantified (viz. dumbed down) variable for primarily North American companies and organizations to recognize and therefore parse.
Undoubtedly the author is a leading matter expert but the updated version of the book does not discuss latest concepts, developments or tools. It tackles new channels and media but also TechStack contingencies from the perspective of 10 years ago. In this context it does not surprise why Corporate Communication is even farer behind than B2B Marketing was used to be until recently.
For a more precise and more state-of-the-art discussion of the topic R. Beger’s “Present Day Corporate Communication” as well as the “Corporate Newsroom” by Ch. Moos seem to be the much better fit and valuable reads.