Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication

Language

English

First Advisor

Minna Logemann

Second Advisor

Michael Goodman

Third Advisor

Adam Yates

Abstract

Research on corporate communications’ effects on politics presents an acknowledgement of a relationship between the two topics, leaving a void in the explanation and examination of this topic. The void presents an opening to introduce a conceptual process for how corporations are able to craft communications to influence the American Polity, the democratic social organization within the United States. This research begins with a historical review of how corporations gain prominence in American society, capturing the ability to participate in the democratic social organization of the polity. A qualitative analysis of several conceptual frameworks serves as data, to establish an understanding of influential communications’ structure, providing a basis for corporate communication approaches for influencing specific targets. Lobbying, corporate social responsibility and storytelling represent methods of communications. The basis applies to corporate communications, specifically political engagement reports from Abbot, Apple, Clorox, Target, and Johnson & Johnson, to evaluate the findings from the conceptual analysis. Conceptual theories include Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior, Design Theory, Persuasion, Stakeholder Theory and Storytelling.

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