Reflections on the current state and future of strategic communication as paradigm and practice


This paper reflects upon disciplinary developments since the publication of the seminal article by Overton-de Klerk and Verwey in 2013 on emerging paradigm shifts in strategic communication. It also reflects upon the implications of several disruptive global events for these paradigm shifts since the untimely passing of Verwey in 2019. It is argued that the paradigm shifts, as they are currently framed, can lead to a continuing linearity dilemma and binary trap of either-or thinking. A prognosis for the future of strategic communication in paradigm and practice in five statements is provided. The author suggests that the time has come to move beyond postmodern thinking towards both-and thinking and embrace a more comprehensive approach of critical complexity, acknowledging the reciprocal relationship between the parts and the whole. Within a complexity framework, it is proposed that a reflective regeneration of strategic communication includes a scrutiny of new logics and lenses relevant in an African context, including Radical Reason and metamodernism, coupled with lateral, collaborative transdisciplinary responses to digital and other complexities facing humanity, also in the workplace.


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How to Cite
Overton-De Klerk, N. (2023). Reflections on the current state and future of strategic communication as paradigm and practice. Communicare: Journal for Communication Studies in Africa, 42(1), 4–21.

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