Various authors from countries as diverse as South Africa, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States of America, reported the existence of constraints in corporate communication practitioner career advancement (Moss, 2000:1,6; Moss, Warnaby&Newman, 2000:277,302; Plowman, 1998:243; Spicer, 1997:84; Steyn, 1999:21; Steyn, 2000a:2; Steyn, 2000b:70; Steyn&Puth, 2000:3,7,10,12; Van Ruler, 1997:263; Visagie, 1999:148). Their findings have prompted this exploratory phenomenological research. The primary objective of this research is to explore some corporate communication practitioners’ perceptions of the constraints experienced in advancing to more senior corporate communication roles in the South African banking industry. The research is approached from the excellence and feminist meta-theoretical perspectives. In particular it is based on the strategic contingency theory, organisational structure theory, power-control theory, interpersonal perception theory and corporate communication roles theory. The study focuses on two concepts, namely ‘constraints’ and ‘role’. The research reflected a snapshot in time of the current communication practitioner’s emotional, relational or situational experience of their efforts to advance their careers. The aim was not to support or validate any pre-selected model or theory, but rather to embrace the constraint in a non-assumptive manner as it unfolds from the perspective of the communication practitioner experiencing it (Callahan, 2000:105; Scannell-Desch, 2000). From the findings of the research, one could argue that there are various individual, organisational and professional career constraints that practitioners experience in trying to advance their careers. Over and above the constraints noted in literature, the study identified a few more constraints such as organisational politics, the time spent in the organisation, the practitioner’s lack of networking and relationship building skills, lack of knowledge of overseas practice and the lack of standardisation of communication practitioner deliverables.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2006.