Multimodal Generic Trends of Harvard Business Review Knowledge Communication in and beyond Social Media Context: Exploiting Affordances, Neglecting Opportunities

Jan Engberg*, Carmen Daniela Maier

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article is part of an on-going research project dedicated to enhancing our understanding of domain-specific knowledge communication across various multiliterate communities, semiotic modes and media contexts. The focus of the present analytical endeavour is on the dissemination of knowledge of academics from the domain of business and management to professionals and other non-academic communicative partners in the context of the Harvard Business Review journal. The central empirical material is constituted by a cluster of videos selected from the Facebook context of the journal whose intention is to function as a bridge between academia and enterprises. For this bridging effort, a number of video genres which are not traditionally used for scientific knowledge communication in academic contexts (e.g., Quick Study, Explainers, Tips & Ideas, etc.) are em-ployed. Furthermore, in accordance with the Facebook context, the videos are accompanied by users’ commentaries that evaluate the knowledge provided or/and contribute to communicating and co-constructing new knowledge. Finally, we include the articles, books and special issues to which the videos refer in the empirical study. This hybrid knowledge-communication setting is studied from a multimodal perspective in order to address the new ways in which semiotic modes and sub-modes enter into a meaning-making interplay at the level of each video and when users comment on the respective videos.  The main analytical tools are the concepts of knowledge ex-pansion and knowledge enhancement that characterize the interaction of modes in the knowledge-building process. Across the video genres that have been investigated, we see a ten-dency towards engaging users of the videos through diminishing the distance to the viewers. As a consequence, the videos have a high number of views, but at the same time there are few comments and hardly any comments engaging in mutual knowledge building. This paradox is discussed in more detail in the concluding section.
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022