International Corporate Communication

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Introduction

Nokia is world leader in mobile phone industry and is world's #1 manufacturer of mobile devices. Beside mobile phones its operations include advance incorporated networks technology, production, sales and marketing. The company's head office is in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki and employs 123553 employees in 120 countries, at the yearend (including Nokia Siemens Networks) (Nokia july,2010).

For further introduction of Nokia refer to Appendix 1.

This report evaluates Nokia's performance over recent years and its strategy in retort to market change. Nokia's strategy and market conditions are analysed and practised. The first part tells about the aims and objectives of Nokia as a part of mobile industry, while the second part explains about corporate communication in a company, about company's findings and about its external and internal stakeholders and finally influence of technology and culture on Nokia.

Objectives are goals established to guide the efforts of the company and each of its components (Allen)(vijay and vijay 2006, p.61).

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Related to above definition the main objectivesof Nokiais not only generating sales but also to showcase Nokia's complete range of products and services, offering consumers an opportunity to experience the full benefits of mobility with an ease, cutting-edge environment in each Nokia's Flagship Stores (Nokia 2011).

Aims of Nokia are to inspire and educate consumers to the advantage of mobility and widen the appeal of the Nokia brand (Nokia 2011). “In reaching our aim of universal access, mobility clearly offers the fastest and most economical solution,” (Ollila). With the launch of the Nokia Music Store, Nokia aims to make available to all the Spanish users of all ages the music that they want at any moment they want; with all the amenities that mobility permits (Nokia 2011).

Definition: Corporate Communication

Corporate Communication :- its defined as ‘an instrument of management by means of which all consciously used forms of internal and external communication are harmonised as effectively as possible' , with overall objective of creating ‘a favourable basis for relationships with groups upon which the company is dependent' (Van Riel 1995, p.26)..

For More Definition on Corporate communication refer to Appendix 2

CENTRALISED and DECENTRALISED COMMUNICATIONS

Centralised modelare an easier way for companies to attain consistency in and control over all communication activities. It depends on the size of an organisation. For organisations with large and diversified size centralised communication is more appropriate whereas in Decentralised modelthere is more flexibility in adapting the function of their own need. It allows more flexibility in tough economic times; these advantages are not without accompanying risks. It's more appropriate for small and flexible organisations (Argenti 2009, 48-49).

From the above extract it is concluded that as Nokia is a large and diverse organisation, Centralised Communication will be best suitable for this company as to achieve consistency and control over all communication activities within the company.

Nokia acquires Telekol corporation to fortify its mobile Corporate Communications portfolio October 22, 1999 Nokia announced an accord to acquire Telekol corporation, a company specialising in intelligent Corporate Communication solutions, for USD 56,5 million. The acquisition will reinforce Nokia's complete IP Telephony and Wireless LAN offering and further enhance Nokia's technology know-how inCorporate Communication. Nokia is world leader in mobile Communications, driving the development and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. They will focus on corporate customers, service and software businesses and are wireless business communications, Wireless Service Applications, and Wireless Software solutions. The convergence of tele and data communication, collectively with the growth of wireless has bent a new corporate market for rapidly growing business (Nokia).

IMPORTANCE OF CORPRATE COMMUNICATION [TODAY]

Corporate communication is very important in today's world and its importance is obvious to virtually everyone.(Argenti 2009)

Today's era is most sophisticated era in term of communication and information travels from one side of the world to another as a result of technological developments such as the Internet and blogs.

These days' people tend to be more educated about issues and more sceptical of corporate intentions. Therefore people cannot be misguided or misinformed about any companies or organisation.

Information comes to us in more beautiful packages i.e., glossy annual reports from major corporations. The bar is high for a company's message to stand out in this environment (Argenti 2009).

Findings

3.1 External Corporate Communication

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External view includes the three main views of the company, which includes Image, Identity and Reputation. Corporate communication focus on the most critical part of the company: a corporation's identity and image. It's also been seen that how a close alignment between a company's identity and image generates a stronger reputation (Argenti 2009, p.67)

Image: -it's the corporation as seen through the eyes of its constituencies. An organisation can have diverse images with unlike constituencies (Argenti 2009, p.54).

Image also reflects company's identity. Sometimes an image of a company is formed before interacted based on information of an industry or based on experience of friend's relatives. The image of a company can also change after a personal interaction with the company and its associates (Chiranth 2007).

Identity: - it represents the reality of an organisation and should not vary from one constituency to another. It consists of defining attributes, such as its vision and values, its people, products and services (Argenti 2009, 54-55). There are three most important things that contribute positively to corporate identity. They are:

  • Corporate vision: it is most important for corporate identity as it focus on company's core values, philosophies, standards and goals. It is a common strand that all the employees, and preferably all other constituencies as well, can relate to (Riel 2000, p.163).
  • Corporate Branding (Names and Logos): It is the most critical component of identity. Corporate branding—names and logosare an important part as it helps an organisation to differentiate them in the marketplace in order to shape their identity. Logos are more important than names because of their visual nature.

The organisations also encompass risk related to the name-change. They can risk losing whatever the identity they have built up very quickly through changes in the use of names and logos that are not communicated properly (Argenti 2009, 71-73).

Consistency is Key:vision should evident itself constantly across all its identity elements, from logos and mottos to employee behaviour and being in touch with customer is of supreme importance. (Argenti 2009, p.75).

Reputation: Alignment between company's identity and image creates a strong reputation. Reputation is different from image because it is built up over period and is simply perception at a given point in time. It differs from identity because it is a result of both inner and external constituencies. (Argenti 2009, p.84)

A strong reputation has important strategic implications for a firm, “it calls attention to a company's attractive features and widens the options available to its manager, for instant, whether to charge higher or lower prices for products and services or to implement innovative programmes” (A.Aaker 1996, p.51)

Nokia's Identity, Image and Reputation

Nokia has a superior image in its customer's eyes as Nokia is best among all the cell phone manufacturers in the world. Nokia is user friendly, a leader in market and value for money product. Nokia provides Customer Care Services which helps a customer to sort out any kind of problem and help them sorting their problems in best possible way. Customer care services also provide information regarding the services or devices available in Nokia and also answers all the queries patiently if asked repeatedly. This combination of all the above have formed a positive image in the mind of people which is hard to change. Nokia has been successful in portraying a consistent and successful identity. People first think of Nokia and then other brands when buying a cell phone. When one thinks of ‘N'Series the only brand that is associated with it is Nokia. The successful combination of image and identity has given Nokia the Reputation that they achieved over years. (Chiranth 2007).

Company's identity also speaks for company's vision for future therefore Nokia with strong and optimistic identity tells us that in future Nokia will acquire more tough image by being #1 in telecommunication industry.

Nokia ranked top in UK corporate Reputation. As Nokia's main focus is on innovation and iconic products and put customer needs first so it is able to win general public's trust on emotional side and belief in its competence on rational side. A new corporate reputation study by TNS has named Nokia top out of 21 household companies.

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When assessed on its business success, trustworthiness and product service quality, almost 50% of consumers rated it highly. The study interviewed 2,000 people in the UK about their views of the corporate reputation of major household brands covering the financial, retail, technology and energy sectors. Behind Nokia, Google is ranked in 2nd place with John Lewis and Asda in 3rd and 4th place respectively. Marks & Spencer and Tesco are named joint 5th. (Stensgaard 2007).

Nokia excellent reputation in China, as it has world's biggest consumer market with a population of over 1.3 billion, China also touts the largest number of mobile subscribers in the world and therefore it was a top mobile brand. It was wonder that Nokia was emerged as a winner for engaging consumers in China and was most popular brand among the people aged between 15 to 40 years (Neo 2011).

Nokia's external stakeholders

Customers: Nokia increasingly engage on issues related to sustainability. The key issues together for trade customers and consumers are product superiority, satisfaction with Nokia products and customer service. Nokia regularly survey its trade customers to gauge satisfaction levels and also engage with consumers through its Nokia Care support provision both online and via call centres, and via customer satisfaction surveys and autonomous market research.

For more information on customers refer Appendix 3

  • Investors: Nokia recognizes the increasing importance of ethical business practices to both mainstream and communally responsible institutional investors. Nokia engage with investors through its investor's website and investor relations services, through economic and sustainability coverage, and meetings with groups of or individual investors.
  • Academic institutions: Nokia sponsors various research collaborations with manufacturing and educational partners. Its objective is to strengthen co-operation between its researchers and academics.
  • Government: Nokia's behaviour in all its business activity and its engagement with governments is set according to Nokia's code of conduct which was created in 1997 and revised in 2009.Nokia connect with governments all over the globe on a broad variety of issues applicable to its business, however as mentioned in the Nokia Code of Conduct, Nokia does not offer financial support to political parties or other political groups (Nokia)

HRM in Nokia

Human resources are considered as skill development, collaboration etc. This model mainly focuses on treating employees as valued assets. Employee influence will delegate levels of authority, responsibility, and power. Human resource flows into the organization are used for recruitment, selection; through the organization, placement, promotion, out of the organization as annihilation. Reward aim to attract and motivate the employees and to keep talented employees for a long period. Selection based on competence to get best employee fit for the jobs. Employee influence will make employee's job satisfaction. (John Bratton 2000). This model is more advisable to be practiced by industries within the service sector.

From the above model it is concluded that attraction and retention of talent have become the main external influence on Nokia's human resources strategies, as other companies also strive to be the employees of choice.

Nokia collaborates with its employees in both formal and informal way in order to allow ideas to exchange easily and to encourage employees; Nokia has adopted Various HR techniques including pay system, developing employees, training them and fringe benefits (zuppo1989 19-oct-2008).

Motivation, encouragement and maintaining employee's satisfaction and well being at work is vital for Nokia to perform its best. Nokia helps in development of human resources which is a business proposition, and endeavours to delight its customers, motivate its employees and increase the agility and flexibility of the management to address specific HR needs. The HR manager is also challenged with the task of providing the skills, cultures, atmosphere and processes necessary for e-knowledge and capabilities.

3.2 Internal Stakeholders

Efficient communication with employees

  • Employee recognition has more to do with the success of a business than nearly any other constituency.
  • Today's employees are different persons in terms of values and want to understand more about the companies they work.
  • Employees are focusing more critically at how senior management is communicating with them, what is being communicated, and whether or not they feel engaged in and aligned with the company's direction.
  • Employees are demanding participation in the conversations that are driving organisational change (Argenti 2009, 183-184).

Inefficient communication with employees

  • At many companies, senior manager simply do not involve lower-level employees in decision making.
  • 40 percent of the workers feel disconnected from their employers.
  • Two out of every three workers do not identify with or feel motivated to drive their employer's business goals and objects.
  • 25 percent of employees are just showing up to collect pay check. (Argenti 2009, p.184)

Nokia's Stakeholder Engagement

Nokia's important process includes not listening to employees and external parties but also translating their expectations into business value and providing trust and collaborate relationship with Nokia's stakeholders. Nokia meet its existing expectation as well as at the same instant continuing to recognize latest trends down the road. This focus on future is an important part of Nokia's ongoing process.

Nokia's most important internal stakeholders are employees.

Communication with external and internal stakeholders improves its understanding of how Nokia's activities are professed, helps them estimate stakeholder satisfaction, strengthens its social investment programs, and allows Nokia to recognize important issues to address (Nokia). Internal stakeholder includes:

EMPLOYEES: Nokia commonly involves employees in debate about issues such as corporate ethics, skill development, profession and performance, diversity and work-life steadiness which helps to generate a working environment with opportunities of communication and response.

The channels of discussion help Nokia to translate ideas into everyday actions. These channels of discussion are individual IIP (Investing in People) performance conversations and career improvement planning, internal surveys and exit interviews.

Nokia also ensure that employees understand Nokia code of conduct and its approach to corporate responsibility and also highlight sustainability issues and initiatives on its internal channels and through various inside communication campaigns (Nokia).

Influence of culture, Values and technology

Nokia is emerging as a "hidden power behind the throne" in the global semiconductor market (Jaques 2008).

Nokia's "impressive growth" not only affects electronics supply but the economies of entire nations, such as Taiwan and China, owing to the firm's R&D centres in many diverse countries around the world and Nokia also design electronic equipment, such as mobile handsets, also are responsible for specifying the use of particular chips in the products being urbanized. (Min-Sun Moon) (Jaques 2008).

Nokia is a global and multicultural company, in which individuals have a great deal of responsibility and freedom to make independent decisions (Nokia). Nokia has nine markets in the world, distributing the entire world. Therefore in different place, there is different culture, language, value system, and business customs. So Nokia provides diversity opportunities for different people who want to enjoy themselves.

In global Nokia community, the new values are defined as:

  • Engaging you: at every step, Nokia need to engage its stakeholders, including employees and how to meet its customer needs.
  • Passion for innovation: Nokia is more innovative to make the leap into the future through new and improved ways and better understanding the world around.
  • Achieving together: True potentials of Nokia is succeeding through both collaborating and partnership.
  • Very Human: Nokia's approach is being very human in world by making things simple, respecting and caring, even in tough business situation.

Conclusion

From the above report it is concluded that as the business environment is constantly changing, so the main aims and objectives of Nokia is generating sales as well as providing complete range of products and services to the consumers and to inspire and educate consumers to the importance of mobility and improve Nokia's reputation in the eyes of consumer.

Secondly, the report concludes about Nokia's excellent reputation, image and identity and is ranked top according to its reputation, which forms a superior image in customer's eyes and provides excellent services to the customers all over the world and also highlights about its engagement with external and internal stakeholders i.e., customers, government, investors, academic institutes and employees.

Finally, report illustrates the important element of culture. Nokia's official corporate culture manifesto emphasis on globalisation and diversity which helps Nokia to be ranked #1 among telecommunication industry. Nokia redefines its values after initiating a series of discussion worldwide as to what the new values of company should be. Based on employees services new values are: Engaging you, passion for innovation, achieving together and very human.

Appendix

  1. Due to an ongoing progress in technological improvements, the telecommunication industry has been a swiftly growing industry for decades. Everything started with Fredrik Idestam's paper mill on the banks of Nokianvirta River in 1865 which leads to birth of Nokia (Nokia 1865). Between 1865 and 1967, the company become a major industrial force and merged with cable company and rubber firm to form a new Nokia corporation. Initially, in 1981 the mobile era was started (Nokia 1981)and in 1992 Nokia decided to focus on telecommunications business and was the most important strategic decision in the history (Nokia 1992). Nokia today continues with all new and important features with 3G, mobile multiplayer gaming, multimedia devices and a look to the future. (Nokia 2000-today)
  2. Corporate communication is also defined as the products of communication, by the memos, letters, reports, Web Sites, e-mails, speeches, or news releases. The aggregate of these messages is what company sends to its constituencies, whether internal or external (Argenti and Forman 2002, p.4).
  3. Corporate Communication is a management function that offers a framework for the effective coordination of all internal and external communication with the overall purpose of establishing and maintaining favourable reputations with stakeholder groups upon which the organisation is dependent (Cornelissen 2008, p.5).

  4. Network operators are Nokia's biggest customers and expect Nokia to meet high principles of corporate responsibility in its own operations and increasingly in its supply chain. Nokia continues to get enquiries and evaluation requests about social and environmental presentation from its operator customers. Nokia then respond to those requests through its normal customer account management interface.

Nokia recognize that some customers are anxious about prospective health issues associated to mobile phones. Both Nokia and NSN offer information on the latest research and links to autonomous sources online.