Projects The Chair for Communications Management researches management issues from a communication perspective. At present, the following projects are already under progress. Reengineering Meetings In the “Reengineering Meetings” research project we examine the potential of incremental and radical reinventions to improve communication and collaboration in meetings to create more engagement and effectiveness in meetings. Dynagrams In the Dynagrams research project we examine the potential of dynamic, interactive, diagrams to improve managerial sense making, planning, and decision making, particularly in strategic planning contexts. Creability With the Creability project we aim to identify, evaluate, and deploy the current best practices in group creativity tools and help organizations use them effectively for their diverse teams and innovation efforts. In the project we will give special emphasis to a new generation of (analytical) creativity techniques that rely on visual support and take real-life innovation constraints into account. Application contexts for these tools are strategizing, product, service or business model innovation, project management, and business development. Understanding the Impact of Interactive Visual Representations on Group Communication - An Assessment in the Experience Sharing Context (Swiss National Science Foundation project) Visual communication tools, such as diagramming or mapping software, have become more widely used in group communication in the last years, empowering interpersonal communication through new means of interaction. Initial research has shown that graphic representations can improve communication in organizations. Yet it is still not clear which characteristics make visual representations a valuable communication tool. The aim of this project is to open the black box of interactive visualizations by testing the effects of one specific and highly relevant dimension, namely a visualization’s “restrictiveness”, conceived as the interaction constraints imposed by a graphic template for joint mediated actions. To investigate this dimension, we focus on the communication task of experience sharing in small groups, as this is a crucial and challenging task for many professional contexts (ranging from project management, to intercultural cooperation, to general team work). Knowledge Management in the Area of Natural Hazards and Risk Management in Switzerland (interdisciplinary SNSF project) This transdisciplinary project is concerned with the issue of how the exchange of knowledge operates between research and practice and how it can be optimized. This is investigated taking the example of the institutionalized natural hazard management system in Switzerland. In addition, a significant proportion of the empirical work is being carried out this year. In the interviews with experts it was mainly visualization methods that were used, such as timetables for formulating decision-making processes, assessment grids for evaluating an online tool for risk minimisation, and actor maps to record the constellation of actors. Nonprofit Organizations Driven by their mission, nonprofit organizations (NPOs) contribute day by day to a better world – by providing humanitarian aid, protecting endangered species, or caring for patients. However, the third sector has faced deep and drastic changes over the last years: as nonprofit organizations are in constant competition for funds, staff, influence, and public attention, they experience a growing pressure to operate effectively. But how do NPOs cope with this pressure, which strategies do they develop and how do they implement their plans? And above all: how do they communicate with their stakeholders in these processes? How do nonprofit organizations manage their communications to ensure their stakeholders’ trust and their support (e.g., through visual communication and social media)? These questions lie at the heart of our research.