Neue Medien und neue Kommunikationsformen

Im Forschungsfeld "Neue Medien und neue Kommunikationsformen" untersucht Prof. Dr. Laura Illia die Legitimation von Organisationen auf Social Media oder den Einsatz neuer Medien durch Unternehmen zum Dialog mit ihren Stakeholdern. Andere Professor/innen des DCM, namentlich Prof. Dr. Diana Ingenhoff, tragen ebenfalls zur Forschung in diesem Bereich bei.




  • News Consumption and Infotainment on Social Media: Effects of entertaining features in digital news stories on exposure, engagement, knowledge and attitudes
    • Projektteam: Dominique Stefanie Wirz
    • Laufzeit: 02/2022 - 01/2026
    • Förderung: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds


    Immer mehr Menschen nutzen Nachrichtenangebote auf sozialen Medien. Häufig tun sie das nicht aktiv, sondern sie stolpern über Nachrichten, während sie eigentlich in der Stimmung für Unterhaltung sind. Nachrichtenmedien passen sich dieser Entwicklung an, indem sie spezifische Inhalte für Plattformen wie Tiktok oder Instagram produzieren. Im Rahmen dieses Forschungsprojekts wird untersucht, wie viel Information in Nachrichten auf Tiktok und Instagram vermittelt wird, und mit welchen Unterhaltungselementen die Information kombiniert wird. Mit Befragungen und Experimenten wird zudem erforscht, wie sich verschiedene Unterhaltungsformen auf die Verarbeitung der Information auswirken. Wie sollten Nachrichtenangebote in sozialen Medien gestaltet sein, damit sie ein unterhaltungsorientiertes Publikum ansprechen, aber auch tatsächlich Information vermitteln?

  • Stakeholder, Organization or Artificial Intelligence (AI) text agent? Exploring text generation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
    • Principal investigator:  Laura Illia
    • Duration: 2021-ongoing
    • Funding:  own


    The applicability of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) text agents in corporate communication is debated. AIs are considered promising for simple tasks such as promotion or dyadic communications. However, extant research suggests that they are lacking humanness in a complex situation in which they are required to communicate with more actors while avoiding to convey false information.  We have developed a number of studies which we intend to publish independently one another in which we challenge these assumptions and shows the actual (dangerous) applicability of AI text agents in corporate Communication. One study analyses the degree to which a non-human AI text agent (ChatGPT) may undertake a human-social actor role in an organization when it deliberates in a multi-stakeholder setting. A second study analyzes whether an AI text agent (ChatGPT) output is comparable to the one of humans when it is in front of an ethical dilemma. A third study analyses the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)  talk authenticity problem, which refers to the text generated by an AI (ChatGPT) that conveys CSR stakeholders’ anecdotes that are false but look real, and that influence the perceived authenticity of CSR across audiences.


    Publications and presentations

    • Illia, L., Colleoni, E., Zyglidopolous, S. (2022) Ethical Implications of Text Generation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. (2022). In Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility.
    • Illia, L. (2022) "Investigating the role AI text agents in multi-stakeholder deliberation processes: Reflections from two empirical studies". Invited panel:  AI-generated disinformation & the implications for Corporate Scoial Responsibility Communication. Hosted by Dennis Shoenenborn, CSR communication conference 2022, Leuphana University, Germany
    • Illia, L. (2022) Can GPT-3 Mimic Conversational Style and Silence Human Voice? Study presented in the panel by Illia,L., Colleoni, E.,  Zyglidopolous,  S., Bachmann,  P., Romenti, S., Bucher. E., Fieseler, C., Buhmann, A., Castello,  PDW on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Text Agents:  Spring of Hope or Winter of despair for Business & Society?Academy of Management (AOM) conference, August 2022 , Washington, USA.
    • Van Hove, F., Illia, L., (2022) The Impact of AI in Journalism Performativity. An Ethical Approach on the Role of Automated Text Generation in Journalism. ICA 2022 Preconference  program "Understanding the Dynamics of (Ir)Responsible AI in Journalism and Algorithmically Shaped News Flows". International Communication Association Conference  (ICA) 2022, Paris. France.
    • Illia, L. (2021) "Frames, Fake news and Artificial Intelligent (AI) agents", study presented in the panel by Galdberg. N, Barnett, M, Zyglidololous S., lllia, L.,Colleoni, E., Bantimaroudis, P.  PDW on Fake news: implications for management, organization and society, Academy of Management (AOM) conference, August 2021 (virtual conference due to Covid-19 Situation)


  • Organizational Wrongdoing, Social Media
    • Principal investigator:  Laura Illia
    • Duration: 2017-ongoing
    • Funding:  BBVA


    We analyze discourses in social media and we explore how audiences coalize against organizations and institutions and exert social control on them. We explore how negative social evaluations spreads across multiple audiences. We also explore how  a stigmatizing label is spread through social, cultural and political dynamics and symbols.


    Publications and presentations

    • Colleoni, E., Illia, L., & Ziglidopolous, S. (2021). Exploring how publics discursively organize as digital collectives: The use of empty and floating signifiers as organizing devices in social media. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press Journal, 6(4).
    • Eisenegger M., Etter, M., Winkler, P., & Illia, L., "The formation of Digital Reputation: cultural, Media-Related and Methodological Challenges". Panel at EUPRERA conference 2021, Spain (virtual conference due to Covid-19 Situation)
    • Illia, L., Etter, M., Helms, W., Caserta, M, & Ludovico, N. (Under preparation). Inside The Shaming Mob: A Social Control Theory Of Crowd Emergence.
    • Illia, L., Castello, I., & Zamparini, A. (under preparation). How shame is build in Twitter through symbolic use of past and present social and cultural dynamics.
  • From Corporations to Hashtags: Infomediation in Social Media
    • Principal investigator:  Laura Illia
    • Duration: 2015-ongoing
    • Funding: UniCredit and Universities Foundation


    We analyze how audiences’ express dissent toward banks in Twitter, how these discourses become prominent and get attention of news media, as well as how banks respond to these legitimacy threats through their corporate press releases with the aim to influence media coverage.  We apply digital social network methods to explore individual's and institutional info-mediation about banks and banking industry Machine learning and text mining is also applied.


    Publications and presentations

    • Illia, L., Etter, M., Meggiorin, K., & Colleoni, E. (conditional accepted). From Micro-level to Macro-level Legitimacy: Exploring how Judgments in Social Media Create Thematic Broadness at Meso-level. (2021). In Research in the Sociology of Organizations Volume on Digital transformation and institutional theorizing: Consequences, opportunities and challenges.
    • Colleoni, E., Ludovico, N., Illia, L., & Ravindran, K. (2021). Does sharing Economy have a moral capital? Comparing semantic networks in social media and news media. Journal of Management and Sustainability, 11(2).
    • Illia, L., Colleoni, E., & Meggiorin, K. (2021). How infomediaries on Twitter influence business outcomes of a bank. International Journal of Bank Marketing (ahead-of-print). Emerald.
    • Illia, L., Etter, M., Colleoni., E., & Meggiorin K. (under review). The role of refracted attention for the formation of organizational legitimacy across evaluators.
    • Etter, M., Colleoni, E., Illia, L., & Meggiorin, K. (2018). Measuring Organizational Legitimacy in Social Media: Assessing Citizens’ Judgments with Sentiment Analysis. Business and Society, 57(1), 60-97.
    • Illia, L., Bantimadouris, P., & Meggiorin, K. (2016). Corporate Agenda Setting at the Third Level: Comparing Networks of Attributes in Corporate Press Releases and Media Coverage. In L. Guo & M. McCombs (eds.), The Power of Information Networks: The Third Level of Agenda Setting. New York: Routledge.
  • The Challenges of Digitalization for Organizational Communication and Public Diplomacy: Social Media Communication, Network Analysis and Key Influencer Marketing
    • Principal investigator: Diana Ingenhoff
    • Duration: 2015-ongoing
    • Funding: Own funds


    The Challenges of Digitalization for Organizational Communication and Public Diplomacy: Social Media Communication, Network Analysis and Key Influencer Marketing
    In recent years, social media communication and influencer marketing has become one of the main challenges of the media sector, especially for organizational communication and (digital) public diplomacy. Our research in this area aims to analyze

    • the potential advantages of influencer marketing and its effects on credibility and professionalism
    • the role of international exchange program participant blogs and their narrative strategies of audience engagement, conceptualizing bloggers as cultural mediators in digital diplomacy 
    • why and how individuals use corporate brand pages on social networking sites

    From an interdisciplinary perspective, our research draws on theories and literature from the fields of communication management and international public relations, marketing, media psychology, as well as media usage studies, combining qualitative and quantitative methods.


    Publications and Presentations (Selection):

    • Ingenhoff, D. & Tovirac, A. (2017): Herausforderungen und Grenzen von Influencer-Kommunikation. DGPuK-Fachgruppentagung PR/Organisationskommunikation, Wien, Österreich, 23.-25.11.2017.
    • Lee, K. S. & Ingenhoff, D. (2017). Storytelling as an engagement strategy: Key influencers in online educational and cultural exchange communities. CPD (Center on Public Diplomacy) Oxford Doctoral Conference on Digital and Public Diplomacy, University of Oxford, Great Britain, 02.-03.06.2017.
    • Sevin, E., Ingenhoff, D. (2017): Overcoming the Measurement Challenge: Nation branding messages on social media. 67th ICA Annual Conference, San Diego, USA, 25.-29.5.2017.
    • Ruehl, C.H. & Ingenhoff, D. (2015): Communication management on social networking sites: Stakeholder motives and usage types of corporate Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. Journal of Communication Management. Vol. 19(3), 288-302. Link
  • Die Rolle der Twitter-Nutzung von Schweizer Journalistinnen und Journalisten
    • Projektteam: Julia Metag (DCM), Adrian Rauchfleisch (Universität Zürich)
    • Laufzeit: 2014-2016
    • Förderung: Eigenmittel


    Wie nutzen Schweizer Journalistinnen und Journalisten Twitter? Wie integrieren sie insbesondere Tweets von Schweizer Politikerinnen und Politikern in ihre Arbeit? Mit diesen Fragen beschäftigt sich das Forschungsprojekt, in dessen Zentrum eine standardisierte Online-Befragung von Journalistinnen und Journalisten in der Schweiz steht. Analysiert wird, welche Funktionen die Journalistinnen und Journalisten Twitter zuschreiben, warum sie politische Tweets für ihre Berichterstattung nutzen und welche Folgen dies für mögliche Agenda-Building-Prozesse hat.


    Präsentationen und Publikationen:

    • Metag, J./ Rauchfleisch, A. (im Erscheinen): Agenda-Building durch Twitter? Eine Analyse der Nutzung politischer Tweets durch Schweizer Journalisten. In: Vowe, G./ Henn, P./ Friess, D. (Hrsg.): Politische Online-Kommunikation. Berlin.
    • Metag, J./ Rauchfleisch, A. (2016): Agenda-building and journalists’ use of political tweets: From information subsidies to perceived influences. Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung der International Communication Association (ICA), Fukuoka, Japan, 09. – 13.06.2016
    • Metag, J./ Rauchfleisch, A. (2015): Die Agenda-Building-Funktion politischer Tweets. Eine Analyse der Nutzung politischer Tweets durch Schweizer Journalisten. Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung „Politische Online-Kommunikation. Voraussetzungen, Facetten und Folgen des strukturellen Wandels politischer Kommunikation“ des Arbeitskreises „Politik und Kommunikation“ der DVPW und der Fachgruppe „Kommunikation und Politik“ der DGPuK, Düsseldorf, 19.-21.02.2015.
    • Metag, J./ Rauchfleisch, A. (2015): Why do Swiss journalists use Twitter? An analysis of the functions of Twitter and the role of professional variables for journalistic Twitter use. Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung „Re-Inventing Journalism“ der Fachgruppe „Journalismusforschung“ der DGPuK und der Journalism Studies Section der ECREA, Winterthur, 05.-06.02.2015.