During the last decades, we have not only seen the rise of the so-called “new economy”, but also of an accompanying phenomenon: Start-ups are young and innovative companies with the potential to change the rules of today’s economic competition. They are defined by the following three criteria: They have to be in an early stage of development, are highly innovative, and demonstrate scalable growth rates in turnover and workforce (Kollmann et al., 2016). These aspects make these companies a relatively fleeting phenomenon. Since they are basically not older than ten years and usually stand for a new business model, product, service or technology, their constant change places special demands on strategic communication research. This problem is aggravated by additional properties attributed to start-ups: They do not only have liabilities of newness (Stinchcombe, 1965) and smallness (Aldrich & Auster, 1986), but also are influenced by the personality of their founder(s). Furthermore, they depend on growth and investment (Churchill & Lewis, 1983).
Despite these individual findings, there is a lack of integrated perspectives that focus on the relationship between communication strategies of start-ups on the one hand and the value created for those companies and their strategic positioning on the other hand. This special issue of the International Journal of Strategic Communication will advance the body of knowledge in this field by addressing key questions from different perspectives.
Submitted papers should clearly be linked to existing scholarship in strategic communication and reflect the understanding mentioned above, but can be based on theoretical and methodological approaches from diverse disciplines, including corporate communication, organizational communication, public relations, marketing communication, advertising, digital culture, entrepreneurial management, and other areas. Research questions and topics addressed should be valuable for a global readership. While international, comparative, and cross- cultural studies are especially welcome, research with a regional or national focus is suitable if insights or results build understanding of strategic communication in other parts of the world.