Sophia Charlotte Volk

Sophia Charlotte Volk, Dr.

Oberassistentin / Senior Research and Teaching Associate

Phone: +41 44 635 20 46

Room number: AND 3.24

s.volk@ikmz.uzh.ch

Research Interests

  • Strategic communication, communication management
  • Evaluation, measurement, and value of corporate communication
  • Comparative communication and media research
  • Strategic science communication
  • Science studies of team science, international research collaboration
  • Media management

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2021                                         

Senior Research and Teaching Associate at the Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich

2015-2021 Research Associate at the Chair of Strategic Communication, Institute of Communication and Media Studies, Leipzig University
2016-2019 Researcher and project manager in the project “Value Creating Communication”, funded by the German Academic Society for Management and Communication, Leipzig University
2012-2015 Graduate Studies of Communication Management, Institute of Communication and Media Studies, Leipzig University 
2009-2012

Undergraduate Studies of Communication Science at the Department of Communication, University of Münster

Since 2009 Several student research assistantships at the Universities of Münster and Leipzig /// Industry internships in brand communications, social media & online marketing, communication consulting, corporate communications

Education

2021           Ph.D. in Communication Science, Leipzig University
2015 M.A. in Communication Management, Leipzig University
2012 B.A. in Communication Science, University of Münster

Publications

See also: Orcid ID     Google Scholar     ResearchGate

MONOGRAPHS

  1. Zerfass, A., Volk, S. C., Meng, J., & Chen, P. (2022, forthcoming). Toolbox Communication Management. Applied Methods for Managing Corporate Communications. Springer Nature.
  2. Volk, S. C. (2021, forthcoming). Comparative Communication Research: A Study of the Conceptual, Methodological, and Social Challenges of International Collaborative Studies in Communication Science. Springer VS.
  3. Zerfaß, A., Volk, S. C. (2019). Toolbox Kommunikationsmanagement. Denkwerkzeuge und Methoden für die Steuerung der Unternehmenskommunikation. Springer Gabler.

JOURNAL ARTICLES (peer-reviewed)

  1. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2020). Management tools in corporate communications: A survey among practitioners and reflections about the relevance of academic knowledge for practice. Journal of Communication Management, 25(1), 50-67.
  2. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2018). How communication departments contribute to corporate success: The communications contributions framework. Journal of Communication Management, 22(4), 397-415.
  3. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2018). Alignment: Revisiting a key concept in strategic communication. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(4), 433–451.
  4. Volk, S. C. (2017). Towards Comparative Research in Strategic Communication: Analysis of Current Cross-National Studies and Future Directions. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 11(5), 434-453.
  5. Zerfaß, A., Verčič, D., & Volk, S. C. (2017). Communication evaluation and measurement: Skills, practices and utilization in European organizations. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 22(1), 2-18.
  6. Volk, S. C. (2016). A Systematic Review of 40 Years of Public Relations Evaluation and Measurement Research: Looking into the Past, the Present, and Future. Public Relations Review, 42(5), 962-977

EDITED VOLUMES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES

  1. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (accepted). Communication strategy. In K. Podnar (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Corporate Communication. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2020). Communication Management. In P. Moy (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Communication. Oxford University Press, 2020-02-26. https://doi.org/10.1093/OBO/9780199756841
  3. Volk, S. C., & Buhmann, A. (Eds., 2019). Guest editorial: New avenues in communication evaluation and measurement (E&M). Towards a research agenda for the 2020s. Journal of Communication Management, 23(3), 162-178.

HANDBOOK CHAPTERS

  1. Volk, S. C., & Buhmann, A. (accepted). Evaluation and Measurement in the Digital Age: Challenges and Opportunities for Data-Based Corporate Communication. In V. Luoma-aho & M. Badham (Eds.), Handbook of Digital Corporate Communication. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. Buhmann, A., & Volk, S. C. (accepted). Measurement and Evaluation: Framework, Methods, and Critique. In J. Falkheimer & M. Heide (Eds.), Handbook of Strategic Communication. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  3. Volk, S. C., & Zerfaß, A. (2021, forthcoming). Kommunikationscontrolling und PR-Evaluation. In P. Szyszka, R. Fröhlich & U. Röttger (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Public Relations (4. Auflage). Springer VS.
  4. Zerfaß, A., & Volk, S. C. (2021). Strategische Ausrichtung der Unternehmenskommunikation: Zieldefinition, Alignment mit Organisationszielen und Wertbeitrag. In A. Zerfaß, M. Piwinger & U. Röttger (Hrsg.), Handbuch Unternehmenskommunikation (3. Auflage). Springer Gabler. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-03894-6_21-1
  5. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2020). Positionierung von Kommunikationsabteilungen und Kommunikatoren: Selbstverständnis, Rollen und Wertbeitrag. In A. Zerfaß, M. Piwinger & U. Röttger (Hrsg.), Handbuch Unternehmenskommunikation (3. Auflage). Springer Gabler. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-03894-6_29-1
  6. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2020). Aligning and Linking Communication with Organizational Goals. In M. J. Canel & V. Luoma-Aho (Eds.), Handbook of Public Sector Communication (pp. 417-434). Wiley Blackwell.

BOOK CHAPTERS

  1. Brockhaus, J., Dicke, L., Hauck, P., & Volk, S. C. (2020). Employees as corporate ambassadors: A qualitative study exploring the perceived benefits and risks from three perspectives. In A. Tkalac Verčič, R. Tench, & S. Einwiller, S. (Eds.), Joy. Advances in Public Relations and Communication Management, Vol. 5 (pp. 115-134). Emerald Publishing Limited.
  2. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2019). Alignment: Explicating a key concept in strategic communication. In H. Nothhaft, K. P. Werder, D. Verčič & A. Zerfass (Eds.), Future directions of strategic communication (pp. 105–123). Routledge.
  3. Winkler, L., Volk, S. C., Borner, M., & Zerfaß A. (2017). Zwischen Intention und Emergenz. Mittelstandskommunikation im Spannungsfeld kontroverser Strategieparadigmen. In S. Wehmeier & D. Schoeneborn (Hrsg.), Strategische Kommunikation im Spannungsfeld zwischen Intention und Emergenz (S. 215-232). Springer VS.
  4. Ebert, J., Keßler, S., & Volk, S. C. (2015). Akzeptanz durch Transparenz? In G. Bentele, R. Bohse, U. Hitschfeld & F. Krebber (Eds.), Akzeptanz in der Medien- und Protestgesellschaft: Zur Debatte um Legitimation, öffentliches Vertrauen, Transparenz und Partizipation (S. 41-56). Springer VS.

TRANSFER PUBLICATIONS

  1. Volk, S. C., & Zerfaß, A. (2021). Vom Kommunikator zum Adviser – Neue Rollen für Kommunikationsprofis? PR magazin, 09, 106-113.
  2. Volk, S. C., & Zerfaß, A. (2018). Was leisten Kommunikationsabteilungen? Aufgabenpriorisierung, Zielvereinbarungen und Reporting mit dem Communications Contributions Framework. PR magazin, 49(6), 72-79.
  3. Zerfaß, A., Volk, S. C., Chen, R. & Zhan, M. (2018). Shared Value als Chance für die Unternehmenskommunikation. Studie zur Akzeptanz von CSR- und CSV-Aktivitäten in Deutschland, China und den USA. PR magazin, 49(8), 72-78.
  4. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). The boundary spanner. Which tasks are performed by communication executives? A new management tool reflects the many facets of the role. Communication Director, 4, 78-83.
  5. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2016). Overcoming the measurement deadlock. Communication for Leaders, 3(1), 4-5.

TRANSFER REPORTS

  1. Zerfaß, A., Volk, S. C., Dietlmeier, J., Düthmann, J., Kornblum, T., Link, J., Lück, A., Vaaßen, F. (2020). Die Macher von Morgen – Eine deutschlandweite Studie zu jungen Berufstätigen und Talenten im Berufsfeld Kommunikationsmanagement und Public Relations. Leipzig: Universität Leipzig. Verfügbar unter https://bit.ly/machervonmorgen
  2. Zerfass, A., Volk, S. C., Lautenbach, C., & Jakubowitz, M. (2018). Management tools for corporate communications – Relevance, benefits and experiences. Results of an empirical study in communication departments. Leipzig, Frankfurt: University of Leipzig / Lautenbach Sass. Available at http://bit.ly/tools-cc
  3. Volk, S. C., Berger, K., Zerfass, A., Bisswanger, L., Fetzer, M., Köhler, K. (2017). How to play the game. Strategic tools for managing corporate communications and creating value for your organization (Communication Insights, Issue 3). Leipzig, Germany: Academic Society for Corporate Management & Communication. Available online at www.akademische-gesellschaft.com
  4. Berger, K., Borner, M., Köhler, K., Viertmann, C., Volk, S. C., & Zerfaß, A. (2015). Was bringt das alles? Wertschöpfung durch Kommunikation (Communication Insights, Issue 1). Leipzig: Akademische Gesellschaft für Unternehmensführung und Kommunikation. Available online at www.akademische-gesellschaft.com

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (peer-reviewed)

  1. Volk, S. C. (2021). A phase model of international team research: Typical challenges and solution strategies from project initiation to completion. Accepted for presentation at the Virtual Workshop by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf and the Stifterverband, Zurich, November 2021.
  2. Volk, S. C. (2021). The social side of comparative knowledge production: Communication scientists’ perspectives on international team research. Presentation delivered at the virtual 71st Annual ICA Conference, May 2021.
  3. Volk, S. C. (2021). Mapping the contours of comparative communication research: A systematic review of comparative studies in 27 communication journals, 2015-2019. Presentation delivered at the Dreiländertagung DACH21 of the DGPuK, ÖGK & SGKM, Zürich, May 2021.
  4. Volk, S. C. (2021). Why do research collaborations succeed? Learning from the coordinators of international research projects. Presentation delivered at he Dreiländertagung DACH21 of the DGPuK, ÖGK & SGKM, Zürich, May 2021.
  5. Volk, S. C, Düthmann, J., Link, J., & Lück, A. (2020). Millennials im Berufsfeld PR und Kommunikation: Eine Studie zu Zufriedenheit und Stress junger Kommunikator*innen im Spannungsfeld von Berufs- und Privatleben. Presentation delivered at the 27. Web Congress of the DGPuK Division Public Relations & Organizational Communication, Leipzig, Germany, October 2020.
  6. Brockhaus, J., Dicke, L., Hauck, P., & Volk, S. C. (2019). Employees as Corporate Ambassadors: Towards a Framework for Analyzing the Role of Co-Workers Speaking for their Organization. Paper presented at the EUPRERA 2019 Annual Congress. Zagreb, Croatia, September 2019.
  7. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2019). Towards a Standardization of Management Processes in Corporate Communications: An Empirical Study of the Relevance and Use of Management Tools. Paper presented at ICA, Washington D.C., United States, May 2019.
  8. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2019). How can we make our research matter to the industry? Management tools as a missing link between public relations theory and practice. Paper presented at IPRRC, Orlando, United States, March 2019.
  9. Volk, S. C., & Zerfass, A. (2018). Zur Relevanz der PR/OK-Forschung: Eine Studie zur Nutzung von Kommunikationsmanagement-Tools aus einer Practice-Perspektive. Presentation delivered at the 25. Annual Congress of the DGPuK Division Public Relations & Organizational Communication, Stuttgart, Germany, November 2018.
  10. Volk, S. C. (2018). Looking ahead: Ideas for future debates and research. Presentation delivered at EUPRERA’s Annual Congress, Panel on Converting big ideas to practical tools: How management education can inspire communication scholars, Aarhus, Denmark, September 2018.
  11. Dühring, L., & Volk, S. C. (2018). Agility in strategic communication research: Historical roots, conceptual specification, and implications for theory and practice. Paper presented at BledCom 2018, Bled, Slovenia, July 2018.
  12. Volk, S. C. (2018). Contemporary deadlocks in PR evaluation and measurement research. Presentation delivered at ICA’s Annual Conference, Panel on New voices in PR evaluation: Innovative approaches and new research avenues for a field in stasis, Prague, Czech Republic, May 2018.
  13. Chen, R., Hung-Baesecke, F., Stacks, D.W., Zerfass, A., Bowen, S.A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). Creating Shared Value, Chief Executive Officer Characteristics and Competencies, and Public Trust in Business: A Cross-National Study in China, the United States, and Germany. Paper presented at The 2nd Conference of the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC) & The 10th International Forum on Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD), Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan China, October 2017.
  14. Zerfass, A., Volk, S. C., & Macnamara, J. (2017). Comparing communication departments in Asia-Pacific and Europe: How leaders prioritize the department’s responsibilities. Paper presented at The 2nd Conference of the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC) & The 10th International Forum on Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD), Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan China, October 2017.
  15. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). Beyond Creativity: How Communication Departments Contribute to Corporate Success. Paper presented at the EUPRERA 2017 Annual Congress. London, United Kingdom, September 2017.
  16. Volk, S. C. (2017). Current challenges of comparative research. Presentation delivered at ICA’s Annual Conference, Panel on Comparative Research in Public Relations – Challenges and Opportunities, San Diego, USA, May 2017.
  17. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). The Strategic and Operational Contributions of Corporate Communications: Multiple Rationales and Diverging Roles. Paper presented at IPRRC, Orlando, United States, March 2017.
  18. Volk, S. C. (2016). Towards Comparative Research in Strategic Communication Scholarship: Analysis of Current Cross-National Studies and Future Directions. Paper presented at the 1st Annual Conference of the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC), Hong Kong, December 2016.
  19. Volk, S. C. (2016). Comparative Research in International Public Relations Research: Current Gaps and Future Directions. Presentation delivered at ECREA’s 6th European Communication Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, November 2016.
  20. Volk, S. C. (2016). A Systematic Review of 40 Years of Public Relations Evaluation and Measurement Research: Looking into the Past, the Present, and the Future. Paper presented at the 19th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, Florida, USA, March 2016.
  21. Zerfaß, A., Verčič, D., & Volk, S. C. (2016). Communication evaluation and measurement: Skills, practices and utilization in European organizations. Paper presented at the 19th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, Florida, USA, March 2016.
  22. Winkler, L., Volk, S. C., Borner, M., & Zerfaß A. (2015). Zwischen Intention und Emergenz. Mittelstandskommunikation im Spannungsfeld kontroverser Strategieparadigmen. Presentation delivered at the 22. Annual Congress of the DGPuK Division Public Relations & Organizational Communication, Greifswald, Germany, November 2015.

INVITED TALKS (Transfer)

  1. Volk, S. C. (2021). Modelle und Tools im Kommunikationscontrolling: Aktuelle Diskussionen und Herausforderungen. Digitaler Vortrag beim ICV Facharbeitskreis Kommunikations-Controlling am 28. Mai 2021 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  2. Volk, S. C. & Brockhaus, J. (2020). Mitarbeiter als Unternehmensbotschafter: Wie können Kommunikationsabteilungen Potenziale nutzen und Risiken vermeiden? Digitaler Vortrag beim MDR „Marketing-Schulterblick” am 30. September 2020 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  3. Volk, S. C. & Link, J. (2020). Die erste #30u30-Studie: Wie ticken die Macherinnen und Macher von morgen? Digitaler Vortrag beim Kommunikationskongress 2020 am 18. September 2020 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  4. Volk, S. C. (2019). The Management Toolbox for Communicators. Invited Talk at the Centre for Corporate Communication of the BI Norwegian Business School on April 3, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.
  5. Zerfaß, A., & Volk, S.C. (2019). Toolbox Kommunikationsmanagement - Die wichtigsten Tools für Kommunikatoren. Webinare der Akademischen Gesellschaft für Unternehmensführung & Kommunikation am 19. September und 14. Oktober 2019 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  6. Volk, S. C. & Maschmann, M. (2019). Mitarbeiter als Unternehmensbotschafter und Influencer: Wie können Kommunikationsabteilungen Potenziale nutzen und Risiken vermeiden? Vortrag im Rahmen des Refresh 2019. Das Forum zum Kommunikationsmanagement am 03. Mai 2019 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  7. Volk, S. C., & Zerfaß, A. (2018). Sind wir auf dem richtigen Weg? Wie man Ziele und Aufgaben der Kommunikationsabteilung hinterfragt und neu ausrichtet. Vortrag im Rahmen des DPRG-Zukunftsforums am 28. Juni 2018 in Hamburg.
  8. Volk, S. C. & Zerfaß, A. (2018). Stratege, Berater, Enabler oder Top-Kommunikator? Das Roles Grid als neues Tool für Kommunikationsmanager. Vortrag im Rahmen des Refresh 2018. Das Forum zum Kommunikationsmanagement am 04. Mai 2018 in Leipzig.
  9. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). The Communications Contributions Framework: How Communication Departments Contribute to Corporate Success. Invited Guest Lecture at Chinese University of Hong Kong on October 24, 2017 in Hong Kong, China.
  10. Berger, K., & Volk, S. C. (2017). Value Creating Communication. Wie man den Wertbeitrag von Kommunikation erklären kann. Vortrag im Rahmen des Refresh 2017. Das Forum zum Kommunikationsmanagement am 19. Mai 2017 in Leipzig, Deutschland.
  11. Zerfass, A., & Volk, S. C. (2017). The Art of Strategic Alignment of Corporate Communications. Vortrag auf dem Leadership Forum 2017 der Akademischen Gesellschaft für Unternehmensführung & Kommunikation am 11. Mai 2017 in Berlin, Deutschland.

Research projects

  • “Roles and Competencies of Professional Communicators across Europe”, Leipzig University (subproject of the European Communication Monitor 2021 survey) (2020-present)
  • “Toolbox Communication Management”, Leipzig University, in collaboration with University of Georgia (U.S.) and Shanghai International Studies University (China) (2019-present)
  • “New Avenues of Communication Measurement and Evaluation”, Leipzig University, in collaboration with BI Norwegian Business School (2018-2019)
  • “Comparative Research in Strategic Communication”, Leipzig University, in collaboration with Hong Kong Baptist University (China) (funded by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD) (2017-2018)
  • “Comparative Communication Research” [Doctoral Thesis], Leipzig University (funded by the German National Academic Foundation) (2015-2021)
  • “Value Creating Communication”, Leipzig University, in collaboration with the University of Münster, University Hohenheim, Humboldt-University Berlin (funded by the Academic Society for Management & Communication) (2015-2019)
  • “Skills, Practices and Utilization of Evaluation Methods across Europe”, Leipzig University (subproject of the European Communication Monitor survey) (2015-2016)

Grants and stipends

  • Two-Year Grant in the Program for Project-Related Personal Exchange (PPP) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the research project “Comparative Research in Strategic Communication”, in cooperation with Hong Kong Baptist University (China) (2017-2018)
  • Doctoral Stipend by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung) (2016-2019)
  • Congress travel grants by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (2016, 2019)
  • Congress travel grants by the Research Academy Leipzig (RAL) (2018, 2017)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Stipend by the German National Academic Foundation (2008-2015)

Awards

  • Mentee of the DGPuK Gertrude Joch Robinson-Mentoring-Program (2020)
  • Institute for Public Relations W. Ward White Top Paper Award (2019)
  • EUPRERA Master Thesis Award (Theoretical Impact Award) (2016)
  • University of Miami School of Communication Top Student Paper Award (2016)
  • Koichi Yamamura International Strategic Communication Award (2016)
  • Institute for Public Relations Top Three Papers of Practical Significance Award (2016)

Visits abroad

2019                                       

Visiting Scholar at the Department of Communication and Culture, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo (Norway)

2017, 2018

Visiting Scholar at the Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University (China)

2014 Visiting Student at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens (United States)
2010 Visiting Student at the Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich
2005-2006 Visiting Student at John Abbott College, Montreal (Canada)

Teaching experience

(Leipzig University, University of Zurich)

Lectures

  • Media Production and Media Management (this Fall semester ‘21)

Postgraduate level seminars

  • Evaluation & Measurement Methods and Management Tools for Corporate Communication (3 semester)
  • Theories of Organizations and Organizational Communication (4 semester)
  • Comparative Research in Strategic Communication (1 semester)

Postgraduate level research seminars with industry partners

  • Job Stress and Job Satisfaction of Millenials in the Communication Industry / in cooperation with PR Report & #30u30 (1 semester)
  • Corporate Influencers as New Voices in Internal Communication / in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom AG (1 semester)
  • Performance Measurement of Corporate Sponsorings of Arts, Culture, and Sports / in cooperation with Deutsche Bank AG (1 semester)
  • Strategic Digital Health Communication / in cooperation with Allianz Deutschland AG (1 semester)

Administrative experience

  • Graduate student advisor for the Master Communication Management, Leipzig University (2021)
  • Undergraduate student counseling, internship and career guidance, Leipzig University (2018)
  • Member of the evaluation committees of assistant professorships (W1), Leipzig University (2017/2018)
  • Member of the study and audit committee of the Master Communication Management, Leipzig University (2018 – 2021)
  • Member of the student selection committee of the Master Communication Management, Leipzig University (2016 – 2021)

Services

  • Editorial Board Member of Corporate Communications: an International Journal (2021 - present)
  • Co-Convenor of the EUPRERA Paper Development Workshop (PDW) (2020 - present)
  • ICA Student and Early Career Representative of the Public Relations Division & ICA Student and Early Career Advisory Committee Member (SECAC) (2018-2019)
  • Early Career Representative of the Public Relations / Organizational Communication Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK / naprok) (2016-2020)
  • Reviewer for (see Publons): International Journal of Strategic Communication, Corporate Communications: an International Journal, Journal of Communication Management, International Journal of Communication, Studies in Communication Sciences (SComS), Studies in Communication and Media (SCM)
  • Honorary committee member in the selection procedure of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2020)

Memberships

  • Member of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)
  • Member of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA)
  • Member of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)
  • Member of the International Communication Association (ICA)