Alexander Buhmann

Postdoktorstipendiat - Institutt for kommunikasjon og kultur


 Alexander Buhmann is assistant professor at the Department of Communication and Culture at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo and Co Director of the BI Centre for Corporate Communication. He is also currently a Research Fellow at the Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California. Alexander studied media and communication at the University of Siegen, Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Fribourg. He holds an M.A. in media studies from the University of Siegen and a Ph.D. in social science from the University of Fribourg.


Buhmann, Alexander & Brønn, Peggy Simcic (2018)

Applying Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Practitioners’ Intentions to Measure and Evaluate Communication Outcomes

Corporate Communications. An International Journal, 23(3), s. 377- 391. Doi: 10.1108/CCIJ-11-2017-0107

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to understand factors that may stimulate or inhibit communication practitioners when it comes to measurement and evaluation (M&E) of communication initiatives at the outcome level (i.e. impact on stakeholder’s attitudes and behavior or business results). Design/methodology/approach- Based on Ajzen’s (1985) theory of planned behavior (TPB), the authors develop and test a new model to analyze antecedents to M&E behavior (attitude, perceived norms, and behavioral control) and assess how they impact practitioners’ intentions to perform outcome M&E. The model is tested in a standardized online survey (n=371). Findings - Findings show that the TPB model explains a large amount of the variance in practitioners’ intentions to engage in M&E at the outcome level. The model demonstrates that attitude toward outcome M&E and perceived behavioral control, particularly lack of skills, are the two strongest drivers influencing practitioners’ intentions to measure and evaluate outcomes of their communication initiatives. Perceived norms to perform outcome M&E has only a very weak effect on intentions. Research limitations/implications - The findings highlight the potential of education when it comes to developing M&E capabilities in the practice. They also suggest that the role of normative pressure to perform outcome M&E needs to be better understood in terms of the dynamics of standardization specifically regarding design, implementation, and monitoring of M&E standards. Originality/value - The study is the first to go beyond the common descriptive focus in studying M&E practices and is the first application of the TPB to understand the factors that drive communication practitioners’ intentions to perform M&E.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Buhmann, Alexander, White, Candace, Zhang, Tiando & Kiousis, Spiro (2018)

Reputation Spillover: Corporate Crises’ Effects on Country Reputation

Journal of Communication Management, 22(1), s. 96- 112. Doi: 10.1108/JCOM-08-2017-0081

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how varying degrees of media-constructed associations between organizations and their home countries affect audience perceptions of such associations and, subsequently, how recipients attribute crisis responsibility and reputational damage to the home country. Additionally, the paper investigates if pre-crisis country image can buffer negative effects of the crisis for the country. Design/methodology/approach The authors hypothesize that the strength of actor associations in media reports about crises affects recipients’ cognitive processes of crisis responsibility attribution and, thus, the “direction” of reputational damage (corporation vs country). Empirically, the authors analyze the effects of different levels of actor association in crisis reports (strong actor association vs weak actor association) regarding a Chinese corporation in a one-factorial (between-subjects) experimental design; and the intervening effect of China’s country image prior to the crisis. Participants for the study lived in Switzerland and the USA. Findings The effect of different actor associations presented in the media on perceived association between a corporation and its home country is confirmed. Furthermore, these varying perceptions lead to significantly different tendencies in people’s ascriptions of crisis responsibility (corporation vs country), and different degrees of reputational fallout for the home countries. Finally, the data did not confirm a moderating effect of pre-crisis country image on the reputational damage caused by the crisis. Research limitations/implications The study contributes to the understanding of key factors in the formation of crisis attributions as well as insights for the study of country image and public diplomacy. Practical implications It provides a new approach for corporate communication and public diplomacy to analyze the complex interdependencies between countries and internationally visible and globally known corporations, which potentially affect the country’s perception abroad. Social implications Particularly for smaller countries that cannot rely on political and economic power to defend national interests in a global context, their “soft power” in terms of reputation and country image can play a central role in their political, economic, and cultural success. Originality/value The paper applies a new conceptual framework and methodology to analyze how both mediated and cognitive associations between different actors influence attribution of responsibility in crises, and how these associations ultimately bear on reputation spillover for the different actors.

Buhmann, Alexander; Likely, Fraser & Geddes, David (2018)

Communication Evaluation and Measurement: Connecting Research to Practice

Journal of Communication Management, 22(1), s. 113- 119. Doi: 10.1108/JCOM-12-2017-0141

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the current state of communication evaluation and measurement (E&M) as a vital field connecting academics and practitioners in communication management. Design/methodology/approach The authors track recent developments in the field, address the ongoing struggle toward E&M standards, and propose six agenda points for the future E&M debate. Findings While the authors see an engaged, international interest community making considerable headway in important E&M issues, the conclusion is that several areas require further work: dynamics of standardization; going beyond the effectiveness-based view; internal services evaluation; addressing intervening variables; closer ties to related fields; and dissemination into the wider practice. Originality/value The paper gives a pointed reflection of the state of the field and also provides a comprehensive list of current resources for those who aim to further the E&M debate.

Ingenhoff, Diana & Buhmann, Alexander (2018)

Public Diplomacy: Messung, Entstehung und Gestaltung von Länderimages

Herbert von Halem Verlag.

Public Diplomacy ist ein international schnell wachsendes Forschungs- und Praxisfeld. Dabei geht es v.a. um sämtliche Aktivitäten eines Landes zum Aufbau und zur Pflege eines Beziehungsnetzes zu heutigen und zukünftigen Entscheidern, sowie zur Beeinflussung der Einstellung der eigenen und ausländischen (auch digitalen) Öffentlichkeiten zur Landespolitik und seinen verschiedenen Wirkungsbereichen. Der Aufbau und die Pflege des Landesimages nimmt hier eine entscheidende Rolle ein. Insbesondere in der Kommunikationswissenschaft – und darin in der Public-Relations-Forschung – sind in den vergangenen Jahren wesentliche Grundlagen zur Entstehung und Gestaltung von Länderimages durch die Public Diplomacy erarbeitet worden. Bisher liegt aber zu diesem jungen und dynamischen Feld noch kein deutschsprachiges Buch vor. Diese Lücke möchten die Autoren schließen. Im vorliegenden Band führen sie in den aktuellen Forschungs- und Wissensstand zu diesem Themengebiet ein und reflektieren grundlegende Fragen der Messung, Entstehung und Gestaltung von Länderimages. Dabei gibt das Buch antworten auf die folgenden fünf Leitfragen: · Welche Aspekte/Dimensionen eines Landes sind wichtig für sein Image? · Wie entsteht ein Landesimage? · Welches sind die für die Imagebildung wirksamen Kanäle? · Welche Handlungsrelevanz und Wirksamkeit hat das Landesimage? · Wie lässt sich die Wirksamkeit von Public Diplomacy und Landeskommunikation messen und evaluieren? Das vorliegende Buch führt verständlich und reflektiert in die facettenreiche Literatur zu Länderimages und Public Diplomacy ein und bietet damit neue Anknüpfungspunkte für Forschung und Praxis.

Buhmann, Alexander & Ingenhoff, Diana (2017)

Zur Wahrnehmung von Einheit und Handlungsvermögen kollektiver Entitäten im Kommunikationsmanagement: Vorschlag eines ‘Entity-Agent Framework’

Wehmeier, Stefan & Schoeneborn, Dennis (red.). Strategische Kommunikation im Spannungsfeld zwischen Intention und Emergenz

Ingenhoff, Diana & Buhmann, Alexander (2017)

The entity-agent-framework as a starting point for international public relations and public diplomacy research

Somerville, Ian; Hargie, Owen, Taylor, Maureen & Toledano, Margalit (red.). International Public Relations: Perspectives from deeply divided societies

Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

The constitution and effects of country images: Theory and measurement of a central target construct in international public relations and public diplomacy

Studies in Communication Sciences, 16(2), s. 182- 198. Doi: 10.1016/j.scoms.2016.10.002

The article introduces a model for analyzing the constitution and effects of country images. The model combines well-established concepts from national identity theory and attitude theory with a model from reputation management. The model is operationalized and tested in two surveys. Results show how different cognitive and affective dimensions of the country image affect each other and how they ultimately bear on the facilitation of behavioral intentions. Lines for future inquiry in country image research are suggested.

Lepori, Benedetto; Michael, Wise, Ingenhoff, Diana & Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

The dynamics of university units as a multi‐level process. Credibility cycles and resource dependencies

Scientometrics, 109(3), s. 2279- 2301. Doi: 10.1007/s11192-016-2080-5

This paper presents an analysis of resource acquisition and profile development of institutional units within universities. We conceptualize resource acquisition as a two-level nested process, where units compete for external resources based on their credibility, but at the same time are granted faculty positions from the larger units (department) to which they belong. Our model implies that the growth of university units is constrained by the decisions of their parent department on the allocation of professorial positions, which represent the critical resource for most units’ activities. In our field of study this allocation is largely based on educational activities, and therefore, units with high scientific credibility are not necessarily able to grow, despite an increasing reliance on external funds. Our paper therefore sheds light on the implications that the dual funding system of European universities has for the development of units, while taking into account the interaction between institutional funding and third-party funding.

Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

Measuring Country Image: Theory, Method, and Effects


Alexander Buhmann develops a new model for measuring the constitution and effects of country images by combining well-established concepts from national identity theory and attitude theory with a recent model from reputation management. The model is operationalized and tested in two surveys. Results show how different cognitive and affective dimensions of the country image affect each other and ultimately lead to the facilitation of behavioral intentions. The book introduces a theory-grounded approach to clarify the dimensionality of the country image. It is the first to operationalize and test the dimensions of the country image by combining formative and reflective measures in a mixed-specified model.

Ingenhoff, Diana & Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

Advancing PR measurement and evaluation: Demonstrating the properties and assessment of variance-based structural equation models using an example study on corporate reputation

Public Relations Review, 42(3), s. 418- 431. Doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.11.010

This paper aims to add to the growing discourse on methods in public relations research by showing how variance-based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) can be used to analyze effects between multiple intangible target constructs in PR. We introduce the properties of the method, compare it to conventional covariance-based SEM, and demonstrate how PLS-SEM can be applied to public relations evaluation using an example study on organizational reputation and its effects on trust, and stakeholder behavior (n = 1892). This paper offers a consequent methodological discussion of PLS-SEM and provides a valuable resource for public relations research aiming to apply the variance-based approach.

Buhmann, Alexander; Ingenhoff, Diana & Lepori, Benedetto (2015)

Dimensions of diversity: mapping the field of media and communication studies by combining cognitive and material dimensions.

Communications, 40(3), s. 267- 293. Doi: 10.1515/commun-2015-0010

In this study we empirically map the field of media and communication studies (MCS) by focusing on relationships between cognitive dimensions (such as research topics and approaches) on the one hand and material dimensions (such as funding and institutionalization) on the other. Our analysis, which focuses on the field of MCS in Switzerland, identifies two clusters of research institutions representing distinct strands of research in the field. Results show how these two strands differ in terms of their resource base, institutional positioning and recognition, teaching and transfer activities, as well as activities of scientific production. Similarities and differences in these dimensions serve to explain the general evolution of the field.

Buhmann, Alexander; Hellmueller, Lea & Bosshart, Louis (2015)

Popular culture and communication practice

Communication Research Trends, 34(3), s. 2- 25.

Buhmann, Alexander & Ingenhoff, Diana (2015)

Advancing the country image construct from a public relations perspective: from model to measurement

Journal of Communication Management, 19(1), s. 62- 80. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-11-2013-0083

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a new model for the measurement of the constitution and effects of the country image as a central target construct in international public relations. Design/methodology/approach – The authors combine concepts from reputation management (Eisenegger and Imhof, 2008; Ingenhoff and Sommer, 2007), national identity theory (Smith, 1987), and attitude theory (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980) to derive a four-dimensional model, conceptualizing country images as stakeholder attitudes toward a nation and its state, comprising specific beliefs and general feelings in a functional, normative, aesthetic, and emotional dimension. Furthermore, the authors develop a path model to analyze the country image’s effect on stakeholder behavior. This model is operationalized and tested in a survey regarding the country image of the USA and its effects on travel behavior. Findings – Results show how functional, normative and aesthetic image dimensions vary in affecting the formation of the affective image component. It is also demonstrated how the affective image di-mension acts as a mediator in the image’s effect on stakeholder behavior. Practical implications – For international public relations and public diplomacy practice the developed model supplies a new approach for country image analyses which will serve and improve the development and evaluation of cross-national communication strategies. Originality/value – The paper introduces a new theory-grounded approach to clarify the dimensionality of the country image construct. It is the first to operationalize cognitive and affective dimensions of the country image by combining formative and reflective indicators in a mixed specified construct.

Buhmann, Alexander & Ingenhoff, Diana (2015)

The 4D Model of the country image: An integrative approach from the perspective of communication management

International Communication Gazette, 77(1), s. 102- 124. Doi: 10.1177/1748048514556986

This conceptual article proposes a new integrative model of the country image by drawing on advances from the fields of business studies, social psychology, political science, and communication science. To interrelate different approaches, a communication management perspective is applied, providing a basic terminological framework systemizing the central constructs of country image, country reputation, country brand, and country identity. On this basis the authors develop the ‘4D Model' of the country image by integrating well-established concepts from national identity theory, attitude theory, and reputation management. The new model is suited for application in comparative analyses of country images both on the level of different groups (such as a country’s domestic and foreign publics) as well as different societal levels (such as individual attitudes on the one hand and mass-mediated prestige information on the other).

Brønn, Peggy Simcic & Buhmann, Alexander (2018)

Building and Managing Reputation: Current Debates and Future Directions

Sasson, Amir (red.). At the Forefront, Looking Ahead: Research-Based Answers to Contemporary Uncertainties of Management

Brønn, Peggy Simcic; Buhmann, Alexander, Sannes, Ragnvald & Torp, Øyvind (2017)

Successful use of technology in corporate communications

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 4(2), s. 6- 7.

Buhmann, Alexander (2017)

Measuring country image in 4D

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 4(2), s. 8- 9.

Buhmann, Alexander (2017)

Measuring what matters

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 4(2), s. 29- 29.

Buhmann, Alexander & Brønn, Peggy Simcic (2017)

Drivers and barriers in public relations measurement and evaluation: Analyzing effects on behavior.

[Academic lecture]. 20th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference.

Buhmann, Alexander (2017)

What can we learn from Norway and Sweden? Refugee issues and country images

[Academic lecture]. Conference of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences on ““Migration and Mobility”.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Zhang, Tiando, Buhmann, Alexander, White, Candace & Kiousis, Spiro (2017)

A Multi-Cultural Measurement Instrument for Public Diplomacy: Analyzing Value Drivers and Effects of Country Images on Stakeholders’ Behavior in Three Countries.

[Academic lecture]. 67th ICA Conference.

Buhmann, Alexander & Ihlen, Øyvind (2017)

The fate of Habermas’ theory in public relations. A quantitative review of three decades of public relations research

[Academic lecture]. 67th ICA Conference.

Bang, Tor; Solvoll, Mona K & Buhmann, Alexander (2017)

Stoler på kommunens nettsider

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 4(1), s. 18- 19.

Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

PR community is upping the game

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 3(2), s. 28- 29.

Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

The true value of public relations

[Popular scientific article]. Communication for Leaders, 3(1), s. 12- 13.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Buhmann, Alexander & Lepori, Benedetto (2016)

Developing indicators for the usage value of research in communication sciences

[Academic lecture]. CRUS Conference “A Swiss way to quality: National and International Perspectives”.

Buhmann, Alexander; Lepori, Benedetto & Ingenhoff, Diana (2016)

Clashing conventions? Exploring human resource management in the cleavage between academic field traditions and new institutional rules. Quantitative and qualitative insights from the field of communication and media studies in Switzerland

[Academic lecture]. the 21th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Zhang, Tianduo, Buhmann, Alexander, White, Candace & Kiousis, Spiro (2016)

Country of origin reversed: spill-over effects of corporate crises on home country's image

[Academic lecture]. ECREA 6th European Communication Conference.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Buhmann, Alexander & Dolea, Alina (2016)

Public diplomacy: beginnings and development of nation PR in Switzerland [German title: Public Diplomacy: Entstehung und Geschichte der Nationen-PR der Schweiz]

[Academic lecture]. Annual Conference of the DGPuK Interest Group PR and Organizational Communication.

Ingenhoff, Diana; Buhmann, Alexander, White, Candace, Zhang, Tianduo & Kiousis, Spiro (2016)

Exploring reputational spillover effects: How corporate crises affect their home country’s reputation

[Academic lecture]. EUPRERA International Congress.

White, Candace; Ingenhoff, Diana & Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

Nation branding or cultural diplomacy? The role and impact of the creative industries on national reputation

[Academic lecture]. ECREA Colloquium on Nation Branding and the Creative Industries.

Buhmann, Alexander (2016)

Country image cultivation in Swiss public diplomacy: Its role, strategies, and success

[Academic lecture]. 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Associatio.

Ingenhoff, Diana; White, Candace, Buhmann, Alexander, Zhang, Tianduo & Kiousis, Spiro (2016)

Developing a scale to measure country image

[Academic lecture]. 19th annual International Public Relations Research Conference.

Akademisk grad
År Akademisk institusjon Grad
2015 University of Fribourg Ph.D.
2010 University of Siegen M.A.
År Arbeidsgiver Tittel
2016 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Assistant Professor
2016 - Present USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Research Fellow
2011 - 2015 University of Fribourg Research Assistant
2013 - 2014 University of Santa Clara Visiting Researcher
2011 - 2011 University of Siegen Research Assistant
2009 - 2010 University of Siegen Undergraduate Assistant