My main research area is currently political communication. I have also studied professional communication, mediated interpersonal communication, Finnish speech culture, television performance, leadership communication and communication education.
Political Communication. I have studied political communication from many different perspectives. Presently, I’m writing a book on politicians’ media communication. Additionally, a project concerning live tweeting during televised election debates is in progress. In my latest paper, I analysed the privatization of politics during the last presidential election in Finland.
My previous research project focused on political leadership. We analysed the reporting of political leaders in media and interviewed Finnish party leaders. The results of the project have been published, for example, in Journalism Studies, International Journal of Strategic Communication and Nordicom Review.
I have also published several articles on televised election discussions and debates, which I studied from the perspectives of both the politicians and the viewers. I have been developing a theoretical model for the analyses of political television discussions. In addition, I have investigated campaign trends, politicians’ web pages and reporting on politicians in the public. I have edited three books about political communication, the latest of which considers Finland’s presidential election in 2006.
Professional interaction. I was a leader of a research project called “Social interaction in professional relationship”, which was funded by the Academy of Finland. The aim of the research project was to explore and analyse the nature, quality and dynamics of interaction in various professional relationships from the point of view of interpersonal communication theories. It also studied how the professional relationships change and the development of communication competence needed to maintain those relationships. Professional relationships explored will include typical interpersonal professional-client relationships such as teacher-student, adviser-advisee, logopaedist-client, pharmacist-client, doctor-patient and supervisor-employee. The final articles are under way, while several articles and doctoral dissertations for the project have been finished. These publications deal with communication among doctors, pharmacists and lawyers.
Finnish Speech Culture. In several articles, I have focused on the characteristics of oral communication from the cultural perspective. The book, “Speech Culture in Finland”, which I edited with Professor Richard Wilkins, considers Finnish communication culture. The book offers qualitative studies about Finnish speech culture and also studies the relationships between speech and culture at the general level.
Television Performance. In my doctoral dissertation, I studied the television performance of journalists. After that, my research focused on politicians’ television performance and I have also studied parasocial interaction.
Mediated interpersonal communication. In the present project, we are studying live tweeting during televised election debates as a new form of citizens’ discussion. In the area of computer-to-human interaction, I studied the ways in which users react to a visual interface agent and its communication.
Communication Education. I have written several articles about communication education. In the latest, I consider discipline-based communication education. Together with Merja Almonkari, I edited a book on the teaching of academic speech communication.