Submit an Abstract

ABC, the Association for Business Communication, is an international organization committed to fostering excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education and practice.

This is the first ABC conference on the African continent and the Professional Communication Unit (PCU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is proud to host this event.

Figuratively speaking:

 the facts and fictions of business and corporate communication

Conference themes

  • Professional discourse
  • Corporate governance and accountability
  • Financial literacy
  • Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and consumer protection
  • Sustainable business practices
  • Best practice and benchmarking in business communication      
  • Global competitiveness
  • Global collaboration and networking
  • Change communication
  • Multimodal communication
  • Intercultural and diversity management
  • Technological developments and virtual communication
  • New media challenges and impacts
  • Managing reputations: PR, image and brand
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Crisis communication
  • International communication


Conference streams

  • Research (theoretical/academic/scholarship)
  • Education (teaching/learning/curriculum/policy) 
  • Practice (corporate/workplace practices)

Keynote speakers and panel members

Confirmed speakers and panel members include financial journalist Bruce Cameron, TV executive producer George Mazarakis, Judge Dennis Davis and Professors Mervyn King and Theo van Leeuwen. Further speaker details will be added to the website once confirmed.

Call for papers and panels

The programme committee warmly invite you to submit an abstract for distribution to the scientific committee. Please indicate your preferred choice from the following three options:

  • full paper (30 minute slot: including 10 minutes of discussion and question time)
  • work in progress (20 minute slot: including 5 minutes of discussion and question time)
  • panel (60-90 minute slot, depending on number of contributors and panel format) 

As the field and conference themes are highly multidisciplinary, contributions are welcomed across a wide methodological spectrum encompassing qualitative, quantitative and critical perspectives on professional and business discourse and practice.  Abstracts for papers and works in progress should be a brief summary of the paper's primary premise and findings. Panel outlines should indicate list of contributors that are anticipated to be involved in the panel and the format proposed.

Abstract guidelines

All authors are asked to please follow the following guidelines carefully:

  • Write all abstracts/outlines in English.
  • Indicate your preferred option (full paper, work in progress or panel).
  • Indicate your preferred theme(s) from the list above.
  • Indicate your preferred stream (research, education, practice).
  • Use an informative title that indicates the content of the abstract so presentations may be appropriately grouped.
  • Limit abstracts to 300 words and panel outlines to 500 words.
  • Add a 50 word description for use in the conference summary.
  • Do not include graphs, diagrams or references.

Submit all abstracts and outlines to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The abstract deadline is Wednesday, 30th September 2015


Important dates

Being an international conference, we did an early first call for papers (end of April deadline). This time period has allowed for an ample review and acceptance period so that delegates have ample time to plan their attendance. As this is high season in Cape Town, flights and accommodation should be booked as soon as abstracts are accepted and registration paid. Information about accommodation, travel arrangements and the social programme are available on the website. A second call is now going out and remember, the sooner you send in your abstracts or outlines, the sooner you’ll hear the results of the review process. Early submissions will be notified no later than end of May; second call submissions should expect a two-week turnaround time. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any deadline issues.


Registration fee and ABC membership

Registration fees vary across a range of categories (e.g. ABC members and non-members). There are also early-bird and late deadlines for registration. (See registration page for fee structure.) The early bird date is 15 August 2015. If you are interested in ABC membership, please visit the ABC website for details and benefits ( Remember that the reduced conference fee for members covers a fair part of your membership fee!



All accepted abstracts and outlines will be published in the online programme PDF book which will be available on the conference website. A booklet with conference programme and 50 word topic descriptions will be printed and placed in the conference bag.

ABC publishes two journals, the International Journal of Business Communication (IJBC) and the Business and Professional Communication Quarterly (BPCQ). These Sage publications may provide a publication opportunity. Subscriptions to both these journals are included as a benefit of ABC membership.

 For more details, see:


Organisers and steering committee

UCT steering committee members

Associate Professor Terri Grant (Head of the Professional Communication Unit and Conference Chairperson)

Claudia Kalil (Lecturer, Professional Communication Unit)

Gaontebale Nodoba (Lecturer, Professional Communication Unit)

Associate Professor David Taylor (Director, African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management - AIFMRM)

Joanna Legutko (Lecturer, Actuarial Science)

Billy Enderstein (South African Actuarial Development Program Coordinator - SAADP)

Alison Meadows (Head of Section, Applied Management)

Associate Professor Gert Human (Head of Section, Marketing)

Dr Nicola Pallitt (Lecturer, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching - CILT)

Nonnie Falala (Departmental Manager, School of Management Studies)

Sindi Majebe (Administrative Assistant, Professional Communication Unit)

Helga Halvorson (Corporate Relationships Manager, Faculty of Commerce)

Gerda Kruger (Executive Director, Communication & Marketing)

Associate Professor Anton Schlechter (Head of the School of Management Studies – ex officio)


ABC representatives

Professor Geert Jacobs, Ghent University, Belgium (Regional Director: Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Associate Professor James Dubinsky, Virginia Tech, US (Executive Director, ABC; Executive Director, Council for Communication Associations)


Contact details

For administrative queries, contact Roxanne van Wyk at the Conference Management Centre on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +27 21 406 6330.

For academic queries, please contact conference chairperson, A/Professor Terri Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +27 21 6503412.