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Jens Hagelstein, M.A., received his doctorate with the degree "magna cum laude" ("very good") from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy at Leipzig University in July 2023. The doctoral thesis was supervised by Professor Dr. Ansgar Zerfass. Second examiner of the dissertation was Professor Dr. Anne Bartsch.

Jens Hagelstein's dissertation examines image transfers in personalized organizational communication: How does the image of CEOs or party leaders, employees or party members, celebrity testimonials or social media influencers transfer to the organizations associated with them? The author approached this question from the perspective of media reception and effects research. Drawing on theoretical approaches from cognitive psychology, he developed an image transfer model that distinguishes between affective and cognitive, explicit and implicit, and controlled and automatic image transfers. In the second part of the thesis, the model has been empirically validated in three elaborate experimental studies with a total of almost 1,000 subjects. Among others findings, Jens Hagelstein was able to prove implicit and automatic image transfers for the first time. The findings are used to develop perspectives for follow-up research and to formulate practical recommendations for organizational communication management in seven theses for practitioners.

The dissertation will soon be published by Springer VS in the series "Organisationskommunikation. Studien zu Public Relations/Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Kommunikationsmanagement" and will be available as book and e-book (in German language).

Jens Hagelstein has been a Research Associate at the Chair of Strategic Communication at Leipzig University and doctoral fellow of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) since October 2018 with research and teaching interests in PR and advertising communication. He works as project manager for the European Communication Monitor, the world's largest comparative study on strategic communication. Jens Hagelstein has published various articles in international journals and handbooks and received several awards for excellence in teaching. He serves as early- and mid-career scholars' representative in the Public Relations and Organisational Communications Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) and has been elected representative of the academic staff at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at Leipzig University. Jens Hagelstein studied communication and media science as well as German philology at the universities of Tübingen and Leipzig and worked at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Axel Springer and in an advertising agency.