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Rethinking the Nature of Relationships in Public Relations. A Dialogic View

The work here presented has the objective of coming to a more comprehensive understanding of an essential issue in public relations discipline: the nature of relationships rising between organizations and publics. Having this necessity as a guide, it problematizes the theoretical framework through which public relations scholars currently study and conceive organization-public relationships, and carries out a wide and deep investigation into other relationship-centered fields. As a result, relationships as fluxes of dialectical contradictions (coming from Bakhtin’s dialogism) and as phenomena enacted by emotions (coming from Damasio and neuroscience discipline) are introduced as two key pillars to rethink and enhance the over-simplicistic and merely functionalist conception of organization-public relationships. And the nature of relationships comes to be defined as dialogical, exhibiting both an emotional and cognitive, a contradictory and unfinalizable, and a ceaseless changing character.
The work is structured along three chapters. The first conceives organization-public relationships as an iceberg to be deeply uncovered in order to fully grasp its nature. To this aim, it goes from the most apparent conceptualizations to the most latent and taken for granted characters of the phenomenon, so to reconstruct the deep nature of organization-public relationships and uncover the shortcomings penalizing the current conception of relationships in the public relations field. Anticipating the thesis of the discussion, it is argued that considering organization-public relationships as functional, transactional, bivariate, mechanist, linear and predictable phenomena risks to oversimplify the subject.
The second chapter presents the results of a deep and wide research into literatures concerned on relationship phenomena, interpersonal communication and social and personal relationships, and analyses two views of relationships in detail: relationships as fluxes of dialectical contradictions and relationships as phenomena enacted by emotions. The notion of relationships as fluxes of dialectical contradictions relies on Baxter and Montgomery’s contribution (e.g. 1996) and was firstly developed by Bakhtin and his dialogism. Relationships as phenomena enacted by emotions comes from Damasio’s (1995) hypothesis of somatic marker will be instrumental to show how relationships are enacted not only by rationality, but also by emotionality. The chapter concludes by linking Damasio’s thought with Bakhtin idea of dialogism, in order to theorize on how the two contributions are self-consistent and self-sustaining, that is appropriate to be considered together in the review of relationship nature.
The third chapter has the objective of improving public relations discipline with contributions coming from different disciplinary terrains. The rationale inspiring the chapter is to overcome the pitfalls implied in the current nature of organization-public relationships, as it was highlighted in the first part of the work. The chapter is structured along two main paragraphs. In the first one, the nature of organization-public relationships is rethought, and depicted as dialogical. Where current nature revealed itself functional and transactional, the advocated organization-public relationships are both cognitive and emotional. While public relations scholars currently consider relationships as bivariate and mechanist phenomena, the present work emphasizes the contradictory and unfinalizable character of relating. Finally, instead of considering relationships as having a linear and predictable nature, the present chapter highlights the ceaseless changing nature of relationships. The second paragraph reviews current public relations works based on the notion of dialogue, and suggests that Grunig (2001) is the most coherent one with the advanced dialogical nature of organization-public relationships, though it shows some critical shortcomings. To this regard, the chapter ends with the suggestion of enhancing systems theory as governing theoretical paradigm, by embracing more complex approaches. This conclusion is validated by other studies, both within and outside public relations, that demonstrate how dialogicality is embedded in society.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
CHAPTER ONE The nature of relationships in public relations onceiving the notion of organization-public relationships as an iceberg to be deeply uncovered in order to fully grasp its nature, the chapter explores relationships in public relations with different focuses. To this aim, it goes from the most apparent organization-public relationships conceptualizations to the most latent and taken for granted characters of the phenomenon. The first paragraph shows how the study of relationships emerged and became an issue in the public relations field, in order to provide the reader with the context surrounding relationships study in public relations. The second paragraph digs deeply into the theoretical frameworks and roots of organization-public relationships notion and highlights how systems, interpersonal communication and interorganizational relationships theories informed public relations literature. The third paragraph completes the discourse inaugurated by paragraph two around the notion of organization-public relationships, by discussing the status of the concept in public relations literature and eliciting the relevant tenets informing its study. Going to the bottom and invisible part of the iceberg, the fourth paragraph refers to the analysis conducted in the previous parts, reconstructs the deep nature of organization-public relationships and focuses on the shortcomings associated with the current conception of relationships in the public relations field. Anticipating the thesis of the discussion, it is argued that considering organization-public relationships as functional, transactional, bivariate, mechanist, linear and predictable phenomena risks to oversimplify the subject. C

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Scienze della Communicazione ed Economiche

Autore: Roberto Cortese Contatta »

Composta da 135 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 126 click dal 05/05/2009.

 

Consultata integralmente una volta.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.