Public Relations Research at the Crossroads

  title={Public Relations Research at the Crossroads},
  author={Karla K. Gower},
  journal={Journal of Public Relations Research},
  pages={177 - 190}
  • K. Gower
  • Published 1 April 2006
  • Sociology
  • Journal of Public Relations Research
This article briefly sets out where we are in terms of research and then discusses where I think we should go in the future. The emphasis in this article is on what I see as the dominant theoretical paradigm in the field—2-way symmetrical communication. Although relationship building is also a prominent feature of the literature (L. A. Grunig, Toth, & Hon, 2000), it is 2-way symmetry that dominates. Today's public relations practice is fluid and complex. Thus, we need to bring into our… 
Public Relations Through a New Lens—Critical Praxis via the Excellence Theory
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This philosophical article examines how public relations researchers have engaged with Kuhn’s concept of a paradigm and have used it to set a research agenda for the field. I argue that Kuhn believed
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Paradigms, perspectives and practice of public relations and communication: implication for 'disciplined imagination' in South African scholarship
Increasing technological complexity and globalisation have resulted in fundamental societal and business changes that require scholars and practitioners to challenge their own assumptions, and come
Crisis communication under transformative change : the emergent context and roles of primary and secondary organisations
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Government Communication: An Emerging Field in Political Communication Research
In February 2009, the US Congress passed a US$787 billion stimulus package designed to put the country on the road to economic recovery. Thereafter, managing ‘the stimulus story’ became, as Time
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This study aims to describe the public and practitioner's perceptions of the public relations or Humas profession. Public relations plays a role in maintaining the credibility of the organization
The emerging “field” of public relations in China: Multiple interplaying logics and evolving actors’ inter-relations
While public relations (PR) scholars have increasingly criticized the privilege of organizational interest, limited research has problematized the dominant analytical locus of organizational site. As


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Reflective Communication Management, Future Ways for Public Relations Research
In this chapter, we propose a two-by-two-dimensional definition of communication and management deriving four basic models of communication management as a result. These analytical models reveal four
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An empirical study of practitioners in the newSouth Africa found no evidence that respondents grouped public relations practices according to principles of symmetry or asymmetry, thus rejecting the
Public Relations in a Democratic Society: Value and Values
Each of the articles in this special issue merit attention based solely on the authors' contributions to alternative ways of doing and understanding public relations. More important, as a body of
Rupturing Public Relations Metanarratives: The Example of India
In keeping with the trend of international-intercultural public relations practice, research in this area has also been mostly top-down, "outside-in," or etic in nature. This study combines a
The Missing Story of Women in Public Relations
This study proposed to advance the research on roles in public relations by considering through a feminist analysis the breadth of roles that women perform under the managerial label. Although
Symmetry, contingency, complexity: Accommodating uncertainty in public relations theory
Abstract This article explores the potential of complexity theory as a unifying theory in public relations, where scholars have recently raised problems involving flux, uncertainty, adaptiveness, and
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Abstract Public relations scholarship, so positivistically oriented, has shown little interest in history and the arts. While public relations may or may not be a science, few scholars would deny
U.S. Public Relations History: Knowledge and Limitations
This analysis of the literature on public relations history indicates that the field has been dominated by a business history approach. Most scholars have studied public relations in its corporate
Power Over, Power With, and Power to Relations: Critical Reflections on Public Relations, the Dominant Coalition, and Activism
Symmetrical public relations theory acknowledges primacy of the dominant coalition in making organizational decisions and influencing public relations practices but reveals little about this powerful