Situational behavior of public relations leaders in relation to their decision-making positions in organizations
Lin, Sapphire Huili
Date of Issue2015
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Studies on public relations leadership have gained more attention from practitioners and scholars with the intent to elevate the status of this profession. Academic literature in recent years attempted to identify the traits of good public relations leaders but those traits were seldom investigated within a public relations context. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework that describes the various leadership styles specifically for public relations managers when they are carrying out routine and non-routine public relations functions, and when they are placed in different positions in the organisations, namely in decision-making positions or when not. Three online focus groups were conducted with twelve participants who have been in managerial roles for corporate communication departments in Singapore. Findings revealed that public relations leaders who were in decision-making positions were mainly proponents of their organisation’s values and mission under routine circumstances; and effective, empathetic and ethical spokespersons, enforcing a consistent message, under non-routine circumstances. As for public relations leaders who were not in decision-making positions, they were mainly advocates of the public relations profession, bridging communication gaps, under routine circumstances; and organisational supporters, ensuring a consistent message under non-routine circumstances. Ultimately, the aim of this research project is to derive a preliminary situational model of leadership that can be useful in educating public relations leaders and also the dominant coalition of how the functions of public relations leaders can differ based on the situation and position they are in.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Communication::Organizational communication
Nanyang Technological University