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Authenticity and the construct's dimensions in public relations and communication research

Juan‐Carlos Molleda (Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 3 August 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define the construct authenticity and its dimensions and to propose an index to measure levels of authenticity in organisational messages and actions, as well as perceived authenticity from the stakeholders' perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a comprehensive literature review.

Findings

The construct authenticity and its dimensions are defined from a multidisciplinary perspective, including literature from advertising, communication studies, marketing, and public relations.

Research limitations/implications

Items for an authenticity index are proposed. Such a scale could be used to measure the effectiveness of public relations efforts and techniques and, therefore, the perceived authenticity of organisations, including its actions, operations, product, services, and spokespeople in the mind of stakeholders.

Practical implications

The consistency between authentic claims, offerings, and promises and the management philosophy and behaviour of organisations would determine the effectiveness of public relations efforts assessed by measuring the responses, actions, and behaviours of stakeholders.

Social implications

The evenness between the genuine nature of organisational offerings and their communication is crucial to overcome the eroding confidence in major social institutions. Authenticity claims must capture the experiences, aspirations, and expectations of the involved segment of society that organisations aim to engage; otherwise, a clash of values may occur.

Originality/value

The paper provides ideas for measuring authenticity in organisational messages and actions as a guide to best ethical practices and support for teaching the value of the studied construct.

Keywords

Citation

Molleda, J. (2010), "Authenticity and the construct's dimensions in public relations and communication research", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 223-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632541011064508

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited