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Unpacking the relationship between organizational culture and excellent leadership in public relations: An empirical investigation

Juan Meng (Department of Advertising & Public Relations, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

By looking into the relationship between organizational culture and excellent leadership in public relations, the purpose of this paper is bifold: first, how and to what extent organizational culture can affect leadership effectiveness in communication management; and second, what possible impact excellent leadership in public relations may generate to reshape organizational culture in a way to further support the value of public relations.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was distributed to a randomly selected group of 1,000 senior public relations executives in the USA by using the PR executive database of Heyman Associates, a PR executive search firm in New York City. A final sample of 222 senior public relations executives was recruited. This group of respondents mirrored the characteristics of senior executives in the public relations profession in the USA.

Findings

The results identified the reciprocal relationship between organizational culture and excellent leadership in public relations. The testing of a non-recursive structural model confirmed that organizational culture generates a direct, positive effect on the achievement of excellent leadership in public relations. More importantly, excellent leadership in public relations also influences organizational culture by reshaping it in a favorable way to support public relations efforts in the organization.

Originality/value

There is insufficient empirical research linking public relations leadership and organizational culture, although it is agreed these two institutional conditions are critical. Thus, this study unpacked the independent and dependent roles of organizational culture in influencing leadership effectiveness in public relations, which may generate implications for both research and practice purposes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the support from Heyman Associates Inc. and The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations for this study.

Citation

Meng, J. (2014), "Unpacking the relationship between organizational culture and excellent leadership in public relations: An empirical investigation", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 363-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-06-2012-0050

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited