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Academic research on public affairs which aims to reconstruct the rationale for the involvement in public affairs, and the possible outsourcing thereof, focuses mainly on…
Academic research on public affairs which aims to reconstruct the rationale for the involvement in public affairs, and the possible outsourcing thereof, focuses mainly on the perspective of the principal. Even though consultants are undoubtedly increasing in importance, their relevance as agents is often downplayed. This study seeks to empirically supplement the perspective of the consultant in order to identify potential inimitable functions that could explain why public affairs work is often contracted‐out.
A nation‐wide survey about public affairs consultants in Switzerland is based on an inductive empirical research design, which facilitates questions regarding which services consultants actually perform and what indispensable functions they claim to provide.
The results highlight lobbying, political PR, and [referendums and election] campaigns as the main areas of service. These services are associated with different functions. Lobbyists in particular define themselves as partisan players closely involved in political decision making. In contrast, political PR and campaigning are understood in terms of horizontal or vertical boundary‐spanning. A somewhat technical justification for contracting out, referring to a special infrastructure and costs issues, is downplayed. Instead, the independent outside view facilitating innovation forms the most important generalizable frame when explaining the unique added value consultants have to offer.
The paper shows that the real or supposed independence of the consultant vis‐à‐vis the client constitutes an inimitable resource. The outsider‐status facilitates the successful fulfilment of public affairs functions such as innovation, boundary‐spanning, access and legitimising. Thus, it is vitally important for consultants to build up a reputation. When it comes to contracting‐out decisions, impression management theories are capable of enriching public affairs theories that focus on cost‐benefit‐calculations.
Has the public affairs function significantly changed the way major U.S. corporations meet the growing external challenge to traditional corporate practices? Examining in…
Has the public affairs function significantly changed the way major U.S. corporations meet the growing external challenge to traditional corporate practices? Examining in detail the actions of Exxon (Valdez) and Union Carbide (Bhopal), this paper raises some questions as to whether the difference between public affairs and traditional public relations is a real one or merely a matter of semantics. Then, utilizing an unpublished corporate public affairs survey conducted by Central Michigan University, the writer argues that the problem with the public affairs function lies not with the function itself, but in its implementation by corporations.
Drawing on the work of Niccolo Machiavelli and his appreciation of management and power, this paper explores the contemporary role of public affairs in UK organisations…
Drawing on the work of Niccolo Machiavelli and his appreciation of management and power, this paper explores the contemporary role of public affairs in UK organisations and the type of roles enacted by practitioners. The paper reviews how public affairs and, particularly, the corporate lobbying function have been treated by researchers and outlines recent research into the role played by public affairs practitioners based within a number of leading UK organisations. This study forms part of a longer‐term research programme designed to examine the functioning of in‐house public affairs departments within the UK. The paper explores how the role of public affairs practitioners can be conceptualised and suggests that public affairs and corporate lobbying have gained increasing recognition as strategically important activities, particularly within the more regulated sectors of industry.
Increasingly more companies are recognising the importance of regulations and other legislation and their effects on business. This recognition has caused significant growth in public affairs practice, primarily through the growing number of public affairs consultancies which have been supporting the organisation's public affairs efforts. Importantly, organisations are realising that an in‐house public affairs practitioner offers greater understanding of the objectives of the company and is available to work with other internal managers to formulate effective public affairs programmes.
This paper examines the evolution of two separate fields, which are essentially concerned with the same issues but are framed by different academic and professional…
This paper examines the evolution of two separate fields, which are essentially concerned with the same issues but are framed by different academic and professional disciplines and practice. It appears that public affairs management researchers often fail to take into account parallel literature from the discipline of public relations — even when purporting to offer an interdisciplinary approach. Equally, the public relations literature frequently fails to speak the language of business management and narrowly defines such key business activities as marketing, policy and strategy. In this paper, the authors present evidence prescribing the differing evolution of public affairs and public relations. They compare and contrast public affairs and public relations in terms of their definitions, scholarship, survey evidence, leading writers, academic and professional associations and educational programme content. They conclude by offering several suggestions for closing the gap between the two areas.
This study combines survey research with case study analysis to explore the implications of culture and gender for governmental public affairs. The data base, developed…
This study combines survey research with case study analysis to explore the implications of culture and gender for governmental public affairs. The data base, developed for the IABC Research Foundation's Excellence project, establishes that participative culture is most conducive to effective public relations. Governmental agencies in the USA, Canada and the UK tend to be less participatory than two of the other three types of organisation studied: corporation and non‐profit. Women in the agency analysed in greater depth, a state lottery, formed the majority of the public affairs staff, yet encountered the ubiquitous glass ceiling in their attempts to ascend front the technical to the managerial role. Public relations in general in governmental agencies exhibits remarkably more similarity than difference across organisational types and among the three countries studied. Any factor, such as authoritarian culture or gender discrimination, that limits the effectiveness of the communication function is particularly significant there, however, given the size and scope of governmental public affairs.
The Australian social and political environments have broadened the traditional “public affairs” function to include specific tools, such as environmental communication…
The Australian social and political environments have broadened the traditional “public affairs” function to include specific tools, such as environmental communication, corporate giving, issues management and community relations. Future trends indicate a more strategic “public affairs” focus.
This paper aims to investigate the conceptualisation of corporate communication management (CCM) and its dimensionality from the practitioners’ perspectives. It proposes…
This paper aims to investigate the conceptualisation of corporate communication management (CCM) and its dimensionality from the practitioners’ perspectives. It proposes to validate an operational definition and dimensions of the CCM construct, which have not been identified in the literature.
The initial concepts are based on academic literature and followed by 12 face-to-face interviews with corporate communication practitioners and consultants from Malaysia to confirm the practicality of each dimension. QSR Nvivo Version 9.0 software is used to analyse the qualitative data. Then, the data are classified through deductive content analysis based on key words or themes.
The diverse perspectives are shown from the practitioners and consultants on the dimensionality of CCM. Most of the interviewees suggest that CCM dimensions include corporate advertising, corporate affairs, investor relations and employee communication within the corporate communication and other departments. They also found the public relations and media relations are clearly under corporate communications manager’s supervision. This research confirms the concept of CCM and its dimensionality to operationalise the CCM construct. The CCM dimensions also offer opportunities for further research to develop the measurement scales.
This research contributes to the clarification on the subject matter by developing clear concepts of the CCM and by offering insights about the role of the CCM dimensions, which help managers to more successfully incorporate the CCM dimension into the corporate management strategy. This paper also examines the concept of CCM and confirms its dimensionality, which helps in developing the CCM measurement for further quantitative research.
Throughout the industrialised and developing world, corporate policy making and public policy making are converging. Governments are making deliberate and conscious choices about their economies and the forms of industrial organisation that will best accomplish broad social and economic objectives. Senior managers of enterprises face the influence of government policy in creating, shaping, and guiding the development of markets. The issues raised by this reality range well beyond the old regulation/deregulation debates of the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, government and business are more entwined – and more inextricably linked as partners – because of recent global political and economic changes. This article assesses the prospects for the corporation and public policy in the decade ahead.