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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Håkon Larsen

This article addresses a recent debate in this journal between Buschman and Widdersheim and Koizumi on public libraries and public sphere theory in library and information…

Abstract

Purpose

This article addresses a recent debate in this journal between Buschman and Widdersheim and Koizumi on public libraries and public sphere theory in library and information science (LIS). The article moves beyond the debate as the debate has been too focused on the theories of Jürgen Habermas. In order to really understand the democratic mission of public libraries and how it is related to the public sphere, the author argues that LIS scholars need to look beyond Habermas' theories of the public sphere.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical article that discusses different theories of the public sphere, and how they have been and can be applied in library and information science.

Findings

The author finds that a main disagreement between Buschman and Widdersheim and Koizumi is whether one can use the concept of a public sphere without doing it in a “traditional” Habermasian way. The answers put forward in this article, is that we can and should look beyond Habermas' work when seeking to understand the role of public libraries as public spheres.

Originality/value

The article puts forward theories that are not commonly used in LIS, and advocates for broadening the theoretical scope of LIS scholars studying the relations between public libraries and public spheres.

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2001

Inger Jensen

This paper presents a platform for analysing public relations in the future. The author suggests a reintroduction of concepts of the public sphere in public relations…

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2136

Abstract

This paper presents a platform for analysing public relations in the future. The author suggests a reintroduction of concepts of the public sphere in public relations theory and calls attention to an emerging function of the public sphere. This function is called the public sphere of organisational legitimacy and identity. Further, the paper describes three different concepts of the company in society. These concepts are labelled “The economically successful but socially innocent company”, “The economically successful and legal company”, and “The economically successful, legal and responsible company”. Examples are provided to show that these three images represent a historical trend and that they logically exclude each other, but that they prevail simultaneously. The role of public relations is analysed in relation to each of the three concepts of the company. Combined with the analytical concepts of the emerging functions of public sphere they are suggested by the author as an analytical framework for reflecting potential viable or problematic aspects in the future.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

John Buschman

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and re-direct recent schematic and empirical scholarship on Habermas’ theory of the public sphere in library and information science (LIS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and re-direct recent schematic and empirical scholarship on Habermas’ theory of the public sphere in library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a critical analysis of the relevant literature in light of Habermas’ origination and use/purpose of the public sphere concept.

Findings

The authors examined here produced a schematic operationalization of the public sphere that thinned the concept, but in turn, that schematization has produced insight into the civil society functions and communications of libraries, both within and without. For this work to be meaningful, the considerations and contexts of democratic society must be reinserted.

Research limitations/implications

Further explorations of the relationship between the public sphere and civil society as they are manifested around and in libraries is called for. Additionally, Weigand’s approach to producing data/evidence on the public sphere and libraries should be furthered.

Practical implications

Understanding the role and function of libraries in democratic societies is essential for libraries to play a productive democratic role in those societies and thus, in guiding them.

Social implications

This paper helps to situate the bewildering circumstances of libraries who face both popular support and broad political-social questioning of their role and place.

Originality/value

This paper arguably interjects a more sophisticated and nuanced theoretical picture of the public sphere than prior precis presented in the LIS literature have undertaken. It also engages a unique set of empirical-theoretical students from another perspective in order to deepen and shift that research discourse.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Miguel Goede and Rostam J. Neuwirth

– The purpose of this article is to discuss the concepts confidentiality and transparency in the context of good governance.

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1109

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to discuss the concepts confidentiality and transparency in the context of good governance.

Design/methodology/approach

After exploring the concepts of confidentiality, good governance and other relevant concepts, they are related to each other.

Findings

When it comes to good governance, transparency is overrated and confidentiality is taken for granted. For good governance, there must be a balance between the two to preserve the public sphere.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of good governance and the evolution of the public sphere.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Shayegheh Ashourizadeh, Kent Wickstrøm Jensen, Thomas Schøtt and Yuan Cheng

Entrepreneurs are networking with others to get advice for their businesses. The networking differs between men and women; notably, men are more often networking for…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurs are networking with others to get advice for their businesses. The networking differs between men and women; notably, men are more often networking for advice in the public sphere and women are more often networking for advice in the private sphere. The purpose of this study is to account for how such gendering of entrepreneurs’ networks of advisors differs between societies and cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data from the Global Entrepreneurships Monitor, a sample of 16,365 entrepreneurs is used to compare the gendering of entrepreneurs’ networks in China and five countries largely located around the Persian Gulf, namely Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Findings

Analyses show that female entrepreneurs tend to have slightly larger private sphere networks than male entrepreneurs. The differences between male and female entrepreneurs’ networking in the public sphere are considerably larger. Societal differences in the relative prominence of networking in the public and private spheres, and the gendering hereof, correspond well to cultural and socio-economic societal differences. In particular, the authors found marked differences among the religiously conservative and politically autocratic Gulf states.

Research limitations/implications

As a main limitation to this study, the data disclose only the gender of the entrepreneur, but not the gender of each advisor in the network around the entrepreneur. Thus, the authors cannot tell the extent to which men and women interact with each other. This limitation along with the findings of this study point to a need for further research on the extent to which genders are structurally mixed or separated as entrepreneurs network for advice in the public sphere. In addition, the large migrant populations in some Arab states raise questions of the ethnicity of entrepreneurs and advisors.

Originality/value

Results from this study create novel and nuanced understandings about the differences in the gendering of entrepreneurs’ networking in China and countries around Persian Gulf. Such understandings provide valuable input to the knowledge of how to better use the entrepreneurial potential from both men and women in different cultures. The sample is fairly representative of entrepreneur populations, and the results can be generalized to these countries.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 May 2021

Markus Heidingsfelder

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

Michael Hofmann

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reception and impact of Jürgen Habermas’s global academic best seller in the USA between 1974 and 2018. It specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reception and impact of Jürgen Habermas’s global academic best seller in the USA between 1974 and 2018. It specifically addresses the consequences of the long delay in the publication of the English translation of Habermas’s 1962 public sphere concept until 1989 in the context of Habermas’s paradigm shift from the Kantian ideal of a participatory democracy to a systems-theoretical interpretation of deliberative democracy, which informs Between Facts and Norms (1992/1996).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper can be classified as a “conceptual paper” that draws on empirical research, namely, Adrian Rauchfleisch’s (2017) bibliometric co-citation analysis of two decades of public sphere research, which features a multi-dimensional scaling of these research communities based on the distance matrix of the co-citation network.

Findings

As the 22,000 scholarly citations for structural transformation as of April 2018 already indicate, this paper confirms in detail that Habermas’s original public sphere concept attracts significantly more academic interest on an interdisciplinary basis than Between Facts and Norms, which no longer pursues a critical theory of contemporary democracy. Instead, this shift toward a uniquely sophisticated theory construction in the realm of normativity produces a work in Rechtstheorie (Thomas McCarthy) that is by definition removed from political practice. The paper demonstrates that only the criteria developed in structural transformation can be applied to the analysis of constitutional crises in the USA.

Originality/value

This paper was researched and written solely by the author. All sources are clearly identified.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Michael M. Widdersheim and Masanori Koizumi

The purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual model of the public sphere in public libraries. Various international authors over the past 20 years have associated…

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1618

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual model of the public sphere in public libraries. Various international authors over the past 20 years have associated the public sphere with public libraries, but these associations have yet to be clarified and synthesized in a comprehensive way.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used qualitative content analysis to identify the dimensions of the public sphere in public libraries. The study’s scope included annual reports from an urban US public library system from 1900 to 2010.

Findings

Six dimensions of the public sphere in public libraries are described with examples. The dimensions are: core criteria; internal public sphere; external public sphere; collect and organize discourse; perform legitimation processes; and facilitate discourse. Three of these dimensions are newly identified. The six total dimensions are synthesized into a comprehensive conceptual model with three discourse arenas: governance and management; legitimation; and commons.

Originality/value

This study is distinctive because it used a data-based, empirical approach to public libraries to an abstract sociological concept. Three dimensions of the model are new to library studies literature and therefore represent new potential areas of inquiry. The resulting conceptual model is useful for both practitioners and researchers in the public library sector. Further, the model contributes to existing social and political theory.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Håkon Larsen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of ALM organizations within a Nordic model of the public sphere.

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1180

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of ALM organizations within a Nordic model of the public sphere.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper discussing the role of archives, libraries and museums in light of a societal model of the Nordic public sphere. Throughout the discussions, the author draw on empirical and theoretical research from sociology, political science, media studies, cultural policy studies, archival science, museology, and library and information science to help advance our understanding of these organizations in a wider societal context.

Findings

The paper shows that ALM organizations play an important role for the infrastructure of a civil public sphere. Seen as a cluster, these organizations are providers of information that can be employed in deliberative activities in mediated public spheres, as well as training arenas for citizens to use prior to entering such spheres. Furthermore, ALM organizations are themselves public spheres, as they can serve specific communities and help create and maintain identities, and solidarities, all of which are important parts of a civil public sphere.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate whether these roles are an important part of ALM organizations contribution to public spheres in other regions of the world.

Originality/value

Through introducing a theoretical model developed within sociology and connecting it to ongoing research in archival science, museology, and library and information science, the author connects the societal role of archives, libraries, and museums to broader discussions within the social sciences.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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