Public relations professional practice and the institutionalisation of CSR

Bartlett, Jennifer L., Tywoniak, Stephane, & Hatcher, Caroline A. (2007) Public relations professional practice and the institutionalisation of CSR. Journal of Communication Management, 11(4), pp. 281-299.

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Purpose This paper presents the findings of a longitudinal case study into the professionalisation of public relations practices and the institutionalisation of corporate social responsibility as a legitimate social and business arrangement. In doing so, there are implications for the dynamic relationship between practices and the professionalisation of public relations.

Methodology A qualitative longitudinal study is used to examine the social construction of social responsibility in the Australian banking industry from 1999-2004 across two levels of analysis – societal expectations as institution, and practices of banking and public relations as action.

Findings The study shows that the case organisations shifted their public relations and communication practices during the period of the study. In response to the demands of publics, there was a central shift from a one-way perspective where organisations sought to influence and persuade publics of the appropriateness of thier actions towards a two-way perspective where organisations needed to consult, negotiate and engage with publics. In doing so, this study suggests that there was a shift in the profession of how public relations was practiced, but also highlighted the changes to institutional arrangements about the legitimacy of social responsibilities of large organisations.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 12691
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: CSR, Corporate social responsibility, public relations, legitimacy, professions, banking
DOI: 10.1108/13632540710843904
ISSN: 1363-254X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Emerald Publishing
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:35

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