This book is the initial volume coming out of the "excellence project"--a comprehensive research effort commissioned by the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) Research Foundation. The purpose of this project was to answer two fundamental questions about public relations: What are the characteristics of an excellent communication department? How does excellent public relations make an organization more effective, and how much is that contribution worth economically? The research team began its work with a thorough review of the literature in public relations and related disciplines relevant to these questions. What started as a literature review, however, has ended in a general theory of public relations, one that integrates most of the wide range of ideas about, and practices of, communication management in organizations.
"From the basic theory through program management at the departmental level up to the macro organizational level, the book is excellent….The insights should stimulate a whole new generation that will grapple with questions of effective planning, the characteristics of role models in organizational structures vs. in academe, as well as the conditions which make some public relations programs thrive while others fail."
"…full of careful and thoughtful analysis of a vast array of research literature, management and communication theory, empirical research, and taxonomics which feature variables vital to public relations….Excellence pushes researchers and practitioners toward new horizons. It offers a coherent research agenda. The project's success rests on the quality of choices Grunig and his associates have made regarding key variables and principles. It should make a substantial, if not definitive, contribution to the profession."
—Robert L. Heath
University of Houston
"…does a superb job of defining concepts relevant to all practitioners….cites philosophical assumptions and describes basic theory….defines and describes in considerable detail the four models of public relations….easily understandable….There is much to learn from this volume. The book belongs on the office bookshelf of all public relations practitioners…"
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
"…this well-researched book is a timely, significant contribution to the research and practice of public relations….will long remain an indispensable tool for the continuing development of the theory of and the research for excellence in public relations management. For a number of practitioners, educators and graduate students, the book's solid contribution to the field might evoke a strong sense of pride in the accomplishments of its editor and contributors. Such pride is meaningful; the book is intriguing to the end, both for what it says and for what it raises."
—Cornelius B. Pratt
Michigan State University
"A product of most of the brightest scholars in the public relations field….integrates a wide range of ideas concerning the practice of public relations and communications management in organizations. It should be required reading for anybody seriously interested in our field. The greatest strength this book has is its ability to develop and tie together the base theory of public relations and then explain it in the context of program, departmental, organizational and economic measures….Without doubt, this is the most massive undertaking in the history of public relations research. Public relations has waited a long, long time for this book. It makes a truly significant contribution to our body of knowledge. The authors, and the IABC Foundation, should be extremely proud. This is a good one."
—Donald K. Wright
University of South Alabama
Contents: Preface. J.E. Grunig, Communication, Public Relations, and Effective Organizations: An Overview of the Book. Part I: The Basic Theory. J.E. Grunig, J. White, The Effect of Worldviews on Public Relations Theory and Practice. L.A. Grunig, J.E. Grunig, W.P. Ehling, What Is an Effective Organization? J. White, D.M. Dozier, Public Relations and Management Decision Making. F.C. Repper, How Communication Managers Can Apply the Theories of Excellence and Effectiveness. Part II: The Program Level: Effective Planning of Communication Programs. J.E. Grunig, F.C. Repper, Strategic Management, Publics, and Issues. D.M. Dozier, W.P. Ehling, Evaluation of Public Relations Programs: What the Literature Tells Us About Their Effects. D.M. Dozier, F.C. Repper, Research Firms and Public Relations Practices. Part III: The Departmental Level: Characteristics of Excellent Public Relations Departments. J.E. Grunig, What Is Excellence in Management? W.P. Ehling, D.M. Dozier, Public Relations Management and Operations Research. J.E. Grunig, L.A. Grunig, Models of Public Relations and Communication. D.M. Dozier, The Organizational Roles of Communications and Public Relations Practitioners. W.P. Ehling, J. White, J.E. Grunig, Public Relations and Marketing Practices. D.M. Dozier, L.A. Grunig, The Organization of the Public Relations Function. L.C. Hon, L.A. Grunig, D.M. Dozier, Women in Public Relations: Problems and Opportunities. W.P. Ehling, Public Relations Education and Professionalism. Part IV: The Organizational Level: The Conditions That Make Excellence in Public Relations Possible. L.A. Grunig, How Public Relations/Communication Departments Should Adapt to the Structure and Environment of an Organization…And What They Actually Do. L.A. Grunig, Power in the Public Relations Department. L.A. Grunig, Activism: How It Limits the Effectiveness of Organizations and How Excellent Public Relations Departments Respond. J.E. Grunig, Symmetrical Systems of Internal Communication. K. Sriramesh, J.E. Grunig, J. Buffington, Corporate Culture and Public Relations. K. Sriramesh, J. White, Societal Culture and Public Relations. Part V: The Economic Level: What Public Relations and Communication Contribute to the Bottom Line. W.P. Ehling, Estimating the Value of Public Relations and Communication to an Organization.
The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.