Organizational listening: Addressing a major gap in public relations theory and practice

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Public Relations Research, 2016, 28 (3-4), pp. 146 - 169
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. An extensive body of literature theorizes public relations as two-way communication, dialogue, and relationships between organizations and their publics. Although there are alternative views, including public relations as advocacy, most theories emphasize dialogue, co-orientation, and relationships incorporating satisfaction, trust, and control mutuality—even to the extent of symmetry. Critical perspectives propose a sociocultural turn that further emphasizes stakeholders’ and societal interests. This analysis draws on a three-country study that reveals a major theory-practice gap and proposes a significant expansion of public relations theory in relation to listening to realize normative notions of public relations and give effect to claims of dialogue and engagement.
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