What Do Communication Managers Do? Defining and Refining the Core Elements of Management in a Public Relations/corporate Communication Context

By Moss, Danny; Newman, Andrew et al. | Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Winter 2005 | Go to article overview

What Do Communication Managers Do? Defining and Refining the Core Elements of Management in a Public Relations/corporate Communication Context


Moss, Danny, Newman, Andrew, DeSanto, Barbara, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly


This article presents the findings of the second stage of an international collaborative research program designed to map, explicate, and compare the main elements of the managerial role performed by communication/ public relations practitioners working in a range of organizational settings and different cultural contexts. It builds on earlier qualitative research among U.K. and U.S. public relations practitioners designed to uncover the nature of the managerial roles they perform. In this study, a survey distributed to 900 U.K.-based communication practitioners was factor analyzed, revealing a five-factor interpretation, which suggests a more contemporary, empirically based conceptualization of key dimensions of the communication manager's role than currently offered by the traditional manager role typology advocated within the existing public relations roles literature.

Research into the managerial role of communication/public relations practitioners represents a major strand in public relations research and theory development. However, much of this research has focused either on how female gender discrimination affects career advancement, salary, and status, or on arguments about practitioner involvement or exclusion from participation in management decision making and strategic planning, rather than focusing on questioning what is understood by the concept of "management" in the communication/public relations context. Although public relations researchers have advanced a number of role typologies to help explicate the key dimensions of practitioners' roles within organizations, most notably, Broom and Smith's1 four role-typology framework and Dozier's2 manager-technician dichotomy, neither conceptual framework explains effectively what it is that public relations managers actually do.

The manager-technician role dichotomy has been the most widely used framework in roles research over the past two decades, but this typology has come under both ideological and methodological criticism. The former centers primarily around the vociferous liberal feminist critique of the manager-technician dichotomy (in the work of Creedon;3 Choi and Hon;4 Toth and Grunig;5 and Toth, Serini, Wright, and Emig6) which maintains that this typology tends to trivialize the technical dimension of the practitioner's role that tends to be performed more frequently by female than male practitioners.7 However, it is the methodological criticisms of how the manager's role has been conceptualized and measured in the public relations context that is this article's focus. These criticisms, focused on the limitations of the role measures used to identify manager role enactment, and on the argument that the manager-technician dichotomy oversimplifies the complexities of role enactment, are drawn from work by Leichty and Springston,8 and by Moss, Warnaby, and Newman.9

This article responds to these methodological criticisms by presenting results drawn from an ongoing international collaborative research program into the nature of communications/public relations management and managerial work. The principal aim of this research, begun with an earlier phase of qualitative research into work patterns of practitioners operating at managerial levels in U.K. and U.S. organizations,10 is to develop a more comprehensive and empirically-based understanding of management and managerial work performed by communication/public relations practitioners-one that reflects what it is that public relations practitioners actually do. By extending the research across a range of countries, the aim is to eventually establish whether any generic elements or components of managerial work can be identified in the communication/public relations context that might transcend national and cultural boundaries.

Literature Review

Public Relations Management Perspectives. Broom and Dozier's pioneering work in practitioner roles research and in advancing the principal role typologies widely used by other roles researchers is well documented. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Do Communication Managers Do? Defining and Refining the Core Elements of Management in a Public Relations/corporate Communication Context
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.