All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Responding to Activism: An Experimental Analysis of Public Relations Strategy Influence on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621) 9 According to L. Grunig (1992), activists typically attempt to either confront organizations directly or seek regulations from the government or administrative agencies. Jackson (1982) identified five general categories of communication tactics activist groups use in pursuit of their goals. These include: (1) informational activities including interviews and media relations tasks; (2) symbolic activities such as boycotts; (3) organizing activities such as distributing leaflets, networking, and holding meetings; (4) legal activities like petitioning, filing lawsuits and legislation, testifying at hearings, and pressuring regulatory and administrative agencies; and (5) civil disobedience activities such as sit-ins, blocking traffic, and trespassing (p. 215). Obviously, the management of issues raised by activist groups is a critical function of public relations in organizations. “Activism is such a part of public relations practice that some have suggested that public relations practitioners gain legitimacy and increase their utility to an organization primarily in the presence of active publics” (Smith & Ferguson, 2001, p. 291). Furthermore, “the relationship between activists and organizations is tenuous, and the history of conflict between these two entities suggests that much can be learned from studying activism and responses to it” (Smith & Ferguson, 2001, p. 291). Purpose and Hypotheses This study attempts to further theory-driven research in public relations by examining the message variable in the public relations process. Public relations strategies derived from Hazleton and Long’s Public Relations Process Model (1988) were examined using Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action (1975) to determine strategy influence on individuals’ beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions toward an organization responding to activism. The theory of reasoned action posits that attitude toward behavior and subjective norm regarding behavior predict behavioral intention. In addition, the theory states that attitude toward behavior is predicted by salient beliefs. To examine the predictions of the theory of reasoned action, the following hypotheses were tested: H1: Attitude toward behavior and subjective norm regarding behavior predict behavioral intention. H2: Salient beliefs predict attitude toward behavior. The theory of reasoned action proposes that outside factors, such as attitude toward target variables, can only affect behavioral intention via their influence on salient beliefs, evaluations of beliefs, referents, or motivation to comply with referents. This study posits that public relations strategies influence salient beliefs via their influence on attitude toward target variables. Specifically, individuals form attitudes toward strategic communication from organizations. These attitudes can be considered attitude toward target variables that influence salient beliefs, which in turn influence attitudes toward behavior and behavioral intention. These relationships are illustrated by the following model:

Authors: Page, Kelly.
first   previous   Page 10 of 39   next   last



background image
Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
9
According to L. Grunig (1992), activists typically attempt to either confront organizations directly or
seek regulations from the government or administrative agencies. Jackson (1982) identified five general
categories of communication tactics activist groups use in pursuit of their goals. These include: (1)
informational activities including interviews and media relations tasks; (2) symbolic activities such as
boycotts; (3) organizing activities such as distributing leaflets, networking, and holding meetings; (4)
legal activities like petitioning, filing lawsuits and legislation, testifying at hearings, and pressuring
regulatory and administrative agencies; and (5) civil disobedience activities such as sit-ins, blocking
traffic, and trespassing (p. 215).
Obviously, the management of issues raised by activist groups is a critical function of public relations
in organizations. “Activism is such a part of public relations practice that some have suggested that public
relations practitioners gain legitimacy and increase their utility to an organization primarily in the
presence of active publics” (Smith & Ferguson, 2001, p. 291). Furthermore, “the relationship between
activists and organizations is tenuous, and the history of conflict between these two entities suggests that
much can be learned from studying activism and responses to it” (Smith & Ferguson, 2001, p. 291).
Purpose and Hypotheses
This study attempts to further theory-driven research in public relations by examining the message
variable in the public relations process. Public relations strategies derived from Hazleton and Long’s
Public Relations Process Model (1988) were examined using Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned
Action (1975) to determine strategy influence on individuals’ beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions
toward an organization responding to activism.
The theory of reasoned action posits that attitude toward behavior and subjective norm regarding
behavior predict behavioral intention. In addition, the theory states that attitude toward behavior is
predicted by salient beliefs. To examine the predictions of the theory of reasoned action, the following
hypotheses were tested:
H1: Attitude toward behavior and subjective norm regarding behavior predict behavioral intention.
H2: Salient beliefs predict attitude toward behavior.
The theory of reasoned action proposes that outside factors, such as attitude toward target variables,
can only affect behavioral intention via their influence on salient beliefs, evaluations of beliefs, referents,
or motivation to comply with referents. This study posits that public relations strategies influence salient
beliefs via their influence on attitude toward target variables. Specifically, individuals form attitudes
toward strategic communication from organizations. These attitudes can be considered attitude toward
target variables that influence salient beliefs, which in turn influence attitudes toward behavior and
behavioral intention. These relationships are illustrated by the following model:


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 10 of 39   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.