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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|532||2012||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Public Relations Review, Volume 38, Issue 4, November 2012, Pages 541–554
The ability of organizational members to identify and analyse stakeholder opinion is critical to the management of corporate reputation. In spite of the significance of these abilities to corporate reputation management, there has been little effort to document and describe internal organizational influences on such capacities. This ethnographic study conducted in Red Cross Queensland explores how cultural knowledge structures derived from shared values and assumptions among organizational members influence their conceptualisations of organizational reputation. Specifically, this study explores how a central attribute of organizational culture – the property of cultural selection – influences perceptions of organizational reputation held by organizational members. We argue that these perceptions are the result of collective processes that synthesise (with varying degrees of consensus) member conceptualisations, interpretations, and representations of environmental realities in which their organization operates. Findings and implications for organizational action suggest that while external indicators of organizational reputation are acknowledged by members as significant, the internal influence of organizational culture is a far stronger influence on organizational action.
Corporate reputations reflect collective views about an organization or an overall assessment of an organization by stakeholders (Cornelissen, 2011). The collective nature of reputation reflects an aggregate of views held by multiple stakeholders about an organization (Fombrun, Gardberg, & Sever, 2000, p. 242). Lange, Lee, and Dai (2011) argue organizational reputation is “an objective reality for the organization, even though it is held and subjectively created by outside observers” (p. 178). So while much of the focus of reputation is on the synthesis of organizational stakeholders’ collective opinions and attitudes expressed about the organization (Post & Griffin, 1997), the construct of a reputation is more so founded internally, in “the sense making experiences of employees” (van Riel & Fombrun, 2007, p. 57). The concept of organizational identity “represents insider's perceptions and beliefs about what distinguishes their organization from others and can provide foundations for presenting images of the organization to outsiders” (Corley, 2004, p. 1146). Organizational identity is defined as “self-descriptors/identity claims used by an organization for purposes of specifying what is most central to the organization that is also most enduring (continuous) and/or most distinctive about the organization” (Whetten & Mackey, 2002, p. 410). This approach to identity highlights the need to understand the role of culture – a group's shared and socially transmitted beliefs and values – in shaping member understanding of and actions towards the environment. Hatch and Schultz (1997) argue aligning internal organizational member perceptions and externally held beliefs about an organization is important. In a sociocultural context, when the role of public relations in set in the management of organizational social ecology, it follows that exploration of reputation is set in the context of understanding how the cultural system influences employee conceptualisations of organizational reputation through the property of cultural selection. Organizations operate as social collectives or as dynamic systems of organizational members who communicate purposefully with influential stakeholders to ultimately achieve organizational goals (Keyton, 2005). This dynamic system is best understood as a “sociocultural” system responsive to an environment through exchanges of information and energy (Everett, 1994). The exploration of how organizational culture shapes these sense making experiences has not been systematically addressed in the literature. A cultural perspective on this problem is organized around the view that organizational culture is a system of social knowledge that is shared among organizational members and transmitted by members across time (Everett, 2001 and Schein, 1984).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Reputation management requires an alignment of internal understanding and external expectations (Cornelissen, 2011) and results from mindful collective internal processes that interpret and analyse environmental equivocality or change (Weick, 1979 and Weick and Sutcliffe, 2001). The action of cognitive schemas acting as criteria in Selection processes has implications for reputation management. Member perceptions of RC as iconic recognises the significance of the RC brand and reputation as being trusted, important, and playing a significant role in disasters. Members cited the organization's traditions as strongly contributing to the high reputation that RC enjoyed. With this came a feeling of dependability and a level of prestige because of the nature of humanitarian work. However, iconic also meant that although there was a shared view by members that RC was not being proactive in managing or continuing to strengthen their reputation, paradoxically, they felt they were ineffective or ultimately not able to influence any part of RC's reputation because of its iconic status. For example, the view that RC was not achieving its donation benchmarks in the competitive environment resulted in frustration, but inaction. The view of RC being complex yet most services provided remaining unknown claimed a resolved frustration by members that it was not possible or important that these were known because the organization was Red Cross. Since member perceptions were internally focused, there was a widespread recognition that while external stakeholders were identified, members were more concerned about meeting the needs of internal stakeholders. This linked closely to being Iconic acknowledging RC was in a place on its own. The internal focus had implications for the organization not being alert to external public opinion coupled with the potential to miss opportunities or issues in their environmental scanning. A strongly held view by members was that RC was primarily a crisis and disaster response organization and being flexible and fluid allowed RC to fulfil this role. The shared view the organization needs to remain flexible and fluid positioned members well for a high level of responsiveness during disasters and allowed RC to respond to what was most important. The reluctance to document communication planning allowed members to work on the priorities of the day and not be burdened by fixed or rigid approaches or priorities. The implications of this approach meant that opportunities were missed, resources for strategic communication activities were not identified, and generally marketing communication employees felt impotent in their ability to be proactive. In conclusion, the central claim of this study is that because of the guiding influence of cultural selection on the beliefs and values that constitute an organization's culture, public relations activities and understandings are as likely to reflect the action of cultural selection as much as it reflects perceived imperatives of the environment. The implications of this study reinforce the value of a sociocultural perspective in which an understanding of organizational culture generally, and the action of related cultural selection criterion specifically, is fundamental to any effort to describe much less influence the social ecology of organizations (Johnston, 2011). With additional research in this area, we may well find that the historical emphasis on scanning and monitoring of environmental factors is a less essential task for effective public relations practice than a practitioner's competency in the analysis of cultural processes within an organization. This study identifies the importance for public relations to understand the cultural criteria operating within the organization to determine what role these are playing in contributing to management perceptions of stakeholder views of the organization and subsequent responses. More importantly, the study contributes to understanding how organizational members are being influenced by these criteria operating on the sociocultural knowledge structures within organizations. Berger and Luckmann (2004) contend that reality is socially constructed, so for public relations the social construction of essential knowledge, which is understanding the social environment so the organization can respond and adapt, is the cornerstone of practice. Organizations as a sociocultural system (system of knowledge), when linked to models of public relations, inform our understanding of the interplay between culture (Everett, 1993 and Everett, 1996) and “underscores the importance of understanding the system of meaning and values through which people interpret the world and guide their actions” (Durham, 1991, p. 417). As a prelude to the work of this study, Brown and Starkey (1994) argued understanding culture enhances understanding of the management of information and communication in organizations. They state, “one needs to understand the culture of an organization to make sense of that organization's way of managing its communication and their information outcomes” (p. 807). While the extant literatures in public relations tend to argue the organizational environment strongly influences communication decision making as the organization attempts to adapt to its environment (Broom, 2009, Dozier and Broom, 2006, Grunig, 1992, Grunig et al., 2002, Lauzen, 1995 and Lauzen and Dozier, 1992), Okura, Dozier, Sha, and Hofstetter (2009) argue the internal characteristics of an organization play a significant role in influencing public relations practitioners processes of environmental scanning and contribution to organizational decision making, and this study has furthered this argument in the context of identity and reputation management. McKie (2001) lamented nearly a decade ago that public relations theory remains isolated in its body of knowledge, networks and associations, particularly noting a lack of contribution from social sciences, including cultural anthropology. This study has responded to McKie's challenge by drawing on social science, particularly cultural anthropology, to contribute to building discipline knowledge of the role of cultural criteria in one of the public relations discipline's core responsibilities within practice; reputation management. This research offers three important implications for future research. First, further research to further explore how employee perceptions translate into strategic communication is needed. Second, the use of ethnography employing progressive contextualisation, offers scholars the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of public relations practitioners practice beyond contexts and the cultural influences identified in this study. Finally, the Australian Red Cross underwent significant reform in July 2009. Returning to RCQ following the establishment and embedding of these organizational reforms to explore if the knowledge structures uncovered in the first study remain, would provide valuable understanding of the strength and durability of these cultural criteria operating as social knowledge over time.