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Stakeholder engagement in a multicultural context: the contribution of (personal) relationship cultivation to social capital


Marschlich, Sarah; Ingenhoff, Diana (2021). Stakeholder engagement in a multicultural context: the contribution of (personal) relationship cultivation to social capital. Public Relations Review, 47(4):102091.

Abstract

While corporate diplomacy is discussed as stakeholder engagement allowing multinational companies to manage relationships, engagement approaches to public relations suggest that organizations, through interaction with their stakeholders, create social capital. This study integrates both approaches, exploring how corporate diplomacy develops social capital. Based on in-depth interviews with public relations executives (N = 25) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), our results indicate that corporate diplomacy in the UAE relies heavily on stakeholder engagement, particularly with governmental institutions, and consequently builds on dialog and collective decision-making. While governmental engagement is mainly conducted through personal relationship cultivation, engagement with other multinational corporations is based on more distant relationships. However, both approaches appear to create social capital and provide social resources, including loyalty and trust. We conclude that by employing different engagement strategies, corporate diplomacy supports both the corporation and various stakeholders in the host country, and close by discussing implications and future research directions.

Abstract

While corporate diplomacy is discussed as stakeholder engagement allowing multinational companies to manage relationships, engagement approaches to public relations suggest that organizations, through interaction with their stakeholders, create social capital. This study integrates both approaches, exploring how corporate diplomacy develops social capital. Based on in-depth interviews with public relations executives (N = 25) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), our results indicate that corporate diplomacy in the UAE relies heavily on stakeholder engagement, particularly with governmental institutions, and consequently builds on dialog and collective decision-making. While governmental engagement is mainly conducted through personal relationship cultivation, engagement with other multinational corporations is based on more distant relationships. However, both approaches appear to create social capital and provide social resources, including loyalty and trust. We conclude that by employing different engagement strategies, corporate diplomacy supports both the corporation and various stakeholders in the host country, and close by discussing implications and future research directions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute for Research on the Public Sphere and Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Marketing
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporate diplomacy, engagement, social capital, international public relations, relationship management
Language:English
Date:November 2021
Deposited On:03 Sep 2021 04:49
Last Modified:04 Sep 2021 20:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0363-8111
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2021.102091

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