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The role of public relations in corporate diplomacy: how relationship cultivation increases organizational legitimacy


Marschlich, Sarah; Ingenhoff, Diana (2021). The role of public relations in corporate diplomacy: how relationship cultivation increases organizational legitimacy. Journal of Public Relations Research, 33(2):86-105.

Abstract

Drawing from neo-institutionalism and public relations theory, this study examined to what extent corporate diplomacy builds on public relations to identify and respond to societal expectations emerging from a company’s host country environment, which can result in organizational legitimacy. Based on in-depth interviews (N = 25) with public relations executives in the United Arab Emirates, our findings imply that companies engage in corporate diplomacy to align with governmental demands while simultaneously attempting to meet internal expectations originating from employees and corporate values. The interviews resulted in the identification and description of five corporate diplomacy modes and a model describing corporate diplomacy-legitimacy, highlighting the role played by relationship cultivation and culture in gaining organizational legitimacy through corporate diplomacy. Consequently, our study provides a framework to explain the societal role of public relations in building organizational legitimacy through relationship cultivation.

Abstract

Drawing from neo-institutionalism and public relations theory, this study examined to what extent corporate diplomacy builds on public relations to identify and respond to societal expectations emerging from a company’s host country environment, which can result in organizational legitimacy. Based on in-depth interviews (N = 25) with public relations executives in the United Arab Emirates, our findings imply that companies engage in corporate diplomacy to align with governmental demands while simultaneously attempting to meet internal expectations originating from employees and corporate values. The interviews resulted in the identification and description of five corporate diplomacy modes and a model describing corporate diplomacy-legitimacy, highlighting the role played by relationship cultivation and culture in gaining organizational legitimacy through corporate diplomacy. Consequently, our study provides a framework to explain the societal role of public relations in building organizational legitimacy through relationship cultivation.

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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:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporate diplomacy, organizational legitimacy, neo-institutionalism, international public relations, culture, relationship cultivation
Language:English
Date:6 October 2021
Deposited On:12 Oct 2021 11:38
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:44
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1062-726X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2021.1981332
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP1FRP1_184401
  • : Project TitleCorporate Diplomacy and its Effects on Corporate Legitimacy
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English