Special Issue Article

Toward a Contingency Theory of Relating Management: Exploring Organization-Public Relationships (OPRs) in Conflicts

Authors
  • Yang (Alice) Cheng (North Carolina State University)
  • Allison Fisk (North Carolina State University)

Abstract

This paper presentsthe theoretical rationale for a contingency theory of relating management. Thepurpose of building such a contingency approach is to assist organizations inassessing and managing the dynamics of relationships with their external andinternal publics when conflicts arise. Through integrating interdisciplinaryliterature from public relations and conflict management, this theoreticalframework argues that contingent organization-public relationships (COPRs) inthe conflict management process are highly dynamic and complex. COPRs influencerelationship qualities and depend on three main categories of antecedents,including predisposing, situational, and contextual elements. An up-to-datecase about conflicts between Johnson & Johnson and its baby powderconsumers was analyzed to illustrate propositions from the postulated theory.Implications of this article help to move public relations theory beyond staticand micro-level measurements of relationships and add value to the conflicttheory literature, which mainly focuses on intra-organizational orinterpersonal conflicts.

Keywords: Contingency Theory, Organization-Public Relationships, Conflict Management, Theoretical Model, Public Relations

How to Cite:

Cheng, Y. & Fisk, A., (2021) “Toward a Contingency Theory of Relating Management: Exploring Organization-Public Relationships (OPRs) in Conflicts”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 15(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/20210921-523

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Published on
21 Sep 2021
Peer Reviewed