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Defining the ‘object’ of public relations research: A new starting point

Edwards, Lee (2012) Defining the ‘object’ of public relations research: A new starting point. Public Relations Inquiry, 1 (1). pp. 7-30. ISSN 2046-147X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2046147X11422149


In this article I consider the importance of paradigmatic variety in the scholarly field of public relations. I reflect on the role that both conflict and cooperation between different paradigms play in the development of academic fields, and review definitions of public relations to examine the extent to which both are present in public relations scholarship. Based on this discussion, I consider the assumptions that underpin existing approaches to public relations in order to reveal the ways in which they are connected, as well as differentiated, along a series of continua. I conclude by proposing a new definition of public relations, as flow rather than organizational function, that can accommodate the range of research encompassed by these continua, thereby facilitating greater unity, inclusivity and, I would hope, dialogue in the field.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Sage
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 11:49
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2021 23:12

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