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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: Disclosure and Organizational Transparency: A Model for Communication Management
Author(s): DuHamel, Craig
Supervisor(s): L'Etang, Jacquie
Keywords: disclosure
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: ABSTRACT This thesis examines the optimal role for public relations practitioners to play in managing the communications of disclosure situations. The contribution to knowledge in this work is the clarification of decision-making around organizational disclosures and the role public relations practitioners play in these sometimes difficult and sensitive situations. Decision making around the disclosure of organizational information has not been given much attention in the public relations and communications management literature. While other fields such as medicine and finance have researched the merits of disclosure and transparency for a number of years, the topic has evaded in depth academic examination in communications literature. Given the involvement of public relations practitioners in organizational disclosures, it is somewhat surprising that a model for managing the communications of these situations has not been proposed previously in published research. This thesis closes this gap by proposing a normative, theoretical model that is grounded in practice, and uses ethical decision-making, to assist communicators in developing strategies for managing disclosure events and improving the transparency of their organizations to the public. Using the Strauss and Corbin (1998) approach to Grounded Theory, this thesis explored the topic of disclosure with senior level Canadian public relations practitioners to elicit key themes prior to the development of an initial model which was then tested through further empirical research and user-group contact. The model presented in this thesis is intended to help public relations practitioners and their organizations’ senior management teams, structure their thoughts about disclosing information and develop a communication strategy through a step-wise process that works to find a balance between the needs of the organization and the information needs of stakeholders to make an informed decision about the situation. This thesis provides unique insights into practitioner dilemmas and challenges; highlights a number of important themes and conceptual issues that have not received attention to date; and offers a model for practice.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Department of Film and Media Studies

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