Values of Government Public Relations for a Rocky Road to Participatory Democracy: Testing Public Engagement, Empowerment, and Serenity Hypotheses in Public Sector Communication


Abstract


Voluntary citizen attention and actions are key to successful public-sector communication. We investigated the conditions which increase such attention and actions using the situational theory of problem solving (STOPS) and government-citizen relationships (GCRs). Using three national issues consisting of an environmental issue, a social issue, and a political issue from South Korea (N=275), this study examined three hypotheses regarding public engagement effect (the effect of GCRs on political conversations on national issues), government empowerment effect (the effects of GCRs and issue-specific trust toward government on constraint recognition), and public serenity effect (the effect of issue-specific trust on problem recognition and involvement recognition). We found significant public engagement and government empowerment effects and partially significant public serenity effect. The results of the public serenity investigation found that issue-specific trust toward government was significant with problem recognition but insignificant with involvement recognition. Consequently, the findings illustrate strategic values in government-citizen relationships on public engagement, empowerment, and serenity to enable participatory democracy.

Keywords: Government-Citizen Relationships; Participatory Democracy; Public Engagement; Public-Sector Communication; Situational Theory of Problem Solving

References


Bicker, L. (2019), South Korea pollution: Is China the cause of 'fine dust'?, Retrieved from April 14, 2020 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48346344).

Borowiec, S. (2013), South Korea: New Beacon for Refugees. Retrieved from April 14, 2020 (https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/south-korea-new-beacon-refugees).

Bowen, S. A., C. J. F. Hung-Baesecke, and Y. R. R. Chen (2016), “Ethics as a precursor to organization–public relationships: Building trust before and during the OPR model”, Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1): 1141467.

Broom G. M., S. Casey, and J. Ritchey (1997), “Toward a concept and theory of organization-public relationships”, Journal of Public relations research, 9(2): 83-98.

Bruning S. D., J. A. Ledingham (1999), “Relationships between organizations and publics: Development of a multi-dimensional organization-public relationship scale”, Public relations review, 25(2): 157-158.

Chen Y. R. R., C. J. F. Hung-Baesecke, and J. N. Kim (2017), “Identifying active hot-issue communicators and subgroup identifiers: Examining the situational theory of problem solving”, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 94(1): 124-147.

Chon M. G. (2019). “Government public relations when trouble hits: exploring political dispositions, situational variables, and government–public relationships to predict communicative action of publics”, Asian Journal of Communication, 29(5): 424-440.

Chon M. G., E. Fondren (2019), “Seeing a crisis through colored glasses: How partisan media leads to attribution of crisis responsibility and government trust”, Journal of Public Affairs, 19(4): e1950.

Chon M. G., H. Park (2019), “Predicting Public Support for Government Actions in a Public Health Crisis: Testing Fear, Organization-Public Relationship, and Behavioral Intention in the Framework of the Situational Theory of Problem Solving”, Health Communication, 1-11.

Chon M. G., H. Park (2020), “Social media activism in the digital age: Testing an integrative model of activism on contentious issues”, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(1): 72-97.

Denhardt R. B., J. V. Denhardt (2009), Public administration: An action orientation, Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

Dhanesh G. S. (2014), “CSR as organization–employee relationship management strategy: A case study of socially responsible information technology companies in India”, Management Communication Quarterly, 28(1): 130-149.

Dozier D. M., L. A. Grunig, and J. E. Grunig (2013), Manager's guide to excellence in public relations and communication management, UK: Routledge.

Edwards A. (1998), “Towards an informed citizenry”, in I. Th. M, Snellen, W. B. H. J. van de Donk (eds.), Public Administration in an Information Age: A Handbook, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, pp. 191-205.

French H. W. (2002), “China's Growing Deserts Are Suffocating Korea”. Retrieved from April 15, 2020 (https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/14/world/china-s-growing-deserts-are-suffocating-korea.html).

Grunig J. E. (1969), “Information and decision making in economic development”, Journalism Quarterly, 46: 565-575.

Grunig J. E. (1997), “A situational theory of publics: Conceptual history, recent challenges and new research”, Public relations research: An international perspective, 3: 48.

Grunig J. E. (2009), “Paradigms of global public relations in an age of digitalization”, PRism, 6(2): 1-19.

Grunig L. A., J. E. Grunig, and D. M. Dozier (2002), Excellence in public relations and communication management: A study of communication management in three countries, London, UK: Routledge.

Grunig J. E., J.-N. Kim (2017), “Publics approaches to health and risk message design and processing”, in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication.

Habermas J. (1989), The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Habermas J. (1994), “Three normative models of democracy”, Constellations, 1(1): 1-10.

Habermas J. (2006), “Political communication in media society: Does democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The impact of normative theory on empirical research”, Communication theory, 16(4): 411-426.

Hon L. C., J. E. Grunig (1999), Guidelines for measuring relationships in public relations, Gainesville, FL: The Institute for Public Relations.

Huang Y. H. (2001), “OPRA: A cross-cultural, multiple-item scale for measuring organization- public relationships”, Journal of Public Relations Research, 13(1): 61-90.

Ki, E. J., J.-N., Kim, and J. A. Ledingham (2015), Public relations as relationship management: A relational approach to the study and practice of public relations, UK: Routledge.

Kim I. K. (2018), Police Detain Bloggers Accused of Rigging Online Comments. Retrieved from April 15, 2020 (http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm?lang=e&Seq_Code=135509).

Kim J.-N. (2006). Communicant activeness, cognitive entrepreneurship, and a situational theory of problem solving (Doctoral dissertation).

Kim J.-N., J. E. Gruing, and L. Ni (2010), “Reconceptualizing the communicative action of publics: Acquisition, selection, and transmission of information in problematic situations”, International Journal of Strategic Communication, 4: 126-154.

Kim J.-N., J. E. Grunig (2011), “Problem solving and communicative action: A situational theory of problem solving”, Journal of Communication, 61: 120-149.

Kim J.-N., A. Krishna (2014), “Publics and lay informatics: A review of the situational theory of problem solving”, Annals of the International Communication Association, 38(1): 71-105.

Kim J.-N., C. J. F. Hung-Baesecke, S. U. Yang, and J. E. Grunig (2013), “A strategic management approach to reputation, relationships, and publics: The research heritage of the excellence theory”, in C. B.

Caroll (ed.), The handbook of communication and corporate reputation, Hoboken, NJ: pp. 197-212.

Kim J., R. O. Wyatt, and E. Katz (1999), “News, talk, opinion, participation: The part played by conversation in deliberative democracy”, Political Communication, 16(4): 361-385.

Kim Y. (2015), “Toward an effective government–public relationship: Organization–public relationship

based on a synthetic approach to public segmentation”. Public Relations Review, 41(4): 456-460.

Lazarsfeld P. F., B. R. Berelson, and H. Gaudet, H (1948), The people’s choice: How the voter makes up his

mind in a presidential campaign, New York: Duell, Sloan & Pierce.

Ledingham J. A. (2001), “Government-community relationships: Extending the relational theory of public relations”, Public Relations Review, 27(3): 285-295.

Liu B. F., J. S. Horsley, and A. B. Levenshus (2010), “Government and corporate communication practices: Do the differences matter?” Journal of Applied Communication Research, 38(2): 189-213.

Lynn-Jones S. M. (1998), Why the United States should spread democracy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

McCluskey M.R., S. Deshpande, D. V. Shah, and D. M. McLeod (2004), “The efficacy gap and political participation: When political influence fails to meet expectations”, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 16(4): 437-455.

McQuail D. (2010), McQuail's mass communication theory. UK: Sage publications.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.), “Public”, Retrieved from April 5, 2020 (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public)

Ministry of Justice (2018), Statistical Yearbook of Immigration and Foreign Policy (출입국•외국인정책 통계연보). Retrieved from April 14, (https://www.index.go.kr/potal/stts/idxMain/selectPoSttsIdxMainPrint.do?idx_cd=2820&board_cd=INDX_001).

Ni L., J.-N. Kim (2009), “Communication behaviors and problem-solving characteristics in controversial issues”, International Journal of Strategic Communication, 3: 217-241.

Parkins J. R., T. Beckley, L. Comeau, R. C. Stedman, C. L. Rollins, and A. Kessler (2017), “Can distrust enhance public engagement? Insights from a national Survey on energy issues in Canada”, Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, 30(8): 934-948

Reddick C. G. (2010), “Impact of citizen relationship management (CRM) on government: Evidence from US local governments”, Journal of E-governance, 33(2): 88-99.

Scheufele D. A. (2000), “Talk or conversation? Dimensions of interpersonal discussion and their implications for participatory democracy”, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(4): 727-743.

Seltzer T., W. Zhang (2010), “Toward a model of political organization–public relationships: Antecedent and cultivation strategy influence on citizens' relationships with political parties”, Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(1): 24-45.

Shafritz J. M., E. W. Russell, and C. Borick (2015), Introducing public administration, UK: Routledge.

Smith G. E., C. A. Huntsman (1997), “Reframing the metaphor of the citizen-government relationship: A value-centered perspective”, Public Administration Review, 57: 309-318.

Song C., J. Lee (2016), “Citizens’ use of social media in government, perceived transparency, and trust in government”, Public Performance & Management Review, 39(2): 430-453.

Sunstein C. R. (2000), “Deliberative trouble? Why groups go to extremes”. The Yale Law Journal, 110(1): 71-119.

Tam L., J. Kim, and J.-N. Kim (2018), “The origins of distant voicing: Examining relational dimensions in public diplomacy and their effects on megaphoning”, Public Relations Review, 44(3): 407-418.

Thomas J. C. (2013), “Citizen, customer, partner: Rethinking the place of the public in public management”, Public Administration Review, 73(6): 786-796.

Thompson J. B. (1995), The media and modernity: A social theory of the media. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.

Tsang S., M. Burnett, P. Hills, and R. Welford (2009), “Trust, public participation and environmental governance in Hong Kong”, Environmental Policy and Governance, 19(2): 99-114.

Wang X., M. Wan Wart (2007), “When public participation in administration leads to trust: An empirical assessment of managers’ perceptions”, Public administration review, 67(2): 265-278.

Waters R. D. (2008), “Applying relationship management theory to the fundraising process for individual donors”, Journal of Communication Management, 12(1): 73-87.

Yoo S. H. (2018), Fine dust as the main local election issue(지방선거 이슈 떠오른 '미세먼지'). Retrieved from April 15, 2020

(https://www.hankyung.com/politics/article/2018032896681).

Yoon H. J., S. K. Park (2018), Opinion-Rigging Scandal Rattles Cheong Wa Dae. Retrieved from April 14, 2020

(http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2018/04/19/2018041901474.html).


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.