Journal of Business Ethics (forthcoming)
|Abstract||The study introduces an interaction-based model that illustrates the iterative process of corporate responsiveness to social pressure. The model is then applied to a recent case of international relevance. The study implies that corporate management can apply three types of management approaches when managing relations with society, depending on their perception of social pressure: tactic, strategic or no action. This is then reflected in their practice of public relations (PR). Ethical leadership is considered to be manifested by the proactive practice of PR, which aims at mutual understanding between the organisation and the stakeholders. The firm’s interaction with the stakeholders does not guarantee that social pressure would actually be relieved. Rather, PR fails in its task of establishing and maintaining favourable relationships if it does not meet stakeholders’ expectations. Identifying emerging issues, relevant publics and preferable communication methods within a given context is the precondition for strategic, proactive management of stakeholder relations. This is especially relevant in the international business environment where the firm is challenged with increased institutional distance and pressure.|
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