FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 58 | 59 || 61 | 62 |   ...   | 175 |

«13TH INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS RESEARCH CONFERENCE “Ethical Issues for Public Relations Practice in a Multicultural World” Holiday Inn ...»

-- [ Page 60 ] --

A European participant who teaches PR and journalism students as a adjunct professor while working full time as a television reporter, noted that the recent tendency of employers to pay less and make journalists work more negatively affects their relationships with PR practitioners. He said that in the 1990s, he used to sit with PR managers and talk through details of the story, and PR people always appreciated such attention. Now he “shoots and runs” to get the story to the air. He said that a leitmotiv of his lectures is that good PR managers are open and truthful, and if some reason they cannot provide journalists with accurate information, they would say, “Sorry, I cannot comment on this,” instead of misleading them with “fluffy words.” Anecdotal data show that PR researchers’ interest in investigating corporate social responsibility (CSR) in various organizational settings is growing every year. Meanwhile, it appeared that CSR might be perceived as an oppositional practice to public relations. In one European teacher’s opinion, PR might be seen as a kind of semi-legal secret activity—“doing and looking back,” meaning “if we get away with it, that’s great,” whereas CSR is about avoiding doing unethical things not because of the fear of disclose but because “it’s fundamentally wrong to do, it contradicts our values.” The existence of this frame—CSR is oppositional to PR—should be taken into consideration by PR teachers whose goal, among many others, is to prepare graduates to advocate for the profession in an argumentative way.

Quit or comply? The issue of how PR graduates should react if management wants them to engage in unethical behavior appeared to be very important for participants in this study. In this 313 regard, an American educator said that PR graduates’ first ethical choice happens when they choose for whom to work. Another teacher said that an ethical choice of PR practitioners would be “to help organizations stop doing unethical things.” However, there was a disagreement about whether a PR graduate should confront management if the boss forces the PR person to act unethically. Approximately one-third of American educators believed in a “quit-job” approach. One female educator said that she advises her students to have a six-month salary put aside to walk away from the organization any time. In this regard, one European teacher said that if PR graduates would leave their job every time they want to avoid an unethical situation, “their careers would be pretty short.” Another American participant said that she recommends to her students to start looking for another job immediately after they suspect that the company tolerates dishonest behavior, but quit the job only after they find another one.

Five American educators believed that PR graduates should become “educational” while trying to convince the boss to avoid an unethical path. As one American teacher said, “Ethics education helps students understand that they are not powerless,” meaning that they have tools to deal with ethical dilemmas. As this educator explained, instead of slamming the door and quitting the job, the PR professional should “do research and show what happened to people who followed this [unethical] way.” An American teacher said that he constantly emphasizes to his present and former students that as PR practitioners, they are not alone while facing an ethical dilemma: “One of the most important sources of your decision making is your network. You can call anybody up, and without even being totally specific, you can explain what is going on and ask them what they would do and why.” As an international PR practitioner in the past, this educator used this approach in his practice.

One American teacher said that often, a PR practitioner’s willingness to stand up for his or her beliefs helps prevent questionable campaigns. As an example, this teacher told a story of her former student who worked as a PR manager for an educational institution only six months when a tragedy happened: a few students died in a car incident. The supervisor of this manager wanted her to use this case to publicize the institution. Though the manager realized that she could have been fired, she still refused to implement such a campaign and convinced the boss to withdraw his decision as unethical.

A European teacher, who combines teaching and working as a journalist, said that in some situations, a PR person does not have other choices except to quit. He brought an example from his practice that he shares with his students. A PR manager of a large corporation was respected by journalists for his honesty and expertise. Yet, one day he disseminated information that turned out to be false. The PR manager resigned from his job after he realized that he was deceived by management that provided him with false information.

A common theme of the majority of responses was that while PR managers should consider an option of compromises, they should know “where to draw the line.” As a PR instructor said, “When you find yourself in such [problematic] situation, you try your best using your argumentative skills, your best ability to persuade your boss not to act unethically.” However, if “no matter what you said, decisions are made…There is always a job.” Proposition V: Participants believe that the best method to teach ethics is to combine a few approaches.

The majority of participants said that there is no a single best approach in teaching ethics to undergraduate students. One participant summarized the responses by saying that the best method is a mix of approaches. In his opinion, the key to effective student learning is to make ethics instruction “real and relevant” by employing, first, cases from the news that have a “local angle” that “makes students be interested” in the cases and, second, “talk through ethical scenarios.” Participants in this study outlined a number of approaches in teaching ethics that certainly reflect their teaching philosophies.

314 Keeping journals. An American senior educator said that “reflective management is the essence of public relations.” Ideally, the ability to reflect on professional issues should be cultivated in college.

In this regard, an American participant shared his experience in teaching PR students:

In my class, students kept journals, describing their experiences, and at the end of the course one common thing went out—now they recognize ethical dilemmas, now they are looking at their lives in different way. What happened is that they recognized humanity. They began to see that they are not just PR practitioners, they are still human. And that humanity demands of them certain responsibility: “I must approach my practice in a way that I can justify it as the right way.” Studying ethics theories allows them to see certain ways to make decisions and then begin to look at their own decisions.

Shadowing professionals. Another approach to better familiarize students with their future

occupation was articulated by an American teacher:

I found a good exercise—to go to do interview with professionals. Ask them a set of questions about if the practitioners had ethical dilemmas and how they resolve them. Then students write an evaluation of both the situation and the professional, whether it was done well or they would do it differently.

Writing a moral code. An assignment to write a personal moral code appeared to be a creative and meaningful way to help students articulate their personal values and professional intentions. One American educator said that her students write a personal professional ethics code that becomes part of a portfolio. First, the teacher advises her students to observe potential employer’s reaction on the code while he or she goes through the portfolio. If the employer stopped and paid attention to the code, it might be a good sign—he or she cares about ethics. If the code did not draw attention of the employer, it might be an alarming signal. Second, the teacher advises her graduates to hang their ethics codes on the office wall to make it public. In this case, if the boss wants a PR practitioner to do something that violate ethics, the practitioner can always say, “Wait a minute! It was in my portfolio when you hired me; you knew that it was my consideration. And many ways, it can be considered a contractual obligation.” Another teacher, emphasizing the importance of an assignment to write a personal ethics

code, said:

One student emailed me years after graduation, saying, “I just started reading my own moral code. I want to tell thank you for guiding me along through this process, and I am confident to tell you that in most part, I’ve been living up to my code.” In this regard, communication teachers appeared to believe in the ethical capacity of their students, or their abilities to comprehend ethics issues. One American teacher said, “In essence, all of them [students] have [ethical] capacity. The question is how much knowledge, practice and reasoning abilities they have,” meaning that good intentions should be backed up with experience, self-confidence, and critical thinking. Another educator remarked that unethical people do not choose the PR profession—unethical people might gravitate to professions that provide a chance to earn millions of dollars.

Proposition VI: The majority of American and European educators think that the best format of ethics instruction delivery is to combine a free-standing course with ethics discussions in every course.

Participants appeared to have different opinions on what format of ethics instruction—a freestanding course or ethics incorporated throughout the curriculum—is the best way to insure student effective learning. One participant’s opinion summarized views of the group of American and 315 European teachers (24 participants) who believe in the approach of “ethics throughout the curriculum:” Ethics needs to be taught as an essential part of every course because every choice that is made—whether a strategic planning choice or wording choice—has an ethical component to it. Any time when you make ethical choices that can affect others you are making ethical judgments, and you have to be mindful of applications of these ethical judgments.

A group of nine participants disagreed by saying that PR education should include “a stand alone PR ethics course, maybe media ethics course, certainly, separate from law.” In one teacher’s opinion, “Ethics needs to be slow cooked, in the sense that it needs to be integrated in everything we do, as oppose to garnish we sprinkle on the top at the end of the course, “By the way, everything that PR professionals do should be ethical.” This opinion represents a number of participants who think that “ethics deserves to be a separate capstone course.” The majority of respondents believed that the most effective way is to have a free-standing course and use ethics discussion in every course in every class meeting.

This study showed that the balance of theory and practice was a challenging endeavor for American PR educators. As one teacher said, If you go too philosophical, you lose them [students]. If you go absolutely practical, they don’t understand how to apply the situations in specifics. Try to find a balance where they can reason through abstractly but still see practical application. That’s a hard work.

Overall, the analysis of qualitative interviews showed that American and European teaching philosophies and practices are overlapping, and differences between them are explained by larger differences (e.g., societal and university culture and history). While U.S. educators emphasized the necessity to study norms and values of the profession, European educators focused on studying classical theories and articulating student personal values, or encouraging them to develop their “own personal take on public relations” (L’Etang, 2008).


As a response to European convergence, a doctrine of a European Space for Higher Education was developed in Bologna, Italy, in 1999 (Seccion Especial, 2004). When it is fully implemented in 2010, the doctrine will result in a borderless system of higher education in Europe (e.g., unified credits transfer system, the ability of students and professors move across countries, and internationally compatible degrees). The Bologna process reflects concern of the high level educational managers that European universities are “unemployment factories” and their desire to modernize the process of teaching to meet requirements of labor market (Seccion Especial, 2004).

European participants in this study represented universities that have already introduced a new structure of university courses—graduate and postgraduate cycles. However, it appeared that communication teachers were not enthusiastic about the changes. Although only one senior teacher openly said that a new Bachelor-Master structure is a “step back,” other teachers found other ways to express their disagreement with the system of education that is set up to “educate students in a direct and efficient way.” They think that the task of universities is to provide a broad liberal education, which will help graduates reach their personal and professional goals, as opposed to a “narrow vocational training” that gives skills but does not liberate minds. Apparently, the Bologna process as a response to globalization has produced tension between the European identity and culture and the necessity to compete in the global business.

The two groups—European and U.S. educators—demonstrated similar attitudes toward ethics instruction in the public relations curriculum, seeing it as an important aspect of communication education. However, while American educators called for a more thorough instruction in the professional ethics, European teachers emphasized the need to educate communication professionals who are experts in ethics in the philosophical sense. Thus, two different dimensions of ethics 316 education emerged: Ethics instruction that helps students comprehend and subscribe to norms and behaviors of the PR profession (normative ethics), and ethics instruction that helps student to understand the nature of moral thought and practice (meta-ethics).

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 58 | 59 || 61 | 62 |   ...   | 175 |

Similar works:

«FOOTLOOSE is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com Executive Committee 2013-2014 President Hello and welcome to the second show of our Vice President.. Janos Zeller 25th Anniversary Season. We are thrilled at Treasurer Secretary Artistic Directors.. Joey Sayer the overall reception that our move into our Technical Director.. Graeme Humphrey new theatre has received. We know that there Marketing Director..Jenn Brown Clarke Volunteer Directors.. Jeri...»

«FESTSCHRIFT IN HONOR OF GUILLERMOA.CALVO APRIL15-16, 2004 ASSET PRICES AND SELF-FULFILLING MACROECONOMIC PESSIMISM Andrés Velasco Harvard Univesity and NBER Alejandro Neut Research Department, BBVA Asset prices and self-fulÞlling macroeconomic pessimism∗ Alejandro Neut Andrés Velasco Research Department, BBVA Harvard Univesity and NBER This version April 2004 Abstract We show multiple equilibria can occur in a simple macro model with an imperfection in the capital market that causes...»

«Getting Started with OpenOffice.org 3 This PDF is designed to be read onscreen, two pages at a time. If you want to print a copy, your PDF viewer should have an option for printing two pages on one sheet of paper, but you may need to start with page 2 to get it to print facing pages correctly. (Print this cover page separately.) Alternatively, you can download a free PDF of the printed edition or buy a low-cost printed copy from http://stores.lulu.com/opendocument. You can also download an...»

«KUOPION YLIOPISTON JULKAISUJA C. LUONNONTIETEET JA YMPÄRISTÖTIETEET 261 KUOPIO UNIVERSITY PUBLICATIONS C. NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 261 PEKKA TIIHONEN Novel Portable Devices for Recording Sleep Apnea and Evaluating Altered Consciousness Doctoral dissertation To be presented by permission of the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Kuopio for public examination in Auditorium L3, Canthia building, University of Kuopio, on Friday 27 th November 2009, at 12...»

«INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION (IEOM) The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Presidential and Early Parliamentary Elections, 27 April 2014 STATEMENT OF PRELIMINARY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS Skopje, 28 April 2014 – This Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions is the result of a common endeavour involving the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of...»

«Melbourne Marathon 2012 – Racer Report I think I enjoy writing race reports more than running the races themselves, so this is going to be lengthy. Let the rambling commence! History I moved to Melbourne in 2008, and with my waistline ever expanding I searched the internets for some people to run with at lunchtime and found the Midday Milers. A combination of understated entry requirements (at the time the website described easy runs at 4:50 – 5:00 pace) and a moderately delusional self...»

«CORREDOR VIAL Nº 3 RUTA NACIONAL Nº 7 MANUAL DE CONTINGENCIAS AUTOVÍA BS AS A LOS ANDES S.A. Página 1 de 51 INDICE GENERAL Página 1. TÍTULO PRELIMINAR 1.1 INTRODUCCIÓN 05 1.2 OBJETO 06 1.3 CAMPO DE APLICACIÓN 07 1.4 SISTEMA OPERATIVO 08 1.4.1 Organismos Involucrados 08 1.4.2 Glosario – Terminología 09 2. PROCEDIMIENTOS GENERALES 2.1 DEFINICIONES 16 2.1.1. Concepto de alerta y detección de la contingencia 16 2.1.2. Concepto de alarma e inicio del procedimiento particular 16 2.2...»

«An Illustrated Guide to latest Cretaceous Vertebrate Microfossils of the Hell Creek Formation of northeastern Montana By David G. DeMar, Jr. Edited by Gregory P. Wilson and Blakely K. Tsurusaki Version 1.0 1 2 Introduction Vertebrate microfossil sites, or microsites, are concentrations of fossilized vertebrate bones and teeth of multiple individuals that are usually in the millimeter to centimeter size range. Microsites often contain many species of animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles,...»

«The internal reliability of some City & Guilds tests A project report prepared by City & Guilds and its research partners for the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation Andrew Boyle The City and Guilds of London Institute Zeeshan Rahman The City and Guilds of London Institute Ofqual/13/5257 January 2013 This report has been commissioned by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. Contents Executive summary Introduction Review Method Findings Discussion Conclusions...»

«i PLANT COMMUNITY DISTRIBUTION AND DIVERSITY, AND THREATS TO VEGETATION OF THE KROMME RIVER PEAT BASINS, EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science at Rhodes University By Nsor Collins Ayine June 2007 ii ABSTRACT This study examined the current plant diversity status and the impact of drivers of change on the peat basins of the Kromme River peatland. It was conducted at six sites...»

«UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BEFORE THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION ) California Independent System ) Operator Corporation ) Docket No. ) PETITION FOR REVIEW OF ARBITRATOR’S AWARD Pursuant to Rule 207 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 C.F.R. § 385.207, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“ISO”) petitions the Commission to initiate a proceeding for review of the Final Order and Award (“Award”) issued on December 13, 2001, in American...»

«FOOD ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF MEMBRANE AND OSMOTIC DISTILLATION Thesis of Ph.D. dissertation GÁBOR RÁCZ Budapest 2015 PhD School Name: PhD School of Food Science Field: Food Science Prof. József Felföldi Head: CORVINUS UNIVERSITY OF BUDAPEST Supervisor: Prof. Gyula Vatai Department of Food Engineering Faculty of Food Science CORVINUS UNIVERSITY OF BUDAPEST Dr. Zoltán Kovács Co-Supervisor: Department of Food Engineering Faculty of Food Science CORVINUS UNIVERSITY OF...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.