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Excellence Theory in Public Relations

James E. Grunig


The excellence theory is a general theory of public relations that resulted from a 15-year study of best practices in communication management funded by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation. Three books were published from the research ( J. E. Grunig 1992 ; Dozier et al. 1995 ; L. A. Grunig et al. 2002 ). This general theory incorporates a number of middle-range theories of →  Public Relations , including theories of publics, public relations and strategic management, models of public relations, evaluation of public relations, employee communication, public relations roles, gender, diversity, power, activism, ethics and social responsibility, and global public relations (→  Public Relations Evaluation ). The theory was tested through survey research of heads of public relations, CEOs, and employees in 327 organizations (corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and associations) in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom (→  Survey ; Interview ). The survey research was followed by qualitative interviews with heads of public relations, other public relations practitioners, and CEOs in 25 organizations with the highest and lowest scores on a scale of excellence produced by statistical analysis of the survey data (→  Interview, Qualitative ). The excellence theory first explained the value of public relations ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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