Public Relations and Stakeholder Theory

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The field of Public Relations is vast and heterogenous. While briefly providing an overview of the disciplinary diversity of the field, this entry diverts special attention to the Public Relations perspective that most closely align with the main ambition of the dominant perspectives in stakeholder theory (Freeman, 1984; Freeman et al., 2018; Mitchell, Agle & Wood, 1997; Bonnafous-Boucher & Rendtorff, 2016), i. e. the tradition known as the excellence model of Public Relations (Grunig & Hunt, 1984; Grunig, 1992; Heath, 2010). As is the case with stakeholder theory, the field of Public Relations involves both descriptive, instrumental and normative perspectives (Bonnafous-Boucher & Rendtorff, 2016). While exploring the central differences between these perspectives, including their implications for a Public Relations perspective on stakeholder management, the entry relies mainly on the normative aspect prevailing in the excellence model. The contribution explores how Public Relations practices depend on the practitioner’s ability to identify stakeholders in any given organizational context in order to organize communicative strategies accordingly. Following Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997), the entry distinguishes public relations strategies in accordance with three salient variables of stakeholder relations: power, legitimacy, and urgency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Encyclopedia af Stakeholder Theory
Number of pages6
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

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