USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

A study in the relationships between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
A study in the relationships between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Stokes, Allison
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla.
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Simple
Functional
Multidivisional
Hybrid
Network
Virtual
Matrix
Expert prescriber
Communication facilitator
Problem-solving process facilitator
Communication technician
Dissertations, Academic -- Mass Communications -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: While there exists extensive research in the area of public relations roles, as well as the arena of organizational structure, little research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations practitioner in the organization. This study will provide a review of the different types of organizational structures, as well as a review of public relations practitioner roles. Organization theory literature supplies information on the characteristics of each structure, including levels of complexity and decentralization involved in each organizational type. Public relations literature includes research that aids in formulation of role classifications that may be assumed by the practitioner.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Allison Stokes.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 116 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001709563
oclc - 69398398
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0001364
usfldc handle - e14.1364
System ID:
SFS0025684:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam Ka
controlfield tag 001 001709563
003 fts
005 20060614112248.0
006 m||||e|||d||||||||
007 cr mnu|||uuuuu
008 060526s2005 flu sbm s000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0001364
035
(OCoLC)69398398
SFE0001364
040
FHM
c FHM
049
FHMM
090
P90 (Online)
1 100
Stokes, Allison.
2 245
A study in the relationships between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles
h [electronic resource] /
by Allison Stokes.
260
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
2005.
502
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
504
Includes bibliographical references.
516
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
538
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
500
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 116 pages.
3 520
ABSTRACT: While there exists extensive research in the area of public relations roles, as well as the arena of organizational structure, little research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations practitioner in the organization. This study will provide a review of the different types of organizational structures, as well as a review of public relations practitioner roles. Organization theory literature supplies information on the characteristics of each structure, including levels of complexity and decentralization involved in each organizational type. Public relations literature includes research that aids in formulation of role classifications that may be assumed by the practitioner.
590
Adviser: Dr. Derina Holtzhausen.
653
Simple.
Functional.
Multidivisional.
Hybrid.
Network.
Virtual.
Matrix.
Expert prescriber.
Communication facilitator.
Problem-solving process facilitator.
Communication technician.
0 690
Dissertations, Academic
z USF
x Mass Communications
Masters.
773
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?e14.1364



PAGE 1

A Study in the Relationships Betwee n Organizational Structures and Public Relations Practitioner Roles by Allison Stokes A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts School of Mass Communications College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Derina Holtzhausen, D. Litt. et Phil. Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D. Randy Miller, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 10, 2005 Keywords: simple, functional, hybrid, networ k, matrix, multi-divisional, virtual, expert prescriber, communication facilitator, problem-solving process facilitator, communication technician Copyright 2005, Allison Stokes

PAGE 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My sincere appreciation goes to Dr. Deri na Holtzhausen, the chair of my thesis committee, for her strong guidance and support throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank Dr. Kelly Werder for her direction and inspiration in the classroom. Dr. Randy Miller and the rest of the staff in the Mass Communications Department, thank you for everything you do for your students. Derek kept it entertaining, Tracie help ed me immensely, and Jill encouraged me along. Thanks to each of you. Finally, thank you to my parents, my si ster, and Alex for all the times they believed in me when I didnt. I c ould never have done this without you.

PAGE 3

i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES iii ABSTRACT iv CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 4 Components of Organizationa l Structure 4 Organizational Structures 6 Simple structure 10 Functional structure 11 Multi-divisional structure 12 Matrix structure 13 Hybrid structure 16 Network structure 18 Virtual structure 21 Organizational Structure and Strategy 24 Organizational Structure and Communication 26 Organizational Structure a nd Public Relations 27 Public Relations Roles 29 Common roles found in public relations 32 Roles and excellence 36 International public relations roles 39 Research Questions 41 CHAPTER THREE: METH ODOLOGY 43 Instrumentation 43 Sampling Procedures 50 Data Collection Procedures 53 Statistical Analysis 55 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS 56 Research Participants 56 Analysis of Organizationa l Structure Variables 58 Factor analysis 61 Analysis of Public Relations Roles Variables 63 Correlation Analyses 65

PAGE 4

ii Organizational structures and public re lations roles 66 Public relations roles and tasks 66 Organizational structures and public re lations tasks 69 Analysis of Variance 70 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION 71 Organizational Structures 72 Public Relations Roles 74 Public Relations Tasks 76 Correlations Among Public Relations Roles and Tasks 76 Correlations Among Organizational Structures and Public Relations Roles 78 Multi-divisional structure and the problem-sol ving process facilitator 78 Virtual structure and problem-solving pr ocess facilitator 79 Network structure and the communicati on facilitator 80 Matrix structure and the communication facilitator 81 Correlations Among Organiza tional Structures and Public Relations Tasks 82 CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSIONS 86 Limitations 88 Implications for Public Relations Practice 88 REFERENCES 90 APPENDICES 94 Appendix A: Roles and Structure Questi onnaire 95 Appendix B: Request for Permission to C ontact PRSA Members 104 Appendix C: Prenotification Message 105 Appendix D: Request for Participat ion Message 106 Appendix E: Reminder Notice 1 107 Appendix F: Reminder Notice 2 108 Appendix G: Thank You Message 109

PAGE 5

iii LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Participant Demographics 58 Table 2: Means and Standard De viations for Organizational Structure Variables 60 Table 3: Factor Analysis of Measures of Organizational Structure 62 Table 4: Organizational Structure Factor N, Means and Standard Deviations 63 Table 5: Means and Standard Deviations for Public Relations Roles Variables 64 Table 6: Public Relations Roles Factor N, Means and Standard Deviations 65 Table 7: Correlations Among Roles and Structures 66 Table 8: Public Relations Tasks 67 Table 9: Correlations Among Roles and Tasks 68 Table 10: Correlations Among Roles 69 Table 11: Correlations Among Structures and Tasks 70

PAGE 6

iv A STUDY IN THE RELATIONSHIP S BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES AND PUBLIC RELA TIONS PRACTITIONER ROLES Allison Stokes ABSTRACT While there exists extensive research in the area of public relations roles, as well as the arena of organizational structure, littl e research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations practitioner in the organization. This study will provide a re view of the different types of organizational structures, as well as a review of public relations practitione r roles. Organization theory literature supplies information on the characteri stics of each structure, including levels of complexity and decentralization involved in each organizational type. Public relations literature includes research that aids in formulation of role classifications that may be assumed by the practitioner. There exists little research on organiza tional structure as it relates to public relations. The importance of this study lies in its ability to ex pand both organizational theory and roles research in public relations by examining organizati onal factors that may contribute to role performance by the communications practitione r. The lack of a linkage between organizational structure and public relations practice has resulted in limited

PAGE 7

v understanding of the ways in which structur e influences organizat ional communications practices. The results of this study indicated that relationships do exist between organizational structures and public relati ons roles. Additional findings reveal relationships between the tasks commonly asso ciated with the public relations roles of expert prescriber, communicati on facilitator, problem-solving process facilitator, and communication technician which differ from prev ious research. This study resulted in a low response rate (N = 100), which must be taken into account when examining the results of the survey. The significance of this study lies in its ability to illustrate to public relations practitioners the importance of understanding the organizational structures in which they work, so they may better adapt their public relations practice to fill the communication needs of the organization.

PAGE 8

1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Public relations research extensively covers the many roles enacted by the public relations practitioner. The effect that orga nizational structure may have on the role, or roles, assumed by the senior organizationa l communicator, however, has not received much attention in the literature. According to L. Grunig, J. Grunig, and Dozier (2002), organizational structure and culture significantly influence the practice of public relations within the company. J. Grunig (1992) recognized that the behavior of the practitione r is essentially established according to organizational structure and the role of the public relations practitioner within that structure. Early research on roles provided little by way of specification and description about the detailed job responsibilities a public relations practitioner may hold. The work of Canfield (1968), for example, produced the two possible role s of director and counselor. Since then, research has expanded greatly to reveal the existence of some commonly found practitioner roles. Several studies have discovered the existence of roles known as expert prescriber, communica tion technician, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000; Center & Jackson, 1995; J. Grunig & Hunt, 1984).

PAGE 9

2 The concept of structure typically char acterizes the relationships that exist between parts of a whole. In terms of organization theory, structure may refer to either the physical layout of buildings or the soci al relationships present between people, positions, and organizational units (Hatch, 1997). By examining the structure of an organization, much can be revealed about the culture and communi cation present in an organization. Through structure, a them e emerges among communication relationships within the organization, and th ese relationships unveil ways in which individuals become connected in the organizations social system (Johnson, 1993). This study will provide a review of the diffe rent types of organizational structures as well as a review of public relations practitioner roles in an attempt to discover relationships that may exist between the tw o areas. Organizati on theory literature supplies information on the characteristics of each structure, including levels of complexity and decentralization involved in each organizational type. Public relations literature includes research results that ai d in the formulation of public relations practitioner roles. There exists little research on organiza tional structure as it relates to public relations. The importance of this study lies in its possibilities to expand both organizational theory regarding organizationa l structures and roles research in public relations by examining organizational factors that may affect role performance by the communications practitioner. The lack of a linkage between organizational structure and public relations practice has resulted in lim ited understanding of the ways in which structure influences organizati onal communication practices.

PAGE 10

3 Through quantitative analysis, the study will hopefully contribute to theories that may explain why specific organizations c ontain certain types of public relations communicators. The next chapter includes a literature re view that explores existing research on this topic. Literature from organization th eory will be used to analyze the different organizational structures and the role of structure in communication, while public relations theory will be utili zed to discuss roles research.

PAGE 11

4 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW The first sections of the literature review will examine the basic components of organizational structure, the different types of structures, and ways that structure is associated with organizationa l strategy and communication. Components of Organizational Structure Organizations form the most efficient a nd rational social groupings in society; therefore, modern society is dependent upon or ganizations. Organizations exist as social tools in that they coordinate human actions. While combining personnel, resources, and materials, the organization is able to evalua te its performance and adjust accordingly in order to be successful in reaching its goals (Etzioni, 1964). Hatch (1997) argued structure refers to the relationships among the parts of an organized whole (p. 161). In regards to orga nization theory, social structure specifically refers to relationships among people, pos itions, and organizational units, such as departments and divisions, to which they be long. The basic elements of organizational structure, first outlined by sociologist Max Weber, are hierarchy of authority, division of labor, and rules and procedures. In an extensive overview of organizat ional structure and its many component parts, Robbins (1990) discussed ways many of those parts are related to one another and

PAGE 12

5 therefore affect organizationa l structure. He maintained that organization structure defines task allocation, reporti ng relationships, and formal coordination mechanisms in an organization. An organizations structure includes the three components of complexity, formalization, and centralization. Structural complexity refers to the extent to which there is differentiation, or a di vision of labor, in an organiza tion. A complex structure has a greater need for communication across ma ny departments horizontally or between many levels vertically. The more complex an organization is, the greater the need for effective communication, coordination, and control (Robbins, 1990). The level of formalization dictates the de gree to which rules and procedures guide organizational behavior. There exists a link between complexity and formalization. It has been found that, due to the skill of speci alists in highly comple x organizations, high complexity generally sets the tone for low formalization. A formalized structure includes many rules and procedures that dictate how or ganizational activities are to be carried out; therefore, formalization gene rally tends to reduce the am ount of communication in an organization due to the discourag ement of innovation (Hatch, 1997). Centralization determines where th e decision-making authority in the organization lies. Highly centralized decisi on-making leads the senior executive(s) to make judgments. In organiza tions that are less centrali zed, decision-making authority trickles down to lower levels. Highly co mplex organizations are generally more decentralized while organizations lower in j ob specialization require a central locus of control. Decentralized organizations require more communication and employee involvement (Robbins, 1990).

PAGE 13

6 Structure encompasses three other dimensions that are present in an organization. Organizations may be m echanistic, organic, or bureaucrat ic, depending on their levels of complexity, centralization, a nd formalization. A mechanistic organization harbors a highly complex, formalized, and centralized environment where tasks are greatly specialized, workers receive little discreti on through the presence of strict procedures, and decisions are made at the highest level of the organization. Organic environments, the opposite of mechanistic organizations, involve low complexity where jobs are generalized, informal settings give employees discretion in completing their tasks, and decentralized structures give employees power to make decisions. A bureaucracy, however, incorporates high levels of comp lexity and formalization while retaining decentralization. The bureaucratic organization is governed very closely by a set of rules and procedures, but employees at different levels are granted the ability to make decisions according to those rules. Organizational Structures Mintzberg (1983) distinguished five parts that are ba sic to any organization. Depending on which of the five maintains the highest level of control, there are five possible organizational structures. The five basic parts are op erating core, strategic apex, middle line, technostructu re, and support staff. The operating core includes employees who execute the tasks that produce the organizations product or service. Members of the operating core are specialists who receive autonomy to perform their duties. When the operating core has the control, a combination of standardization and decentr alization leads to the formation of a

PAGE 14

7 professional bureaucracy. In this structure, the operating core holds the power because tasks call for high specialization from thos e providing the goods and services. However, standardization exists in the form of rules and regulations that are internalized instead of organizationally imposed. Th e professional bureaucracy allows an organization to operate with efficiency while giving employees their independence. This organizational form also leaves the pote ntial for conflict among departments, and employees have a tendency to be compulsi ve about following the rules (Mintzberg, 1983). Upper-level managers make up the strategic apex and are charged with responsibility for the entire organization. Th e strategic apex often holds the power when the organization assumes a simple structure, or a structure with low complexity and formalization (Mintzberg, 1983). The managers who bridge the gap between the operating core and the strategic apex create the middle line. Each divisi on of the organization becomes an autonomous unit when the middle line has control; therefore, the organization employs a divisional structure. This structure typically includes several self-sufficient units, machine bureaucracies in themselves, which are coordi nated by one central he adquarters. Each autonomous division allows for managers of the middle line to assume control by acting as a liaison between their respective de partments and central command. These middle managers hold decision-making authority when it comes to both divisional strategy and operation. The divisional structure places an emphasis on outcomes by holding each division manager accountable for production. In doing so, the headquarters is able to focus on long-term strategic planning instead of day-to-day operation. Businesses that

PAGE 15

8 operate in different markets or produce differe nt types of product can highly benefit from the divisional struct ure (Mintzberg, 1983). The technostructure includes analysts w ho hold responsibility for specific levels of standardization in the organization. A m achine bureaucracy results when this segment of the organization has the power. In a mach ine bureaucracy, tasks are highly routinized with formalized rules and procedures. The strict standardization of government offices and banks normally places them in the category of machine bureaucracy. The technostructure becomes the major player in this structure beca use it includes the analysts who standardize job descriptions, budge ting, accounting, and other organizational functions. The machine bureaucracy is extremely efficient; however, it leaves room for conflict between functional departments. This type of or ganizational structure works well with large businesses whose tasks can be formally standardized (Mintzberg, 1983). Those who offer support services in the organization create the support staff. In a situation where the support staff has the major ity of control, the organization becomes an adhocracy. The adhocracy is a unique or ganizational design in which there is low formalization, decentralization, and large amount s of flexibility. Toffler (1977) believed the adhocracy, characterized by a task force whose members are assembled specifically to reach a certain goal, are becoming more and more popular in corporate America, especially in areas of science. Adhocraci es are made up of specialists who can each perform their tasks autonomously; therefore, a hierarchy of authority is nonexistent. There are no formal rules, and problems are quickly dealt with as they arise. Power has the potential to change hands randomly and rapidly, depending on who has the expertise to manage the current situation. Specialists are typically grouped t ogether in teams, but

PAGE 16

9 each team operates informally with adjustme nts taking place as conditions change. With the autonomy and informal nature of the adhocracy comes the possibility of conflict due to the absence of formal positions of power. Achrol (1997) discussed fo rms of business organizations that first developed out of the Industrial Revolution. Henry Ford provides a classic exam ple of a functional organizational form, a vertically integrated organization, that was th e principal structure during the late 1800s and early 1900s. This type of organization centered on standard high-volume production but with relatively low cost. Alfred Sloan at General Motors popularized the multidivisional form after World War I. This type of organization included the ability to cater to a large variety of consumer preferences by focusing more on the market and product development. As market preferences began to multip ly and product technologies flourished, Achrol (1997) said the matrix organizati on materialized throughout the 1960s and s. In these new matrix structures, the idea wa s that marketing would develop a closer working relationship with science and engineer ing. The emphasis here was more lateral than vertical, with dual lines of authority in the organization. The rise of Japanese global enterprise in the 1980s gave birth to the network organization. Business began to realize th at the success of the global enterprise was dependent upon sources external to the firm. The network organizati on started to prosper further as a means of organizing the in formation overload an d rapid technological advancements that began to take place. By specializing into subunits, the organization was more equipped to handle the changes taking place in the dynamic environment.

PAGE 17

10 For the 21 st century, Achrol (1997) predicted a turbulent marketing environment filled with new information such that the classic, vertical organization of the 20 th century could no longer endure. All indications pointed to the em ergence of a new type of organization; a network within which speci alized firms operated in an exchange relationship. Next, specific types of organizational stru ctures will be discussed, e.g., the simple structure, functional structure, multi-divisional structure, matrix structure, hybrid structure, and network struct ure. Also, the virtual orga nization is introduced as a relatively new concept in organizational design. Simple structure This type of organizational design may fo rm as soon as at least two people make up an organization. The simple structure occu rs usually in very small, flexible, and dynamic organizations that ha ve little differentiation am ong tasks. According to Mintzberg (1983), the simple structure results when the strategic apex, or upper-level management, forms centralized control. The members involved in a simple structure share an informal relationship in which ta sk allocation is decided based on mutual agreement. Often, organizations operating as a simple structure may appear to have no structure at all. The simple structure frequently occurs in a newly developed organization or an organization that is permanently sma ll. However, large corporations may also utilize the simple structure within specific uni ts, or departments, of the company (Hatch, 1997).

PAGE 18

11 Robbins (1990) claimed the simple st ructure, resulting when upper-level managers have the power, is low in complex ity and formalization with control generally centralized to one person. The simple struct ure requires low cost to maintain, usually due to the small nature of the business. All me mbers of a simple structure are clear on goals and task assignments, and it therefore becomes evident how one persons actions may affect the organization as a whole. Unfortuna tely, there is increased risk in assuming the simple organizational structure. With power centralized into the ha nds of one individual, there is increased risk of corruption a nd organizational breakdown if the central commander is no longer able to perform his/her duties. Functional structure The functional structure divides the orga nization based on a logical grouping of members that share common tasks or goals. In an organization that manufactures a product, some of the common functional un its may be production, sales, accounting, marketing, and public relations. The idea behi nd the functional structure is to increase profits by specializing tasks and grouping them together for maximum productivity. The members of a functional organization can easily see the relationship between all individuals in one department. In the func tional organization, the CEO, or top manager, has control over the organizati on and is the only organizational member who sees the whole picture of all departments working towards a common goal. This can be a disadvantage to the organization if the top manager suddenly vacates the position, leaving no other qualified individuals to effectively run the organization. Also, the top manager

PAGE 19

12 may easily become overwhelmed by increa sed decision-making as the organization grows (Hatch, 1997). Peters (1993) identified the functional structure, or st ructure based on division by specialization, as the most common organiza tional design. Employees are hired based on their skill of specializ ation, and they report internally to a department head that then represents that specific function to the highest authority in the company. The strength of the functional organization lies with its simplicity in clearly delineating task responsibility. It does have weaknesses, how ever, such as hostility between functional departments that generally results when objectives do not match up exactly. Another weakness involves customer interaction in that several departments may deal with one customer, where each department has no prior knowledge of what has transpired between other departments and the same customer Typically, functional organizations communicate vertically internally, often resu lting in communication breakdowns between functions. Multi-divisional structure Hatch (1997) claimed that when the func tional structure becomes too large for one centralized decision-maker, the organization typically takes on a multi-divisional structure. In the multi-divisional structure, or M-form, the organization is divided into functional structures that all report to a staff at corporate headquarters. Within each functional structure, members are grouped according to production processes or products, customer type, or geographical region where their activity takes place. The functional structures are each responsible for making da ily decisions regarding production schedules

PAGE 20

13 and sales while the headquarters staff m onitors overall company performance and formulates strategy. A higher level of coordi nation is involved with the multi-divisional structure than the functional structure. The executives at headquarters have the responsibility of financial control over all divisions and c oordination of company-wide production. When the multi-divisional company operates in different industries rather than having functional units within the same industry, a conglomerate is formed. The executives of a conglomerate concern themselv es with managing the resource flow into each division in order to increa se overall profits (Hatch, 1997). Multi-divisional organizations run the risk of not being as profitable as functional organizations due to the repetition of tasks th at occurs because each functional unit has its own sales, accounting, and production departme nts. An advantage of the multi-divisional organization lies with its size and the fact that a larger company will be able to possess greater influence and gain a larger compe titive advantage in its environment (Hatch, 1997). Matrix structure The matrix structure exists as a combination of the functional and multi-divisional structures. The matrix organization empl oys both functional managers and project managers. The responsibilities of the functional managers incl ude assigning specialists to projects and ensuring them the acquisition and maintenance of necessary skills to complete the project. These managers also monitor the progress of the task and make

PAGE 21

14 sure it meets company standards. The projec t managers, then, supervise each project in terms of budgeting and timeline (Hatch, 1997). The organization members involved in a ma trix structure are assigned to project teams based on agreement between the func tional and project managers. The teams include members that possess the functionally specialized abilities to complete the task at hand. The team members report to both the functional manager and the project manager; therefore, a disadvantage of the matrix struct ure lies with the conflict often created by dual lines of authority. Also, functional and project managers sometimes disagree on the assignment of certain individuals to specifi c project teams. Th e responsibility of maintaining a balance between the functional and project sides of the organization lies with the top manager, usually the CEO (Hatch, 1997). In a matrix organization, organizatio nal functions exist to serve both other organizational functions and customers. According to Peters (1993), the matrix organization is easier to illustra te on paper than it is to work in. In this organizational structure there are both solid lines and dotted lines of reporting, meaning that a marketing manager will directly report to the marketing director, however he or she may also work closely with other directors whose responsibil ities may be relevant to the work of the marketing manager. Essentially, the marke ting manager works for a marketing director while simultaneously reporting to other direct ors. This organizational design often leads to power struggles between the staff manage rs and directors cause d by the dispersion of power and authority coupled with the complexity of the structural type. An advantage of the matrix structure is its ability to easily take on new projects. In order for a new project to begin in a matrix structure, a project manager and team

PAGE 22

15 members must be recruited, which is a common occurrence in this specific organizational design. The matrix structure is also at an advantage due to its ability to utilize its specialists to the full extent. Specialists in a matrix structure often work simultaneously on more than one project team, allowing fo r maximum use of thei r capabilities (Hatch, 1997). Kolodny (1979) claimed that, although matrix organizations contrast behaviorally and structurally with traditional organizational forms, the matrix design develops out of the more traditional structures. There exists the absence of an agreed upon definition of a matrix organization, though Mee (1964) proposed one of the first definitions when he called the design a web of relationships. The difficulty in defining the matrix organization arises due to the fact that the matrix design may incorporate various structural arrangements and behaviors. Many scholars fail to identify the matrix organization as a pure organizational type, instead adopting the posit ion that an organization may only temporarily take on the matrix form while in transition to another structure (Kolodny, 1979). Kolodny illustrated how an organization e volves from a functional organization to one with a matrix design. Throughout the pr ocess of evolution, the organization will pass through the phases of function, project, and product/matrix before becoming a matrix organization. The progression begins when th e organization realizes that the vertical hierarchy cannot respond quickly enough to the demands needed from the horizontal coordinating mechanisms. The organization r eacts to this realization by decentralizing the decision making to project managers w ho are coordinated around specific tasks. Eventually, the project managers recognize the need to share resources once their tasks

PAGE 23

16 reach different stages of completion, theref ore coordinating mechanisms are put into place and lead the organization in the direction of a matrix design. In the product/matrix phase, the organi zation further develops the division of tasks and emphasis is placed on forming and ma intaining new patterns of behavior. The product/matrix phase includes the formation of support systems such as dual control systems, extensive dissemination of informa tion, role re-assessment, and comprehensive team-building and interpersonal skill devel opment programs. The final movement to a pure matrix organization involve s the development of behaviors more than structural changes. Once the organization fully transi tions to a matrix design, several things emerge such as high flexibility and adaptabili ty, resource sharing, and proactive behavior. It is important to understand, however, that th e matrix form is not suitable for every organization that follows the path toward evolution to the matrix design. Some organizations will find that the product/matrix stage is appropriate for operation and will not advance to a mature matrix form (Kolodny, 1979). Hybrid structure The simple, functional, multi-divisional, and matrix forms of organizations represent pure types of organizational structure. Sometimes, an or ganization will not fit neatly into one of these categories, but would rather utilize some combination of two or more structures. Hybrid structures may exis t deliberately in order to gain the maximum advantage of certain structures, or the or ganization may be changing and temporarily incorporate more than one structural type Confusion often o ccurs in a hybrid organization because relationships change acco rdingly between parts of the organization.

PAGE 24

17 However, the hybrid structure can be beneficial in that it pr ovides the organization with the ability to embrace the structure th at best fits its needs (Hatch, 1997). Lentz (1996) saw the hybrid structure as a balance between customer focus and the use of economies of scal e, which leads to increased profits. The hybrid structure incorporates the best aspects of both centrali zed and decentralized organizations. In the hybrid structure, the organization is divide d into business units, each dealing with a specific operation of the company. Decision-making is decentrali zed to each business unit while the corporate headquarters remain s the centralized authority on issues of overall strategy. Lentz argued, Hybrid or ganizations simultaneously allow operating units to become more res ponsive to customers while a llowing corporate staffs to maximize economies of scale and to integrate operating units into one corporate identity (p. 454). Lentz (1996) identified three characteris tics common in the literature on hybrid structures. First, the strategic focus of the hybrid organization is such that the customer and economies of scale simultaneously are top priorities. Each business unit is responsible for taking care of the custom er while the outsourcing of non-strategic activities allows the corporation to rema in focused on economies of scale as well. The second characteristic of hybrid orga nizations involves th e sharing of power between the main corporation and the busin ess units. The decision-making authority flows back and forth between the two as necessary, with the business units making marketing and product decisions while the corporation decides the overall strategic objectives.

PAGE 25

18 The third and final characteristic of hybrid organizations is that work flows around product development. The hybrid st ructure still employs specialists, however, concentration is placed on th e development of core compet encies, or skills that are relevant to all aspect s of the corporation. Network structure The network structure is a relatively new organizational type that replaces most vertical relationships with horizontal ones. Instead of the organization operating from formal vertical relationships, a partnership is formed among several organizations. The entire network, then, produces goods or provide s services, so that one single organization does not provide a product or service. This c oordination of activities eradicates the need for the traditional vertical hierarchy, which lo wers administrative costs. While lessening overall costs, networks also increase efficiency and profitability that enable the organization to remain competitive (Hatch, 1997). Networks often form when organizat ions find themselves faced with technological change, short product lifecycles, or highly specialized markets. Frequently, small firms come together to outsource activi ties to one another and form a network that can compete in a market where the individual firms could not. An advantage of network organizations is that they inspire innovation and encourage sharing of information among ne twork members. Prompt information exchange between members allows network or ganizations to quickly take advantage of opportunities that other organizations might not yet be aware of. The stability and success of the network is dependent upon teamwork between network members.

PAGE 26

19 Employees of the different network segments must work together in order to be innovative, solve problems, and coordinate activities of the network. The network structure requires a certain level of relati onship management for the information web to be maintained. This relationship management is crucial for the network to remain intact in the event that either a network partner attempts to undermine the network by pursuing self-interests or a network member is reluctant to cooperate (Hatch, 1997). A network can describe a nything from a national economic system to a social dating service and everything in between that involves entities build ing relationships. Achrol (1997) realized that all organizat ions are networks through their department differentiation or external relationships for the purpose of acquiring resources. However, the quality of relationships held and shar ed values that regulate them characterize network organizations. Ther efore, a network organization may be differentiated from a network of organizational linkages by the nonhierarchical, mutually committed nature of the network that shares values and encomp asses a system of role and responsibility definitions. In other words, an actual network organization encompasses several organizations which share values and feelings of commitment to one another in order for all entities in the networ k to be successful. The rise in the number of network struct ures is a result of increased competition and the tumultuous nature of the business wo rld, which require organizations to become more flexible and adaptive (Walker, 1997). These networks, or cl usters of firms or specialized units coordinated by market mechan isms or relational norms rather than by a hierarchical chain of command, (p. 75) will continue to flourish in the 21 st century as the business environment does not rele nt in its level of competition.

PAGE 27

20 Walker (1997) concerned himself mainly with the adaptability of network organizations to their given environments. Network organizations inherently differ in structure, coordination, and gove rnance from the traditional functional organizations of the past. In order to adapt quickly to cha nges in the environment, organizations have begun to focus more on task specialization. Th e shift to a network structure allows for increased knowledge gain in fewer specialized ar eas due to the fact that each firm, or part of the network, is able to fo cus narrowly on one assignment. What is happening, then, is that many organizations are downsizing and form ing alliances so that administrative costs are lowered while the level of expertise is raised thr ough the sharing of tasks and information through the network. Issues of coordination logi cally follow the structure ch ange intrinsic to network organizations. Higher levels of specializati on require higher levels of coordination so that information is summari zed and distributed accordingly. Also, coordination must dictate that each member of the network ha s set objectives and has access to resources that enable completion of the task. An or ganization of efforts among the networks parts is needed, and when revenue is produced, that must be distributed as well. Often times, organizations find it difficult to utilize effec tive means of coordinati on that can withstand organizational and environmental changes (Walker, 1997). Networks, unlike traditional organizational forms, must deal more regularly with relationship issues such as trust and commitment. Walker (1997) cited mutual adjustments among members of the network based on common relational norms as an essential building block to mainte nance of a healthy network. It is also important to note

PAGE 28

21 that all affiliates in the network must retain equal levels of trust towards one another for the network as a whole to ope rate efficiently. Snow (1997) dubbed this the age of the ne twork but simultaneously lamented the lack of an empirically validated typology of network organizations. The author pointed out the important characteristic s presumed by network organizations, such as single firm versus multifirm, single industry versus multi-industry, and stable versus temporary. While Achrol (1997) is celebrated for ha ving built a foundation for examining network typologies, Snow (1997) expressed the need for an empirically formulated typology so that research on network organizatio ns may proceed and prosper. Virtual structure A virtual organization exists when all the task activities of the company are outsourced (Hatch, 1997). The vi rtual organization is typified by the virtual product, or a product that is instantly produced according to the specific desires of the customer. The characteristics of the virtual organization include work teams, flexible manufacturing, individual worker autonom y, and computer design and customization (Davidow & Malone, 1992). Rahman and Bhattachryya (2002) disc ussed the emergence of the virtual organization as a specific type of networked organization. There are two definitions that may represent the virtual organization. An organization may be virt ual in that it is a temporary network of generally independent entities that are linke d through technology to provide skills, costs, and accessibility to di fferent markets. An organization may also be virtual in that it simply does not have a physical building from which it operates. In

PAGE 29

22 this context, that defin ition might imply that the organization is geographically distributed and therefore operates thr ough electronic communication devices. Virtual organizations have five common characteristics as identified by Rahman and Bhattachryya (2002). First, virtual orga nizations have a shared vision and goal, and sometimes the organizations also have a uni versal protocol of cooperation. Second, the organizations group activities around certain core capabilities. Virtua l organizations also operate in core competence teams in orde r to implement their tasks in a unifying approach throughout the entire network. In addition, these organizations both process and disseminate information in real time, a llowing them to quickly make decisions and formulate actions. Finally, virtual organizati ons often delegate task s and responsibilities from the bottom up when new conditions are intr oduced or a certain capa bility is required for the group goal to be accomplished. The virtual organization is a beneficial organizational desi gn for specialist or individual supply operations th at may make themselves available through a phone call, fax, or E-mail to anyone who may wish to util ize the services offered. The technology available for use in the virtual organization is allowing businesses to become international at the click of a mouse. Rahman and Bhattach ryya (2002) stated that the virtual operation provides small entrepreneurs with the flexibility and responsiveness that some larger corporations strive to attain. The virtual organization does not exis t without certain social and legal implications (Rahman & Bhattachryya, 2002). As an entity that provides services in cyberspace, there have already emerged issues regarding taxation. Any of the participants in the virtual organization may create a holding area for most of the

PAGE 30

23 companys profits anywhere in the world wher e the tax system is most favorable. Also, the quickening rate at which vi rtual organizations are able to provide goods and services often does not keep pace with the decision makers of companies receiving those services. Therefore, legal contracts sometimes are sti ll in the approval stag es while the virtual organization is ready to begi n production. Many virtual or ganizations, such as chip manufacturer LSI Logic, operate from verbal agreements that require large amounts of trust in relationships with clients. Most virtual organizations have proven successful because of a firm vision and well-founded strategy. However, four additional characteristics lead virtual organizations to success. The organization must formulat e an understanding among all internal players of the actual capabilitie s of the organization as well as those that must be achieved in order to generate a learning and developmen tal environment. The virtual organization must also supply an infrastructure th at promotes the sharing of knowledge, communication, and project work among teams th at are dispersed locally. A successful organization will not focus solely on its business performance, but it will concentrate as well on monitoring the qualitative business elem ents relating to services and people. Finally, many virtual organizations have achieved success by abandoning a time-based compensation system and adopting a system where individuals and teams are rewarded through various avenues, such as part fina ncial ownership of the company (Rahman & Bhattachryya, 2002). Kotorov (2001) credited developments in computer networks with the increase in virtual organizations. The creation of the virt ual organization is changing the firm as a societal institution. Specifi cally, discussion centers on the way future firms will differ

PAGE 31

24 from present firms, especially in terms of decentralization. Traditionally, organizations have commonly been centralized in regards to both control and locati on of facilities. The virtual organization, however, faces banish ment of both formal and spatial boundaries. Teece (1996) described virtual organizati ons as possessing shallow hierarchies and substantial local autonomy. Virtual firm s avoid specialization by function as well as issues of seniority that accompany a hierarchical structure. Mowshowitz (2002) acknowledged that the te rm virtual organization was first introduced early in the 1980s and has sin ce been developing. To Mowshowitz (2002), the term virtual organization does not c onclude the existence of a certain type of organization. Often, the term refers to one of the major aspects of organizational design. Virtual organization encompasse s a configuration i rregular to the typical corporation while remaining highly dependent upon technology that is computer-based. The irregular configuration consists of fewer constraints in terms of spatial boundaries, leading to the distribution of information and services in cy berspace. In the future, economic and social aspects of business will likely force virtua l organization to become the dominant paradigm of organizational design. This type of organization is unique to the extent that it is both efficient and cost -effective in achieving goals. Organizational Structure and Strategy Organizational structure exists as an important foundation for organizational effectiveness. Due to the complex nature of organizational eff ectiveness and the many ways it can be characterized, Robbins (1990) de fined organizational effectiveness as the degree to which an organizati on attains its short(ends) a nd long-term (means) goals, the

PAGE 32

25 selection of which reflects strategic constituen cies, the self-interest of the evaluator, and the life stage of the or ganization (p. 77). Over time, many scholars have claimed that goals and strategies are the biggest determinants of organizational structure. St rategy, defined largely as the long-term goals of an organization coupled with the actions that will produce those goals, has since been classified as only one of many elements that determine structure. Several studies have attempted to reveal a conclusive relationship between strategy and structure. In the end, no definite conclusions can be made as to how one affects the other. What was introduced, however, was the fact that the industrial environment of the organization influences strategy and therefore, structure. Peters (1993) did not claim the existence of a good or bad struct ure, but one that is appropriate to strategy, ma rkets, internal policy, custom ers, culture, and people. He maintained that the purpose of examining orga nizational structure is to develop ways that structure may be better suited to strategy. He proposed ways to think about the organization so that changes may be made to structure in order to enhance strategy. By thinking about what the organization does, th e ways the customer is exposed to the organization, the activities necessary to achieving organizational goals, and how communication flows between these activities, one may determine which organizational design is best suited to the organizati on. After making the necessary changes in organizational structure, constant evaluation will reveal whether or not that particular structure fits with th e organizational strategy.

PAGE 33

26 Organizational Structure and Communication Johnson (1993) discussed organizational structure in terms of the connection between structure and comm unication. He defined organizational communication structure as the relatively stable configuration of comm unication relationships between entities within an organizational context (p. 11). Through structure, an individual realizes a theme among communication relationships within the organization. In turn, these relationships entrench the individual in the organizations social system. Organizational structure in regards to communication is gene rally studied using the network analysis approach. This appro ach looks almost solely at the role of relationships, between both organizational members and entities, in communication structure (Johnson, 1993). Johnson (1993)identified severa l ways in which structure impacts organizations. Communication structure can reveal the nor mative behavior of the organizations members, encompassing informal communication relationships that shape the culture of the organization. Communication structure also enables actio n within the organization by providing a predictable pattern of relationships. Structure allows an organization to process larger amounts of information due to a filtering process f acilitated by single-unit processing. In this way, structure limits in formation overload and helps the organization become as efficient as possible. Through predictability in comm unication relationships, structure reduces uncertainty in the organizati on and instills confiden ce in the individual members.

PAGE 34

27 Communication structure also exists in or ganizations at a more personal level, providing social support that allows individuals to grow and advance in the workplace. Through formal communication structures, organizational members and units are integrated into one cohesive team. Finally, structure has the ability to nega tively affect an organization through the relationship that often exists between structure and power. Thos e in power generally control the formal aspects of structure and th erefore, the informati on that passes through the organization (Johnson, 1993). Jablin (1987) focused on the structural di mensions of configuration, complexity, formalization, and centralizati on and their relationships to organizational communication. The structural dimension of organizational c onfiguration includes the five characteristics of span of control, hierarchical leve l, organizational size, sub-unit size, and administrative intensity. Span of control refe rs to the number of i ndividuals that report directly to a supervisor. While this aspect of configuration is one of the oldest elements of organizational theory, it has been the subject of little empi rical research regarding its relationship with communication. Through th e little research that has been conducted, studies have shown that span of control, while affecting frequenc y of communication, has little influence on mode a nd quality of communication. Organizational Structure and Public Relations Little research currently exists that examines the impact of organizational structure on public relations. This section of the literature review examines previous

PAGE 35

28 research on the existing connection concer ning organizational structure and public relations. The structure and culture of an organi zation have a significant impact on the practice of public relations within the co mpany (L. Grunig, J. Grunig, & Dozier, 2002). As noted by J. Grunig (1992), the structure of the organization and the role of the public relations practitioner within that structur e largely determine the behavior of the practitioner. The structural dimensions of centralization, formalization, and complexity are a good place to start when discussing stru cture and public relations because these variables allow for comparison between organi zational types depending on the levels of each in the specific structure being analyzed. In research on the effects of organiza tional structure on internal communication, Holtzhausen (2002) found that decentralizat ion of internal communication led to communication changes in the organization as a whole as well as to changes in the ethical nature of internal communicat ion. The researcher recogni zed the importance of further research in the area of public relations and organizational st ructure. Future research could focus on public relations practice in ma trix and network orga nizations specifically, as decentralization of the public relations function in these types of organizations will enhance communication and guarantee commun ication issues receive the necessary attention. Through analysis of the interview results associated with the Excellence Project, findings indicated that the ma trix structure lends itself to the most open communication system (L. Grunig, 1997). The non-hierarchical na ture of the matrix leads to the ability of employees to share problems and conc lusions in order to develop the best

PAGE 36

29 communication plan. Excellence findings al so led to the general conclusion that organizations with an organic structure, par ticipative culture, and symmetrical system of internal communication facilita te the practice of excellent public relations (L. Grunig, J. Grunig, & Dozier, 2002). The association between structure and public relations is often discussed in terms of the public relations structur e practiced in the organizati on. J. Grunig and Hunt (1984) contended that effective public relations mana gers decide on the characteristics of the public relations department, incl uding structural elements such as vertical and horizontal relationships and practitioner roles, relative to the dynamic and complex nature of the environment within which the organization operates. Public Relations Roles Because this study focuses in part icular on the relationship between organizational structure and public relations roles, a review of literature on public relations roles woul d be appropriate. Research on public relations roles re veals many changes in the profession throughout recent years. The following revi ew of literature on practitioner roles illustrates how the field has expanded the research in order to distinguish several roles that may be performed by the publ ic relations practitioner. Brody (1988) cited organizational evoluti on as the catalyst fo r changes in the public relations practitioner role Practitioners once only functi oned as technicians, but in order to keep up with the rapidly changing pr ofession, practitioners now act as counselors

PAGE 37

30 to management. Brody reported that among senior practitioners communication was becoming a secondary function. Communication must follow suitable organizational behavior, therefore public relations practitioners must work to ensure that the organization commits to responsible behavior. In addition to play ing the role of communicator, many practitioners must also be social analysts and the consciences of th eir organizations. The practitioner of today has a hand in developing policy and procedure, as opposed to the practitioner of old that merely accepted what was provided as fact (Brody, 1998). Katz and Kahn (1978) identified roles accordi ng to the repetitive behaviors of an individual during daily work. The authors distinguished between the ideas of role sending, role expectations, and role receiving. Role sending occurs when those included in management positions, including the domin ant coalition, stipulate the behaviors that are to be included in the role of any given staff member. Perceptions of the role held by others in the organization, based partly on an individuals abiliti es, constitute role expectations. Role receiving refers specifically to the role of the senior communicator as perceived from messages sent by the dominant coalition coupled with the formal education and work experience of the senior communicator. The organization of the public relations department typically depends on overall organizational size, number of key publics, available budget, and public relations objectives. Every public relations departme nt typically employs a manager-type who oversees the activity of the department. Canf ield (1968) specifically discussed the roles of public relations director and public rela tions counselor. He argued that the public relations director might pe rform many different tasks de pending on the size of the

PAGE 38

31 organization, but typical duties may in clude public speaking, writing and editing newsletters, articles, and other publications, handling community, employee, and media relations, and organizing special events. A public relations di rector or manager also must be able to evaluate attitude s and trends, as well as provide counseling to organizational management on the influence of policy a nd procedure on public opinion. The manager must use research to plan a public relati ons program and then possess the ability to implement and evaluate that plan. A good pub lic relations manager must be able to convince other department heads of the va lue of public relations to their specific functions. Also, top manageme nt must be persuaded to consider public opinion when policies are altered or adopt ed and to act in the best interest of the public. Harlan and Scott (1955) examined public relations personnel in terms of the relationship between public rela tions and organizational polic y. The director, or public relations department head, must occupy a positi on that allows him or her to take part in strategic management meetings, policy mee tings, and meetings with the board of directors. Inclusion in thes e groups is vital to the direct ors ability to effectively supervise the public relations depa rtment and its program efforts. Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996, 2004) identified staff member, agency employee, and independent public relations practitioner as the three main roles a practitioner may assume. Public relations practitioners may be staff members of corporate or nonprofit organizati ons as well as governmental agencies. A staff members specific job description is usually determ ined by the needs of the organization. Typically, staff public relations member s in small organizations, such as a nonprofit, will work with external publics in cluding volunteers or suppliers who provide

PAGE 39

32 donations. Other staff positions in a comme rcial or nonprofit organization may include middle management of public relations activity. According to Newsome, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996, 2004), advancement in comput er technology could lead to a decrease in lower level public relations positions and an increase in positions of middle management. Each public relations firm has its own type of organizational structure, but typically the president shar es the responsibility of managing accounts with the sales professionals. Other agency employee positions present in a firm may be an accountant, secretary, publicity writer, ar tist, and advertising specia list. The development of computer software that includes type a nd graphics opened the door for the public relations practitioner to beco me both writer and producer of publications (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, 2004). The third role of the practitioner as set forth by Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996, 2004) is the independent practitioner, who often works as a public relations counselor. Normally, the indepe ndent practitioner is hired in order to complete a specific task. As a counselor, the pr actitioner conducts research and formulates communications strategies, which are then presented to the cl ient. Most counselors excel in one area of public relations, providing expe rt advice on crisis manageme nt, community relations, or internal communications. Common roles found in public relations Public relations practitione rs assume the role they practice by adopting certain behaviors and strategies that al low them to cope with the situations they face on a daily

PAGE 40

33 basis (Cutlip, Center, & Broo m, 1985, 2000; Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, 2004; Center & Jackson, 1995). The role of the public relations practitioner varies from one organization to the next, but the authors c oncur with previous research, including J. Grunig and Hunt (1984), who recognized comm unication technician, expert prescriber, communication facilitator, a nd problem-solving process facilitator as the four main public relations roles. These authors acknowledged that all practiti oners take on some or all of the roles of expert prescriber, communication technician, communicati on facilitator, and problemsolving process facilitator. Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996, 2004) also recognized the role of acceptant legitimizer, or a practiti oner that acts as yes person. However, practitioners do embrace a role that emerges as dominant while performing daily tasks and working with others. Cutlip, Center, and Broom (1985, 2000) provi ded detailed descriptions of each role, including expert pres criber, communication technici an, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator. The expe rt prescriber is seen as an authority on all public relations matters. The practitione r in this role dis tinguishes the problem, develops a relevant communications program, and takes responsibility for implementation of the program. Many practitione rs relish the role of expert prescriber because they are seen as the specialist with all the answers. So metimes, the long-term existence of an expert prescriber may limit the flow of public relations thinking throughout the organization because all of th e public relations duties are placed on the shoulders of the one practitioner. Generally, the expert prescriber role is needed during crisis situations and for other specific purposes throughout a co mmunications campaign.

PAGE 41

34 The role of communication technician is often an entry-level position that is not managerial and sometimes does not receive information as to the motivation for communication tactics or the intended results. The technician primarily writes newsletters, news releases, and feature stor ies. The effectiveness of the communication technician depends on the ability of the public relations manager to define the problem, select a strategy, and relate the necessary tactics to the technician for development (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). The communication facilitator, both a sensitive listener and information broker, focuses on the use of two-way communication in order to act as a liaison, interpreter, and mediator between the organization and its key publics. The aim of the communication facilitator is to provide both the orga nization and the public with the necessary information so that the two parties may in teract effectively. While serving as the information source between the organizat ion and its publics, the communication facilitator strives to keep open lines of communication by summarizing the views of both sides, developing agendas for discussion, and aiding in the identific ation and correction of problems that may be prohibiting effective communication. The communication facilitator is solely concerned with ma tters of communication and not issues of organizational policy or procedur e (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). The problem-solving process facilitator is a member of the management team who works with other organizational managers in an attempt to identify and rectify problems. Using the same step-by-step progression that is used to diagnose and solve other organizational quandaries, this practit ioner attempts to solve public relations problems. The problem-solving practitioner wo rks especially closely with line managers

PAGE 42

35 to enact a public relations problem-solving pr ocess. Line managers are vital to the success of the problem-solving session due to th e fact that they hold the power to make changes and are most familiar with organiza tional policies and procedures. Through the collaboration of the public relations problem -solving facilitator and line managers, upper level managers are more likely to understa nd and support the public relations function of the organization (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). In a study aimed at comparing the roles of male and female practitioners, Broom (1982) found that all practitione rs surveyed assumed the roles of expert prescriber, communication technician, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator at different times. Both men and women indicated that they most often played the role of expert prescriber but the other roles varied in frequency between genders. Women reported that they most often play ed the roles of comm unication technician, problem-solving process facilitator, and communication facilitator in that order while men were problem-solving process facilitato rs second, then communi cation facilitators and communication technicians. In the same study (Broom, 1982), respondents that reported high levels of communication technician functions, reported lo w performance levels of functions that characterize the other three role s. Findings indicated that th e roles of expert prescriber, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilita tor tended to be played by the same practitioners, as these three role s correlated highly with one another. Cutlip, Center, and Broom (1985) found in a survey conducted of members in the Public Relations Society of America that most practitioners see themselves in the expert prescriber role, with communication technici an following as the most commonly reported

PAGE 43

36 role. The survey data corresponded with prev ious findings that in dicated practitioners who rated themselves highly in the role of communication technician did not have a tendency to rate highly in regards to the othe r three roles. However, practitioners who rated themselves highly on any one of the roles of expert prescriber, communication facilitator, or problem-solving process facilitator, tended to rate highly in terms of all three roles. These findings s uggest that public relations role s may be collapsed to the two overarching roles of manager and technician. Scholars recognize the ability to narrow these four ro les down to the two main functions of manager and technician (New som, Turk, & Kruckeberg,1996; J. Grunig & Hunt, 1984; Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). The manager acts as a supervisor for the technical staff and uses research findings to serve as a counselor to management in regards to planning and policy making. The tec hnician uses his or her skills to perform the public relations tasks needed by the organi zation. Most public re lations practitioners agree that the two roles of manager and technician do exist, however, since public relations work involves a larg e variety of activities, many pr actitioners assume both roles simultaneously. It might then be better to describe the role of the individual practitioner by investigating which role the practitioner takes on the majority of the time. The most important characteristic of pub lic relations and its practitione rs, however, is the ability to help the organization adjust to the e nvironment in which it operates. Roles and excellence In 1984, a team of researchers began a study that aimed to determine how public relations contributes to organizational e ffectiveness. Throug h the surveying of

PAGE 44

37 approximately 5,000 public relations practitioners as well as some in-depth interviews, the researchers reasoned that only excellent public relations departments contribute significantly to organizational effectiveness. Therefore, the research came to be known as the Excellence Project. The study resulted in a set of about 12 characteristics that may be found in excellent pu blic relations departments (L. Grunig, 1997). One of the characteristics found to contribu te to effective public relations involves the role of the senior practi tioner. The data produced by the excellence study maintained that senior managers who receive support from skilled technicians lead excellent public relations departments. The excellence data also proved the existence of two types of managers, including a departmental supervisor and a senior adviser. The supervisor oversees the public relations department and its activity. The seni or adviser, however, serves at the executive level of the organi zation and is often a me mber of the dominant coalition who has access to those with extreme power. Senior advisers are in a position to affect company policy through their c onnections to the dominant coalition. The work of Dozier is credited with th e identification of two roles that exist outside the boundaries of communication t echnician and communication manager (J. Grunig & Hunt, 1984). The commu nication liaison role and the media relations role are mid-level management roles in public relatio ns practice. The excellence study found that CEOs most often prefer for th e senior public relations prac titioner to be a manager or communication liaison, while the role of medi a relations expert also received positive responses (L. Grunig, 1997). The communication liaison is a practiti oner who facilitates communication and advises the organization on communication issu es. The communication liaison assists the

PAGE 45

38 upper-level public relations managers by acti ng as an organizational representative at events and meetings; however, this positi on holds no power to actually manage the communication function. The liais on also works to create possi bilities for management to communicate with both internal and external publics. The media relations practitioner develops a two-way relationship with the media, maintaining media contact and producing materi als for dissemination to media members. The practitioner in this role also keeps othe r members of the organization informed about relevant occurrences in the me dia (J. Grunig & Hunt, 1984). In the most recent text on communications excellence, L. Grunig, J. Grunig, and Dozier (2002) viewed roles as ways of classifying the va rious behaviors an individual may enact in an organization. Organizations could possibly be defined as systems of roles, and the excellence project succeeded in expanding the field of roles research. One way in which the excellence study differed fr om previous roles research is that questionnaire items asked communicators what role expectations the dominant coalition has expressed to them in addition to as king what roles they actually enact. The excellence project also surveyed CEOs to determine the expectations held of top communicators, including the role the senior practitioner should hol d. Results indicated that CEOs expect the senior communicator to be a manager who is an expert in media relations. Also, it was revealed that CEOs of ten hire a senior comm unicator due to his or her technical skills but reali ze technical skills alone are in sufficient in dealing with a crisis or other major situation that requires strategic co mmunication skills. Dozier (1992) reviewed roles research in the first installment of texts that chronicled the excellence project. Throughout the review, Dozier proposed 15 statements

PAGE 46

39 that summarized roles resear ch at that time. The first proposition claimed that practitioner activities may pars imoniously be divided into th e basic roles of manager and technician. Doziers other 14 propositions specifically referred to ways that the managerial role is associated with charac teristics of excellence, such as two-way symmetrical and asymmetrical models of communication, environmental scanning, public relations program planning and eval uation, and strategic decision-making involvement. L. Grunig, J. Grunig, and Dozier (2002) late r integrated those 14 propositions into the one proposition that the managerial role wi ll be associated with other characteristics of excellent communications departments. Divisions of the managerial and technical roles for the senior communicator did, in fact, prove to distinguish which communications departments were excelle nt. The excellence study found that the availability of knowledge to hold a managerial role sets excellent departments apart from less excellent ones. Higher levels of tec hnical expertise were also found in excellent communications departments; however, the accompaniment of managerial expertise maximized the value of technical skills. International public relations roles Petersen, Holtzhausen, and Tindall (2002) studied public relations practitioner roles in South Africa in an effort to expand ro les research to an international scope. The researchers defined public relati ons roles as actions that are repeatedly performed in order to establish a system of practice. The author s surveyed practitioners in South Africa to determine how they percei ved their roles as profe ssional communicators. The

PAGE 47

40 questionnaire tested four roles, one that had previously been identif ied in earlier studies and three that were conceptualized from issues relating to public rela tions practice in the environment of South Africa. The researchers studied the roles of liai son, media relations, cultural interpreter, and personal influence because they anticipated that the political, social, and cultural environment in South Africa would predict these roles. The liaison role, based on previous descriptions of the communication fa cilitator and expert pr escriber, acts as a communication facilitator between an organization and its public s. It was included in the study because indications were that if the me dia relations role were language specific, practitioners who were not English speak ing would, instead, perform the traditional liaison role as conceptualized in the communication facilitat or role (Petersen, Holtzhausen, & Tindall, 2002). The role of cultural inte rpreter is characterized by belonging to a senior practitioner who acts as a cons ultant on policy issues that focus on relationship-building with cultural publics who have previously been neglected. In the role of personal influence, the practitioner builds personal relationships with strategic constituents on personal time. This role often includes the giving of gifts in order to maintain relationships. Statistical analysis of the survey data revealed that all pr actitioners performed each of the roles, revealing the homogenizati on of roles in the field. The role that reportedly accounted for most of the practitione rs time was the role of liaison. By acting as boundary-spanners in this role, communicators aided in the survival of their organizations in a complex South African e nvironment. The role of media relations

PAGE 48

41 emerged as the second most performed while cultural interpreter and personal influence followed in that order. Contrary to most of the roles research reported in the United States, the four roles in S outh African public relations could not be divided into managerial and technical functions (Petersen, Holtzha usen, & Tindall, 2002). Research Questions As is apparent, most of the roles rese arch in public relations focuses on role typology and does not to any large extent explore the link between roles and other organizational dimensions. As such, previous research suggests that there is more to discover regarding the relationship between organizational structure and public relations practice. Out of this extensive literature re view, there emerge questions about the ways in which organizational structure and the ro le of the public relations practitioner are connected. By surveying public relations pr actitioners on the tasks performed at work, those tasks may be related to specific roles. The survey will also attempt to determine the organizational structures in which the pract itioners work, theref ore determining the relationships between roles and organizati onal structure. The present study aims specifically to further research in the areas of organization theory and public relations roles by answering the following research questions: RQ1: Are simple, functional, multi-divisi onal, hybrid, matrix, network, or virtual organizational structures related to the public relations roles of expert prescriber, communication technician, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator?

PAGE 49

42 RQ2: Are certain tasks related to the public relations roles of expert prescriber, communication technician, communicati on facilitator, a nd problem-solving process facilitator? Are those tasks al so related to the simple, functional, multi-divisional, hybrid, matrix, network, or virtual organiza tional structures? RQ3: What is the relationship between or ganizational structure and public relations roles in the organization?

PAGE 50

43 CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY In order to examine the correlation betw een organizational structure and the role of the public relations pract itioner, a quantitative anal ysis was conducted based on a survey of Public Relations Society of Am erica members. The survey questionnaire included items that measured the communi cators roles in th eir public relations departments, as well as the type of organizational structure in which each communicator worked. Instrumentation The questionnaire was used to measure orga nizational structure a nd the role of the public relations practitioner. Specifically, the questions measured the type of organizational structures the respondents worked in, as well as the ro le, or roles, each respondent played as an or ganizational communicator. In order to test organizati onal structure, respondents were provided with a set of statements that defined each organizational stru cture reviewed in the literature, including simple, functional, multi-divisional, matrix, network, and virtual organizations. Due to the fact that the hybrid structure includes a mixture of the six other structural types, it was determined that the survey instrument would not test specifically for the hybrid structure.

PAGE 51

44 The measurement scale for the items rela ting to organizational structure employed a 7-point Likert-type design. A Likert-type scale, or summ ated rating scale, uses a continuum of predesignated responses to gauge reactions to statements. The scale responses must be intervals, and the continuum must have polar opposite ends and a neutral midpoint (Stacks, 2002). The scale wa s used to determine which organizational type best represented the environment in which each respondent worked. Respondents were asked to indicate on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ), the extent to which they agreed that each defin ition described the structure of the organization in which they worked. Based on the previous literatu re review, attributes of each organizational structure were identified. The following statements appeared on the questionnaire in order to measure the organizational structure of each respondents workplace: The following items were used to op erationalize simple structure: 1. In my workplace, organizational control is centralized to one person (Mintzberg, 1983; Robbins, 1990). 2. In my organization, task allocation is informal and based on mutual agreement (Hatch, 1997). 3. The organization in which I work does not appear to have a formal organizational structure (Hatch, 1997). 4. My work environment is flexible and dynamic, so the tasks I perform often change according to what is needed (Hatch, 1997). The following items were used to op erationalize functional structure: 5. The organization in which I work is di vided into groups of people that share common tasks and goals (Hatch, 1997). 6. My organization increases profits and productivity by grouping together people who perform specialized tasks (Hatch, 1997).

PAGE 52

45 7. In my organization, the CEO, or top mana ger, has control over the managers of other business units (Hatch, 1997). 8. The head of my department represents my department to the highest authority in the company (Peters, 1993). The following items were used to operationalize multi-divisional structure: 9. My organization is divided in to divisions that are geogr aphically dispersed but all report to a staff at corporat e headquarters (Hatch, 1997). 10. My organization is grouped into divisions according to products, customer type or geographical region (Hatch, 1997). 11. Each division in my organization is res ponsible for making daily decisions, while the headquarters staff monitors overall company performance and formulates strategy (Hatch, 1997). 12. My organization has a headquarters that coordinates company-wide production and is responsible for financial contro l of all company divisions (Hatch, 1997). The following items were used to measure matrix structure: 13. My organization uses project teams consisting of employees from various departments to execute special projects (Hatch, 1997). 14. In my workplace, employees often report to their direct supervisor as well as a supervisor who is leading a special project for the company (Hatch, 1997). 15. Members of my organization are assi gned to project teams based on their specialized abilities to complete the task at hand (Hatch, 1997). 16. The top executive in my organization is responsible for the overall management of both organizational functions and special projects (Hatch, 1997). The following items were used to measure network structure: 17. My organization depends on partnerships with several other organizations to produce its product or perform its service (Hatch, 1997). 18. My organization is part of an interdep endent network that produces goods or provides services (Hatch, 1997). 19. Employees of my organization regularl y work with employees of partner organizations in order to be innovative, solve problems and coordinate activities (Hatch, 1997).

PAGE 53

46 20. In my workplace, information is promptly exchanged with partner organizations so that we can quickly take advantag e of business opportunities (Hatch, 1997). (i.e., a production company and a marketing firm join together to quickly launch a new product) The following items were used to measure virtual structure: 21. My organization has employees who work off-site and use technology to perform company tasks (Hatch, 1997; Davidow & Malone, 1992). (i.e., employees who perform technology-based tasks from home) 22. Employees of my organization work aut onomously in different locations using computer technology (Davidow & Malone, 1992). 23. My organization uses independent work ers who are linked through technology to provide skills and services (Davidow & Malone, 1992). 24. My organization does not have a physi cal building from which it operates (Rahman & Bhattachryya, 2002). The instrument also included items that measured the role(s) played by the public relations practitioner. These items tested what roles each respondent felt he or she assumed in the position of public relations prac titioner. Previous li terature supports the common existence of the roles of expert pr escriber, communication facilitator, problemsolving process facilitator, and communication technici an (Center & Jackson, 1995; Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985; Broom, 1982). Roles research has previ ously revealed that the ro les of expert prescriber, communication facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator may be collapsed into the overarching role of communication mana ger (J. Grunig & Hunt, 1984; Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985; Broom, 1982). For this reason, the instrument was not tested for the specific role of communication manager. The qu estionnaire tested for the roles of expert

PAGE 54

47 prescriber, communication facilitator, pr oblem-solving process facilitator, and communication technician. Some items used in three previous studies in 1979, 1981, and 1982 to measure the role of manager and the role of technician we re replicated in this study (Dozier, 1992). Items previously used to measure the pub lic relations manager role were divided according to role responsibility as outlined by Cutlip, Center, and Bloom (1985) to measure the three roles of expert prescrib er, communication facilitator, and problemsolving process facilitator. Items used to measure the communication technician role were replicated from previ ous studies (Dozier, 1992). A Likert-type scale was also used to measure the level of agreement of each respondent with the statements regarding ro le enactment. The instrument provided the four statements of function for each role and asked the respondent to indicate on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ) the extent to which he or she agreed that the specific task was part of their duties as a public relations practitioner. The expert prescriber is seen as an au thority on all public relations matters. The practitioner in this role distinguishes the problem, develops a re levant communications program, and takes responsibility for implem entation of the program (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985). The following items were used to measure the expert prescriber role: 25. I am viewed as a specialist in the field of public relations. 26. Part of my responsibility is to deve lop a public relations program for my organization/client. 27. Implementation of a public relations pr ogram for my organization/client is primarily my responsibility.

PAGE 55

48 28. The success or failure of my clients or my organizations public relations program is my responsibility. The communication facilitator focuses on the use of two-way communication in order to act as a liaison, inte rpreter, and mediator between the organization and its key publics. The aim of the comm unication facilitator is to provide both the organization and the public with the necessary information so th at the two parties may interact effectively. While serving as the information source be tween the organization and its publics, the communication facilitator strives to keep open lines of communicat ion by summarizing the views of both sides, developing ag endas for discussion, and aiding in the identification and correcti on of problems that may be prohibiting effective communication (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985). The following items were used to measure the communication facilitator role: 29. I act as a mediator between my organization/client and key publics in order to facilitate communication. 30. It is my responsibility to identify problems that may prohibit effective communication between my organi zation/client and key publics. 31. I create forums for discussion where my organization /client and key publics may communicate about relevant issues. 32. It is my responsibility to ensure that my organization/client and key publics have the necessary information to effectively interact with one another. The problem-solving process facilitator is a member of the management team that works with other organizational managers in an attempt to iden tify and rectify public relations problems. The problem-solving pr actitioner works especi ally closely with lowerand mid-level managers to enact a public relations problem-solving process.

PAGE 56

49 Through the collaboration of the public rela tions problem-solving f acilitator and these managers, upper level managers are more likely to understand and support the public relations function of the organizatio n (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985). The following items were used to measure th e problem-solving proce ss facilitator role: 33. I work closely with managers in my orga nization or my clients organization in order to identify public relations problems. 34. Through collaboration with managers in my organization or my clients organization, we work to solve communication problems. 35. When there is a public relations proble m in my organization or my clients organization, it is my responsibility to create a plan to solve it. 36. I am a member of the manageme nt team of my organization. Items to measure the communi cation technician role were found in Dozier (1992). These items were previously used in th ree studies that measured the roles of communication manager and communication technician. The following items were used to meas ure the communication technician role: 37. I produce brochures, pamphlets, and othe r publications for my organization or my clients organization. 38. I edit any materials written by others in my organization or my clients organization. 39. I handle the technical aspects of producing public relatio ns materials, such as designing and writing copy. 40. I write public relations materials, includi ng press releases an d other publications, that present information on issues importa nt to my organization or my clients organization. The questionnaire included an additional item that was used to measure task allocation. Respondents were asked to use a scale of 100% to indicate how much time

PAGE 57

50 they spent performing the activities of wr iting/editing, management, media relations, liaison with publics, event organization, re search, speaking, counseling, production, and training. The questionnaire concluded with demogr aphic items that asked respondents to report their highest degree earned, years of experience working in public relations, current job title, gender, and annual sa lary. By measuring the demographic characteristics of respondent s, the researcher gained insight into the sample of practitioners who responde d to the questionnaire. The questionnaire was pretested in a gr aduate level public relations management class at the University of South Florida. Th e course consisted mos tly of public relations practitioners. From the pretes t, changes were made to the wording of some questions, and it was determined that the average res pondent should complete the questionnaire in 10-15 minutes. Sampling Procedures To measure practitioner roles and the orga nizational structure within which they work, members of the Public Relations Society of America were selected as the survey population. PRSA, the worlds la rgest organization for public relations practitioners, has approximately 20,000 members. Goals of the professional organization focus on advancing the profession, strengthening the society, and establishing global leadership (PRSA Web site, April, 2004). PRSA is divided into 10 districts thro ughout the United States, and those districts encompass 116 chapters in total. Due to the fact that PRSA member information is not

PAGE 58

51 readily available, the sample was chosen in groups, a process known as cluster sampling (Wimmer & Dominick, 2003). In order to gain a representative sample, one chapter from each of the ten districts was randomly selected for inclusion in the sa mple. The chapter names, by district, were placed into a bowl, and one chapter was selected from each district. In order to ensure a response rate that will prove to be statistica lly significant, it was determined that each chapter selected would have to include at least 100 members in order for that chapter to participate in the study. Chapters that were chosen and had less than 100 members were thrown out, and another ch apter from that district was randomly selected. The chapters chosen to be included in the study were Bluegrass in the East Central district, Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic district, Minnesota in the Midwest district, Rochester in the Northeast district, Califor nia Capital in the No rth Pacific district, Memphis in the Southeast district, Houston in the Southwest district, Palm Beach in the Sunshine district, New Jersey in the TriState district, and Co lorado in the Western district. Membership contact information is attainable thr ough the Web site by a current PRSA member or through the PRSA Blue Book. Due to the fact that the PRSA Web site specifically states that member contact information is not to be used for research purposes, the presidents of each PRSA chapter chosen for the survey were contacted in order to ask permission to survey chapter me mbers for purposes of this research study. The researchers advising professor initially contacted the president of each PRSA chapter to request his or her permission for ch apter members to partic ipate in the survey (see Appendix B). Once the initial contact was made, the researcher took over

PAGE 59

52 communication with the chapter president to arrange facilita tion of the questionnaire to chapter members. Initially, the presidents of the Bluegra ss, Maryland, Rochester, New Jersey, and Colorado chapters responded that their chapters were able to participate in the survey. Each of these chapter presidents wanted to email their members themselves, instead of allowing the researcher access to email ch apter members directly. When chapter presidents from the other five districts did not respond after a c onsiderable amount of time, emails were sent to presidents of th ree additional chapters in each of the five districts. Presidents of th e Chicago, Greater Kansas City, and St. Louis chapters in the Midwest district; the Silic on Valley, San Francisco Bay Ar ea, and Greater Salt Lake chapters in the North Pacific district; the S outh Carolina, Nashville, and Georgia chapters in the Southeast district; the Greater Fort Worth, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City chapters in the Southwest district; and the Tampa Bay, North Florida, and Orlando Regional chapters in the Sunshi ne district were contacted. From these 15 additional emails to ch apter presidents, only two responded that their chapters would be able to participate in the survey. Presidents of the Georgia chapter in the Southeast distri ct and the St. Louis chapter in the Midwest district gave permission for their chapters to participate, a nd both presidents also requested that they contact chapter members directly instead of the researcher. Out of the 10 PRSA districts, only seven were represented in the final survey sample. By adding the number of PRSA me mbers in each of the seven chapters, the study included a possible sample size of 1,554 respondents if membership numbers are current.

PAGE 60

53 Data Collection Procedures The survey was conducted via Web-base d questionnaire that was emailed to PRSA chapter presidents who then passe d the email on to their members. Couper (2000) recognized the fact that th e increasing popularity of Web surveys could lead this research method to soon replace more traditiona l methods of data collection. There are advantag es and disadvantages associated with conducting a Webbased survey. Advantages include cost e ffectiveness, and the convenience associated with both sending the questionn aires and receiving the data in a timely manner. The main disadvantage of Internet surveys lies with the fact that there is no way to determine who actually filled out a questionnaire on the Internet. In other words, there is no way to ensure that the data received from an Intern et survey all originated with the intended sample (Wimmer & Dominick, 2003). Public relations practit ioners are no longer lagga rds in the use of new technology. Recent research found that practitioners are increasingly using the Internet in order to strategically pr actice public relations (Porter & Sallot, 2003). A study of the differences in respondents to email and mail su rveys revealed that respondents to e-mail surveys tend to possess more understanding of the technological asp ects of the Internet and e-mail operation (Ranchhod & Zhou, 2001, p. 259). Assuming that public relations practitioners are knowledgeable about and comfortable using technology, a Web-based survey of practitioners has the potential to be successful. A member of the University of South Florida Information Technology department who has the expertise to construct a Web-based survey developed the questionnaire, and the questionnaire, along with the results was housed on the USF server. The

PAGE 61

54 questionnaire was distributed via a link embedde d in emails sent to the PRSA presidents whose chapters were included in the sample. Results were placed directly into a spreadsheet upon completion of each questionnaire in order to facilitate the organization of data so that statistical an alysis could be run when the time frame for survey completion passed. Research has shown that for mail and email surveys, multiple contacts with respondents are the most effective ways to in crease the rate of response (Dillman, 2000). In this case, the respondents received a pr enotification email info rming them about the study and asking them to respond when they receive the link to the questionnaire in the near future (see Appendix C). After approxi mately four days, respondents received an email asking them to participate in th e study, and the email in cluded a link to the questionnaire (see Appendix D). One week late r, respondents received an email reminder about the importance of the survey, and the email again included the link to the questionnaire (see Appendix E). After one more week, respondents received yet another reminder with the questionnaire link include d (see Appendix F). Finally, after an acceptable number of responses were received and the study drew to a close, respondents received a final email thanking them for their participation in the study (see Appendix G). In the instance of each communication with PRSA members, the emails were first sent to their chapter president, and the president was then asked to forward the email to the entire chapter.

PAGE 62

55 Statistical Analysis Once the survey period closed, SPSS 12.0 for Windows was used to analyze the data. Cronbachs alpha was used to determin e the reliability of the items intended to measure the different constructs included in organizational struct ure and practitioner roles, respectively. Depending on the outcome of the reliability analysis, factor analysis was run to determine if the items used to measure both organizational structure and practitioner roles may be collapsed into single constructs for e ach structure and each role. Finally, Pearsons correlation analysis wa s used to determine what relationships emerged between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles, between tasks and practitioner roles, and between structures and public relations tasks.

PAGE 63

56 CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS From the random sample of PRSA me mbers, 100 individuals completed or partially completed the online questionnaire. Since the rese archer considered this an exploratory study, questionnaires that were partially comple ted were used during data analysis. Research Participants A maximum of 100 individuals responde d to the demographic portion of the questionnaire, and an accurate reflection of the data may be found by examining the valid percent of those reporting. Of the respondents, 71.3 percent (n=57) were female, while 28.8 percent (n=23) were male. All respondents held some type of degree: High School (n=2, 2.5%), Associate (n=2, 2.5%), Bachelors (n=51, 63.8%), Masters (n=23, 28.8%), Doctorate (n=1, 1.3%), and Certificate in Public Relations (n=1, 1.3%). The questionnaire was most often comple ted by those with between one and 10 years of experience in public relations (n=47, 47.0%). There was an equal percentage of respondents with 11-20 years of experience (n=20, 20.0%) and over 40 years experience (n=20, 20.0%). The smallest percentage of respondents held 31-40 years of experience (n=4, 4.0%), followed by those with 21-30 years experience (n=9, 9.0%).

PAGE 64

57 Respondents were asked to identify themselv es as either a Pr actitioner/ Specialist (n=31, 38.8%), a member of Middle Management (n=27, 33.8%), or a member of Senior Management (n=22, 27.5%). Salaries of respondents fell in the middle range with responses to the $50,000-$59,000 and $60,000-$69,000 categories yielding the same response (n=14, 17.7%). Responses fo r $70,000-$79,000 (n=10, 12.7%) were the next highest, while the remaining responses were spread out among the rest of the salary ranges. Table 1 provides demograp hic data for the respondents.

PAGE 65

58 Table 1: Participant Demographics N Valid Percent Gender Female 57 71.3 Male 23 28.8 Total 80 100.0 Highest Degree Earned High School 2 2.5 Associate 2 2.5 Bachelors 51 63.8 Masters 23 28.8 Doctorate 1 1.3 Certificate in Public Relations 1 1.3 Total 80 100.0 Years Experience in PR 1-10 47 47.0 11-20 20 20.0 21-30 9 9.0 31-40 4 4.0 over 40 20 20.0 Total 100 100.0 Current Job Title Senior Management 22 27.5 Middle Management 27 33.8 Practitioner/Specialist 31 38.8 Total 80 100.0 Annual Salary Under $20,000 1 1.3 $20,000-$29,000 4 5.1 $30,000-$39,000 8 10.1 $40,000-$49,000 5 6.3 $50,000-$59,000 14 17.7 $60,000-$69,000 14 17.7 $70,000-$79,000 10 12.7 $80,000-$89,000 6 7.6 $90,000-$99,000 5 6.3 $100,000-$149,000 8 10.1 $200,000 or more 1 1.3 No answer 3 3.8 Total 100 100.0 Analysis of Organizational Structure Variables Before examining the data further, it is im portant to evaluate the reliability of the survey instrument. According to Stacks (2002) a measure is reliable when it is capable of measuring the same thing throughout time, i.e. a reliable measure is stable.

PAGE 66

59 The primary interest of this study was to determine what, if any, relationships exist between organizational structures and pub lic relations practitioner roles. The first half of this study employed 24 items to m easure organizational structure. Table 2 represents those measures, arranged by the si x organizational structur es discussed in the literature review, showing the number of responses, means, standard deviations, and Cronbachs alphas. Using Cronbachs alpha, reliability statistics were computed for those variables measuring each organizational structure constr uct (see Table 2). Alphas were acceptable at the .70 level or higher, sin ce those coefficients are genera lly considered estimates of good reliability (Stacks, 2002). None of the st ructural constructs had alphas above .70. The multi-divisional ( = .67), network ( = .65), and virtual ( = .63) structures each came close to passing the test for reliability, while simple ( = .35), functional ( = .43), and matrix structures ( = .46) did not.

PAGE 67

60 Table 2: Means and Standard Deviations for Organizational Structure Variables Item N M SD Simple Structure .35 8.My work environment is flexible and dynamic, so the tasks I perform often change according to what is needed. 98 5. 86 1.36 12.In my workplace, organizati onal control is centralized to one person. 98 3.27 2.06 18.In my organization, task allocation is informal and based on mutual agreement. 98 3.89 1.72 21.The organization in which I work does not appear to have a formal organizational structure. 98 2.09 1.57 Functional Structure .43 1.The organization in which I work is divided into groups of people that share common tasks and goals. 99 5.71 1.49 4.The head of my department represents my department to the highest authority in the company. 99 5.45 1.85 6.My organization increases profits and productivity by grouping together people who perform specialized tasks. 99 5.05 1.55 14.In my organization, the CEO, or top manager, has control over the managers of other business units. 99 5.28 1.72 Multi-Divisional Structure .67 2.My organization is divided into divisions that are geographically dispersed but all report to a staff at corporate headquarters. 100 3.94 2.11 5.My organization has a headquarters that coordinates company-wide production and is responsible for financial control of all company divisions. 100 5.40 1.81 10.My organization is grouped into divisions according to products, customer type or geographical region. 100 4.85 1.86 19.Each division in my organization is responsible for making daily decisions, while the headquarters staff monitors overall company performance and formulates strategy. 100 5.03 1.59 Matrix Structure .46 7.In my workplace, employees often report to their direct supervisor as well as a supervisor who is leading a special project for the company. 99 4.79 1.76 13.My organization uses project teams consisting of employees from various departments to execute special projects. 99 5.46 1. 34 16.The top executive in my organization is responsible for the overall management of both organizational functions and special projects. 99 4.76 1.74 23.Members of my organization are assigned to project teams based on their specialized abilities to complete the task at hand. 99 5.01 1.32 Network Structure .65 9.In my workplace, information is promptly exchanged with partner organizations so that we can quickly take advantage of business opportunities. 99 4.11 1.70 17.My organization depends on partnerships with several other organizations to produce its product or perform its service. 99 4.75 1.97 20.My organization is part of an interdep endent network that produces goods or provides services. 99 4.29 2.06 24.Employees of my organization regularly work with employees of partner organizations in order to be innovative, solve problems and coordinate activities. 99 4.72 1.69 Virtual Structure .63 3.My organization has employees who work off-site and use technology to perform company tasks. 98 4.89 1.86 11.My organization does not have a physical building from which it operates. 98 1.45 1.26 15.My organization uses independent workers who are linked through technology to provide skills and services. 98 4.29 1.98 22.Employees of my organization work autonomously in different locations using computer technology. 98 3.66 1.90

PAGE 68

61 Factor analysis Due to the fact that the reliability anal yses were not acceptable, the variables were then subjected to an exploratory factor an alysis. According to Stacks (2002), there should exist at least a 10:1 rati o of respondents to items in th e questionnaire before factor analysis is performed. Many factor analyses ar e run on fewer, but it is best to never drop below a 6:1 respondent-to-item ratio (p. 234). In this study, there were 24 items that measured organizational structure and 100 survey respondents. Despite th e fact that this represents on ly a 4:1 ratio of respondents to items, the researcher decided to continue with an exploratory factor analysis. In order to determine factor loadings, generally a measurement dimension is required to include at least two items with each loading on one factor at greater than .60 and not greater than .40 on any other factor (Stacks, 2002). For the purposes of this exploratory factor an alysis, loadings of .50 were accepted when the dimension did not load on any other factor e qual to or greater than .40. A factor analysis using varimax rotation was conducted on the 24 items that represented the six types of or ganizational structure. The an alysis yielded seven factors which were then subjected to Cronbachs analysis in order to test for reliability (see Table 3). The multi-divisional structure formed Factor 1, which included three items that resulted in an alpha of .66. Factor 2 included three items fr om the network structure and had an alpha of .66. Three items from the matrix structure formed Factor 3, and it was reliable with an alpha of .73. Factor 4, virtual structure, al so included three factors that were reliable with a .71 alpha. Following th e reliability test, F actors 5, 6 and 7 were

PAGE 69

62 rejected. Each of these f actors included only two items, and the Pearsons correlations for each proved too weak to be theoretically substantiated. Table 3 presents each of the four accepted factors, including factor names, loadings and Cronbachs alphas. Table 3: Factor Analysis of Measu res of Organizational Structure Factor Loadings Factor 1 Multi-divisional Structure .66 5.My organization has a headquarters that coordinates company-wide production and is responsible for financial control of all company divisions. .708 10.My organization is grouped into divisions according to products, customer type or geographical region. .583 19. Each division in my organization is responsible for making daily decisions, while the headquarters staff monitors overall company performance and formulates strategy. .751 Factor 2 Network Structure .66 17.My organization depends on partnerships with several other organizations to produce its product or perform its service. .818 18.In my organization, task allocation is informal and based on mutual agreement. .547 24.Employees of my organization regularly work with employees of partner organizations in order to be innovative, solve problems and coordinate activities. .781 Factor 3 Matrix Structure .73 8.My work environment is flexible and dynamic, so the tasks I perform often change according to what is need ed. .676 13.My organization uses project teams consisting of employees from various departments to execute special projects. .839 23.Members of my organization are assigned to project teams based on their specialized abilities to complete the task at hand. .759 Factor 4 Virtual Structure .71 3.My organization has employees who work off-site and use technology to perform company tasks. .822 15.My organization uses independent workers who are linked through technology to provide skills and services. .704 22.Employees of my organization work autonomously in different locations using computer technology. .734 After the factor analysis was conducted, it wa s apparent that for each variable of structure, one of the origin al survey items was not incl uded in the final constructs. Because of the exploratory nature of the f actor analysis, an alpha of .66 was accepted. The four factors that emerged from the factor analysis were then collapsed into four single variables. Those f our variables were the divisi onal structure construct, the

PAGE 70

63 network structure construct, the matrix structure construc t, and the virtual structure construct. Table 4 shows the descriptive statis tics for these four new variables. Table 4: Organizational Structure Factor N, Means and Standard Deviations FACTOR N M SD Factor 1 Multi-divisional Structure Construct 100 5.09 1.36 Factor 2 Network Structure Construct 99 4.73 1.67 Factor 3 Matrix Structure Construct 100 5.45 1.09 Factor 4 Virtual Structure Construct 98 4.28 1.52 Analysis of Public Relations Roles Variables The survey instrument included 16 items th at measured the four public relations roles of expert prescriber, communication technician, communicati on facilitator, and problem-solving process facilitator. Reliability measures were computed on the questions for each of the variables by calculating the Cronbachs alpha for each. Each of the four roles constructs was found to be reliable, as the roles of expert prescriber ( = .83), communication facilitator ( = .78), problem-solving process facilitator ( = .78), and communi cation technician ( = .66) each yielded an acceptable alpha. The items used to measure roles have been tested in the past, and the results were consistent with previous research (Dozier, 1992). Therefore, the alpha for communication technici an was accepted at the .66 level. Table 5 shows the number of responses, means, standard deviations, and Cronbachs alphas for each of the variables.

PAGE 71

64 Table 5: Means and Standard Deviations for Public Relations Roles Variables Item N M SD Expert Prescriber .83 25.I am viewed as a specialist in th e field of public relations. 80 5.69 1.40 28.The success or failure of my clients or my organizations public relations program is my responsibility. 80 5.14 1.75 33.Part of my responsibility is to develop a public relations program for my organization/client. 80 5.63 1.48 37.Implementation of a public relations program for my organization/client is primarily my responsibility. 80 5.30 1.68 Communication Facilitator .78 29.I act as a mediator between my organization/client and key publics in order to facilitate communication. 80 5.78 1.23 32.It is my responsibility to ensure that my organization/client and key publics have the necessary information to effectively interact with one another. 80 5.55 1.22 36.I create forums for discussion where my organization/client and key publics may communicate about relevant issues. 80 4.85 1.77 39.It is my responsibility to identify problems that may prohibit effective communication between my organization/client and key publics. 80 5.66 1.20 Problem-Solving Process Facilitator .78 26.I work closely with managers in my organization or my clients organization in order to identify public relations problems. 81 5.74 1.26 31.I am a member of the management team of my organization. 81 4.40 2.27 34.Through collaboration with managers in my organization or my clients organization, we work to solve communication problems. 81 5.98 1.04 40.When there is a public relations problem in my organization or my clients organization, it is my responsibility to create a plan to solve it. 81 5.30 1.54 Communication Technician .66 27.I produce brochures, pamphlets, and other publications for my organization or my clients organization. 81 5.53 1.75 30.I handle the technical aspects of producing public relations materials, such as designing and writing copy. 81 5.77 1.50 35.I write public relations materials, including press releases and other publications, that present information on issues important to my organization or my clients organization. 81 6.15 1.34 38.I edit any materials written by others in my organization or my clients organization. 81 5.72 1.38 Due to the fact that the Cronbachs alpha levels were sufficient for the roles constructs, a factor analysis was not performed. It is important to note that when collapsing the variables of public relations roles into four individual constructs, one question was deleted from the set of items th at measured communica tion technician. The

PAGE 72

65 alpha for communication technician ( = .66) improved to an acceptable level ( = .71) when item 38, I edit any materials written by others in my organization or my clients organization, was deleted. Table 6 represents the descriptive statis tics for the four constructs of public relations roles. Table 6: Public Relations Roles Factor N, Means and Standard Deviations FACTOR N M SD Factor 1 Expert Prescriber Construct 80 5.44 1.28 Factor 2 Communication Facilitator Construct 80 5.46 1.07 Factor 3 Problem-Solving Process Facilitator Construct 81 5.35 1.24 Factor 4 Communication Technician Construct 81 5.81 1.22 Correlation Analyses Correlation analyses were conducted to determine wh at relationships, if any, existed between organizational structures and public relations practit ioner roles; between public relations roles and task s; and between organizational structures and tasks. A bivariate correlation expresses the wa y two variables are related, and it reveals how much influence one variab le has over another (Stacks, 2002). According to Stacks & Hocking (1999), correlations below .30 are weak, between .40 and .70 are moderate, between .70 and .90 are high, and above .90 are very high (p. 349).

PAGE 73

66 Organizational structures an d public relations roles Pearson correlation coefficients were computed among the factors that measured organizational structures and public relations practitioner ro les. The results of the correlation analysis, shown in Table 7, reveal that of the four statistically significant correlations that emerged, three were significant at the .05 leve l and one at the .001 level. A statistically significant but weak relationship existed between multi-divisional structure and the role of problem-sol ving process facilitator ( r = .234, p .05); between network structure and the role of communication facilitator ( r = .217, p .05); and between virtual structure and the role of probl em-solving process facilitator (r = .221, p .05). A statistically significant and moderate relati onship existed between matrix structure and the role of communication facilitator (r = .422, p .001). Table 7: Correlations Among Roles and Structures Problem-Solving Process Facilitator Communication Facilitator Multi-Divisional Structure .234* Network Structure .217* Matrix Structure .422** Virtual Structure .221* *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) **Correlation is significant at the 0.001 level (2-tailed) Public relations roles and tasks An additional survey item listed 10 task s commonly associated with the public relations roles identified in th e literature review. The survey item asked the respondent to consider all public relations re sponsibilities in his or her job as 100%. Assuming this, the respondent was asked to assign part of that percentage to each task, leaving blank any task listed which he or she did not perform.

PAGE 74

67 Table 8 shows the results for the item that measured public relations tasks. Table 8: Public Relations Tasks Task N M SD Writing/Editing 77 26.40 18.80 Media Relations 75 21.37 15.76 Management 64 20.12 18.54 Event Organization 61 11.41 9.85 Counseling 59 11.17 13.93 Liaison with Publics 63 10.53 9.18 Production 53 9.93 12.71 Training 49 8.68 18.67 Research 59 8.40 11.08 Speaking 47 4.95 4.70 A correlation analysis was then conducted to determine what relationships existed between the public relations pr actitioner roles and tasks. The items that measured practitioner ro les used a Likert-type scale of 1 to 7, where 1 = strongly disagree a nd 7 = strongly agree to dete rmine the extent to which respondents agreed that they performed the function described in each statement. The item that measured public relations tasks used whole numbers between 1 and 100 to determine how much time the respondent sp ent performing each task. Before the correlation could be conducted, the item scores from the two scales had to be transformed to z-scores so that they had comparab le metrics (Green, Salkino & Akey, 1997). The correlation analysis reveal ed many statistically significant but inverse relationships among public relations roles a nd tasks. Inverse relationships existed between expert prescriber and writing/editing ( r = -.367, p .01); between expert prescriber and training ( r = -.363, p .05); between communication facilitator and writing/editing (r = -.433, p .001); between communication facilitator a nd speaking

PAGE 75

68 ( r = -.338, p .05); between communication facilitator and training ( r = -.378, p .01)between problem-solving process facilitator and writing/editing ( r = -.387, p .01); between problem-solving process fa cilitator and media relations ( r = -.240, p .05); between problem-solving proce ss facilitator and research ( r = -.255, p .05); and between problem-solving proce ss facilitator and production ( r = -.300, p .05). A statistically significant but weak relationshi p emerged between communication technician and production ( r = .308, p .05). Table 9 shows the correlations am ong public relations roles and tasks. Table 9: Correlations Among Roles and Tasks Expert prescriber Comm. Facilitator Problem-Solving Comm. Technician Writing/Editing -.367** -.433*** -.387** Media Relations -.240* Research -.255* Speaking -.338* Production -.300* .308* Training -.363* -.378** *Correlation is significa nt at the .05 level. **Correlation is significa nt at the .01 level. ***Correlation is significant at the .001 level. While computing the correlations among public relations roles and tasks, correlations were also discovered among the roles themselves. Four statistically significant relationships emerged among the ro les that are worth mentioning for purposes of discovery. Expert prescriber shared a weak relationship with communication technician (r = .337, p .01), a moderate relationship w ith communication facilitator ( r = .570, p .001), and a high relationship with problem-solving process facilitator ( r = .758, p .001). Communication facilitator and probl em-solving process facilitator shared a moderate relationship (r = .651, p .001).

PAGE 76

69 Table 10 shows the correl ations that emerged among public relations roles. Table 10: Correlations Among Roles Comm. Facilitator Problem-Solving Comm. Technician Expert Prescriber .570*** .758*** .337** Comm. Facilitator .651*** *Correlation is significa nt at the .05 level. **Correlation is significa nt at the .01 level. ***Correlation is significant at the .001 level. Organizational structures and public relations tasks Finally, a correlation analysis was co nducted to determine what relationships existed among organizational structures and tasks. The items used to measure organizational structure used the same seven po int Likert-type scale as the items used to measure public relations roles. Z-scores were again computed for the items that measured organizational structur es and the items that measur ed tasks so the two scales could be compared. The analysis revealed statistically si gnificant and inverse relationships between matrix structure and writing/editing ( r = -.276, p .05); between matrix structure and liaisons with publics ( r = -.273, p = .05); between matrix structure and speaking ( r = -.489, p = .001); between virtual structure and media relations ( r = -.317, p .01); and between multi-divisional structure and media relations ( r = -.245, p .05). A statistically significant but weak relationship existed between networ k structure and event organization ( r = .263, p = .05). Table 11 shows the results of the correlation analysis.

PAGE 77

70 Table 11: Correlations Among Structures and Tasks Writing/Editing Media Relations Liaiso ns w/ Publics Event Org. Speaking Matrix Structure -.276* -.273* -.489*** Virtual Structure -.317** Multi-Divisional Structure -.245* Network Structure .263* *Correlation is significa nt at the .05 level. **Correlation is significa nt at the .01 level. ***Correlation is significant at the .001 level. Analysis of Variance Finally, a one-way ANOVA wa s conducted between structure and each of the demographic items, but the analysis did not yi eld any statistically significant results.

PAGE 78

71 CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION This study attempted to further theory-dri ven public relations research by using quantitative analysis to examine the relations hips between organiza tional structures and the role of the public relations practitioner. To do so, this study surveyed members of the Public Relations Society of America in order to determine both the organizational structure in which each respondent worked and the public relations role each assumed. The results of the survey were subjected to correlation analyses so that relationships between structures and roles could be determ ined. The results revealed relationships between some organizational struct ures and public relations roles. The data collected in this study was also used to analyze relationships between public relations roles and task s and relationships between or ganizational structures and tasks. The goals of these analyses were to determine if the practi tioners surveyed here assumed the traditional public relations roles that have, to this point, been defined by certain tasks. Also, the data was able to sh ed light not only on th e public relations roles that may be associated with certai n structures, but the tasks as well. The results of this study will be discussed as they relate to findings on organizational structures, then findings on public relations roles and tasks. These findings will be followed with discussion on the correlations between organizational

PAGE 79

72 structures and public relations roles and correlations between organizational structures and tasks. Organizational Structures The researcher developed the items that were used to measure the organizational structures for the purposes of this res earch. The items that were used on the questionnaire were formed based on the literature revi ew of each organiza tional structure. Each structure employed four items that were used to measure the existence of that structure in the respondents workplaces, and each structural constr uct resulted in three reliable survey items. During analysis, the data used to measure organizational structures was first subjected to a reliability test. An exploratory factor analys is revealed the existence of four factors that could be collapsed to form four single orga nizational structure constructs. Of the six organi zational structures that were measured, the constructs that emerged were multi-divisional structure, matrix structure, network structure, and virtual structure. Two of these constructs had alphas below the generally acceptable level of .7. The low alphas for items that measured organizational structure may be attributed to the low response rate of the study. The multi-divisional structure is characterized mainly by company divisions and the existence of a headquarters that coor dinates company performance and strategy (Hatch, 1997). In the study, three survey items that asked about these characteristics emerged as reliable indicators of a multi-divisional structure ( = .66). However, the two items that

PAGE 80

73 asked whether the company had a headquart ers that monitored overall performance resulted in higher factor load ings (.708, .751) than the item that stated My organization is grouped into divisions according to products customer type or geographical region (.583). This could indicate that the existe nce of a headquarters, therefore, is more characteristic of the multi-divisional organization than the divisions themselves. The matrix structure employs a flexible or ganizational design in order to complete special projects as they emer ge. Members of a matrix orga nization are regularly assigned to project teams based on their abilities to complete the tasks of the project. While they report to a specific project manager, the em ployees in this structure are continually responsible for reporting to their functiona l, or department, manager as well (Hatch, 1997). Survey items relating to the matrix structure asked a bout the extent to which the workplace was flexible and employees were assi gned to special projects. Three of these survey items resulted in reliable indicators of the matrix structure ( = .73). The item My organization uses project teams consisti ng of employees from various departments to execute special projects had the highest factor loading (.839). As a fairly new organizational type, the network structure depends on partnerships among several organizations in order for busin esses to collectively provide services or produce goods. Employees of the organizations that form a network must constantly work together for the network as a whole to be successful (Hatch, 1997). Of the three survey items that were accep ted as reliable indicators of network structure ( = .66), two of them produ ced higher factor loadings than the other. The item that stated, In my organization, task a llocation is informal and based on mutual

PAGE 81

74 agreement (.547) did not load as high as the items that referred to partnerships with other organizations (.818, .781). Perhaps this is a sign that task a llocation is not a good indicator of a ne twork structure. A virtual structure includes aut onomous workers who are linked through technology and often do not shar e a physical workspace. Employees in this type of organization rely mainly on computers to produce a product and communicate with one another (Rahman & Bhattachryya, 2002; Davidow & Malone, 1992). The three survey items which emerged as reliable indicators of virtual structure ( = .71), asked about technology use, worker autonomy, and working off-site. The item with the highest factor loading of the th ree was My organization has employees who work off-site and use technology to perform company tasks (.822). Public Relations Roles The literature on public relations role s supports the existence of the four commonly recognized roles of expert pres criber, communication facilitator, problemsolving process facilitator, and communication technici an (Center & Jackson, 1995; Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985; Broom, 1982). As previously stated, the items that were used to measure public relations roles in this study were replicated from previous research (Dozier, 1992). Following are descript ions of each of the four roles that were used to formulate the items on public rela tions practitioner roles in this study. The expert prescriber is viewed as a specia list in the field of public relations. This practitioner develops a public relations program, and then takes responsibility for the implementation and success of that pr ogram (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985).

PAGE 82

75 The communication facilitator uses two-way communication between the organization and its publics to act as a mediator. This practitioner identifies problems that may prohibit effective communication, th en creates forums where the organization and its publics may communicate effec tively (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985). The problem-solving process facilitator works with organizational managers in order to solve communication problems. This practitioner is a member of the management team whose responsibility it is to create a plan to solve public relations problems in the organization (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985). The writing, editing, and production of public relations materials, such as press releases or other publications, is the res ponsibility of the comm unication technician (Dozier, 1992). Communication technician was the only role that did not include all four survey items when collapsed into a single c onstruct. The item I edit any materials written by others in my organization or my clients organization was deleted, and the alpha for this construct improved from .66 to .71. This could be an indication that editing is no longer a task assigned to the technician but to a prac titioner in a more managerial position. The data on public relations roles was s ubjected to reliability analysis. The Cronbachs alpha for each role proved to be acceptable; therefore each of the four roles of expert prescriber ( = .83), communication facilitator ( = .78), problem-solving process facilitator ( = .78), and communication technician ( = .71) was collapsed into a single construct.

PAGE 83

76 Public Relations Tasks This study replicated an item from a previous study conducted by Petersen, Holtzhausen, and Tindall (2002) where respond ents were given a list of 10 tasks associated with public relations practice, and they were asked to a ssign a part of 100% to each task to indicate how much time was spent performing each task. Tasks that received no time from the practitioner were left blank. The tasks, listed here by reported me an from highest to lowest, were writing/editing, media relations, management event organization, counseling, liaison with publics, production, traini ng, research, and speaking. Correlations Among Public Relations Roles and Tasks A correlation analysis was conducted to determine what relationships existed between public relations roles and tasks in the study. Results produced several statistically significant bu t inverse relationships. The role of expert prescriber sh ared inverse relationships with both writing/editing and training. This practitione r typically spends more time implementing a public relations program than writing publicati on materials. However, it is interesting that this role would not share a positive re lationship with training in that the expert prescriber is viewed as the company author ity on public relations a nd would therefore be expected to train others in the department about the companys communication practices. The communication facilitator role in this study correlate d inversely with writing/editing, speaking, and training. The surp rising finding here is that this role did not share any type of relationship with couns eling or liaison with publics. This role

PAGE 84

77 traditionally is that of a counselor or liais on who creates forums for the organization and its publics to effectively speak with one another. The de finition of publics may have a hand in determining these findings, or it could be an indication that here this role may serve more as an administrative position that merely arranges meetings and events but doesnt have a communications role. The problem-solving process facilitato r shared inverse re lationships with writing/editing, media relations, research, a nd production. Here again, the interesting result is one that did not occur. Traditiona lly described as a member of the management team whose responsibility it is to solve public relations pr oblems, the problem-solving process facilitator in this study did not shar e any relationship, positive or negative, with the task of management. The results here reveal more about what this role did not do rather than what it did. The role of communication technician shared a statistically significant and positive correlation with the task of production. This result supports previous research which states that the communication technici an is responsible for the writing, editing, designing, and production of communicati on publications (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2002). However, the fact that this role did not share a relationship with the task of writing/editing could reveal that the communication technician is not exactly the role it used to be. These findings indicate that there may be changes that have occurred to the commonly practiced public re lations roles of expert prescriber, communication facilitator, problem-solving process facilita tor, and communication technician. These roles may look different from one organization to the next, as practitioners must adapt to

PAGE 85

78 fill the roles that are needed. It is also possible that thes e four roles are no longer what they used to be and have adapted over time in response to changes that have occurred to the way public relations is prac ticed. The low response rate of this study must be taken into consideration when examining the results of the survey, and further research with a much larger sample size is needed to determ ine whether or not public relations roles have undergone changes. Correlations Among Organizational Stru ctures and Public Relations Roles A correlation analysis reveal ed relationships that invol ved all four organizational structures and only two public relations roles. Although severa l of the relationships that emerged were weak ones, these findings were not only statistically significant but also significant in terms of explaining and confirmi ng the relationship between structures and roles. Multi-divisional structure and the pr oblem-solving process facilitator A weak relationship was found between mu lti-divisional structure and the role of problem-solving process facilitator (r = .234, p .05). As the literature review revealed, a multi-divisional structure is divided into functio nal departments that all report to a staff at corporate headquarters. Each department employs individuals who are grouped together by production processes or pr oducts, customer type, or ge ographical region where their business takes place. In a multi-divisional stru cture, each department is responsible for making daily decisions, while the headqua rters staff monitors overall company performance and formulates strategy (Hatch, 1997).

PAGE 86

79 The problem-solving process facilitator is a member of the management team who works with other organizational managers in an attempt to identify and rectify public relations problems. This practitioner of ten collaborates with lowerand mid-level managers to enact a public relations problem-s olving strategy. This type of collaboration frequently leads upper level managers to understand and support the public relations function of the organization (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). Due to the existence of several differe nt departments, some of which may be geographically dispersed, the multi-divisional structure lends itself to the possibility of public relations problems. Co mmunication between each department must be constantly monitored to ensure that a consistent message is be ing generated throughout the company. The problem-solving process facilitato r naturally fits into the scheme of the multi-divisional organization, as this pract itioner can work both proactively and reactively to assess public relations problem s and develop a plan to rectify them. Virtual structure and problem-s olving process facilitator A weak relationship was also found betw een virtual structur e and the role of problem-solving process facilitator (r = .221, p .05). In a virtual organization, all company tasks are outsourced (Hatch, 1997). Virtual organizations employ work teams, employee autonomy, and computer design and customization in order to instantly produce a product based on customer de sires (Davidow & Malone, 1992). A virtual organization may be one of two things: the organization either includes a temporary network of independent units th at use technology to provide skills and accessibility to markets, or the virtual organization simply does not operate from a

PAGE 87

80 physical building, instead using technology to coordinate acti vities (Rahman & Bhattachryya, 2002). As the multi-divisional structure includes individual departments, the virtual structure employs individual workers w ho do not share a common workplace. These autonomous workers are linked only through technology, therefore increasing the need for effective public relations among workers. The problem-solving process facilitator can again work with managers in this structure to identify potential pub lic relations problems that may occur due to communication lapses between employees. One characteristic that is common to succe ssful virtual organizations is the ability to provide a network that promotes shar ing of knowledge, communication, and project work among workers who are dispersed loca lly (Rahman and Bhattachryya, 2002). The problem-solving process facilitator, by worki ng with the organizations managers, can aid in the formation and maintenance of a networ k that provides eff ective communication to all workers. Network structure and the communication facilitator Network structure and the role of communication facilitator ( r = .217, p .05) also shared a weak relationship. The ne twork structure replaces most vertical relationships in an organization with hor izontal ones by forming partnerships among several organizations. The organizations coordinate activities in order to work together to produce goods or provid e services (Hatch, 1997). The communication facilitator uses twoway communication in order to act as a liaison, interpreter, and mediator between the organization and its key publics. Effective

PAGE 88

81 interaction between an organi zation and its publics is the main goal of a communication facilitator (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). The network structure can benefit greatly from having a communication facilitator in the public relations role because of the pa rtnerships that form the network organization as a whole. In a network where several companies create partnerships for business purposes, the key publics of any one organization are the other companies in the network. According to Walker (1997), the network structure must deal more often with relationship issues such as trust and commitment. Th e communication facilitator maintains open lines of communication between the organization and publics by summarizing the views of each party, developi ng agendas for discussion, and aiding in the identification and correc tion of problems that may pr ohibit effective communication (Cutlip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000). The ne twork structure has a greater chance at success when it employs a public relations practi tioner who can act as liaison, interpreter, and mediator between all components of the network. Matrix structure and the communication facilitator Of the correlations that em erged during data analysis, the strongest relationship existed between matrix structure and the role of communication facili tator. A moderate relationship emerged between matrix structur e and the role of co mmunication facilitator ( r = .422, p .001). The matrix structure arguably benefits from having a communicat ion facilitator in the public relations role more than any other structure. In a matrix organization, functional managers assign specialists to pe rform projects based on their abilities to

PAGE 89

82 complete a given task, while project mana gers supervise completion of the project (Hatch, 1997). The matrix organization is character ized by both solid and dotted lines of reporting, in that an employee may report direct ly to his or her department head while also reporting to the project manager of a specialized task he or she is working on. These dual lines of authority often le ad to conflict and power str uggles among managers (Peters, 1993). The communication facilitator can be in strumental in preventing conflicts among managers in a matrix structure by agai n acting as a liaison and mediator. The identification of potential communication pr oblems, between managers or between employees and their functional and project mana gers, is the first step towards maintaining effective communication in a matrix structur e. In this structure, it is possible that public relations practitioners are included in the project teams with the purpose of facilitating internal communication. Correlations Among Organizational Stru ctures and Public Relations Tasks Data from the items that measured orga nizational structure was correlated with data from the item that measured time sp ent performing each public relations task in order to determine what relationships, if a ny, existed between structure and tasks. Just as a positive correlation explai ns how much one variable influences the other, a negative correlation reveals the exte nt to which one variable does not influence the other (Stacks, 2002). In the case of the negative re lationships between matrix structure and writing/editing ( r = -.276, p .05), matrix structure and liaisons with

PAGE 90

83 publics ( r = -.273, p = .05), matrix structure and speaking ( r = -.489, p = .001), virtual structure and media relations ( r = -.317, p .01), and multi-divisional structure and media relations ( r = -.245, p .05), the structure and the task in each relationship are related in such a way that the public relati ons practitioner in each structure does not perform that particular task. Writing and editing are tasks associat ed most often with the role of communication technician, while liaisons with publics, speaking, and media relations are all tasks associated with the role of comm unication facilitator (Cut lip, Center, & Broom, 1985, 2000; Newsom, Turk & Kruckeberg, 1996, 2004; Center & Jackson, 1995). The study revealed the str ongest positive correlation betw een matrix structure and the role of communication facilitator. For this reason, it is interesting that the data analysis revealed a negative correlation betw een matrix structure and both liaisons with publics and speaking. These results could indi cate that in a matrix structure, the communication facilitators surv eyed here most often commun icate with people in their organization through written forms, instead of speaking. As for the relationship between matrix st ructure and liaisons with publics, there is no way to determine here why this correlati on yielded a negative relationship. It was possible that survey respondents who worked in a matrix structure did not consider internal managers and employees as public s when responding to the tasks item. Virtual structure and multi-divisional structure each shared a negative relationship with media relations, a task of the communica tion facilitator. Both of these structural types positively correlated with the role of problem-solving process facilitator, a role which does not traditionally engage in media relations. The problem solver mostly works

PAGE 91

84 internally to identify and rectify public re lations problems. The relationship between these structures and media relations could re veal that in these tw o structural types, internal communication is more important to daily organizational functions than communication with outside sources. A statistically significant but weak relationship existed between network structure and event organization ( r = .263, p = .05). Network structure correlated positively with the role of communication facili tator, whose job is to ensure effective interaction between the organization and its publics. Whether it is through meetings, mixers, or other social and business gatherings, the parties in a network organization must get together frequently to discuss business matters and de velop working relations hips. These results indicate that the communication facilitator is often the indivi dual tasked with organizing and informing all network members of opportunities to meet face to face. Overall, these results indicate the existence of relationships between organizational structure and public relations practitioner roles. Whether the relationships were weak, moderate, or negative, there was st ill an indication of a relationship of some kind between matrix, network, virtual, and mu lti-divisional structures and the roles of communication facilitator and pr oblem-solving process facilitato r. It also appears that the impact of structure on public relations roles mostly relates to the internal communication function of the public relations practitione r and also increases the complexity of the public relations functi on, while having little effect on the more technician-oriented tasks practitioners traditi onally perform. Furthe r research is needed to determine the extent of these relationships and the reasons that some structures and

PAGE 92

85 roles formed relationships while others did not, however this study serves as a good indication that rela tionships do exist.

PAGE 93

86 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS This study has important implications fo r the development of theory surrounding the relationship between organizational structur es and public relations practitioner roles. It was successful in establishing the existence of relationships and paving the way for further research in this area, which to date has been primarily unexplored. Through quantitative research, this st udy determined that multi-divisional and virtual structures each shar ed a relationship with the ro le of problem-solving process facilitator, while network and matrix struct ures each correlated with the role of communication facilitator. Multi-divisional and virtua l structures, respectively, c onsist of departments and employees that are dispersed geographically. Due to the fact that employees in these organizational structures do not work in a shared environment that would allow for quick and easy communication, the prob lem-solving process facilitator works as a link in the communication chain who identifies communi cation problems before they have the chance to emerge. The network structure and ma trix structure both include groups that need to share effective communication in orde r to be successful. In the network structure, groups of businesses share ideas, whereas in the matrix structure employees are divided into groups based on their specialized skills. Both of these structures rely on a communication

PAGE 94

87 facilitator to act as a liaison and mediator be tween groups of people whose communication is central to th e goals of the organization. The significance of this study lies in the fact that it s upports the idea that relationships do exist between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles. It is important for public relations practit ioners to realize th at by recognizing and understanding the organizational structures in which they work, they can better formulate effective public relations and communications practices that f it their work environments. Practitioners must realize that the climat e of business is constantly changing in todays fast-paced economy. If effective public relations practice is going to remain one of the primary tools needed for a business to be successful, then pr actitioners must be aware of organizational structur es, the ways in which they ch ange, and the ways in which they work together in order for the practice of public relations to maintain its value in the workplace. Data analysis also revealed relations hips that tasks associated with public relations practice shared with public relations roles and organizational structures. Results indicated that the trad itional roles supported by previous research may be things of the past, and modern public relations roles may look different. Whereas roles previously primarily adhered to standard definitions, changes in the workplace and the business world in general have led public relations practitioners to adapt to fill the role that is needed. This implications of these findings on task s, roles, and structur es only reiterate the fact that practitioners must first understa nd their organization and its social structure before they can determine the role that is most beneficial to the business.

PAGE 95

88 Limitations This study suffered from limitations due to the low number of responses. The response totals in the study may have affected the results, leading to the fact that the findings could be deemed unreliable. By having to rely on PRSA chapter presid ents to send email notifications to their members, the researcher lost a certain amount of control over the survey. Due to the fact that less than 10 PRSA chapter presidents responded to the i nvitation to participate in the survey, it was difficult to get past even the fi rst step toward getting people to respond to the questionnaire. This study needs a much la rger survey sample before the results can be generalized and theory can be formulated. In addition, this study was limited by the fact that it contai ned only quantitative research in the form of a survey. Future studies would benefit from first performing qualitative research on structure to provide further insight into each organizational structure before formulating the questionnaire. Implications for Public Relations Practice This study was successful in its goal of establishing the fact that relationships do exist between organizational structures and public relations practitioner roles. The significance of this study lies with its ability to prompt further research into these relationships. Organizational structure exists as a cha nnel through which communication relationships develop and i ndividuals become connected throughout the organization (Johnson, 1993). By further examining the ways that organizational factors influence the

PAGE 96

89 public relations practice of an organization, the development of theory surrounding structure and public relations be comes more of a reality.

PAGE 97

90 REFERENCES Achrol, R. S. (1997). Changes in the theory of inte rorganizational relations in marketing: Toward a network paradigm. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25 (1), 56-72. Brody, E. W. (1988). Public relations programming and production. New York, NY: Praeger. Broom, G. M. (1982). A comparison of sex roles in public relations. Public Relations Review, 8 (3), 17-22. Canfield, B. R. (1968). Public relations: Princi ples, cases, and problems (5 th ed.). Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. Center, A. H., & Jackson, P. (1995). Public relations practices: Managerial case studies & problems (5 th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Couper, M. P. (2000). Web surveys: A review of issues and approaches. Public Opinion Quarterly 64, 464-494. Cutlip, S. M., Center, A. H., & Broom, G. M. (1985). Effective public relations (6 th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Cutlip, S. M., Center, A. H., & Broom, G. M. (2000). Effective public relations (8 th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Davidow, W. H., & Malone, M. S. (1992). The virtual corporation New York, NY: Harper Collins. Dillman, D. A. (2000). Mail and Internet surveys: The tailored design method. (2 nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Dozier, D. M. (1992). The organizational ro les of communications and public relations practitioners. In J. E. Grunig (Ed.), Excellence in public relations and communication management (pp. 327-355). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Etzioni, A. (1964). Modern organizations Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

PAGE 98

91 Green, S. B., Salkino, N. J., & Akey, T. M. (2000). Using SPSS for Windows (2 nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Grunig, J. E. (1992). Communication, public re lations, and effective organizations: An overview of the book. In J. Grunig (Ed.), Excellence in public relations and communication management (pp. 1-28) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Grunig, L. A. (1997). Excellence in public relations In C. L. Caywood (Ed.), The handbook of strategic public relati ons & integrated communications (pp. 286300) Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Grunig, L. A., Grunig, J. E., & Dozier, D. M. (2002). Excellent public relations and effective organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Lawren ce Erlbaum Associates. Grunig, J. E., & Hunt, T. (1984). Managing public relations. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Harlan, G., & Scott, A. (1955). Contemporary public relations: Principles and cases Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Harris, M., & Raviv, A. (2002). Organization design. Management Science, 48, 852866. Hatch, M. J. (1997). Organiza tional social structure. In Organization theory (pp. 161199). New York, NY: Oxford. Holtzhausen, D. (2002). The effects of a divisionalised and decentralised organisational structure on a formal internal communication function in a South African organization. Journal of Communication Management, 6 (4), 323-340. Jablin, F. M. (1987). Formal organization struct ure. In F. M. Jablin, L. L. Putman, K. H. Roberts, & L. W. Porter (Eds.), Handbook of organizational communication (pp. 389-419). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Johnson, J. D. (1993). Organizational communication structure. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation. Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). The social psychology of organizations. New York, NY: Wiley. Kolodny, H. F. (1979). Evoluti on to a matrix organization. The Academy of Management Review, 4(4), 543-553.

PAGE 99

92 Kotorov, R. P. (2001). Virtual organization: Conceptual an alysis of the limits of its decentralization. Knowledge and Process Management, 8(1), 55-62. Lentz, S. S. (1996). Hybrid organization structures: A path to cost savings and customer responsiveness. Human Resource Management 35, 453-469. Mee, J. F. (1964) Ideational items: Matrix organization. Business Horizons 7, 70-72. Mintzberg, H. (1983). Structure in fives: Design ing effective organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Mowshowitz, A. (2002). Virtual organization. Westport, CT: Quorum Books. Newsom, D., VanSlyke Turk, J ., & Kruckeberg, D. (1996). This is PR: The realities of public relations (6 th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Newsom, D., VanSlyke Turk, J ., & Kruckeberg, D. (2004). This is PR: The realities of public relations (8 th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Peters, J. (1993). On structures. Management Decision, 31 (6), 60-63. Petersen, B. K., Holtzhausen, D. R., & Tindall, N. T. J. (2002, August). Marching in lockstep: Public relations roles in the new South Africa. Paper presented at the convention of the Association fo r Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Miami, FL. Porter, L. V, & Sallot, L. M. (2003). The Internet and publ ic relations: Investigating practitioners roles and World Wide Web use. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 80 603-614. Public Relations Society of America. (2004). About PRSA. Retrieved April 5, 2004, from http://www.prsa.org/_About/ove rview/index.asp?indent=over1 Rahman, Z., & Bhattachryya, S. K. (2002). Virtual organisation: A stratagem. Singapore Management Review 24 (2), 29-46. Ranchhod, A., & Zhou, F. (2001). Comparing re spondents of e-mail and mail surveys: Understanding the implications of technology. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 19 (4), 254-262. Snow, C. C. (1997). Twenty-first centur y organizations: Implications for a new marketing paradigm. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25 (1), 72-75. Stacks, D. W. (2002). Primer of public relations research New York, NY: Guilford Press.

PAGE 100

93 Stacks, D.W., & Hocking, J.E. (1999). Communication Research (2 nd ed.). New York, NY: Longman. Teece, J. D. (1996). Firm organization, industrial structure, and technological innovation. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 31, 193-224. Toffler, A. (1977). Organizations: The coming ad-hocracy. In K. O. Magnusen (Ed.), Organizational design, development, and behavior: A situational view (pp. 114121). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company. Robbins, S. P. (1990). Organization theory: Structure, design and applications. (3 rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Walker, O. C. Jr. (1997). The adaptability of network organizations: Some unexplored questions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25(1), 75-83. Wimmer, R. D., & Dominick, J. R. (2003). Mass Media Research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

PAGE 101

94 APPENDICES

PAGE 102

95 APPENDIX A ROLES AND STRUCTURE QUESTIONNAIRE This survey is being conducted by a student at the University of South Florida in order to complete the requirements for a Masters degree in public relations. The research will aid in the development of th eory regarding organizational structure and its relationship to the role of the pub lic relations practitioner. If you could please take a few minutes to answer the following questionnaire, your responses will be greatly appreciated. All responses will remain confidential, and there will be no attempt made to contact you personally. Questions 1-24 provide statements about s everal different types of organizational structures. After each statement, plea se indicate on a scale of 1 to7 where 1=strongly disagree that the statement describes the organization in which you work and 7= strongly agree that the stat ement describes the organization in which you work. 1. The organization in which I work is di vided into groups of people that share common tasks and goals. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 2. My organization is divided in to divisions that are geogr aphically dispersed but all report to a staff at corporate headquarters. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 3. My organization has employees who work off-site and use technology to perform company tasks. (i.e., employees who perform technology-based tasks from home) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 4. The head of my department represents my department to the highest authority in the company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 103

96 5. My organization has a headquarters that coordinates company-wide production and is responsible for financial control of all company divisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 6. My organization increases profits and productivity by grouping together people who perform specialized tasks. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 7. In my workplace, employees often report to their direct supervisor as well as a supervisor who is leading a sp ecial project for the company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 8. My work environment is flexible and dynamic, so the tasks I perform often change according to what is needed. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 9. In my workplace, information is promptly exchanged with partner organizations so that we can quickly take advantage of business opportunities. (i.e., a production company and a marketing firm join together to quickly launch a new product) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 10. My organization is grouped into divisions according to products, customer type or geographical region. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 104

97 11. My organization does not have a physica l building from which it operates. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 12. In my workplace, organizational contro l is centralized to one person. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 13. My organization uses project teams consisting of employees from various departments to execute special projects. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 14. In my organization, the CEO, or top mana ger, has control over the managers of other business units. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 15. My organization uses independent workers who are linked through technology to provide skills and services. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 16. The top executive in my organization is responsible for the overall management of both organizational functi ons and special projects. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 17. My organization depends on partnerships with several other organizations to produce its product or perform its service. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 105

98 18. In my organization, task allocation is in formal and based on mutual agreement. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 19. Each division in my organization is res ponsible for making daily decisions, while the headquarters staff monitors overall company performance and formulates strategy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 20. My organization is part of an interdep endent network that produces goods or provides services. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 21. The organization in which I work does not appear to have a formal organizational structure. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 22. Employees of my organization work aut onomously in different locations using computer technology. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 23. Members of my organization are assi gned to project teams based on their specialized abilities to complete the task at hand. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 106

99 24. Employees of my organization regularl y work with employees of partner organizations in order to be innovative, solve problems and coordinate activities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree The following statements relate to task s you may perform in your position as a public relations practitioner. For each st atement, please use a scale from 1 to 7 where 1=strongly disagree and 7=strongly agr ee to indicate the extent to which you agree that you perform each function. 25. I am viewed as a specialist in the field of public relations. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 26. I work closely with managers in my or ganization or my clients organization in order to identify public relations problems. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 27. I produce brochures, pamphlets, and other publications for my organization or my clients organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 28. The success or failure of my clients or my organizations public relations program is my responsibility. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 29. I act as a mediator between my organization/client and key publics in order to facilitate communication. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 107

100 30. I handle the technical aspects of producing public relatio ns materials, such as designing and writing copy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 31. I am a member of the manageme nt team of my organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 32. It is my responsibility to ensure that my organization/client and key publics have the necessary information to effectively interact with one another. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 33. Part of my responsibility is to de velop a public relati ons program for my organization/client. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 34. Through collaboration with managers in my organization or my clients organization, we work to solve communication problems. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 35. I write public relations materials, includi ng press releases an d other publications, that present information on issues importa nt to my organization or my clients organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 108

101 36. I create forums for discussion where my organization/client and key publics may communicate about relevant issues. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 37. Implementation of a public relations pr ogram for my organization/client is primarily my responsibility. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 38. I edit any materials written by others in my organization or my clients organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 39. It is my responsibility to identify problems that may prohibit effective communication between my organi zation/client and key publics. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree 40. When there is a public relations proble m in my organization or my clients organization, it is my responsibility to create a plan to solve it. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree slightly does not appl y slightly agree strongly disagree disagree agree agree

PAGE 109

102 Considering all public relations responsibili ties in your job as 100%, please assign part of that amount to each of the fo llowing tasks. If you do not perform a particular task listed, please leave that item blank. 41.Writing/Editing _____ Management _____ Media Relations _____ Liaison with publics _____ Event organization _____ Research _____ Speaking _____ Counseling _____ Production _____ Training _____ Please verify that the percentage s you listed above add up to 100%. The following questions will be used for demographic research purposes only. Please select one answer for each question. Responses will not be reported in a way that will identify respondents. 42. Highest degree earned: High School _____ Associate _____ Bachelors _____ Masters _____ Doctorate ____ No degree _____ Certificate in Public Relations _____ 43. Years of experience working in public relations: 1-10 _____ 11-20 _____ 21-30 _____ 31-40 _____ over 40 _____ 44. Current job title: Senior Management ___ Middle Management ___ Practitioner/Specialist ___ 45. Gender: Female _____ Male _____

PAGE 110

103 46. Annual Salary: Under $20,000 _____ $20,000 $29,000 _____ $30,000 $39,000 _____ $40,000 $49,000 _____ $50,000 $59,000 _____ $60,000 $69,000 _____ $70,000 $79,000 _____ $80,000 $89,000 _____ $90,000 $99,000 _____ $100,000 $149,000 _____ $150,000 $200,000 _____ $200,000 or more _____ No Answer _____

PAGE 111

104 APPENDIX B REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO CONTACT PRSA MEMBERS Subject: Requesting permission for research study Dear Chapter President X: I am writing to you in your capacity as Pres ident of the XYZ PRSA chapter, requesting permission for my student, Allison Stokes, to send a survey to the members of your chapter. Ms. Stokes is in the process of completi ng her Masters thesis on the impact of organizational structure on public relations practice. She would like to conduct a nationwide internet survey of PRSA members and used cluster sampling to randomly select one chapter in each of the 10 PRSA regions. Only chapters of 100 or more members were eligible. Your chapter is the one selected in your region. We do understand that practitioners are very busy people and might not welcome this intrusion in their work. At the same time we cannot develop academic knowledge without the support of practitioners. The questionnaire was pretested, and it should only take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. We also do not expect you to do any wor k, except perhaps send out a notice to your members that such a survey will be forthcoming. Ms. Stokes will do the rest of the emailing herself and with your permission send the survey directly to your members. I have copied Ms. Stokes on this email. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Derina Holtzhausen Associate Professor School of Mass Communications University of South Florida

PAGE 112

105 APPENDIX C PRENOTIFICATION MESSAGE Subject: Important research study In the next few days, you will receive an email message requesting that you complete a brief online questionnaire for an import ant research project being conducted by a Masters level graduate student at the University of South Florida. The questionnaire concerns the relationship be tween organizational st ructure and the role of the public relations practitione r. Specifically, it deals with tasks that you perform as a practitioner as well as the social structur e of the organization in which you work. I am writing in advance because many people lik e to know ahead of tim e that they will be contacted. The study is an important one that will help to further research on both roles theory in public relations and organiza tional theory. Through completion of the questionnaire, you will be contributing to the advancement of research in the field. Thank you for your time and consideration. It's only with the help of generous people like you that this research can be successful. Sincerely, Allison Stokes Candidate for a Masters de gree in Mass Communications University of South Florida

PAGE 113

106 APPENDIX D REQUEST FOR PARTICIPATION MESSAGE Subject: Important research study As a Masters student at the Un iversity of South Florida, I am writing to ask for your help in research that investigates the relationship between organi zational structure and the role of the public relati ons practitioner. As a professional communicator, you have been asked to assist with this survey. This study is an important one that will help in th e advancement of both ro les theory in public relations and organizational theory. Through completion of the questionnaire, you will be contributing to the advancement of research in the field. The questionnaire will take 10-15 minutes to complete, and your responses will remain completely confidential. Your name will never be connected to your responses in any way. Please take a few minutes to contribute to the growth of your field by completing the questionnaire at Web address: http://compass-metrics.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/c ompass_metrics.cfg/websurveys/ws?_133=12 Sincerely, Allison Stokes Candidate for a Masters de gree in Mass Communications, University of South Florida

PAGE 114

107 APPENDIX E REMINDER NOTICE 1 Subject: Please contribu te to your profession Recently, I asked you to participate in re search about the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations pr actitioner. As a professional communicator, you are an important source of information about tasks performed in public relations practice and ways those tasks may be related to the social structure of the organization. The individual conducting this research is a graduate student in mass communications at the University of South Florida. I am pe rforming this research under the direction and supervision of Dr. Derina Holtzhausen, Dr. Kelly Page Werder, and Dr. Randy Miller. I am trying to gain a better unders tanding of the ways organizati onal structure relates to the role of the public relations practitioner so th at I may contribute to research in the field. Please take a few minutes to contribute to the growth of your profession by completing the questionnaire at Web address: http://compass-metrics.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/c ompass_metrics.cfg/websurveys/ws?_133=12 Many thanks to those of you who have already completed the questionnaire. Sincerely, Allison Stokes Candidate for a Masters de gree in Mass Communications University of South Florida

PAGE 115

108 APPENDIX F REMINDER NOTICE 2 Subject: Please contribu te to your profession Recently, you were asked to participate in research about the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations pr actitioner. As a professional communicator, you are an important source of information about tasks performed in public relations practice and ways those tasks may be related to the social structure of the organization. The individual conducting this research is a graduate student in mass communications at the University of South Florida. I am pe rforming this research under the direction and supervision of Dr. Derina Holtzhausen, Dr. Kelly Page Werder, and Dr. Randy Miller. I am trying to gain a better unders tanding of the ways organizati onal structure relates to the role of the public relations practitioner so th at I may contribute to research in the field. Please take a few minutes to contribute to the growth of your profession by completing the questionnaire at Web address: http://compass-metrics.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/c ompass_metrics.cfg/websurveys/ws?_133=12 Many thanks to those of you who have already completed the questionnaire. Sincerely, Allison Stokes Candidate for a Masters de gree in Mass Communications University of South Florida

PAGE 116

109 APPENDIX G THANK YOU MESSAGE Subject: Thank you for your participation Recently, you were asked to participate in research about the relationship between organizational structure and the role of the public relations pr actitioner. As a professional communicator, you are an important source of information about tasks performed in public relations practice and ways those tasks may be related to the social structure of the organization. I want to take the time to thank you for pa rticipating in my important research study. Only through the consideration of professi onals like you can this study be successful. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to contribute to the advancement of your professional field. Sincerely, Allison Stokes Candidate for a Masters de gree in Mass Communications University of South Florida