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Toward Public Relations


Theory-Based Study of Public
Diplomacy: Testing the
Applicability of the Excellence
Study
Seong-Hun Yun

Version of record first published: 19 Nov 2009

To cite this article: Seong-Hun Yun (2006): Toward Public Relations Theory-Based
Study of Public Diplomacy: Testing the Applicability of the Excellence Study, Journal
of Public Relations Research, 18:4, 287-312

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JOURNAL OF PUBLIC RELATIONS RESEARCH, 18(4), 287312
Copyright 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Toward Public Relations Theory-Based


Study of Public Diplomacy: Testing
the Applicability of the Excellence Study
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Seong-Hun Yun
Department of Communication
University of Maryland

This study tested the applicability of the Excellence Study (L. A. Grunig, J. E. Grunig,
& Dozier, 2002) to developing the study of public diplomacy to respond to Signitzer
and Coombss (1992) call for empirical research to delineate and test (p. 145) trans-
ferable public relations theories and to rigorously examine conceptual convergence
between both spheres. This study delineated underdeveloped conceptions of public
diplomacy practices and excellence in public diplomacy as a gap preventing theory
building for both practices and excellence. It proposed the conceptual frameworks for
public relations behavior and excellence in public relations in the Excellence Study to
be applicable to developing the underdeveloped conceptions. In testing the applica-
bility, this study examined the fits of 2 measurement models of public relations be-
havior and excellence in public relations developed from the conceptual frameworks
of the Excellence Study. It tested the models with survey data on public diplomacy
practices and management collected from 113 embassies in Washington, D.C. The
findings showed that the conceptual and measurement frameworks of the Excellence
Study are applicable: The 2 measurement models fit the public diplomacy data.

There was a time when a world of corporations was hardly comparable to a


world of national states. Likewise, public relations was rarely likened to public
diplomacy defined as a government process of communicating with foreign
publics (Tuch, 1990, p. 3). When the two forms of public communication were
compared, both were lumped together either as crude propaganda or sophisti-
cated persuasion (Kunczik, 1997; Manheim, 1994). The focus was on mostly

Correspondence should be sent to Seong-Hun Yun, A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass
Communications, Kansas State University, 221 Kedzie, Manhattan, KS 66506. Email: shyun@k-
state.edu
288 YUN

one aspect, the propagandistic or persuasive aspect of the two communication


practices.
An early effort was made by European public relations scholars in the late
1980s to place the aspects of both communication practices into perspective. Ac-
cording to Signitzer and Coombs (1992), Austrian scholar Weiss (1988) and
Signitzer (1988) attempted to capture a resemblance between the two practices
through a comparison of their model typologies. Weiss and Signitzer compared
German intercultural scholar Peiserts (1978, as cited in Signitzer & Coombs,
1992) four models of public diplomacy with public relations scholars J. E.
Grunig and Hunts (1984) four models of public relations. Pieserts models fo-
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cused on one of the two functions of public diplomacy (i.e., cultural relations or
communication). He categorized diverse patterns of cultural relations worldwide
with his models.
Signitzer and Coombs (1992) urged public relations scholars to undertake em-
pirical research on public diplomacy, based on public relations theories, to facili-
tate convergence of both research traditions:

The exact ideas/concepts which can be transferred from one area to the other have yet
to be fully delineated and tested. Researchers should test which concepts best
transfer. Only a series of theory-based empirical studies will facilitate this conver-
gence of research tradition. (pp. 145146)

A few subsequent works ventured into public diplomacy in response to


Signitzer and Coombss (1992) call. However, the works primarily elaborated on
further conceptual convergence between both spheres without conducting empiri-
cal research to test the applicability of public relations theories to the study of pub-
lic diplomacy. J. E. Grunig (1993) addressed the other side of public diplomacy
(i.e., policy advocacy or political communication) and identified political advo-
cacy campaigns that U.S. public relations firms conducted for foreign govern-
ments using his four models of public relations along with a fifth personal
influence model. LEtang (1996) touched on a functional convergence between
diplomats (public diplomacy practitioners) and public relations professionals;
both professions share such functions from the boundary-spanning role as repre-
sentational (advocacy), dialogic (collaboration), and advisory (counseling; p. 15).
Overall, despite Signitzer and Coombss (1992) call for empirical studies of
convergence, in the past decade public relations scholarship has made little seri-
ous effort to test what public relations theories best transfer to the study of pub-
lic diplomacy and, simultaneously, to rigorously examine proposed conceptual
convergence between both spheres. This neglect of bridging both research tradi-
tions and establishing empirical convergence is partially responsible for a regret-
table notion among public diplomacy practitioners that public relations is
different from public diplomacy. Joseph Duffy, the last head of the U.S. Infor-
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 289

mation Agency, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March 1995
and again in May:

Let me just say a word about public diplomacy. It is not public relations. It is not
flakking for a Government agency or even flakking for America. It is trying to relate
beyond government-to-government relationships the private institutions, the individ-
uals, the long-term contact, the accurate understanding, the full range of perceptions
of America to the rest of the world. (as cited in Smyth, 2001, p. 422)

Moreover, apart from convergence, potential contribution of public relations


theories is not well appreciated in the mainstream of public diplomacy scholarship.
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In the United States, the public diplomacy problem is conceived as more of a mar-
keting problem that occurs from a lack of enough exposure to messages and hence
can be solved through advertising, a vehicle for more exposure. Minow (2003) ar-
gued that a potential remedy for the failure of U.S. public diplomacy can be found
in the American marketing talent (p. 6) for successfully selling positive images
of the country. As a result, the public diplomacy problem is not approached
through a public relations problem that results from the consequences or externali-
ties of a governments behavioral performance on domestic and global governance
on affected publics abroad.
The purpose of this study is to introduce a public relations perspective to the study
of public diplomacy, empirically examine conceptual convergence with rigor, and
test the applicability of the public relations perspective. This study, through a review
of the literature of public diplomacy, delineates underdeveloped conceptions of
public diplomacy practices and excellence in public diplomacy.1 Then, it introduces
the Excellence Study (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002) that has developed conceptual and
measurement frameworks for public relations behavior and excellence in public re-
lations and proposes the frameworks to be applicable to addressing the underdevel-
oped conceptions. Last, it tests the applicability of the frameworks by examining the
fits of two measurement models of public relations behavior and management of the
Excellence Study with survey data on policy advocacy behavior in the form of media
relations and overall public diplomacy management by 113 embassies in Washing-
ton, D.C. In addition, this study draws a descriptive picture of how those embassies
practice and manage their pubic diplomacy.

1The term excellence in public diplomacy specifically refers to normative ways that governments

should practice the programs and manage the public diplomacy function to make the greatest contribu-
tion to general foreign affairs of a government. Thus, the term can be distinguished from a similar term,
excellent public diplomacy, that is generally associated with successful or outstanding public diplo-
macy and thus with a desirable and resulting condition in which public diplomacy has achieved its
goals and objectives. In short, excellence in public diplomacy is a condition for excellent public
diplomacy.
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LITERATURE REVIEW

Public Diplomacy Practices and Excellence


in Public Diplomacy

An academic discipline passes a critical point in development when scholars


collectively define, conceptualize, and measure focal variables in the discipline
to develop empirical theory building. Despite a century of history, public diplo-
macy scholars have done largely descriptive and evaluative work, making re-
cords of public diplomacy practices or programs and prescribing how to manage
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the public diplomacy function more effectively. For the most part, scholars did
not look at the practices and management as focal dependent variables; instead,
they considered these two constructs as independent variables whose effects are
to be demonstrated. Consequently, the effects paradigm has guided much of the
study of public diplomacy. International relations scholars in public diplomacy
scholarship have focused on the macroeffects of public diplomacy on the inter-
national system with emphasis on public diplomacy as a tool for international
politics during and after the Cold War (Fisher, 1987; Lord, 1998; Ninkovich,
1996). On the other hand, public relations scholars have sought to understand
the microeffects of public diplomacy programs from the perspective of commu-
nication effects. They applied mass media theories such as cultivation and
agenda setting and theories of image management to investigating the processes
through which what Manheim (1994) called strategic public diplomacy (p. 7)
is believed to exert influence on a target audience (Kunczik, 1997; Manheim,
1990; Manheim & Albritton, 1984; Wang & Chang, 2004; Zhang & Benoit,
2004; Zhang & Cameroon, 2003).
Discouraged by the effects paradigm, public diplomacy scholarship has
mounted little serious effort to conceptualize public diplomacy practices and ex-
cellence in public diplomacy as dependent variables whose conceptions can ad-
vance theory building. Instead, historical, descriptive studies of public diplomacy
practices and management have prevailed in the discipline. Many works contrib-
uted to rich, in-depth records of a variety of public diplomacy practices or pro-
grams, and the practices were conveniently classified into two categories
according to the content of messages delivered and exchanged: policy advocacy or
political communication (information/news programs) versus cultural communi-
cation (cultural/exchange programs; Malone, 1988). Under these categories,
scholars further detailed specific practices conducted mainly by core countries in
the world system. Focusing on the United States, Smyth (2001) further classified
the countrys public diplomacy practices into five kinds: (a) media diplo-
macy/public statements, (b) public information (the Office of International Infor-
mation Programs), (c) international broadcasting services (the Voice of America,
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and WorldNet Television), (d)
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 291

education and cultural programs (the Fulbright Exchange Program and the Inter-
national Visitors Program), and (e) political action (The National Endowment for
Democracy). Killmer (2002) elaborated on how these practices are carried out by
the U.S. embassy in Moscow on a functional level, and Mitchell (1986) surveyed
public diplomacy practices during the Cold War by the United States, the United
Kingdom, France, and Germany with a focus on practices for cultural relations.
Because studies on public diplomacy practices simply classified the variety of
practices, they remained descriptive and treated a practice as a whole based on a
program approach. As a result, the works did not develop an analytical approach
that deconstructs a public diplomacy practice into a set of abstract dimensions that
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facilitates advanced theory building. International relations scholar Rosenau


(1966) showed the importance of a behavioral and dimensional conceptual frame-
work for empirical study as he initiated the research program of comparative for-
eign policy. He innovatively conceptualized foreign policy, the dependent
variable, into a dimensional constructa foreign policy eventwith its behav-
ioral dimensions being systematically coded and aggregated, which enabled schol-
ars to study the causes of differences and similarities in foreign policy behavior
across governments and the relations between the dimensions.
Although analytical themes for behavioral dimensions appeared, such as pur-
pose (symmetrical and asymmetrical), direction (one-way and two-way), and
channel (mediated and interpersonal) throughout descriptive works, they, how-
ever, have not developed into established conceptual frameworks. Scholars
(Fisher, 1987; Leonard, 2002, 2003; Leonard & Alakeson, 2000; Malone, 1988;
Ninkovich, 1996; Tuch, 1990) described public diplomacy practices with the di-
rection and purpose dimensions: two-way, symmetrical versus one-way, asym-
metrical practices. Bu (1999), analyzing educational exchange programs by the
U.S. government during the Cold War, depicted the programs as representing a
unilateral (one-way, asymmetrical) approach to exporting American culture, val-
ues, and ways of life. Maack (2001), through a case study of library programs run
by three countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) in Dakar,
Senegal, described the purpose of the U.S. library program as asymmetrical and
propagandistic. Also, the channel dimension has been used to describe public di-
plomacy practices. Cultural and educational exchange programs are typical of in-
terpersonal face-to-face communication, whereas news programs are
characterized by mediated communication.
Moreover, Peisert (1978, as cited in Signitzer & Coombs, 1992) took a full-
blown dimensional approach to conceptualizing practices for cultural relations by
core Western countries into four models, based on the purpose (symmetrical vs.
asymmetrical) and direction (one-way vs. two-way) dimensions: (a) exchange and
cooperation, (b) transmission, (c) information, and (d) self-portrayal. However,
these dimensional works remained at the level of preliminary conceptual discus-
sion and still remained descriptive in large part without developed conceptual and
292 YUN

measurement frameworks that characterize and measure a variety of public diplo-


macy practices.
On the other hand, compared to thick descriptive works on practices, the
study of public diplomacy management has been thin; the subject has not
grabbed much scholarly attention until recently. In a descriptive scheme, Mitchell
(1986) compared differences in the management of cultural relations among the
United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Aus-
tralia, and New Zealand. He categorized the management of cultural relations into
three models, focusing on the role of government: (a) government control, (b)
nongovernmental, autonomous agencies, and (c) mixed system. Recently,
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Wyszomirski, Burgess, and Peila (2003) compared the management of cultural re-
lations among nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, Nether-
lands, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Their comparison was,
however, of a descriptive nature: They compared the countries on five nominal and
structural dimensions: (a) terminology and role, (b) goals and priorities, (c) admin-
istrative structure, (d) program tools, and (e) the size of funding.
In a normative approach, Malone (1988), in his seminal book Political Advo-
cacy and Cultural Communication, searched for the best organizational arrange-
ment of both policy and cultural communication for U.S. public diplomacy. He
argued for autonomy or separation of cultural communication from policy com-
munication within an integrative framework. It was Leonard (2002) who first
brought the notion of excellence in public diplomacy to the fore, putting forward a
set of normative principles: (a) strategic (proactive) communication, (b) regional
and global coordination of public diplomacy agencies, and (c) relationship build-
ing (symmetrical communication). Leonard and Alakeson (2000) espoused the in-
volvement and empowerment of the public diplomacy function in the making and
execution of foreign policy. They highlighted the functions emerging strategic
role in systemic transformation from the Cold War to globalization and complex
interdependence (Keohane & Nye, 2000).
In addition, Leonard and Alakeson (2000) emphasized the importance of ethi-
cal conduct in foreign policy and practicing two-way dialogic public diplomacy
for excellence in public diplomacy. Similarly, Fisher (1987) argued for giving up
communicating from a position of predominant bigness and power (p. 150). Re-
cently, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (2004) proposed
three normative principles of excellence in public diplomacy: (a) coordination
among public diplomacy agents, (b) strategic thus proactive communication, and
(c) scientific measurement of the effectiveness of public diplomacy programs.
These works on excellence in public diplomacy are based on a set of behavioral di-
mensions of organizational (governmental) communication different from de-
scriptive works based on the nominal, structural characteristics of public
diplomacy management, such as terminology or role and the size of funding.
Moreover, the proposed normative principles are comprehensive in addressing ex-
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 293

cellent characteristics on the levels of program, public diplomacy unit, and gov-
ernment. However aspiring the works are, the current status of research on
excellence in public diplomacy has not matured enough for theory building al-
though they serve policy concerns. These works are for policy makers and
frontline managers; normative principles for excellence in public diplomacy are
set forth for the readers outside academia, and the principles are not integrated and
translated into measurement frameworks. Consequently, few works in public di-
plomacy research have measured excellence in public diplomacy and been able to
study the conditions and contributions of excellence in public diplomacy.
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The Excellence Study

The Excellence Study, a program of research in public relations, has developed a


conceptual and measurement framework to characterize and measure public re-
lations practices (J. E. Grunig, 1992; L. A. Grunig et al., 2002). The framework
started from a four-model typology (J. E. Grunig & Hunt, 1984): press agentry,
public information, two-way symmetrical, and two-way asymmetrical. Origi-
nating from the United States, the four-model typology became widely used in
1990s, stimulating the study of public relations practices worldwide: Greece
(Lyra, 1991), India (Sriramesh, 1991), Taiwan (Huang, 1991). The four-model
typology was, however, reconstructed into a four dimensional framework in the
late 1990s (J. E. Grunig, 1997a) out of the recognition that in reality the four
models coexist, overlapping with each other. J. E. Grunig proposed that public
relations practices can be better characterized on dimensions of communication
behavior and that a dimensional framework would further facilitate the study of
comparative public relations practices.
The four dimensions are direction, purpose, channel, and ethics. The direction
dimension represents the extent to which public relations is one-way or two-way.
One-way means disseminating information, whereas two-way means an exchange
of information through formative and evaluative research. The purpose dimension
consists of symmetry and asymmetry. Symmetry refers to communication effects
on both sides and thus, collaboration or cooperation, whereas asymmetry means
one-sided effects and, thus, advocacy. The channel dimension captures the extent
to which practitioners use an interpersonal channel or mediated channel of com-
munication. The interpersonal communication channel is face-to-face and direct,
whereas mediated communication is through the mass media and indirect. The eth-
ics dimension captures the degree to which public relations behavior is ethical.
Public relations ethics has three subdimensions (J. E. Grunig & L. A. Grunig,
1996): teleology, disclosure, and social responsibility. Ethical public relations is
responsible for the consequences of public relations behavior on the publics (tele-
ology). The scope of responsibility reaches all the members of society beyond the
294 YUN

immediate and directly related publics, such as customers and employees (social
responsibility). Lastly, advocacy and asymmetrical communication can be ethical
as long as the public is informed of whose interests the communication serves (dis-
closure). Using the four dimensional conceptual framework, Huang (1997) con-
structed a five-factor measurement model in which two-way, symmetrical,
mediated, interpersonal, and ethical communication covary with each other. With
confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), she tested the model with public affairs prac-
tices of the Taiwanese government toward its congress. Similarly, Rhee (1999)
tested a six-factor measurement model with public relations practices of Korean
corporations.
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The Excellence Study (J. E. Grunig, 1992; L. A. Grunig et al., 2002) also has
built the Excellence theory, a theory of the characteristics of excellence in com-
munication management. The theory was constructed to address the normative
question of how the public relations function must be organized and managed to
make the greatest contribution to organizational effectiveness. J. E. Grunig and
colleagues first identified 10 excellent principles on the organizational, depart-
mental, and program levels that are indispensable for excellent public relations
through a comprehensive literature review of theories from communication,
public relations, management, organizational psychology and sociology, social
and cognitive psychology, feminist studies, political science, decision making,
and culture. Then they theorized that the Excellence principles form a single,
second-order factor called the Excellence factor.The 10 principles are (a) in-
volvement of public relations in strategic management, (b) empowerment of
public relations in the dominant coalition, (c) integration of specialized public
relations functions, (d) independence of the public relations function as a man-
agement one, (e) heading the public relations unit by a manager rather than a
technician, (f) symmetrical model of public relations, (g) symmetrical internal
communication, (h) departmental knowledge potential for the managerial role
and symmetrical public relations, (i) diversity embodied in all roles (e.g., gender
diversity), and (j) ethical public relations (J. E. Grunig, 1994, pp. 2225). Of the
10 principles, the 2 principles of symmetrical communication and ethics are
operationalized by the two dimensions of public relations behavior: purpose and
ethics.
The Excellence theory, through a series of empirical studies, has established a
widely accepted conceptual framework for excellence in communication man-
agement in public relations research. In its inception period between 1990 and
1991, the theory was put to the largest, most intensive investigation ever con-
ducted of public relations and communication management; over 5,000 respon-
dents from 327 organizations in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United
States participated in a survey. As the theory predicted, the investigation con-
firmed the existence of the single Excellence factor. Successful quantitative rep-
lication studies have followed in diverse cultural and political settings such as
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 295

South Korea (Rhee, 1999), a Confucian and then rapidly democratizing country,
and Slovenia (L. A. Grunig, J. E. Grunig, & Vercic, 1998), a postcommunist
country transiting from communism to democracy. Qualitative studies were also
conducted in Slovenia (Vercic, J. E. Grunig, & L. A. Grunig, 1996) and Malay-
sia (Kaur, 1997). In addition, Delphi studies with 29 countries provided support
for the generic nature of the Excellence principles (Wakefield, 2000). The Ex-
cellence theory also reported on empirical evidence that the Excellence princi-
ples hold true, regardless of the type of organizationwhether it is for profit,
nonprofit, or governmental (Dozier, L. A. Grunig, & J. E. Grunig, 1995). J. E.
Grunig (1997b) further elaborated on the fit of the Excellence principles to gov-
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ernmental public affairs, and the Norwegian government was studied as an ex-
emplar of a government that showcases the principles of Excellence in
communication management (J. E. Grunig & Jaatinen, 1998).

Testing Applicability of Conceptual Frameworks

So far, the review of the literatures of public diplomacy and the Excellence
Study (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002) has shown conceptual convergences between
communication practices and excellence in communication management be-
tween public diplomacy and public relations. This section proposes two mea-
surement models of public relations behavior and excellence in public relations
of the Excellence Study to empirically testing the applicability of the studys
conceptual frameworks. In testing the applicability of the four-dimensional
framework of public relations behavior, I operationalize the framework into a
six-factor measurement model: two-way (direction), symmetrical, asymmetrical,
ethical, interpersonal, and mediated communication (Figure 1). The symmetrical
dimension is operationalized as two separate but coexisting continua as in previ-
ous studies (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002; Rhee, 1999) because symmetry and asym-
metry may coexist. Deatherage and Hazleton (1998) reported a quantitative find-
ing that the asymmetrical worldview exists in parallel with the symmetrical
worldview.
In addition, I reconceptualize the ethical dimension to have only two
subdimensions, deontology and social responsibility, thus eliminating teleology.
Theoretically, teleology concerns about the consequences of an act for others and
can be equated with symmetry. Empirically, teleology was shown to overlap with
symmetry. Huang (1997) reported a merging of both constructs. Moreover, I up-
grade the subdimension of social responsibility into global responsibility. Just as
an organization has a social responsibility to seek actions that protect and improve
the welfare of society along with its own interests, a government in the world sys-
tem has the same kind of obligation to the welfare of people beyond its borders
global responsibility. In the literature of international relations, raising the states
296 YUN
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FIGURE 1 Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the six-factor measurement model of pub-
lic diplomacy behavior. CFA 2(260, N = 113) = 419.94, p = .00; comparative fit index = .98; root
mean square error of approximation = .07. All parameters are significant at .05 except for param-
eters with an asterisk (*).

level of moral reasoning and accountability to match that of individuals and corpo-
rate entities has been widely acknowledged (Hoffman, 1981; Rosenthal, 1999).
Patrick (2003) referred to global responsibility as cosmopolitan ethics in the sense
that ethical obligation goes beyond borders and serves every human in the world.
He further distinguished between cosmopolitan ethics and nationalist ethics in
which government officials recognize and emphasize ethical obligation and loy-
alty only to their citizens confined by national borders. Nationalist ethics corre-
sponds exactly to the concept of public responsibility (limited responsibility for
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 297

the stakeholders), whereas cosmopolitan ethics matches the concept of social re-
sponsibility (extended responsibility for society at large). States pursuing cosmo-
politan ethics strive to become a good citizen of the global civil society fulfilling
the maximal duty, which bears a resemblance to Donaldsons (1989) notion of a
corporate good citizen of national society.
The applicability of the six-factor measurement model can be tested by examin-
ing how well the model fits public diplomacy behavior by embassies in Washing-
ton, D.C.

Research Question 1: How well does the six-factor measurement model of


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public relations behavior fit public diplomacy behav-


ior of embassies in Washington, D.C.?
Research Question 2: How does the six-factor measurement model describe
and characterize the embassies public diplomacy be-
havior?

In testing the applicability of the conceptual framework of Excellence in public


relations, I operationalized the framework into a parsimonious, second-order, five-
factor measurement model that has five Excellence principles as the first-order
factors: involvement, integration, symmetrical communication, knowledge, and
symmetrical internal communication (Figure 2). This parsimonious model was
constructed mainly to deal with anticipated problems of a small sample. The po-
tential maximum sample size of this study is 169, the number of embassies in
Washington, D.C., which should pose problems with the use of advanced data
analysis techniques to test a full model with the 10 Excellence principles included.
Lijpart (1971) suggested model parsimony with many variables but small number
of cases (p. 685). Moreover, the five principles, involvement, knowledge, sym-
metrical communication, integration, and symmetrical internal communication,
were suggested as the core of the 10 Excellence principles (Doizer et al., 1995; L.
A. Grunig et al., 2002; Rhee, 1999).
The applicability of the second-order, five-factor measurement model can be
tested by examining how well the model fits public diplomacy management by
embassies in Washington, D.C.

Research Question 3: Is the Excellence theory transferable to public diplo-


macy; that is, how well does the second-order, five-
factor measurement model fit public diplomacy man-
agement of embassies in Washington, D.C.?
Research Question 4: How does the second-order measurement model de-
scribe and characterize the embassies public diplo-
macy management?
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FIGURE 2 Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the second-order, five-factor measurement


model of excellence in public diplomacy. CFA 2(226, N = 113) = 435.76, p = .00; comparative
fit index = .97; root mean square error of approximation = .09. All parameters are significant at
.01.

298
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 299

METHOD

Instrumentation and Pretest

I constructed items to measure public diplomacy behavior and management of


the embassies by first modifying several instruments in public relations research:
the Excellence questionnaire (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002) and the questionnaires
of the dimensions of public relations behavior (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002; Huang,
1997; Rhee, 1999). The modification was minimal to simply incorporate the
unique organizational structures and processes inside embassies. For example,
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instead of titles such as the chief executive officer, functionally corresponding


embassy titles were used, such as ambassador. Of the 10 constructs in this study,
eight were measured by modified items: two-way, symmetrical, asymmetrical,
interpersonal, mediated communication, involvement, knowledge, and symmet-
rical internal communication.
In addition, I developed items to measure two constructs, integration and eth-
ical communication. The original public relations instruments measured the
principle of integration by inquiring about the organizational arrangement of the
public relations departmentwhether the department is existing, dependent on,
or independent from other departments such as marketing. Instead of the struc-
tural arrangement, I measured the degree of behavioral integration of specialized
communication functions inside the embassies: congress relations, cultural rela-
tions, Diaspora relations, nongovernmental organization relations, and press re-
lations. The items were developed by investigating the actual ways in which
these specialized functions are integrated and coordinated inside the organiza-
tions through content analysis of their websites, newsletters, and all available
publications.
I also constructed items to measure global responsibility, a subdimension of
the ethical communication, based on the international relations literature
(Hoffman, 1981; Patrick, 2003; Pratt, 1989; Rosenthal, 1999). Specifically, I de-
vised items to measure the degree of seeking cosmopolitan and national inter-
ests. All the items in this study were measured on a 7-point Likert-type scale. To
refine the instrument, I conducted a pretest with 20 embassies from all over the
world in Washington, D.C. during July and August 2004: Europe (Albania,
Croatia, Macedonia, and Malta), Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya), Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and
Chile), Asia (Armenia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Korea, and Nepal), and
the Middle East (Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia). The pretest was done both
quantitatively and qualitatively: Public diplomacy practitioners completed the
questionnaire and took part in a 1 hr-long interview. Then I revised the instru-
ment based on the quantitative and qualitative data.
300 YUN

Data Collection Method and Sample

From August 2004 to January 2005, I conducted a mail survey to measure policy ad-
vocacy in the form of media relations and the overall management of public diplo-
macy at 169 embassies in Washington, D.C. Embassies, as surrogate governments
executing both traditional and public diplomacy, conduct policy advocacy and or-
chestrate cultural communication either on their own terms or in tandem with other
specialized cultural communication agencies. The survey was a single respondent
organizational survey (SROS), which is widely used in organizational study. In the
SROS, a key informant for each organization is asked to provide information on
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global and configural constructsmainly, the objective properties of organiza-


tional process and structure (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). This survey method is us-
able when organizations under study are neither complex nor heterogeneous
(Huselid & Becker, 2000) such that the key informantthe diplomat in charge of
public diplomacyhas accurate knowledge on the subjects being inquired. Em-
bassies are small as well as homogenous in both size and structure.
I mailed survey packages including the questionnaire and a consent form to dip-
lomats in charge of public diplomacy at the 169 embassies and collected 120 ques-
tionnaires, 50 of which were through the mail and 70 of which were through in-
person visits. Of 120 questionnaires returned, 7 were unusable for analysis. The
participation rate was 67%. Thus, the accomplished sample consisted of 113 em-
bassies. Region-wise, they were from all over the world: 36 from Africa, 26 from
Europe, 24 from the Americas, 20 from Asia, and 7 from the Middle East. Rank-
wise, diplomats with a variety of ranks, except for ambassadors, took part in the
survey: attaches; the first, second and third secretaries; counselors; ministers; and
deputy chiefs of mission.

Statistical Techniques and Criteria

I used the statistical program AMOS 4 in conducting all CFAs in this study:
CFAs to assess the quality of each of the 10 constructs and CFAs to test the six-
factor measurement model of public diplomacy behavior and the second-order,
five-factor measurement model of excellence in public diplomacy. In CFA, a
number of goodness-of-fit indexes are used to indicate the extent to which a pro-
posed model fits the observed data. Hu and Bentler (1999) suggested using joint
criteria to retain a model, such as (a) the comparative fit index (CFI) .96 and
the standardized root mean-square residual (SRMR) .10 or (b) the root mean
square error of approximation (RMSEA) .06 and SRMR .10.
The statistical program AMOS 4, however, does not provide information on
SRMR. Thus, I chose to use information on the CFI and RMSEA to assess model
fits. MacCallum, Browne, and Sugawara (1996) and Browne and Cudeck (1993)
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 301

elaborated on the cutting points of RMSEA: values less than .05 indicate a good fit,
values as high as .08 represent a reasonably good fit, values ranging from .08 to .10
indicate a mediocre fit, and those greater than .10 indicate a poor fit. Hu and
Bentler (1999), however, cautioned that when sample size is small (fewer than 250
cases), the RMSEA tends to overreject true population models, yielding values
greater than .10. I assessed the quality of the constructs through two measures:
construct validity and reliability. Construct validity is captured by the amount of
variance that is extracted from the measured variables. The variance extracted is
equivalent to an eigenvalue in factor analysis, and it is generally recommended
that a factor accounts for at least 50% of the variance in the original variables
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(items). In assessing construct reliability, I used coefficient H, an improved index


over the traditional index of construct reliability that actually assesses the reliabil-
ity of an equally weighted composite of standardized variables (Hancock, 2004).
The traditional index has been criticized for being inconsistent with the latent vari-
able system in which the factor is not a composite of the variables. Coefficient H is
known to be unaffected by the sign of the loadings, never detracted by additional
indicators, and never smaller than the reliability (squared loadings) of the best in-
dicator (Hancock, 2004). Its recommended minimum size is between .70 and .80.
Cronbachs alpha tests were also conducted to assess internal-consistence reliabil-
ity of items. This reliability index assumes that the constructs involved are the sim-
ple sum of the constituent variables. I relied more on coefficient H over
Cronbachs alpha in assessing reliability of the constructs because the H does not
make the simple sum assumption.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Reliability and Validity of Constructs

Assessment of construct reliability showed that all the constructs had acceptable
Coefficient Hs (Table 1). Of the 10 constructs, six registered Hs above .80: two-
way communication (.84), interpersonal communication (.93), involvement
(.88), integration (.86), knowledge (.88), and symmetrical internal communica-
tion (.82). The other four constructs produced Hs in the minimum range between
.70 and .80: symmetrical communication (.79), asymmetrical communication
(.74), mediated communication (.79), and ethical communication (.73). The re-
sults of Cronbachs alpha tests were the following: involvement (.78), integra-
tion (.84), knowledge (.83), symmetrical internal communication (.64), symmet-
rical (.70), asymmetrical (.68), two-way (.73), mediated (.70), interpersonal
communication (.87), and ethical communication (.53). With construct validity,
the assessment of extracted variances showed that of the 10 constructs, 2 ex-
ceeded the minimum cutting point of 50%: interpersonal communication (63%)
TABLE 1
Descriptive Statistics

Items M SD

Two-way (TW)
TW1: Conducting formative research before communication programs 3.27 1.59
TW2: Conducting evaluative research after the programs 3.62 1.58
TW4: Funding, depended on the demonstrated effectiveness of the programs 3.55 1.67
TW5: Too busy to conduct research (R) 3.96 1.75
Interpersonal communication (IP)
IP1: Making formal face-to-face contacts with journalists by holding parties
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and special events 4.31 1.67


IP2: Personally meeting journalists 5.29 1.68
IP4: Making personal calls to journalists to keep in touch 4.61 1.75
IP5: Making informal contacts with journalists by having dinner or playing
golf to cultivate personal relationships 3.76 1.88
Mediated communication (MC)
M1: Distributing news releases, briefings, and position statements 4.45 1.55
M2: Using new media such as the Internet and email to communicate with
journalists 5.35 1.54
M3: Using printed publications to communicate with journalists 3.99 1.75
M4: Using audio-visual materials to communicate with journalists 3.37 1.74
Symmetrical communication (SY)
SY1: Press relations should help resolve misunderstanding 5.65 1.18
SY2: The purpose of press relations is to develop mutual understanding 5.55 1.35
SY3: We try not only to make journalists favorable to our government, but also
to change our governments polices 5.33 1.54
SY4: We make unconditional commitment to quality relationships with
journalists 4.98 1.32
Asymmetrical communication (ASY)
ASY1: Disseminating accurate information but not volunteering unfavorable
information 4.66 1.65
ASY2: The purpose of press relations is to make journalists favorable to our
government 4.99 1.47
ASY3: Disagreement between our government and journalists results in a zero-
sum game 3.72 1.50
ASY4: Attempting to get favorable publicity into the media and to keep
unfavorable publicity out 4.64 1.52
Ethical communication (EC)
ED1: Always getting involved in dialogue with journalists 5.81 1.21
ED2: Disclosing our purpose when conducting communication programs 4.24 1.76
EGR1: Believing national interests can be pursued only through taking into
consideration the interests of other nations 5.31 1.69
EGR2: Humanitarian, developmental, human rights, and environmental issues
that concern the well-being of people on the globe are official pillars of our
foreign policy 6.20 1.09
EGR4: Concerned about the well-being of people on the globe as much as that
of our national citizens 5.74 1.24
(continued)

302
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 303

TABLE 1 Continued)

Items M SD

Involvement (IV)
IV1: Getting involved in the formulation of our governments U.S. policies 5.35 1.40
IV2: Launching proactive strategic communication campaigns 4.55 1.68
IV3: Conducting issues management 5.33 1.43
IV4: Conducting regular formative and evaluative research 3.66 1.67
IV5: Conducting special research for specific issues and communication
challenges 3.79 1.70
Integration (INTEGI)
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INTEGI1: Seldom carry out joint projects, programs, or campaigns (R) 4.93 1.68
INTEGI2: Share resources such as budget and personnel 4.62 1.81
INTEGI3: Develop and maintain common databases on biographical and
contact information on publics 4.81 1.68
INTEGI4: Hold regular meetings to coordinate activities 4.97 1.62
INTEGI5: Seldom do joint planning for strategic programs or campaigns (R) 4.89 1.78
Knowledge (KNOW)
KNOW1: Conducting little evaluative research (R) 3.81 1.42
KNOW2: Developing goals for communication programs 4.44 1.64
KNOW3: Identifying and tracking issues 4.98 1.65
KNOW4: Developing strategies for solving communication problems 4.79 1.61
KNOW5: Conducting little research to segment publics (R) 3.57 1.47
Symmetrical internal communication (SYIC)
SYIC2: Subordinates are seldom informed in advance of policy change that
affects their job (R) 4.89 1.79
SYIC3: Existence of a formal communication channel for subordinates to bring
out complaints related to job assignment, performance appraisal, and
promotion 4.97 1.59
SYIC4: Superiors mostly speak, and subordinates mostly listen (R) 5.02 1.71
SYIC5: The purpose of internal communication is to get subordinates to
behave in the way superiors want (R) 5.20 1.73

Note. R = indicates item was reverse-scored; ED = ethical deontology; EGR = ethical global
responsibility.

and knowledge (50%). Five other constructs fell between 40% and 50%: integra-
tion (49%), involvement (46%), two-way communication (46%), symmetrical
communication (41%), and mediated communication (40%). The remaining 3
constructs, however, registered poor Hs: asymmetrical communication (38%),
symmetrical internal communication (37%), and ethical communication (25%).

Descriptive Statistics

Research Questions 2 and 4 were proposed to describe and characterize public


diplomacy behavior in the form of press relations and the overall management of
304 YUN

public diplomacy at the embassies in Washington, D.C. (Table 1). Analysis of


descriptive data was conducted with means of the items for each construct. On a
7-point scale, points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 represented not at all, very little, little,
some, much, very much, and exactly. The respondents reported that they practice
two-way communication based on formative and evaluative research only to the
little and some degrees. The data showed that the use of new media such as the
Internet and e-mail has become a staple in communicating with U.S. journalists.
The diplomats said that they use new media (M = 5.35) more than printed publi-
cations (M = 3.39) and audiovisual materials (M = 3.37). They also indicated
that their embassies practiced interpersonal communication to the some or much
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degrees. Diplomats seemed cautious about informally cultivating personal rela-


tionships by having dinner or playing golf together: Item IP5 measuring infor-
mal cultivation registered a lower mean of 3.76 than did IPI (M = 4.31), which
measured formal face-to-face contacts by holding official parties or events. The
items measuring symmetrical communication registered relatively high means
ranging between 4.98 and 5.65, indicating that diplomats have symmetrical pur-
pose to the much degree when conducting public diplomacy. This finding was in
line with the professional nature of diplomats. Diplomacy by nature acts from a
symmetrical worldview.
Diplomats also had asymmetrical purpose to the some or much degrees. In com-
parison with symmetrical purpose, however, diplomats had a smaller range of the
means, although the difference was not large. It indicated that diplomats did have a
mixed-motive but more symmetrical propensity. Diplomats responded that they
practice ethical public diplomacy to the some and very much degrees. Item ED2
measured degree of disclosure. The lowest mean of ED2, compared to the other
means, suggested that although diplomats disclose the purpose of communication
programs to some degree, they are relatively reluctant to disclose. This may be due
to some inherent secrecy in the conduct of public diplomacy. Descriptive data also
presented a general look at the ways that embassies manage the public diplomacy
function. The public diplomacy function at the embassies is engaged in govern-
ments strategic management of foreign affairs to the some and very much degrees.
In particular, the function contributes to governments strategic management of
foreign affairs above the much degree by getting involved in the formulation of
policies toward the United States (M = 5.35) and conducting issues management
(M = 5.33). Compared to these frequent activities, however, activities to support
strategic management of public diplomacy registered lower means: launching
proactive strategic communication (M = 4.55) and conducting regular (M = 3.66)
and special (M = 3.70) research.
Diplomats also indicated that their embassies integrate specialized public di-
plomacy functions above the some degree. The items for the knowledge principle
measured knowledge potential at the departmental or individual level for conduct-
ing strategic management of public diplomacy. Diplomats responded that their
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 305

public diplomacy departments or themselves have knowledge potential to the little


or some degrees. A noticeable pattern was that the range of the items means
(KNOW2, 3, and 4) measuring a general knowledge dimension for strategic man-
agement was between 4.44 and 4.98, which was higher than the means range be-
tween 3.57 and 3.81 for the items (KNOW1 and 5) measuring a research-related
knowledge dimension.
These means indicated that the departments or practitioners have more general
knowledge than research knowledge. Understandably, item KNOW5 measuring
sophisticated knowledge potential for segmentation of publics had a lower mean
than item KNOW1 measuring knowledge potential for evaluative research. De-
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scriptive data also provided insights into the degree of participative culture inside
embassies. Diplomats reported that their embassies have institutionalized sym-
metrical internal communication to the some or much degrees.

Applicability of Conceptual Framework for Public Relations


Behavior

Research Question 1 inquired about the applicability of the four dimensional


framework for public relations behavior to public diplomacy behavior. A CFA
was conducted to examine how well the data of public diplomacy behavior fit
the six-factor measurement model that consists of two-way, mediated, interper-
sonal, symmetrical, asymmetrical, and ethical communication. The results of the
CFA showed that the six-factor model had a reasonably good fit to the data of
public diplomacy behavior, 2(260, N = 113) = 419.94, p = .00, CFI = .98, and
RMSEA = .07 (Figure 1). The CFI of .98 was above the cutting point of .96 for
a good fit. Although the RMSEA value was above .05, the cutoff value for a
good fit, it was still smaller than .08, the upper bound cutoff value for a reason-
ably good fit. No modification procedures were conducted because the initial
model was deemed retainable. All of the factor loadings and correlations were
significant at the level of .05 except for two factor correlations: mediated and
two-way communication, r = .37, p = .06; asymmetrical and two-way communi-
cation, r = .26, p = .07. The findings on acceptable model fit and significant pa-
rameters suggest that the constituent constructs of the model have a strong rela-
tionship, despite the fact that the model (n = 113) is likely to suffer from the
power problem because it does not meet the minimal five-ratio rule between the
numbers of parameters and cases.

Applicability of Conceptual Framework for Excellence


in Public Diplomacy

Research Question 3 examined the applicability of the conceptual framework for


excellence in public relations by inquiring whether the five Excellence princi-
306 YUN

ples cluster into a single second-order factor and whether the principles and the
single Excellence factor produce an identical pattern of factor loadings to what
was found in the Excellence theory (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002). The results of the
CFA showed that the five Excellence principles clustered into a single second-
order factor (Figure 2). The model fit indexes also indicated that the second-
order measurement model of excellence was reasonably retainable: 2(226, N =
113) = 435.76, p = .00, CFI = .97, and RMSEA = .09. The CFI value was greater
than the cutting point of .96. The RMSEA value, however, was above .08, the
upper bound cutoff value for a reasonably good fit. It still fell in the range be-
tween .08 and .10, which indicates a mediocre model fit. As discussed before,
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however, the RMSEA tends to overreject true population models with small
samples (fewer than 250 cases). Thus, the CFI value (.97) might be more reli-
able in determining the fit of the model. Because the model was deemed
retainable, no modification procedures followed.
For the patterns of factor loadings, the second-order measurement model
showed an identical pattern of factor loadings (regression coefficients) to what re-
sulted from the Excellence Study (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002). Conducting principal
axis factoring (PAF) analysis of the Excellence variables, L. A. Grunig et al. pre-
sented an order of factor loadings in magnitude. In their findings, the knowledge
principle had the greatest loading on the Excellence factor. Following were princi-
ples related to shared expectations, such as involvement, support, and symmetri-
cal communication. Lastly, principles related to participative culture, such as
symmetrical internal communication and diversity, registered the smallest load-
ings on the factor.
Moreover, the pattern of factor loadings resulted from CFA in this study corre-
sponded exactly to that of the Excellence Study. The order of factor loadings in
magnitude was the following: knowledge (.98), involvement (.68), integration (in-
side; .63), symmetrical communication (.38), and symmetrical internal communi-
cation (.35). All the loadings were significant at the level of .01. Because L. A.
Grunig et al. did not include the integration principle in the analysis of factor load-
ings, direct comparison for the principle was not possible. Integration, however,
can be treated as part of shared expectation because high shared expectation about
the role of communication among the dominant coalition and communication di-
rectors would facilitate principles such as involvement, support, and integration.
Consistent with the theory, the pattern of factor loadings in this study showed that
two principles related to shared expectation, involvement and integration, had al-
most identical factor loadings as the second-tiers.

Discussions

The results of this study have implications for public relations research itself be-
yond exporting the Excellence Study to or enlarging the territory of public
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 307

relations scholarship into public diplomacy. The test of the second-order model
of excellence was, in fact, a replication of the Excellence theory with a specific
type of governmental organizationthe embassy. This study used CFA, which
is a more powerful statistical technique in testing the Excellence theory than
PAF analysis used in two previous quantitative replications conducted in Korea
(Rhee, 1999) and Slovenia (L. A. Grunig et al., 1998). Moreover, the findings of
this study have implications for refining two dimensions of public relations be-
havior both in conception and operationalization: purpose and ethical communi-
cation. In reaction to Murphys (1991) criticism, the study clarified the concept
of symmetrical communication as a mixed-motive one in which asymmetrical
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and symmetrical purposes can coexist. CFA of the six-factor measurement


model of behavior in this study found empirical evidence for the coexistence of
symmetrical and asymmetrical purposes: The two constructs had a statistically
strong correlation coefficient of .60** (p = .007).
The findings also lent empirical support to the coexistence nature of asymmetri-
cal and symmetrical ethics. J. E. Grunig and L. A. Grunig (1996) and J. E. Grunig
and White (1992) reasoned that symmetrical communication is inherently ethical
and, at the same time, that asymmetrical communication can be ethical, depending
on the rules used to ensure ethical practice. By extracting teleology from ethical
communication, this study showed that the ethical dimension exists separately,
distinguished from the dimension of symmetrical purpose. Moreover, this study
found empirical evidence for the coexistence of asymmetrical ethics as well as
symmetrical ethics: Asymmetrical communication can be ethical, as can be sym-
metrical communication. Nevertheless, ethical communication was correlated
more with symmetrical communication, r = .64, p = .001, than with asymmetrical
communication, r = .33, p = .05. The findings suggest that symmetrical communi-
cation is inherently more ethical than its asymmetrical counterpart.

CONCLUSIONS

This study tested the applicability of the Excellence Study (L. A. Grunig et al., 2002)
to advancing the study of public diplomacy to revive Signitzer and Coombss (1992)
call for empirical research into public diplomacy based on public relations theories
and to rigorously examine conceptual convergence between both arenas. In doing
so, this study tested the fits of two measurement models of public relations behavior
and Excellence in public relations with survey data from 113 embassies in Washing-
ton, D.C. The fit indexes of the models suggested that the public relations frame-
works are transferable to conceptualizing and measuring public diplomacy behavior
and excellence in public diplomacy.
This study also departed from the mainstream approach in public relations
scholarship on public diplomacy under the paradigm of communication effects
308 YUN

and ventured into the study of public diplomacy behavior and management. More-
over, this study unveiled how a large number (n = 113) of embassies, thus govern-
ments, are practicing and managing their public diplomacy, which has not been
done because embassies are secretive diplomatic organizations that have evaded
academic inquiry. More important, this study paved a way to develop theory build-
ing for public diplomacy, specifically for the factors of public diplomacy behavior
and the conditions and consequences of excellence in public diplomacy based on
the public relations frameworks.

Limitations and Future Research


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Assessment of the quality of constructs showed that the constructs performed well
on Coefficient H, an index of construct reliability. However, in general, the con-
structs did not perform as well on construct validity as it did on construct reliability.
Among other constructs, three had less than 40% of variance extracted: asymmetri-
cal communication (38%), symmetrical internal communication (37%), and ethical
communication (25%). The problem with construct validity for ethical communica-
tion seemed to be especially serious. The poor performance of the ethical construct
may imply that the indicators used were problematic. However, it seems to suggest
that the two subdimensions, deontology and global (or social) responsibility, should
not be treated as sharing the same dimensionality. Theoretically, deontological com-
munication ethics such as telling the truth and not committing bribery do not neces-
sarily go hand in hand with global (social) responsibility ethics such as commitment
to the well-being of people beyond the national border. Also, the subdimension of
global responsibility may need to be operationalized as two separate continua. In this
study, the subdimension was measured as a single continuum (national interests vs.
cosmopolitan interests). In hindsight, national and cosmopolitan interests are not
mutually exclusive in the same manner that symmetrical and asymmetrical purposes
coexist. Overall, future research should continuously revise the conceptual and op-
erational framework for the constructs and, at the same time, search for more valid
indicators to measure them accurately.
Another line of future study lies in studying how and why governments practice
and manage their public diplomacy as they docomparative public diplomacy.
Comparative public diplomacy treats public diplomacy behavior and excellence in
public diplomacy as dependent variables and inquires what factors make similari-
ties and differences in public diplomacy and why. Future comparative research can
benefit from the conceptual and measurement frameworks in this study in defining
public diplomacy as dependent variables on which comparison can be made con-
cerning their empirical associations with independent variables of public diplo-
macy. For this direction, future research needs to import theories of international
relations, culture, and comparative politics to inquire how and why variations in
the contextual variables of a governmentsuch as culture, the political system,
TOWARD PUBLIC RELATIONS THEORY 309

the interest-group system, interstate dependence, and power statusare empiri-


cally as well as theoretically associated with variations in public diplomacy behav-
ior and excellence in public diplomacy. This line of research should widen the
horizon of public relations scholarship on public diplomacy, while firmly connect-
ing it to neighboring scholarships concerned with the study of public diplomacy
such as international relations, cultural studies, and comparative politics.
In addition, future research should further identify other applicable public rela-
tions theories to the study of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy as a practice of
governmental international public relations has faced the issue of accountability
and, thus, the burden of demonstrating its value to a governments overall foreign af-
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fairs. Currently, public diplomacy research is seeking its value in creating and man-
aging national image or reputation. However, the image or reputation is not
managed by only how to speak and what to speak. Other influential determi-
nants of image and reputation are in operation outside the realm of public diplomacy:
attractions from a countrys politics, economics, culture, and ethical, humanitarian
conduct of diplomacy. To demonstrate the value of excellence in public diplomacy,
public diplomacy research should determine the reach of responsibility and ways to
prove its accountability accordingly. In this regard, relationship studies in public re-
lations research should contribute to guiding the search for the effects of excellence
in public diplomacy. The studies suggest that excellence in public relationships has
direct effects on relationship quality between organizations and publics. Relation-
ships with publics provide the best indicator for the effects of excellence in public re-
lations rather than reputation or image (J. E. Grunig & Hung, 2002). The concept of
relationship is associated with publics possessing first-hand experience with the or-
ganization or foreign government. In contrast, the concepts of image and reputation
are less specific and related to masses with second-hand experience. Thus, a focus of
future research should be on the relationships of governments with specific and stra-
tegic foreign publics such as congressmen, journalists, and opinion leaders.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Seong-Hun Yun is now at the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Com-
munications, Kansas State University.

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