From knowing to doing: Reflexivity, leadership and public relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues that little is known in public relations (PR) about the experience of leadership and, more specifically, the challenges associated with enacting desired leadership behaviours in the work place. The study focusses on the personal experiences of PR leaders and considers how exploring the interplay between a leader and their context enhances understanding of the conditions under which knowledge is enacted, or rather not enacted, in different leadership situations. The discussion is informed by perspectives from organization and leadership studies which highlight the importance of reflexivity to leadership learning. In addition to applying a reflexive lens to leadership practice in public relations, the study addresses a lack of empirical research focussing on the situated experiences of PR leaders. It considers the reflexive potential of a programme of interviews with PR practitioners providing examples to illustrate the role this form of research can play in leadership studies. The context investigated concerns the work place experiences of senior PR executives who claim to be ‘empowering leaders’. The discussion of the findings focuses on how organizational power relations distort the practitioners’ espoused leadership values and engages in a process of problematization designed to challenge the uncritical promotion of normative and decontextualised approaches to leadership. The article highlights the benefits of a reflexive orientation to PR leadership research and pedagogy, while calling for the promotion of a particular form of contextual intelligence to help practitioners confront the organizational conditions which specifically impact on their ability to lead others.
LanguageEnglish
Article number101780
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Relations Review
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date17 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Public relations
reflexivity
leadership
leader
experience
promotion
workplace
Reflexivity
Lenses
empirical research
intelligence

Cite this

@article{b746455322d74507925b3302eed9efd8,
title = "From knowing to doing: Reflexivity, leadership and public relations",
abstract = "This article argues that little is known in public relations (PR) about the experience of leadership and, more specifically, the challenges associated with enacting desired leadership behaviours in the work place. The study focusses on the personal experiences of PR leaders and considers how exploring the interplay between a leader and their context enhances understanding of the conditions under which knowledge is enacted, or rather not enacted, in different leadership situations. The discussion is informed by perspectives from organization and leadership studies which highlight the importance of reflexivity to leadership learning. In addition to applying a reflexive lens to leadership practice in public relations, the study addresses a lack of empirical research focussing on the situated experiences of PR leaders. It considers the reflexive potential of a programme of interviews with PR practitioners providing examples to illustrate the role this form of research can play in leadership studies. The context investigated concerns the work place experiences of senior PR executives who claim to be ‘empowering leaders’. The discussion of the findings focuses on how organizational power relations distort the practitioners’ espoused leadership values and engages in a process of problematization designed to challenge the uncritical promotion of normative and decontextualised approaches to leadership. The article highlights the benefits of a reflexive orientation to PR leadership research and pedagogy, while calling for the promotion of a particular form of contextual intelligence to help practitioners confront the organizational conditions which specifically impact on their ability to lead others.",
keywords = "Public relations, Leadership, Reflexivity, Situated experience, Contextual intelligence, Power, Agency, Empowerment, Reflexive pedagogy, Professional practice, Oranizational conditions, Culture, Paradox, Problematization",
author = "Paul Willis",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.05.001",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "1--8",
journal = "Public Relations Review",
issn = "0363-8111",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "3",

}

From knowing to doing : Reflexivity, leadership and public relations. / Willis, Paul.

In: Public Relations Review, Vol. 45, No. 3, 101780, 09.2019, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - From knowing to doing

T2 - Public Relations Review

AU - Willis, Paul

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - This article argues that little is known in public relations (PR) about the experience of leadership and, more specifically, the challenges associated with enacting desired leadership behaviours in the work place. The study focusses on the personal experiences of PR leaders and considers how exploring the interplay between a leader and their context enhances understanding of the conditions under which knowledge is enacted, or rather not enacted, in different leadership situations. The discussion is informed by perspectives from organization and leadership studies which highlight the importance of reflexivity to leadership learning. In addition to applying a reflexive lens to leadership practice in public relations, the study addresses a lack of empirical research focussing on the situated experiences of PR leaders. It considers the reflexive potential of a programme of interviews with PR practitioners providing examples to illustrate the role this form of research can play in leadership studies. The context investigated concerns the work place experiences of senior PR executives who claim to be ‘empowering leaders’. The discussion of the findings focuses on how organizational power relations distort the practitioners’ espoused leadership values and engages in a process of problematization designed to challenge the uncritical promotion of normative and decontextualised approaches to leadership. The article highlights the benefits of a reflexive orientation to PR leadership research and pedagogy, while calling for the promotion of a particular form of contextual intelligence to help practitioners confront the organizational conditions which specifically impact on their ability to lead others.

AB - This article argues that little is known in public relations (PR) about the experience of leadership and, more specifically, the challenges associated with enacting desired leadership behaviours in the work place. The study focusses on the personal experiences of PR leaders and considers how exploring the interplay between a leader and their context enhances understanding of the conditions under which knowledge is enacted, or rather not enacted, in different leadership situations. The discussion is informed by perspectives from organization and leadership studies which highlight the importance of reflexivity to leadership learning. In addition to applying a reflexive lens to leadership practice in public relations, the study addresses a lack of empirical research focussing on the situated experiences of PR leaders. It considers the reflexive potential of a programme of interviews with PR practitioners providing examples to illustrate the role this form of research can play in leadership studies. The context investigated concerns the work place experiences of senior PR executives who claim to be ‘empowering leaders’. The discussion of the findings focuses on how organizational power relations distort the practitioners’ espoused leadership values and engages in a process of problematization designed to challenge the uncritical promotion of normative and decontextualised approaches to leadership. The article highlights the benefits of a reflexive orientation to PR leadership research and pedagogy, while calling for the promotion of a particular form of contextual intelligence to help practitioners confront the organizational conditions which specifically impact on their ability to lead others.

KW - Public relations

KW - Leadership

KW - Reflexivity

KW - Situated experience

KW - Contextual intelligence

KW - Power

KW - Agency

KW - Empowerment

KW - Reflexive pedagogy

KW - Professional practice

KW - Oranizational conditions

KW - Culture

KW - Paradox

KW - Problematization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065621327&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.05.001

DO - 10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.05.001

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 1

EP - 8

JO - Public Relations Review

JF - Public Relations Review

SN - 0363-8111

IS - 3

M1 - 101780

ER -