Title

Going Head to Head: Content Analysis of High Profile Conflicts As Played Out In the Press

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2005

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

Content analyses of news coverage for high profile conflicts (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Airlines, Massachusetts Military Reservation, United Parcel Service) provide a natural history of the use of the contingency theory in public relations. The content analysis tracked the changing stances of organizations moving on the continuum from pure advocacy to pure accommodation, in response to a number of contingent factors that can just as readily move an organization toward accommodation as toward advocacy. Integrating conflict and conflict resolution models from the conflict literature with the contingency theory in public relations, results confirm that strategies as well as stances of an organization and its public change over time. This change over time has been influenced predominantly by two contingent factors: internal threats and external threats. Both parties in each conflict demonstrated overall advocacy and employed a contending strategy predominantly during the conflict management process. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Public Relations Review

Volume

31

Issue

3

First Page

399

Last Page

406