Advocacy Essay, Research Paper
“Contingency Theory of Accommodation and Advocacy” Contingency theory of accommodation/advocacy is a more realistic depiction of public relation strategies or models based on a continuum. The contingency theory represents the organizations possible stance on a wider range of publics than an individual one fostering rigid and exclusive categorization mostly found in a limited set communication models. Basically what the theory is getting at is opening the spectrum of the public to come to a more rounded synopsis of the issue or product. Amanda Cancel, Michael Mitrook, and Glen Cameron conceptualized the theory to offer a better understanding how the public relations field manages conflict and reaches out to the public in external communication. A study was done by 18 practitioners to see if the contingency theory made any sense to them. The theory itself offers 86 possible factors in the continuum at any given time to any given public. This allows the continuum offered to depict how an organizations stance toward one given public and not the outcome of the interaction with that public. The theory focuses then on what decisions led the organization to their stance in concern with greater or lesser accommodation to that public. One of the many factors suggests that more accommodation or more advocacy will be effective in gaining departmental and organizational objectives in the short and long term. The contingency theory further goes on to say that an accommodative stance, questionably a part of a two-way symmetrical communication may not be completely ethical, in fact it could be contrary and unethical to morally repugnant publics, for those who hold some positions to be morally absolute. A position of a moral magnitude holds more so than that of any belief in the dialogic process. This also bring into view ethical charges of paternalism and the convictions of an organization that advocacy is morally superior to two way symmetrical communication. Communication processes such as dialogue, compromise, collaboration and cooperation denote agreement, but engaging in these degrees are not always on the highest moral position. In certain cases taking a moral stance means putting the ethical principle above two-way symmetrical communication. The contingency theory attempts to structure a better understanding to dynamics of accommodation and advocacy while institute the ethical aspects of accommodation to the efficacy in public relations. This is one sample method that was used in the study of contingency. The sample test consisted of eighteen different public relation managers, ranging from middle to upper class. There are varieties of large corporations and of the practitioners represents one from around the country. The practitioners selected all represent corporations that are equally or more exposed than other organizations to positive and negative contact with the general public. This is the first reason for their selection and the second reason is related to their overall knowledge of their corporation s history and associated culture, in comparison to a part-time practitioner s knowledge. The research was done in three logical divisions. The first section asked the interviewee about the valid continuum between advocacy and accommodation. The second section analytically covers possible variables that could affect the corporations stances along the continuum and conveys associated models in conflict management. The third section summarizes the study into three groups: strongly supported variables, unsupported variables and new variables. Strengths for this study are insurmountable where in the entire variable range has such a broad spectrum that all aspects are covered. The variables of the business exposure and corporate culture are the two most allied aspects to the validity of the study itself. This offers the interviewer to collectively find out what is to be done and how it to be done in public relations to further a better advocacy of knowledge to public. The weaknesses that are also relative to the variables and the amount of time it takes to expend all the collected information of the interviewees. The study seems too extensive to possess any beneficial quality for the interviewer and interviewee and the information collected will not serve any purpose to the interviewee because they already are aware of what they know. An example of contingency of accommodation was where a Florida newspaper wanted to see how the public receiving their circulation felt towards it and what should be implemented in changing any problems the public saw as a hindrance. The contingency theory is, by any means, a good way of practicing public relations. One good test would be to see how accommodating one public stance and the corporation. For example, there is a property management company that owns a larger portion of the buildings in the city. A Planned Parenthood clinic wants to renew its lease but the company faces their other buildings being boycotted by anti-abortion groups. The property company hires you to try to advocate and accommodate the issues that are of major concern of this group. Is it possible to find a balance? What type of answers does the boycott want to here and what are possible changes for this altercation? The contingency theory possesses many positive attributes on focus toward accommodation of the publics expressed feelings. The key asset of the construction is the emphasis of mutual communication and prescriptive input towards the public. In that, keeping a wide range of possibility and precedent for organization of apparent issues. The major weakness is extreme accommodation towards one public in turn causing total disregard of issues and disproportionate conflict to another. The motive is then fixed to two-way symmetrical communication and improved stance of the model.