Flora C. J. Hung (Hong Kong Baptist University), Cultural Influence on the Relationship Cultivation Strategies
in the Chinese Society, English/30 pages, May 2008

Abstract

Public relations is commonly considered as a US phenomenon that came out as a
result of industrialization and reaches to other parts of the world because of globalization
(Hodges, 2006). Studies conducted in non-Western capitalist contexts are needed to better
engage professionals in international public relations. In recent years, public relations
scholars (mostly Asian scholars) have contributed to the extension and revision of public
relations theories by conducting studies outside the United States to identify specific
applications of public relations practices resulting from host countries¡¦ political systems (e.g.,
Braun, 2007; Chen, 2005; Kent & Taylor, 1993), economic systems (e.g., Hung, 2002; Hung
& Chen, 2004; Chen, 2005), media (e.g., Hung & Chen, 2004; Wu, 2002), activism
(Anderson, 1992; Ketchum, 2005), and culture (e.g., Huang, 2000, 2001a; Hung, 2004b;
Rhee, 1999; Sha, 1999; Sriramesh, Y. Kim, & Takasaki, 1999; Y. Kim, 2002).

Studies on the influence of culture have been done in different disciplines, for example,
interpersonal communication (e.g. Khan, 2005; Shenkar & Ronen, 1987; Yum, 1988) and
organizational communication (Brown & McMillan, 1991; Carlon & Taylor, 1998;
Koprowski, 1983; Morley, Shockley-Zalabak, & Cesaria, 1997). Consequently, public
relations scholars should investigate how cultures affect the management of organization-public
relationships (OPRs) to further improve the relationship management theory of public
relations to a global context. However, there is only limited research in the public relations
literature tackling this issue. Furthermore, current OPR studies mainly focus on the OPR
evaluations that measure the outcomes of relationship management. Public relations scholars
should build the blocks of relationship management theory by examining OPR types and
cultivation strategies that affect the outcomes of relationship management.

The purpose of this study is to explore whether the theory of organization-public
relationships developed in the Western capitalist societies can describe the dynamics of OPR
management in the Chinese society. Specifically, this study examines the influence of
Chinese cultural value orientations on the perception of relationship cultivation strategies an
organization develops with its publics.