Erin Willis, Erin Schauster, Maria Len-Rios, and Marjorie Delbaere

Research in Progress: Patient influencers – An ethics of care investigation

August 16, 2021

By Erin Willis, University of Colorado-Boulder; Erin Schauster, University of Colorado-Boulder; Maria Len-Rios, University of Georgia;  and Marjorie Delbaere, University of Saskatchewan

In very recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the social media influencer – someone who creates content for their social media followers. Brands are working with social media influencers to build trust through authentic, curated content. Followers perceive influencers as being experts on specific topics with relevant sources of information, and support for opinions and… More

New research

Are authenticity and vulnerability a new paradigm for women in politics?

August 12, 2021

By Stephanie Madden, Penn State University and Abbey Levenshus, Butler University

Running for political office at any level is a grueling, time-consuming, and expensive undertaking for any candidate. For women with political ambitions, the very desire to run for elected office can call into question their “authenticity” given the status quo of who has traditionally held public office. Despite challenges associated with gender bias, women are increasingly running for, and winning, elections. 

Given the leadership gap, women’s… More

Teri Del Rosso, University of Memphis

Research in Progress: Building a practical framework for labor organizations in higher education

August 9, 2021

By Teri Del Rosso, University of Memphis

In spring 2021, labor organizers representing Alabama-based Amazon warehouse workers were handed a crushing blow when the majority of the workers voted against unionization.

According to Alina Selyukh of NPR, this campaign to organize Bessemer, Alabama workers meant that Amazon had “withstood the largest union push yet among its U.S. workers." Unfortunately, the struggle that is facing labor activists at Amazon is consistent with other U.S. unions with union… More

Chuqing Dong, Michigan State University and Jordan Morehouse, Clemson University

Research in Progress: Examining how care ethics are understood and practiced in government PR

August 4, 2021

By: Chuqing Dong, Michigan State University and Jordan Morehouse, Clemson University

Declining public trust, increasing political polarization, and ongoing social injustice and inequality issues are just a few of the challenges the U.S. government has faced and continues to grapple with today. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified and complicated these issues, evidenced by numerous government failures in providing public services, disseminating accurate and consistent messages, and responding to citizen needs.

Amid the turbulent environment, open and… More

Weiting Tao and Yeunjae Lee, University of Miami

Research in progress: Developing a scale of organizational ethics of care for employees

July 28, 2021

By Weiting Tao and Yeunjae Lee, University of Miami

In today’s environment, employee engagement and relationships with their organizations have become particularly fragile. The psychological, physical, and financial distress brought by the global pandemic and by organizational changes in response to the pandemic (e.g., downsizing, relocation, cutting benefit, and teleworking) has put employees in a vulnerable state and has made organizational care for employees a top priority of the public relations practice.

Meanwhile, global concerns around problematic… More

Marlene S. Neill, Baylor University, and Juan Meng, University of Georgia

Research in Progress: Examining the influence of ethics of care and servant leadership in PR

July 22, 2021

By Marlene S. Neill, Baylor University, and Juan Meng, University of Georgia

Servant leadership and ethics of care both emphasize the importance of interpersonal relationships, listening to others and empathy, all of which are critical to public relations practice. However, these two perspectives have received limited attention in public relations scholarship, despite the fact that public relations theory and practice have long advocated that public relations professionals have an obligation to seek out and consider the views of… More

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