Roskilde Universitet
Kommunikationsvej 1,
Bygning 42.3
4000 Roskilde

Tlf: 46 74 26 92
Chris Holmsted Larsen

Tlf: 46 74 38 08
Kim Christian Schrøder


FMKJ er en national forskerskole, der:
• Arrangerer ph.d.-kurser på
- internationalt niveau,
• Er vært for internationale
- gæsteforskere,
• Uddeler stipendier til skolens
- studerende,
• Har indstillingsret til
- Forskningsrådet for Kultur og
- Kommunikation.

GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS – All the Same, All Different?

PhD course organized by the Centre for Corporate Communication

Aarhus School of Business, and

The Danish National Research School for Media, Communication, and Journalism

February 8-10, 2010



                      Despite the increased interaction among countries of the world, relatively little systematic research currently exists on the way public relations (or communication management) is conducted by organizations of different types (corporations, NGOs, government agencies) in different parts of the world.  It is relatively recently that public relations practitioners and scholars have begun to emphasize the importance of viewing public relations practice from an international perspective.  This has been necessitated by the rapid globalization that has taken place since the final decade of the previous millennium.  Practitioners have been thrust into communicating with ”new markets” based on ”trial and error” or anecdotal evidence.  It is encouraging that in the past 15 years or so, a few studies have emanated from different regions of the world focusing attention, among other things, on the inadequacies of an ethnocentric approach to public relations scholarship.


                      In this seminar/course, we will discuss the generic principles that one can use to understand, and practice public relations in different nations.  Next, we shall also explore various environmental factors that affect public relations practice in different nations.  Although this theorizing is at current mostly normative, it does have enormous practical applications.  The course also seeks to encourage critical thinking that will advance pedagogical discussions to advance scholarship in this area.



·        Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, PhD, Professor of Public Relations, School of Business, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

·        Finn Frandsen, Mag.Art., Professor of Corporate Communication, ASBccc, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University

·        Winni Johansen, PhD, Associate Professor of Corporate Communication, ASBccc, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University



Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University

Fuglesangs Allé 4, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark, R Building



February 8

10-1 am





















1-2 pm


2-4:30 pm












4:30-6 pm




Introduction to the course


Public Relations: Theories and Paradigms

– From Grunig and Beyond


Finn Frandsen, ASBccc


This session will present and discuss important aspects of the “paradigm struggle” and the development of new theories within American and European public relations research:

  • From a functionalistic to a co-creational perspective
  • The Excellence Theory Revisited
  • Beyond Grunig:
    • The rhetorical or discursive approach to public relations
    • The critical approach to public relations
    • Postmodernism and public relations
    • Deconstructing public relations
    • Multiperspectivism

Lunch in the R Building


Globalization and Public Relations in the 21st Century

– Overview of Global Public Relations Practice and Scholarship

-generic principles of public relations


Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Massey University, NZ


This session will offer an overview of global public relations practice and scholarship with particular reference to the impact of globalization on public relations and discuss the “generic principles vs. specific applications” aspect of global public relations scholarship.


Project Presentations


Dinner (7:30 pm) at restaurant


February 9


9-12 am















12-1 pm


1-4 pm




4-6 pm



Environmental variables relevant to global public relations scholarship: Political Economy, Media Culture, Activism


Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Massey University, NZ


This session will discuss environmental variance that affects public relations practice and offer the five variables from the Handbook of Global Public Relations as a means of expanding the body of knowledge

We will discuss political economy and media culture during this session paying particular attention to how ”traditional” media (broadcast and print journalism) have been sidelined in controlled political systems with new media. We will discuss some case studies also illustrating this new dynamic


Lunch in the R Building


The Concept of Culture: New Approaches

– from a functionalistic to a social constructionist perspective


This session will present and discuss the use of the concept of societal and organizational culture within public relations research and how new understanding of the concept of culture can contribute to the development of Global Public Relations.


Winni Johansen, ASBccc


Project Presentations


Dinner (7:30 pm) at restaurant



February 10

9-12 am

















12-1 pm


1-3 pm




Environmental variables relevant to global public relations scholarship:

– Culture and Activism


Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Massey University, NZ


Ethnocentricity is a bane to any profession.  Public relations, like most ”Western” professions, is also guilty of this.  How is ethnocentricity evident in public relations?  How can we overcome this in order to help organizations communicate effectively in a globalizing world?  Culture is hard to define and even harder to measure! So, how does one try to link this malleable concept to communication and public relations?  We shall try to do exactly that during this session. We also will discuss how activism has reshaped the way organizations (especially corporations) have had to change their own communication patterns.


Lunch in the R Building


Project Presentations


Wrapping up: Which Perspectives for Future Research?





Participation with paper: 2½ ECTS

Participation without paper: 1 ECTS


Course enrollment and application deadline


The course application, including a 1-page project outline, should be sent by email no later than 8 January 2010 to Jonas Kretzschmar Nielsen,


Participants who want to present a paper (10-12 pages) for feedback must submit the paper by 25 January 2010.


Registration form available at


Costs and practical matters


The Danish Research School FMKJ covers all participation expenses (travel, meals, accommodation) for doctoral students who are enrolled members of FMKJ. Tickets and receipts must be sent to FMKJ for reimbursement.


Doctoral students from other national or international institutions are encouraged to participate. They will have to pay their own travel and accommodation costs, and a fee of app. DKK 1000 to cover all meals, coffee, etc. during the course. The course itself is offered free of charge.


Participants are expected to find accommodation for themselves, although the ASB secretary can suggest suitable hotels. All meals will be provided, including dinner on site or in the city.


For questions about practical arrangements, please contact the ASB secretary Jonas Kretzschmar Nielsen,


For questions about course content and organization, please contact Associate Professor Winni Johansen, ASB,


See also for further information





Course readings

Course readings will be made available 3 weeks before the course with required reading and suggested literature for the Ph.D. course. Students are expected to have read the literature before the beginning of the course.

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