chapter  9
20 Pages

Power Distance and Public Relations: An Ethnographic Study of Southern Indian Organizations

ByK. Sriramesh

Tayeb ( 1 988) echoed the sentiments of many scholars (e .g . , Hofstede , 1 980; Negandhi , 1985 ; Shenoy, 1 98 1 ) who advocate viewing organizational members and activities through a cultural approach in understanding organizational pro­ cesses:

This study approaches the problem at hand-understanding the public rela­ tions practices of selected Indian organizations-through the strategies advo­ cated by the first school of thought that Smircich ( 1 983) identified . Smircich posited that proponents of this point of view see culture as an independent variable almost synonymous with country, which is imported into the organiza­ tion through the employees (e.g . , Hofstede , 1 980; Tayeb, 1 988). These scholars typically chart the similarities and differences among nations and cultures and try to compare management practices cross-nationally and cross-culturally. Smircich ( 1 983) noted that such studies would be especially helpful to multinational orga­ nizations as evidenced by the popularity of Theory Z (Ouchi , 1 98 1 ) and The Art of Japanese Management (Pascale & Athos , 198 1 ) . This study argues that study­ ing the linkage between societal culture and public relations should precede the investigation of the influence of corporate culture (culture internal to organiza­ tions) on public relations .