A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Trust research in public relations : an assessment of its conceptual, theoretical and methodological foundations (2020)


Valentini, Chiara (2020). Trust research in public relations : an assessment of its conceptual, theoretical and methodological foundations. Corporate Communications, Early online. DOI: 10.1108/ccij-01-2020-0030


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editors: Valentini, Chiara

Journal or series: Corporate Communications

ISSN: 1356-3289

eISSN: 1758-6046

Publication year: 2020

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Emerald

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: http://doi.org/10.1108/ccij-01-2020-0030

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available


Abstract

Purpose
During the past few years, public trust in organisations, institutions and systems has decreased. Trust is an important antecedent not only for relationship-building but also for image and reputation management. This study aims to systematically review scientific publications on public relations and trust to explore the current status of trust research, including its conceptual definition, measurement and theorisation.

Design/methodology/approach
Only English-language scientific papers published in key public relations journals were analysed. Titles, abstracts and keywords were searched with the terms “public relations” and/or “strategic communication” and/or “communication management” and “trust”, returning 254 discrete articles. Quantitative content analysis and thematic analysis were used to extract information.

Findings
Trust research has limited methodological and intellectual diversity. Most studies have been published by North American scholars using surveys and interviews as the primary methods, and most are positioned within the public relations literature. One-third of papers do not use any specific theory to define trust, and about 13% of those in which trust is a central element do not refer to any conceptual foundation. The majority of papers are centred on professional and managerial problems, with limited discussion of publics/stakeholders' or societal problems.

Originality/value
This study offers important information about the development of trust research in public relations and sheds light on current knowledge gaps that can inform future research.


Keywords: organisations (systems); enterprises; trust; reliability (general); stakeholder groups; public relations; literature surveys; systematic reviews

Free keywords: trust; public relations; systematic review; quantitative content analysis; thematic analysis


Contributing organizations


Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1


Last updated on 2020-14-10 at 13:53