The change process to agile public relations

Wiencierz Christian, Röttger Ulrike

Research article (journal)


Despite agility's increased importance for public relations, the change process from traditional, hierarchically structured public relations to a dynamic agile entity has not yet been comprehensively investigated. This article tackles the research desideratum by discussing this change process from a structuration-theoretical perspective. The subsequent empirical analyses via two qualitative studies from the field of corporate communications focus on the perspective of consultants. These experts support the communication management in this change process with their expertise and neutrality, which the public relations departments themselves lack. Thus, consultants are key contacts for an explorative analysis of the change process toward more agility. In the first study, 39 consultants were interviewed about the change processes that they have guided in order to transform public relations into an agile department. The subsequent case study focuses on an internationally active medical technology manufacturer and analyzes their experience with consulting throughout the agile change process in their public relations department. The results show that the concept of recursiveness is central to the successful implementation of agility in public relations. Expressed in the language of structuration theory, consultants aim to develop rules and resources as modalities that describe an agile structure and then translate them directly into actions. These modalities are continuously developed via sprints, a dynamic process that results in the constant adaptation of the agile structures until the desired result is achieved. The results illustrate the advantages of a neutral, outside authority for the implementation of such a change process.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2021
Language in which the publication is writtenGerman
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