Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Public Relations Catalyst Model: Towards a New Approach to Explore Public Relations and Communication Concepts

Eric Koper, Julia Jahansoozi.

This paper introduces a new public relations model that serves as a basis to explore influences that can behave as catalysts for organisational change. This first attempt moves existing theoretical public relations concepts from being mainly descriptive towards being more dynamic, helping to predict organisational change resulting from variable scenarios. This research explores a particular scenario that uses the model to explain the relationship between communication activity as a catalyst for transparency related outcomes.

The model simplifies concepts relating to thinking skills and individual and group situations and allows for the introduction of concepts as catalytic variables that influence organisational change. It links social psychological paradigms relating to constructivism, behaviourism and social systems to public relations and communication practice within the public sphere.

Empirical research was carried out related to BAE Systems to test the model in relation to individual and group communication as a catalyst for transparency variables. In depth interviews and focus groups were conducted and fed into the model. Subsequent analysis of the findings was done to validate the model and to progress the concepts involved.

One major limitation of this research is that it is the initial attempt to validate our new model and that the parameters and concepts involved need to be further explored in future research using other catalysts and scenarios. The end result might not only influence the research outcomes but also the underlying conceptual model.


Eric Koper  (United Kingdom)
Principal lecturer and Division Leader
Division of Applied Communication
Lancashire Business School

Originally from Maastricht in the Netherlands, Eric has worked internationally for the United Nations and others, principally in Africa and the Caribbean, for more than 10 years. He has an MSc in Public Relations with distinction from Stirling and is interested in strategic public relations. He’s pursuing PhD research into the potential of electronic learning environments for public relations. Eric recently contributed the UK Chapter (28) to the soon to be published book (2004) Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe. A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice, edited by Betteke van Ruler and Dejan Vercic, Mouton de Gruyter

Julia Jahansoozi  (United Kingdom)

University of Central Lancashire

  • Catalytic model
  • Social theory
  • Thinking skills
  • Organizational change
  • Systems theory
  • Public relations
  • Communication
  • Transparency

(60 min. Workshop, English)