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Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations after International Mergers and Acquis...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024837/00001

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Title: Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations after International Mergers and Acquisitions a Delphi Panel Investigation
Physical Description: 1 online resource (124 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Jain, Rajul
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: acquisitions, control, coordination, delphi, mergers, mncs, publicrelations
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract: COORDINATION AND CONTROL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AFTER INTERNATIONAL MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: A DELPHI PANEL INVESTIGATION By Rajul Jain August 2009 Chair: Juan-Carlos Molleda Major: Mass Communication The purpose of this study is to examine the coordination and control of global public relations in multinational corporations (MNCs) following international mergers and acquisitions (M & As). The exponential growth in international M & As presents unique challenges and opportunities for the management in terms of integrating various facets of an organization?s operations, including public relations. Based on a multidisciplinary review of academic research, this study constructs theoretical presuppositions about coordination and control of global public relations; and conducts an empirical investigation of these presuppositions using a Delphi panel composed of international public relations experts. Subsequently, a theoretical model indicating factors affecting roles, responsibilities, integration, and configuration of public relations department in the merged (or acquired) organization is developed. This novel study introduces international business management theories of coordination and control to public relations, and thus, sets path for future research to refine, enhance, and contribute to building a theory of coordination and control of global public relations.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rajul Jain.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Molleda, Juan Carlos.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024837:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024837/00001

Material Information

Title: Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations after International Mergers and Acquisitions a Delphi Panel Investigation
Physical Description: 1 online resource (124 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Jain, Rajul
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: acquisitions, control, coordination, delphi, mergers, mncs, publicrelations
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract: COORDINATION AND CONTROL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AFTER INTERNATIONAL MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: A DELPHI PANEL INVESTIGATION By Rajul Jain August 2009 Chair: Juan-Carlos Molleda Major: Mass Communication The purpose of this study is to examine the coordination and control of global public relations in multinational corporations (MNCs) following international mergers and acquisitions (M & As). The exponential growth in international M & As presents unique challenges and opportunities for the management in terms of integrating various facets of an organization?s operations, including public relations. Based on a multidisciplinary review of academic research, this study constructs theoretical presuppositions about coordination and control of global public relations; and conducts an empirical investigation of these presuppositions using a Delphi panel composed of international public relations experts. Subsequently, a theoretical model indicating factors affecting roles, responsibilities, integration, and configuration of public relations department in the merged (or acquired) organization is developed. This novel study introduces international business management theories of coordination and control to public relations, and thus, sets path for future research to refine, enhance, and contribute to building a theory of coordination and control of global public relations.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Rajul Jain.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Molleda, Juan Carlos.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024837:00001


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COORDINATION AND CONTROL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AF TER INTERNATIONAL MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: A DELPHI PANEL INVESTIGATION By RAJUL JAIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009 1

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2009 Rajul Jain 2

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To my family, friends, and adviser 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I offer my sincerest gratitude to my adviser, Dr Juan-Carlos Molleda, who has supported me throughout my thesis with his pa tience and knowledge whilst allowing me the room to work in my own way. I attribute the le vel of my Masters degree to his encouragement and effort, without him this thesis would not ha ve been completed or written. One simply could not wish for a better or friendlier adviser. I would like to thank my family and friends fo r their constant support, encouragement, and love. I am grateful to Udayan for being a constant source of inspiration to me and for bearing my eccentricities. I am forever indebted to Mari a for constantly proofreading my thesis and improving it, not to forget, for being my best friend at UF. Finally, I w ould like to thank god for showering his blessings on me. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............9CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ ..102 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................14Role of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) ..............................14Challenges to Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporat ions (MNCs): Global Integration versus Local Responsiveness ............................................................................16Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinat ional Corporations (MNCs) ........................................................................................................................ .......19Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinat ional Corporations (MNCs) after International Me rgers & Acquisitions (M&As) ...........................................263 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................. 33The Delphi Research Method .................................................................................................33The Delphi Process ............................................................................................................ .....34E-mail as a Medium for Delphi Studies .................................................................................37Limitations of the Delphi Study .............................................................................................37Criterion for Evaluati ng a Delphi Study .................................................................................38Procedures Used in this Study ................................................................................................4 0Selection of Delphi Partic ipants and Sample Size ..........................................................40Collection and Analysis of Data ......................................................................................43First round questionnaire development, data collection, and analysis .....................43Second round questionnaire developmen t, data collection, and analysis.................45Ethical and Practical Considerations ......................................................................................47Voluntary Participation and Personal Harm ....................................................................48Subject Mortality .............................................................................................................49Influence of the Researcher .............................................................................................494 RESULTS ..................................................................................................................... ..........50Participants .................................................................................................................. ...........50Results of the Delphi Data ......................................................................................................52 5

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5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ....................................................................................75Summary of the Results ..........................................................................................................75Theoretical Conclusions: Model of Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) af ter International Me rgers & Acquisitions (M&As) ........................................................................................................................ .......81Recommendations for Coordination and C ontrol of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) after International Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) ........................................................................................................................ .......86Recommendation for Future Research ...................................................................................87Limitations of the Study ...................................................................................................... ...88APPENDIX A DELPHI ROUND ONE INSTRUMENT ...............................................................................90B GLOSSARY OF TERMS .......................................................................................................96C CONSENT FORM ..................................................................................................................97D DELPHI ROUND ONE EMAIL COVER LETTER ..............................................................99E DELPHI ROUND ONE FOLLOW-UP EMAIL ..................................................................101F DELPHI ROUND TWO INSTRUMENT ............................................................................103G DELPHI ROUND TWO EMAIL COVER LETTER ...........................................................114H DELPHI ROUND TWO FOLLOW-UP EMAIL .................................................................116LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................118BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................124 6

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Global Integration ve rsus Local Responsiveness .............................................................18 2-2 Approaches to achieve Coordination ................................................................................20 4-1 Demographic Information and Profe ssional Experience of Delphi Panelists ...................51 4-2 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 1 ..........................................................55 4-3 Round 2 means related to addi tion comments about presupposition 1 .............................58 4-4 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 2 ..........................................................61 4-5 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 3 ..........................................................64 4-6 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 4 ..........................................................67 4-7 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 5 ..........................................................69 4-8 Round 2 means related to addi tion comments about presupposition 5 .............................70 4-9 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 6 ..........................................................72 4-10 Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 7 ..........................................................73

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Steps of a typical De lphi process (Riggs, 1983, p.90) ......................................................35 4-1 Box plot of round 2 means related to revised presupposition 1 ........................................55 4-2 Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1a ...........................................................58 4-3 Box plot of round 2 me ans related to statement 1b ..........................................................58 4-4 Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1c ...........................................................59 4-5 Box plot of round 2 me ans related to statement 1d ..........................................................59 4-6 Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1e ...........................................................59 4-7 Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1f ...........................................................59 4-8 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 2a ..................................................61 4-9 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 2b ..................................................61 4-10 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 3a ..................................................64 4-11 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 3b ..................................................65 4-12 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 4a ..................................................67 4-13 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 4b ..................................................67 4-14 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 5a ..................................................69 4-15 Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 5b ..................................................69 4-16 Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 5a ...........................................................71 4-17 Box plot of round 2 me ans related to statement 5b ..........................................................71 4-18 Box plot of round 2 means related to revised presupposition 6 ........................................72 4-19 Box plot of round 2 means related to revised presupposition 7 ........................................73 5-1 Model of coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs after international M&As, indicating factors affec ting roles, responsibi lities, integration, and configuration of public relations de partment in the merged (or acquired) organization........................................................................................................................83 8

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication COORDINATION AND CONTROL OF GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AF TER INTERNATIONAL MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: A DELPHI PANEL INVESTIGATION By Rajul Jain August 2009 Chair: Juan-Carlos Molleda Major: Mass Communication The purpose of this study is to examine th e coordination and cont rol of global public relations in multinational corporations (MNCs) following international mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The exponential growth in international M&As pr esents unique challenges and opportunities for the management in terms of in tegrating various facets of an organizations operations, including public relations. Based on a multidisciplinary review of academic research, this study constructs theoretical presuppositions about coordination and control of global public relations; and conducts an empiri cal investigation of these pres uppositions using a Delphi panel composed of international public relations expert s. Subsequently, a theo retical model indicating factors affecting roles, respons ibilities, integration, and conf iguration of public relations department in the merged (or acquired) organi zation is developed. This novel study introduces international business management theories of coordination and control to public relations, and thus, sets path for future rese arch to refine, enhance, and c ontribute to building a theory of coordination and control of global public relations. 9

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The rapid spread of the information age, especially in the area of strategic communications, is encompassing every corner of the world in a trend toward more homogeneous world market and away from the heterogeneous national and regional markets of the past (Etemad & Dulude, 1986). With over 40,000 multinational corporations (MNCs) in operation and the constantly changing global aren a, there has never been a greater need for public relations professionals w ho understand the myriad differences in cultures, political and media systems, and other factors that a ffect these organizations (Wakefield, 1997). Public relations practitione rs working with MNCs are responsible for relationship management between the external, as well as, the internal organizational publics. Specifically, they are in charge of coordinating communi cation flow between headquarters and foreign subsidiaries, as well as among subsidiaries (Hubert & Brandt, 1980; Molleda, 2000). The complexity of global public relations is evident in the environment in which the business units of MNCs operate. The diverse forces that have an impact on organizations with overseas operations can be grouped into two asymmetric forcespre ssures for global integration and pressures for local responsiveness (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sulliv an, 2007). Therefore, the biggest challenge in front of global public relations pers onnel is to balance th e benefits of global integration, such as economies of scale and core competencies, with th e demands for local responsiveness (Daniels et al., 2007; Molleda & Laskin, 2007). Th ese issues become especially crucial during international mergers and acquisitions (M&As) because of th e differences in the external environments, market structure, and country-s pecific conditions in which the two partners operate (CornettDeVito & Friedman, 1995). 10

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A merger happens when two companies agr ee to combine into a single entity and an acquisition occurs when a company takes over another in frie ndly or hostile manner (Ramani & Mrudula, 2007). Due to globalization and global integration of technolog y, international M&As have become a common activity in many indus tries (Cornett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995; Ohl, Pincus, Rimmer, & Harrison, 1995; Warf, 2003). The global M&A deals amounted to U.S. $3.6 trillion in 2006, and during the first half of 2007, this figure reached to U.S. $2.5 trillion (Ramani & Mrudula, 2007). The deregulation of several industries a nd the convergence of digital communication technologies have been inspiring MNCs to hunt for new grounds to expand their business and take advantage of economies of scale and scope (Warf, 2003).This consolidation poses unique challenges and opportunities for the management in terms of integrati ng various facets of organizations operation, includi ng public relations. Scholars a ssert that M&As are among the most intensive organizationa l changes (Cornett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995), whose success primarily depends on the effective integrati on and communication pro cess (Shrivastava, 1986). Previous research in the field shows that most M&As do not realize their full potential because the management fails to effectively handle the process of integration (Shrivastava, 1986). Reflecting on current economic downturn, Silver (2009) commented, In this turbulent global marketplace, communications is a key indi cator for a successful merger and acquisition (p. 6). M&A experts constantly re iterate the importance of eff ective public relations in M&As because the diverse organizationa l stakeholders including employees investors, and customers, want to know what is happening (Silver, 2009). Although the advertising and marketing literature is repl ete with studies focusing on strategic management during and after international M& As, scholars have mostly ignored their 11

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impact on the integration and organization of th e public relations function. While integration occurs at various levels, several scholars ha ve emphasized the importa nce of communication at all levels of an M&A activity (Cornett-DeVi to & Friedman, 1995; Ga ble, 2003; Gall, 1991; Galpin & Robinson, 1997; Golitsinski, 2000). According to a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Counselors Academy survey in 2002, M&As constitute one of the five major public relations issues (Gable 2003). Because a company is especially vulnerable to the judgment of stakeholders during M&As, communication is especially critical (Golitsinski, 2000). In addition, because the merged (or acquired) organization can be subject to different operating environments, coordination and control of various elements in the business chain becomes extremely crucial (Cornett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995). According to James, The assumption underlying the coordination approach is th at the distinctive char acter of both acquirer and acquired can be maintained whilst managing relationships across the boundaries between the two organizations (1997, p. 34). Purpose of the Thesis: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs after international M&As. This thesis examines how and what role and responsibilities are delegated to the public rela tions department in the merged (or acquired) organization after international M&As This thesis aspires to fill the gap in public relations research about c oordination and control mechanisms used by MNCs following international M&As by constructing theoretica l presuppositions based on a multidisciplinary review of scholarly research and evaluating them by conducting a Delphi panel investigation of international public relations e xperts. Ultimately, this study deve lops a theoretical model to direct future practices of coordination and contro l of global public relations in MNCs within the context of internationa l M&As. By constructing and testing the theoretical model, this study 12

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introduces international business management theories of coor dination and control to public relations and sets path for future research that could refine, enhance, a nd contribute to building a theory of coordination and cont rol of global public relations. The unit of analysis for this study is public relations practitioners employed with MNCs, which have experienced international M&As. In particular, the coordination and control mechanisms (within the context of the public re lations department) utilized by the MNCs after international M&As, and the role of public relations or public affairs executives in th is activity is examined. This study utilizes a Delphi panel composed of interna tional public relations practitioners for an empirical investig ation of the theoretical presuppositions. The following research questions are examined: RQ1: What factors does management consid er while designating responsibility and authority to the public relations professionals within the merged (or acquired) organization after international M&As? Similarly, how management control is partitioned between public relations professionals within the collaborating partners? RQ2: How are various public relations activities, such as investor relations, community relations, employee relations, and media relations integrated within the merged (or acquired) organization? RQ3: What coordination and control mechan isms does the management, within the perspective of the public re lations department, adopt af ter international M&A? 13

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Role of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) The convergence of financial markets, comm unication, and information technologies has led to the emergence of multinational corporat ions (MNCs), which now dominate the world economy (Lim, 2009). The proliferation of MNCs and their influence on the world economy is evident from the fact that currently they acc ount for 25 percent of the world production, as opposed to about 7 percent in the 1950s (Daniels et al., 2007). In this global marketplace, where more and more businesses are becoming international, it has become important, more than ever, to prac tice effective public rela tions across geographical boundaries. According to Wakefield (2001), as th e world careens into the 21st century, public relations people are swept into a whole new global arena. Public relations no longer is just a domestic enterprise (p. 639). Hulbert and Brandt (1980) point out that communications is an essential life-giving force of the modern multin ational enterprise, where it serves several important roles including the transfer of informa tion from one part of the company to another, either from the parent to its fore ign subsidiaries or vice versa. The environment of international business is subject to turbulence and increased scrutiny by transnational activist organizations and th e government, which poses challenges and opportunities to public relations practitioners wo rking with MNCs (Molleda & Connolly-Ahern, 2002; Molleda & Quinn, 2004). Anderson (1989) explains the role of public relations in MNCs: Public relations is the management function primarily responsible for shaping and implementing policies of mediation among social political, and economic interests capable of influencing the growth and/or survival of an organizations basic franchise. To this end, the public relations function ha s responsibility also for iden tifying the forces and effects for change in the organizations environment so as to anticipate potential new needs for mediation and to inform all other anticipatory activity within the organization (p. 383). 14

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The mediating role of public relations is co mplicated by the fact that MNCs operate in multiple, and often diverse, external, as well as internal environments. Although, the basics of public relations are more or less universal, schol ars argue that specific tactics change from country to country (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Lim, 2009; Molleda, 2000; Ovaitt, 1988; Wakefield, 2001). Since the onset of globalization, many MN Cs have been increasingly opening up subsidiaries in several host countries (Bardhan & Patwardhan, 2004). While operations in some host nations are smooth, MNCs face considerable re sistance in others. These resistances are a result of differences in the socio-economic and po litical environments in which local subsidiaries operate (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Burk, 1994). Similar to the international bus iness management theory, the field of public relations has also debated the issue of global versus local approach of publ ic relations (Lim, 2009). While some scholars argue that since pub lic relations practiti oners working with TNOs are responsible for managing relationships, not onl y within their organizations, but also, between headquarter and subsidiaries, and among subs idiaries (Molleda, 2000), it is essential to customize its practices to the local environment, local culture, and needs of local stakeholders (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Burk, 1994; Lee, 2000). On the other hand, scholars who advocate global strategies argue that companies must learn to operate as if the world were one large market, ignoring superficial regional and national differences (B arlett & Ghoshal, 2002; Ghoshal, 1987; Levitt, 1983; Martinez & Jarillo, 1989). These two models of public re lations practice in MNCs are also known as the ethnocentric and polycentric models respectively (Botan, 1992). In the ethnocentric or the global model, home 15

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country assumptions about public relations prac tice and its operations are fundamental. In addition, activities at the overseas operations are directed by the international headquarters staff in the corporations home country. Closely supervis ed by the corporate headquarters staff, an expatriate manager (home country national) di rects host country public relations activities. Because decisions are made at headquarte rs and communicated to the subsidiaries throughout the world for implementation it is lik ely the PR response w ill be slow and that PR activities could be inappropriate for host country conditions because they reflect home country norms and audiences (Kinzer & Bohn, 1985, p. 4). In the polycentric model of public relations host country practitioners exercise a high autonomy in planning programs and activities based on their expe riences and contacts (Botan, 1992). The underlying assumption of the polycentric model is that loca l public relations practitioners better know and unders tand host country environment. These differences in the two models of public relations emerge from the two asymmetric forces faced by companies that operate interna tionally: Pressures for global integration and pressures for local responsiveness (Daniels et al., 2007). Challenges to Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs): Global Integration versus Local Responsiveness According to Blumentritt and Nigh (2002), MNCs comprise of differentiated subsidiaries engaged in multi-faceted competitiv e activities within and between many host countries (p. 58). In MNCs, management requires to figure out mechanisms to coordinate and control1 the discrete activities of the subsidiaries, as elements of a larger system, which involves deciding where decision-making powers should reside and how foreign subsidiaries should report to headquarters (Danie ls et al., 2007). 1 Here, coordination refers to mechanisms used to integrate various activities of MNCs business value chain (Daniels et al., 2007) and control refers to the process by which headquarter influences, to varying degrees, the behavior and output of subsidiaries through the use of power, authority and a wide range of bureaucratic, cultural and informal mechanisms (Geringer and Hebert, 1989). These terms are discussed in detail in the next section. 16

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However, the biggest challenge is to balance the benefits of global integration with the demands for local responsiveness (Daniels et al., 2007; Molleda & Laskin, 2007). Achieving these goals in a global arena becomes much more complex due to the different cultural, socioeconomic, regulatory and political and media environments in which headquarter and foreign subsidiaries operate (Wakefield, 2001). In the global market economy, MNCs face two as ymmetrical forces: Standardization or the pressures for global integration a nd adaptation or the pressures for local responsiveness (Daniels et al., 2007; Lim, 2009; Wakefield, 2001). Over the past few years, the debate of global versus local has gained significant attention from prof essionals as well as scholars (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Daniels et al., 2007; Ovaitt, 1988; Theodosiou & Leonidou, 2003). Scholars provide arguments in support of these two asymmetrical forces that MNCs face in a global economy. These arguments are presented in Table 2-1. As depicted in Table 2-1, several scholars ha ve frequently advocated global integration as a key strategic requirement for global organi zations (Bartlett & G hoshal, 2002; Lim, 2009; Martinez & Jarillo, 1989, 1991; Ogri zek, 2002). According to Ogrizek (2002), in order to convey a unified brand identity in a globalized economy, MNCs should adopt global operating standards. Daniels et al. (2007) mention, The convergence of national markets and quest for production efficiency push for globa l integration of value activities (p. 892). Similarly, Ghoshal (1987) asserts that the need for global integration arises from benefits of economies of scale or from the potential of synergies or from shar ing costs and resources across markets. On the other hand, MNCs are required to th ink beyond global integration strategy due to the local pressures to adopt di fferentiation strategies (Daniels et al., 2007; Lim, 2009; Martinez & Jarillo, 1991). According to Blumentritt a nd Nigh (2002), even though MNCs might take a 17

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Table 2-1. Global Integration ve rsus Local Responsiveness Demands for Global Integration De mands for Local Responsiveness Dimension Reference Dimension Reference Need to maximize efficiency by exploiting global economies of scale and scope Convergence of national markets and need for production efficiency Efficiency gains of standardization Need to convey a coherent, global brand identity Need to realize economies of scale in other value activities such as R&D (single product design) or advertising (universal message) Need to take advantage of innovation and technology across different markets Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) Daniels et al. (2007) Lim (2009) Martinez and Jarillo (1989, 1991) Ogrizek (2002) Need to maximize market sensitivity by addressing differences in language, cultural and socio-economic environment, and historical legacy Need to address consumer divergence Need to respond to host-government policies Blummentritt and Nigh (2002) Daniels et al. (2007) Wakefield (1997) Lee (2000) particular global strategic position, host country contexts might put pressures to tailor their operations to local market conditions. These local market conditions include government influence on business, differences in consumer tastes, product standards, distribution channels, employee management strategies, and regional and economic forces (Daniels et al., 2007; Lim, 2009). Recently, a new paradigm has emerged from thes e scholarly discussions, which states that instead of an either/or strategy, standardization versus cu stomization should be viewed as a continuum, and MNCs should focus on taking a stand somewhere on this continuum depending 18

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upon the situational factors (Ovaitt, 1988; Wakef iled, 2001). These scholar mention that neither complete standardization nor complete localization makes much sense; the practical question is what elements of MNCs strategy can or should be standardized and to what degree. Wakefield (2001) points out that international organizations such as MNCs, must balance global functions with local strategies that address local demands. Although the issue of standardi zation versus differentiation ha s been studied and debated in the business and marketing community, the no tion is relatively new to the public relations scholars (Anderson, 1989; Lim, 2009). According Wakefield (2001), the role of global public relations practitioners is to aim for a more co mprehensive approach th at creates thinking and acting at both local and global levels of the organization (p. 641). Lim (2009) mentions that MNCs can employ in tegration or local responsiveness strategy of international public relations to optimize their organizational e ffectiveness (p. 4), and must adopt coordination and control mechanisms to mana ge these strategies in a global context. The simultaneous demands from these two diverse fo rcesintegration and diff erentiation require that MNCs adopt effective coordination and c ontrol mechanisms in order to maximize the competitiveness of value ch ain (Martinez & Jarillo, 1989). Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) Martinez and Jarillo (1 989) define coordination as any administrative tool for achieving integration among different units within an orga nization (p. 490). According to John and Young (1995), there are two broad categories of c oordination mechanisms: Formal/bureaucratic mechanisms, such as rules, procedures, and pol icies that regulate be havior and actions, and informal/cultural mechanisms, such as sociali zation activities, and t eam interaction, that influence decision framework and value processes. 19

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Previous research on mechanisms of coordinatio n can be grouped into three streams; while the first two concentrate on the formal mechanisms of coordination, the thir d stream of research is focused on more subtle and informal mech anisms of coordination (Barlett & Ghoshal, 2002; Daniels et al., 2007; Martinez & Jarillo, 1989). Martinez and Jarillo (1989), in their study reviewed the work of more th an 80 scholars from 1953 to 1988 and found that research in this area has evolved from simple devices to devi ces that are more complex. The authors also reported an increase in the number of studies on informal mechanisms. Table 2-2 outlines the most common mechanis ms of coordination proposed by scholars. Table 2-2. Approaches to achieve Coordination Approach Martinez and Jarillo (1989) Barlett and Ghoshal (2002) Daniels et al. (2007) Formal Mechanisms Written Policies/Rules Decision making configuration Structural : Formalization and standardization using written policies, rules, job description, and standard procedures Centralization or decentralization of decision making through the hierarchy of formal authority Formalization : subject decision making to a set of policies independent of the interests and motives of either headquarters or subsidiaries Centralization : coordination through a consensus decisionmaking process, by leveraging the organization and management resources already present at the headquarters Coordination by plan : utilizes a set of universal rules and policies that apply to both headquarter and subsidiaries, thus enforcing consistency in performance of all the units Coordination by standardization : involves common deadlines and objectives that are applicable to all the units in the value chain Informal Mechanisms Informal communication /socialization Informal and Subtle methods Lateral or crossdepartmental relations Informal communication Socialization Socialization : careful recruitment, training, and acculturation of managers, who become key decision makers at headquarter and the subsidiary levels Coordination by mutual adjustment : requires communication and interaction between managers to ensure flexible coordination mechanisms 20

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Table 2-2 shows that scholars have iden tified three ways to achieve coordination. According to Martinez and Jarillo (1989), structural and formal mechanisms of coordination encompass departmentalization of organizationa l units, centralization or decentralization of decision making authority, formalization and standardization using formal policies and procedures, and other similar strategies su ch as planning using strategic design, budgeting, scheduling etc.; output and behavi or control using financial perfor mance, technical reports, sales and marketing data, and direct supervision; departmentalizati on or grouping of organizational units. On the other hand, informal coordination mechanisms include lateral or cross-departmental relations, informal communication, such as personal contacts, me etings, and conferences, and socialization to establish shared strategic objectives and values. Similarly, Barlett and Ghoshal (2002) define three distinctive coordination mechanisms: Centralization, formalization, and socialization. According to the authors, centralization achieves coordination through a consensus decision-making process, by leveraging the organization and management resources already present at the head quarters. Centralization is relatively easy to establish; however, as MNCs increase their gl obal presence, centralization becomes costly to operate because the headquarters are swamped w ith request for information, guidance, support, and decisions, thus affecting th e quality of decision-making. Formalization represents one way to reduce the relatively high costs of centraliza tion. MNCs who adopt formalization to achieve coordination, mainly subject deci sion making to a set of policies independent of the interests and motives of either headquarters or subsidiaries which in turn maximizes operating efficiency. However, this results in high costs of establis hing systems, policies, and rules that remain effective and reliable in all situations. Finall y, socialization achieves coordination by careful 21

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recruitment, training, and acculturation of ma nagers, who become key decision makers at headquarter and the subsidiary levels. Likewise, Daniels et al. (2007) propose three ways to achieve coor dination: Coordination by standardization (similar to centralization), coordination by plans (similar to formalization), and coordination by mutual adjustment (similar to socialization). According to Daniels et al., coordination by standardization util izes a set of universal rules and policies that apply to both headquarter and subsidiaries, t hus enforcing consistency in pe rformance of all the units; coordination by plans involves common deadlines a nd objectives that are applicable to all the units in the value chain; coordination by mu tual adjustment requires communication and interaction between managers to ensu re flexible coordination mechanisms. Molleda and Laskin (2007) provide exampl es of coordination mechanisms, such as forming global, virtual teams, facilitated by communication technology a nd the Internet, that allow team members from diverse geographic locati ons and functional areas to interact and work together; advisory personnel; management ro tation; keeping international and domestic managers in closer proximity; facilitating in ter-subsidiary communication; placing personnel from foreign subsidiary on the management board; developing a global reward system; and giving credits to subsidiaries for their achievements and contributions. Control mechanisms are necessary to regulate the implementation of MNCs strategies and to monitor the activities of bus iness units (Molleda & Laskin, 2007). The purpose of control is to minimize idiosyncratic behavior and to hold individuals or groups to enunciated policy, thus making performance predictable (Cray, 1984, p. 86). According to Daniels et al. (2007), there are three prevalent methods of c ontrol: Market control, bureaucrat ic control, and clan control. Market control utilizes external market mech anisms, such as price competition and relative 22

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market share to control performance; bureaucratic control uses a centralized authority to implement an extensive set of rules and regulations to govern organizatio ns activities; and finally clan control uses shared values and id eals to moderate behavior. Some examples of control mechanisms include visits to subs idiaries, management performance evaluation, comparing cost and operating performance of subsidiaries; evaluating management and subsidiaries on budget, profit, sale s, and market-share; and inform ation systems (Daniels et al., 2007; Jaussaud & Schaaper, 2006; Molleda & Laskin, 2007). The integration of MNCs subsidiaries into la rger organization to en sure compliance with the overall policy comprises of two processes: Coordination and control (Cray, 1984). Cray states that coordination and cont rol offer very different solutions to the problem of integration and are often negatively related, i. e., over a wide range of integration solutions one or the other process would dominate. Since public relations plays a critical role within MNCs in preserving a consistent reputation and building relationships with its key stakeholders in a global context (Wakefield, 2001), it is important to explore its coordination and control in the international context. According to Molleda and Laskin (2007), globa l public relations can be managed with this integration/localization principle in mind to become an efficient function that coordinates its activities with other functions w ithin the local operations and with public relations functions in diverse locations as well (p. 27). In addition, they stress th at via integrative communication tactics such as corporate public ations, public relations can act as a coordination mechanism by diffusing organizational values a nd objectives to transnational ope rations. Lim (2009) argues that as MNCs evolve into global networks, it beco mes ever more significant to coordinate their subsidiaries public relations programs, and that the goal of an integrative public relations 23

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strategy is to have a closely coordinated, and st rategically controlled global public relations program that build an integrative communication network between headquarters and subsidiaries or among subsidiaries in MNCs (p. 23). According to Hubert and Brandt (1980), communication practitioners play a critical role in MNC by helpi ng to coordinate and integrate the diverse elements of the multinational firm. Several factors mediate the inte rplay of coordination and control strategies in MNCs, such as size and capabilities of a subsidiary (Cra y, 1984; Laroche, Kirpalani, Pons, & Zhou, 2001), different areas of strategic communication (Molleda, 2000), cultural, political, and socioeconomic environments in which a subsidiary operates (Molleda & Laskin, 2007), trust and confidence in the professional capabilities of subs idiaries managers (Laroche et al., 2001), and the level of informal relationships between mana gers at headquarters and foreign subsidiaries (Molleda, 2000). In this light, Molleda and Laskin (2007) propos e the following set of nine presuppositions (pp. 28-30): Presupposition 1: Public relations and public affairs executives working at large-size or strategic subsidiaries of TNOs will have greater power than small-size and ordinary branches to influence policy decision maki ng and obtain relevant levels of autonomy for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations actions and operations w ithin their regional or local market. Presupposition 2: Different areas of communicati on activities will have different levels of integration. Presupposition 3: Standardization of a public relations function as a strategy is more appropriate among countries with similar cultural, economic, or political environments and less appropriate among countries in which envir onments vary greatly from each other. 24

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Presupposition 4: Overcentralization of most of the public relations or public affairs functions in the TNOs headquarters may limit re gional or local managers because they cannot react timely and appropriately to incidents, delicate issues, rapid changes, and crises emerging in their domestic market. Presupposition 5: The more confidence in host pu blic relations or public affairs executives, the more delegation occurs to take charge of their domestic relationship building efforts. Presupposition 6: Large TNOs will tend to have sp ecialized staff at their home offices with global public relations expertise. Similarly, large operations in a gi ven country are likely to have specialized public relations or publ ic affairs staff to perform the function instead of staff from other operational areas, such as legal, huma n resources, or engineering departments. Presupposition 7: Native public re lations or public affairs executives trained at the TNOs headquarters are more likely to think and act like home office personnel. Presupposition 8: A global public relations system of a TNO that relies on a combination of common planning, and measuremen t and evaluation devices or mechanisms is more reliable than one that does not. Presupposition 9: Coordination and control of the public relations function in TNOs during day-to-day operations and, most importan tly, during a transnatio nal crisis or crossnational conflict shift demands talented pr ofessionals who enjoy the respect of their organizational peers and management. The influen ce and leadership of ta lented and respected global public relations professionals will be felt, impacting the coordination and control efforts. This will happen despite their geographic location and the level of importance of the subsidiary or sister company from which they work. 25

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Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) after International Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) The past two decades, starting from the 1990s, w itnessed an enormous wave of M&As that dramatically reconfigured the gl obal market structure of various industries, such as finance, petroleum, mass media, automobiles, and tel ecommunications (Warf, 2003). The intense M&A activity in the 1990s repres ented the fifth wave of M&As, with the previous one occurring in the 1980s (Gaughan, 2002; Gregoriou & Ranneboog, 2007). In 1992 alone, for example, more than 3,500 fairly large mergers occurred among the U.S. firms, valued together at over U.S. $125 billion (M & A Profile, 1993). In 2006, the annu al value of worldwide acquisitions exceeded U.S. $4 trillion, and cross-border acquisitions amounted for U.S. $1.3 trillion (Larsen, 2007). This trend continued in 2007, when the transacti on value of global M&As in the first quarter itself reached a value of U. S. $1.13 trillion (Rottig, 2007). Gaughan (2002) describes that M&As could be identified as horizon tal deals, in which competitors are combined or as vertical transa ctions, in which suppliers merge with buyers or distributors. Organizations from completely different industries could coll aborate in an M&A deal under conglomerate mergers. Scholars suggest that the primary reason for all types of M&As is to achieve growth and synergy between two partner organizations as business units to increase competitive advantage (berg & Holtstrm, 2006; Webber, 1996). The synergy between two organizations is seen as a medium to achieve efficiency gains through increased used of economies of scale or scop e (Brakman, Garretsen, & Marrewijk, 2008). However, scholars argue that M&A activity is among the most comprehensive, challenging organizational change experiences and a time of great organizatio nal upheaval resulting in about 50 to 85 percent of mergers failing to achieve acquirers objectives (Cor nett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995). The primary problem in effectively managing merged firms is integrating them into a 26

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single cohesive unit (Shrivastava, 1986). Ev en though the M&A activit ies are based on the rationale of mergers-for-efficiency, (Ki & Khang, 2007), scholars emph asize that most M&A do not realize their full potential because the mana gement fails to effectively handle the process of integration (S hrivastava, 1986). Cornett-DeVito and Friedman (1995) summari ze the factors that influence the success of M&As into pre-merger (choice) and post-merger (implementation processes) variables. The choice variables include cultural-, organizational-, and strate gic-fit, which describe how effectively the organizations complement each ot her in terms of cultures of employees, strategy, and management styles or corpor ate culture. Previous studies, according to Cornett-DeVito and Friedman (1995), found that out of these three c hoice variables, culture and management styles make a good measure to be assessed before c hoosing a M&A partner. Implementation processes, on the other hand, describe variables that aff ect M&A performance afte r the transition period. Every M&A usually begins with a vision of wh at merged organizations will achieve and how they will operate. Cornett-DeVito and Frie dman (1995) emphasize that although scholars attribute the success of post-mergers implementa tion processes to communication, there has been no empirical research to identify the relati onship between effectiv e communication and M&A performance. Strategic management issues and the integr ation processes during M&As have obtained remarkable attention in the adve rtising and marketing literature; however, research that examines their impact on the coordination and control of the public relations function is largely nonexistent, as is evident from pr evious discussion. While integra tion occurs at various levels, several scholars have emphasized the importance of communication at all the levels of an M&A activity (Cornett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995; Gable, 2003; Galpin & Robinson, 1997; Golitsinski, 27

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2000; Wall, 2005). According to a Public Relati ons Society of America (PRSA) Counselors Academy survey in 2002, M&As constitute one of the five major public relations issues (Gable, 2003). Because a company is especially vulnerabl e to the judgment of stakeholders during merger, communications is especially critical (Golitsinski, 2000). In addition, because the merged (or acquired) organization can be subject to different operating environments, coordination and control of various elements in the business chain becomes extremely crucial (Cornett-DeVito & Friedman, 1995). According to James, The assumption underlying the coordination approach is th at the distinctive char acter of both acquirer and acquired can be maintained whilst managing relationships across the boundaries between the two organizations (1997, p. 34). Therefore, this thesis proposes and examines the following research questions, which draw on the foundation laid by Mo lleda and Laskin (2007): RQ1: What factors does the management cons ider while designating responsibility and authority to the public relations professionals within the merged (or acquired) organization after international M&As? Similarly, how management control is partitioned between public relations professionals within the collaborating partners? Presupposition 1: Public relations and/or public affairs executives working at large-size or strategic merged (or acquired) organization will be offered gr eater power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implementation, and eval uation of public relations operations than those working in ordinary merged (or acquired) organization. Cray (1984) indicates that or ganizational variables such as size and complexity of operations, technology variables, foreign commitment, financial performance, and nationality 28

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moderate the relationship between the amount of control and coordinatio n exercised by MNCs. According to Cray (1984), A subsidiary which is large, technological ly complex, located in a product division, and highly profitable will very likely be integrated through extensive c oordination with other parts of the organization while retaining a good deal of control over its ow n affairs. A small subsidiary, located at a long administrative distance from the center of the organization, and sharing a simple technology with its parent, will be subject to hi gher levels of control and lower levels of coordination. (p. 96) Likewise, Molleda and Laskin (2007) propos e that the size and capabilities of the subsidiary positively affect the power and influence of public relations and/or public affairs executives working at the subsidiary. Presupposition 2: Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function. According to Laroche et al. (2001), similarity of the market conditions and the competitive environment significantly influences the standard ization of business units operations. According to Molleda and Laskin (2007), sta ndardization of a public relations function as a strategy is more appropriate among countries with similar cultural, economic, or political environments and less appropriate among countries in which environments vary greatly from each other. Weber (1996) in his research reports that managers perception of cultural difference coul d significantly affect the extent of integration in M&A. Likewise, Griffith (2000) points out that culture may hinder 29

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the ability to effectively standardize the relatio nship management process between partners and may result in the detriment of trust, co mmitment, and satisfaction between them, Presupposition 3: Merged (or acquired) organizations public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision maki ng in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abil ities, experience, and expertise. Laroche et al. (2001) report that skills or capab ilities of the subsidia ry positively affect the level of its independence from the headquarters. In addition, the authors found that the expertise of the subsidiary managers and their percei ved decision-making capabilities are positively correlated with the amount of independence that these subsidiaries have, implying that more confidence management has in host public relati ons executives, the more delegation of their domestic relationship building efforts ta kes place (Molleda & Laskin, 2007). Presupposition 4: Merged (or acquired) organizations with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations de partment, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personnel from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance performing public relations tasks. Molleda and Laskin (2007) propose that si ze and complexity of operation in a given country motivates MNCs to have specialized public relations or public affairs departments to monitor strategic co mmunication functions. Presupposition 5: International mergers following a split control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations or public affairs department s of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management. 30

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Within international mergers, management c ontrol can be partitioned between a MNC and local partners in four different ways sp lit control management, shared management, MNCpartner-dominant management, and local-partn er-dominant management (Choi & Beamish, 2004). Under split control management, the partners agree to control distin ct functional activities by following a division of labor between partners. Unlike split management, in shared management arrangement partners share contro l over all value-creati on activities (Beamish, 1993) by mutual agreement. Finally, one-partner-dominant management resemble the global integration versus local respons iveness strategies, where either a global strategy developed by the MNC or a local adaptation developed by partner is executed. According to Choi and Beamish (2004), international mergers following split contro l management perform better than any other approach of management control because each partner takes control of those value-creation activities for which it has the skills or resources available. RQ2: How are various public relations practices such as investor relations, community relations, employee relations, and media relations integrated within the merged (or acquired) organization? Presupposition 6: The level integration will vary across the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relati ons, community relations, employee relations, media relations) within the merged (or acquired) organization. In his research, Molleda (2000) reports that different strategic communication or public relations practices, such as investor rela tions, media relations, employee relations, and community relations, expe rience different levels of integra tion. He found that while community relations is the most decentra lized public relations area, MN Cs implement more centralized 31

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investor and media relations polic ies. According to Molleda and La skin (2007), different areas of strategic communication pract ices will have different levels of integration. RQ3: What coordination and control mechan isms does the management within the perspective of a public relations depart ment adopt after international M&A? Presupposition 7: Organizations that utilize a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective than those who do not. The effectiveness of M&As has been defined by a wide range of positive outcomes that support M&A goals including enhanced competitive position, improved financial performance, better quality of products/services, efficient resource utilization, and enhanced end-user satisfaction (Robbins & Stylianou, 1 999). In essence, it implies reaching the objectives that are set forth by management prior to M&A deal. Studies supporting both the formal/structu ral methods, such as centralization and formalization, and the more subtle and informal methods, such as socialization, are abundant (Barlett & Ghoshal, 2002; Daniel s et al., 2007; Martinez & Jari llo, 1989); however, Molleda and Laskin (2007) propose that a global public relations system of a MNC that relies on a combination of common planning, and measurement and evaluation devices or mechanisms is more reliable than that does not. In addition, Molleda (2000) reports that coordination via socialization in MNCs takes plac e by arranging for internships, training programs, and frequent visits of public relations executi ves from foreign subsidiaries to the headquarter or sister companies, which facilitates synergy between host and home country managers. 32

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This study explores how the presuppositions deve loped in this thesis from the scholarly research in the field of coor dination and control are evaluate d by experienced public relations professionals who have worked with or are cu rrently working with MNCs, which experienced international M&As in the past. This study aspires to bridge the gap between theory and practice, as well as paves path for future research and development of public re lations coordination and control science and practice. This study utilizes a Delphi panel to incorporate a broad range of responses from selected public rela tions practitioners in the give n domain of international M&A. The method is explained below. The Delphi Research Method The Delphi methodology was developed by the Rand Corporation in the 1950s (Wakefield, 1997). Since then, many Delphi stud ies have been conducted in vari ous fields, such as social policy planning and implementation (Buck, Gross, & Hakim, 1993), international business and trade forecasting (Czinkota & R onkainen, 1997), interactive televi sion and retailing (Dransfeld, Pemberton, & Jacobs, 2000), and e-commerce (O koli & Pawlowski, 2004). The Delphi method combines qualitative and quantitat ive methods that harness the opini ons of identified experts to develop theories and projections on a complex or ambiguous subject (Laskin, 2007; Linstone & Turoff, 2002; Rowe & Wright, 1999). The goal of this method is to reach a consensus among the participants by the end of a multiple-round questi onnaire process administered over a period of time. The Delphi panel was initially used mostly for forecasting trends and events (Wakefield, 1997); however, later, scholars expanded its us age to social science phenomenon, such as examining the value of investor relations, in ternational public relations principles, and 33

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forecasting the future of public relations (Laskin, 2007; Turk, 1986; Wakefield, 1997). According to Wakefield (1997), the Delphi techni que is appropriate in a problem-identification situation where there is a lack of consensus or an incomplete knowledge about the problem and its possible solutions. The uniqueness of Delphi lies in its reliability, given the variableness of human opinion, and in its ability to be administered remotely a nd without direct particip ant interaction (Linstone & Turoff, 2002). An important distinction between Delphi and survey research is that survey research is often conducted to obt ain results that could be generalized to a larger population by using probability sampling; however, a Delphi study utilizes purposive sample techniques to constitute the panel (Laskin, 2007). Therefore, the Delphi me thodology often makes use of the snowball sampling, where the recruited gr oup members suggest or recommend their acquaintances for particip ation in the final panel. Another important distinction be tween the Delphi and survey research is the presence of feedback from the panel members in the Delphi study. Unlike survey research, where respondents share their opinion only once, the consensus among the Delphi panel members is reached through multiple rounds of interaction, giving respondents a chance to review and revise their positions if desired, wher eby increasing the valid ity of the results (Laskin, 2007; Linstone & Turoff, 2002). The Delphi Process Scholars mention that there is no universal op erational definition of the Delphi technique (Linstone & Turoff, 1975, 2002; Wakefield, 1997). A ccording to Linstone and Turoff (2002), the Delphi process usually consists of two or mo re iterations, or questionnaire rounds, where the results from each round form the basis of inform ation for the next round. Riggs (1983) presented a 10-step model of the Delphi method (see Figure 3-1). 34

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Figure 3-1. Steps of a typical Delphi process (Riggs, 1983, p.90) These 10 steps essentially constitute the diffe rent phases of the Delphi study (Wakefield, 1997). 1. The first step towards implementing a Del phi process is to identify and analyze the problem, followed by the development of the initial Delphi questionnaire in a very specific and thorough manner. 35

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2. In the next step, the researcher determines the sample size and identifies the experts for the Delphi panel, which is followed by contacting these identified experts. 3. Once the recruitment process is complete, the first round of Delphi study starts by administering precise questionnai res to the panel. The members are encouraged to draw upon their experiences, and use any historical data, res earch, or other available resources to help in answering the posed questions. 4. After evaluating the responses from the fi rst round, the questionnaire is redistributed among the members. However, the second questionna ire has two major parts: First the questions and responses from the first questionnaire are pr esented in an orderly format, which the members rank order in the second round to establish priorities. The first part of the second rounds questionnaire also allows the participants to analyze the responses from the other members of the panel and provide additional comments and f eedbacks on them. In a ddition, it allows the participants to review their responses in the light of the opinion of the other members and change them if desired. The second part of the second rounds questionnaire cons ists of new questions formulated by the researcher af ter evaluating the responses fro m the first round. Panel members return their responses to these new questions, along with any revi sions to the previous responses. It is in this questionnaire that they are able to explain the reasoning behind their responses. 5. In the third round, the questionnaire consis ts of three elements : The answers to all previous questions, along with th e statistical data so the memb ers can compare their responses with the other members; the comments and reasoning of the member s in support of their answers; and finally, an opportunity to the member s to review and revise their responses to the previous questions. This pro cess continues until a consensu s is reached by the group. 36

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Usually a consensus is reached after two or three iterations or Delphi rounds (Wakefield, 1997). A key characteristic of Delphi panel is the provision for anonymity of the panel members. Because no member knows the identity of the ot her panel members, a true consensus can be reached, thus eliminating many problems that ar ise from bias and peer influence among the participants (Linst one & Turoff, 2002). E-mail as a Medium for Delphi Studies Traditionally, Delphi questionnaires were sent out using standard mail; however, in recent years, e-mail has become an increasingly popular medium of comm unication and process mediation for Delphi (Chou, 2002; Lindqvist & No rdnger, 2007). According to Chou (2002), This is a less labor-intensive system than th e traditional method, and is not paper-reliant; it retains the essence of traditional methods, but speeds up the execution process. This and other developing technologies will continue to offer Del phi project leaders and panel experts the benefit of Web-ba sed research tools (p. 236). Limitations of the Delphi Study Scholars have identified some limitations to the Delphi study (Laskin, 2007; Wakefield, 1997). The first concern with the Delphi methodol ogy is the proper selection of experts in the field being examined. The difficulty arises from the potential bias in identifying who can be considered an expert. In addition, since the me thod involves multiple iterations, mortality of panelists could pose a concern. A nother drawback to the Delphi study identified by scholars is inappropriate configuration of the first round que stionnaire, which could contaminate the results in the further rounds. As discussed earlier, there is a lack of studies that examin e coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs after interna tional M&As. In addition, the existing research about coordination and control of global public relations by Molleda and Laskin (2007) has mainly examined the issue from a theoretical perspective, leaving a gap between theory and 37

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practice. For these reasons, a Delphi panel resear ch may be an appropriate tool to conduct an initial analysis of the theoretical pr esuppositions developed in this thesis. Criterion for Evaluating a Delphi Study As mentioned previously, this is an exploratory research. Ac cording to Wakefield (1997), research that explores a new field is essentially an ongoing dialogue; the theoretical framework keeps evolving through discussion among scholars. This is how body of knowledge expands in a new and dynamic field. Because the research process of an explorator y study is different from the well-established and operationalized quantit ative research methods, the criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of an exploratory research are different from the criterion for evaluating quantitative research. Quantitative research is evaluated using the criter ion of reliability and validity. Reliability refers to the extent to which results are consistent over time i.e., the extent to which results of a study can be reproduced under a similar me thodology (Wimmer & Dominick, 2006). Validity determines whether the research truly measures that which it was intended to measure or how truthful the research results are (Babbie, 2003; Broom & Dozier, 1990). Because the Delphi study calls on the opinions of a selected/limited number of experts, it is probably more valid than reliable ; however, it attempts to addr ess both concerns. This study, for example, solicits the expertise of public relations practitioners from MNCs that have experienced international M&As in the past. The results of th eir combined expertise sh ould be highly useful for future practice. If the study instrument we re designed properly, the number of respondents should contribute to the relia bility of the exploration. Since a Delphi study is a qualitative study with a quantitative component, in addition to the criterion of reliability and va lidity, criterion of credibility, tr ansferability, dependability, and confirmability need to be evaluated (Wakefield, 1997). Credibility measures the extent to which 38

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the subject of the investigation is accurately id entified and explained (Wakefield, 1997). This construct is similar to the criterion of internal validity in quantitativ e research. According to Wakefield (1997), if the researcher has accurately and comprehensively depicted the theoretical framework and is consistent in his or her interp retations of what the re spondents really meant, the Delphi panel examination will be valid. Transferability refers to the extent to which re sults could be extrapolat ed to other situations or groups (Marshall & Rossman, 2006) and is sim ilar to the construct of generalizability in quantitative studies. Scholars suggest that qua litative studies usually lack generalizability. However, it could be enhanced by maintaining th eoretical parameters of the data or by using triangulation of sources of data by bringing mu ltiple sources on a single point (Wakefield, 1997). Dependability is similar to the construct of re liability in quantitative research. Within the context of qualitative study, adapting to the research situa tions ensures that the research reflects the perspectives of the respondents, rather than the researcher (Wakefield, 1997). However, researcher should bear in mind th at all changes need to be documented so that reviewers can understand those adjustments during subsequent in terpretations of the research (Wakefield, 1997). Finally, confirmability refers to whether re sults of the study can be confirmed by other researchers for being free of any biases of the researcher (Wakefield, 1997). A Delphi panel investigation, according to Wakefield (1997), shoul d satisfy all the above four criterion, if conducted carefully and thoroughly. In this study, we attempted to satisfy the criterion of credib ility by conducting an exhaustive conceptualization. The theoretical fr amework is built using a comprehensive review 39

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of the pertinent litera ture from several domains, includi ng business strategy, global public relations, and comparative management. The burden of transferabilit y, as suggested by Wakefile d (1997), rests largely on researchers who would follow this examination with additional results. The criterion of dependability is ensured by maintain ing copies of all instruments, emails, and original responses. The same measures will also ensure confir mability of results by future researchers. Procedures Used in this Study The preceding section outlined the Delphi process and discussed the criterion for evaluating a Delphi study. This se ction presents specific procedures used in this study including selection and recruitment of Delphi participants for this study and the challenges faced during the process; the first and second round instruments and data collection met hod used in these two rounds; and how responses were analyzed and in terpreted in the two rounds. This extensive process took about three and a half months to complete. Selection of Delphi Participants and Sample Size As mentioned previously, the success of a Delphi study depe nds on the proper selection of experts in the field being examined. For this stud y, we initially defined our population of interest as public relations experts who have worked with or are curr ently employed with U.S. based telecommunication organizations that were involved in international M&As in the past. For this purpose, a list of U.S.-based telecommunication firms, which experienced international M&A activity over the past 27 years (from 1990 to 2007) was complied to build th e initial co ntact list from which the expert-participants for this study will be recruited. This list was developed using SDC Platinum Mergers & Acquisitions, a database with comprehensive details on all announced deals, whether completed or uncompleted. The database covers U.S. targets 1979 to present and Non U.S. targets 1985 to present. 40

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From this list, an initial contact list was compiled by visiting companies official Web sites. This initial list contained 100 names of public relations experts working in diverse departments such as corporate communications global communications, global media relations, regulatory/governments communications, community relations, and investor relations, within these organizations. However, despite three reminder emails and three weeks of waiting time, no response was received. Therefore, a participa tion request was sent to the memb ers of the Advisory Council in the Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Comm unication of a large Southeastern university, in which the principal i nvestigator was enrolled The 26 members of the advisory council are qualified experts with severa l years of valuable professional experience in public relations and are employed with large state, national, or multinational organizations. Some of these members have worked with or are currently working with U.S.-based telecommunication organizations. After the first email, two members expressed their willingness to participate in the study. Howe ver, several members expressed their concerns about the way we defined our population of interest and brought to our notice a se rious limitation of our population selection criterion. The members me ntioned that the current sample was very limited and hard to recruit for participation in a Delphi-panel invest igation because of the ex tensive nature of the study methodology. Following feedback from these experts in the field, we decided to expand the population of interest to all public relations experts who have worked with or are currently employed with MNCs that have experienced international M&As in the past (including, but not limited to, telecommunication). We also expanded our popula tion of interest to include public relations experts working internationally, again includ ing, but not limited to, the United States. 41

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The scholars who have conducted Delphi studie s suggest that effective Delphi panels consist of participants who have command on the subject being examined, feel personal involvement with it, and are motivated enough to dedicate time for part icipation (Delbecq, Van de Ven, & Gustafson, 1975; Tersine & Riggs, 19 76; Wakefield, 1997). Therefore, this study included panelists who have the experience and in terest in the topic being investigated to intelligently discuss the coordination and control of global public relations after international M&As. There is no consensus on the optimum size of a Delphi panel. Linstone and Turoff (2002) indicate that size of Delp hi panel is not as important as its expertise. According to Witkin and Altschuld (1995), the approximate size of a Delphi panel is gene rally under 50; however, more have been employed. Other scholar s indicate that Del phi panel could consist of approximately seven to several hundred members (Delbecq et al, 1975; Linstone & Turoff 2002; Tersine & Riggs, 1976). The size of the panel is ultimatel y determined by the needs and budget of those administering the process. In sum, the size of Delphi subjects is variab le (Delbecq, et al., 1975). However, if the panel size of a Delphi study is too small, participants may not be considered as having provided a representative pooling of judgments regarding th e target issue. If the panel size is too large, the drawbacks inherent within the Delphi te chnique such as potentially low response rates and the obligation of large blocks of time by the respondent s and the researcher(s) can be the result. Therefore, for this study, we attempted to obtain between 10-20 participants. As mentioned previously, it is not unusual to constitute Delphi panels using snowball sampling, where participants, initia lly recruited for the study, provide reference for other experts who they think are suitable for the study. In orde r to recruit experts for this study, I worked with my thesis adviser, the members of the Advisory Council, faculty members in the department, and 42

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personal acquaintances. With the he lp of my adviser, two experts were recruited. Both of these experts were contacted using a formal as well as an informal email and agreed to participate in the panel. Because the principl e investigator has worked in a publicly owned organization for over two years, personal references were contacted to consider their participation in the study. Seven participants were contacted and all of them expressed their willingness to participate in the study. All seven participants had the requisite expertise and in terest in the subject under investigation. The participants of this study work for large MN Cs in Asia, Europe, and the United States, making the panel truly global. This extensive multistep process recruited 11 experts for participation in th e Delphi panel for this study. Collection and Analysis of Data This study consisted of two separate Delphi rounds or iterations. The process took about two months to complete. The first round of this study with the recruited participants started on Tuesday, January 22, 2009 and the second/fina l round was completed on Tuesday, March 20, 2009. The following sections discuss the processes used to complete both Delphi rounds, the process of instrument development in the two ro unds, and procedures adopted for data collection and data analysis. First round questionnaire development, data collection, and analysis The first-round questionnaire was sent thr ough email to the panel members (see Appendix A). The questionnaire was drafted in English because all the participants are proficient in it. To facilitate responses, professional online survey software was used to distribute the questionnaire. Cover letter emails (Appendix D) for the pane l included the online su rvey address, which comprised of seven open-ended questions corr esponding to the seven presuppositions developed in this thesis based on the extensive multidiscip linary literature review. Scholars mention that first-round instrument asks broad questions regarding the topic unde r investigation in the Delphi 43

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study; this is an open-ended approach (Delbecq et al., 1975; Linstone & Turoff, 2002; Wakefield, 1994; Windle, 2004). In subsequent rounds, results fr om the previous round are organized into similar groupings thereby eliminati ng repetition, and responde nts are asked to rate the level of agreement with the statements using a Likert scale, which is an approximate survey research approach (Wakefield, 1997). This combination of open-e nded and close-ended approaches allows participants to lead the st udy into subcategories and variables and provides structure to the final theory (R owe & Wright, 1999; Wakefield, 1997). Because of the exploratory nature of this study, the first-round questionnaire followed the open-ended approach. Sample cover letter email and round one questionnaire are included in the appendix at the end of this thesis The participants were instructed to provide detailed answers to each question without any specific limit on the maximum or minimum length of the answers. Two alternative approaches were followed. Participants were given two options to send their responses: 1) They could write their responses onlin e in the space provided or 2) they could print out the questionnaire, write their responses as be st as they could, and either fax or mail the responses back. As it turned out, all participants chose the first option and filled their responses online. Respondents were told that, presuppositio ns developed in this study are normative, meaning that we think this is how coordination and control of global public relations after international M&As should be organized to be effective. The scenarios drawn by these presuppositions may be very different from publ ic relations practice in their organization. Specifically, they were instructed to answer the following questions while providing their feedback: Do you agree with our presuppositions? If the practice is different from our normative views, in what ways? Are these views possible in your organization? If they are not possible, why? 44

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In addition, an explanatory docum ent (Appendix B) was also sent to the participants as a separate link within the cover letter email. Th is document included a definition of some terms that may not have been readily understood. This document was called the Glossary of Terms and is also included as an appendix at the end of this thesis. In addi tion, instructions were provided to help clarify the meaning behind each proposition and about how to approach them. All of these actions should have helped the particip ants understand the obj ective of the study and the presuppositions to which they were asked to respond. All 11 participants responded back to the first round, which is a 100 percent response rate. All responses were copied on a document to preserve the data for further analysis. Each response was then analyzed to gauge if respondent agreed, disagreed, or was uncertain about the propositions and why. The responses were then combined together to eliminate repetitions. Subsequently, the data from the first round was or ganized into two parts: Declarative statements and specific comments. The declarative statem ents were modifications to the original presuppositions based on the feedback from the panel members. To avoid confusion and enhance clarity, some presuppositions were divided into more than two statements, which resulted in 11 presuppositions. In addition, respondents prov ided additional comments on presuppositions, which were combined together to send with the declarative statements fo r feedback in the second round. Second round questionnaire development, data collection, and analysis The second round questionnaire consisted of 11 declarative statements and 8 specific comments (Appendix F). The second round of this Delphi study gave respondents an opportunity to respond to each others opinions, an important characteristic of an effective Delphi study (Rowe, Wright, & Bolger, 1991). Following Wa kefields (1997) appr oach, the second-round instrument followed the summated ratings method. With each of the declarative statements, a 45

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five-point Likert scale was attached. Participan ts were asked to go through each statement and pick the option that best describe s the extent to which it represents professional reality (1) never, (2) rarely, (3) sometimes, (4) very often, and (5) always in their experience. Space was provided for comments. Though comments we re optional, participants we re encouraged to provide specific comments to explain their reasoning, if th ey so desired. In addi tion, participants were sent eight specific comments to which their fee dback was asked. Again, with each of specific comments, a five-point Likert scale was attach ed. Participants were asked to go through each statement and pick the option that best describes their level of agreement or disagreement from (1) strongly disagree, (2) disagree, (3) neutral, (4) agree, to (5) strongly agree. Space was provided for comments to explain their reasoning, if th ey so desired. The second-round instrument was emailed to al l 11 participants who responded in the first round, on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Similar to first round, the second round instrument was administered using professional online survey software. The link to the questionnaire was provided in the cover letter email (Appendix H) that was sent to the participants. All 11 participants (100 percent response rate) co mpleted the second round by Tuesday, March 20, 2009. One participant did not finish the questionn aire; however, their resp onses to the initial statements were considered as all statem ents were independent of each other. To analyze data from the second round, all resp onses were entered into SPSS, a statistical computer software package. Although, the small samp le size does not warrant itself to significant statistical analysis, numbers helped in drawing more accurate picture of where the responses fell in the spectrum of opinions for each presupposition. If most of the respon ses clustered towards one extreme (never or always) it makes us more confident about consensus among the participants. If however, the numbe rs were scattered all over the spectrum then it would indicate 46

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that participants have not reached a consensus yet. Mean of responses for each statement was calculated to examine the level of consensus am ong participants. Most participants did not provide any additional comments, ev en when encouraged to do so. Of those who did, most of the comments simply repeated or were simila r to those provided in the first round. A Delphi study is an iterative process and may include two or more rounds (Linstone & Turoff, 2002). Most studies stop after a consensus has been reached among participants about the statements proposed by the researcher. However, according to Wakefield (1997), diversity of opinions, particularly in a previous ly unexplored field is another im portant ingredient to consider in a Delphi study. In this study, participants responded to the presuppositions based on their experience with international M&As in diverse parts of the world including the United States, Europe, and Asia. With most of the presupposit ions, a fair amount of consensus was obtained among the participants (as seen in the results section). Where th ere was not enough consensus, it seemed like the proposed statement held true in only some specific conditions or needed further examination from theory. Therefore, th e study stopped after two Delphi rounds. Ethical and Practical Considerations The following sections discuss ethical and prac tical considerations of a Delphi study as they apply to this thesis incl uding anonymity and confidential ity of participants, voluntary participation and personal harm, subject mort ality, and influence of the researcher. Anonymity and Confidentiality Anonymity of participants in a Delphi panel investigation en sures that participants do not get influenced by each others responses. For exam ple, if the participants know that one of the panel members is a well respected and established expert in the field, then it would likely make 47

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them agree with that well known expert. For this study, participants were not asked to reveal their identity throughout and after the study. Th erefore, only the principal investigator could identify the participants. In addition, panel members were assured that their responses will remain confidential and will not be associated with them in any ma nner. The responses from both the rounds are available for analysis by other researchers on re quest without associating the responses to the respondents. Voluntary Participation and Personal Harm For social sciences research i nvolving human subjects, five et hical responsibilities should be fulfilled: Voluntary participation, informed consent, no personal harm, confidentiality, anonymity, and privacy (De Vaus, 2002). Voluntary participation means that subjects shou ld not be required to participate in the study. In addition, they should be instructed that all responses and feedback would be used only for research purposes. In addition, all results should only be released as ag gregate data and not as individual responses. Because th e coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs after international M&As was not a sensitive topi c that could embarrass participants there was no potential physical or emotional harm to subjects. In addition, participants were given a choice to make a decision about participation in the study. To ensure this, participants were explained the purpose and extent of the study, how their respon ses will be used, the amount of commitment in terms of time and energy needed on their part, and that their participa tion was entirely voluntary. We did not ask participants to sign a sepa rate consent form; it was provided online and mentioned that participants ar e consenting to participate by re sponding to the questionnaire. 48

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Subject Mortality As mentioned in previous sections, subject mo rtality is an important concern in a Delphi study. Fortunately, for this study, all participants participated in both th e Delphi rounds. Only one participant did not complete the second-round questionnaire. Influence of the Researcher Another concern in a research pr oject involving human subjects is the ability to collect data without unreasonable influence of the researcher on the data collected (Sheng, 1995). If the researcher influences the data in any manner th at may lead the respondents to similar opinions and will skew the results (Babbie, 2003). In this study, although the initial presuppositions were normative in nature and grounded in extensive literature review, participants were challenged to think beyond the normative views by asking specific questions. Participants were asked to agree or disagree with the statements and to justify their reasoning either way. This process ensured that partic ipants analyzed the statements and applied their own experience to evaluate th em, irrespective of the researchers initial propositions. 49

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This section presents the resu lts of the two rounds of the De lphi process discussed in the previous chapter. The collective responses from 11 participants to the seven presuppositions about the coordination and contro l of global public relations in MNCs after international M&As are presented here. In this section, we firs t provide some background information about the participants including demographic information and professi onal experience. Next, we present the results from both firstand second-round questionnaires, rather than discussing them separately, to avoid repetition of pres uppositions. Under each presupposition, qualitative responses from the participants are provided foll owed by the quantitative results from the second round in the form of a Likert scale. Participants The 11 participants who agreed to participat e in this Delphi panel investigation were recruited using snow-ball sampling (as discussed in Chapter 3). From an initial list of about 137 participants, we were able to recruit 11 part icipants for this study, resulting in 8.1 percent response rate. In addition, all 11 participants st ayed through both the Delphi rounds, resulting in a 100 percent response rate in th e second round. In the first round, the participants were asked to provide some information about their demographi cs and professional expe rience. In addition, the principle investigator knew so me of their demographics base d on her own understanding of the participants. This information about the pa nel members in provided in Table 4-1. As shown in Table 4-1, in both Delphi rounds participants are from three continents: North America (n = 9, 82%), Asia (n = 1, 9%), and Europe (n = 1, 9%). Most of the participants were male (n = 10, 91%), with only one (9%) female participant. About f our (36%) participants had a professional experience of 1-5 years in the field of public relations, two (18%) had 6-10 50

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Table 4-1. Demographic Information and Prof essional Experience of Delphi Panelists Number of Respondents Round 1: 11 total Round 2: 11 total Continent/Region Number: Percent Number: Percent North America Asia Europe Totals: 9: 82% 1: 9% 1: 9% 11: 100% 9:82% 1: 9% 1: 9% 11: 100% Gender Number: Percent Number: Percent Male Female Totals: 10: 91% 1: 9% 11: 100% 10: 91% 1: 91% 11: 100% Professional Experience in Public Relations 1-5 Years 6-10 Years 11-20 Years 21-25 Years Totals: 4: 36.4% 2:18.2% 4: 36.4% 1:9.1% 11: 100% 4: 36.4% 2:18.2% 9: 36.4% 1:9.1% 11: 100% Type of Organization Corporation Public Relations Agency Non-Profit Organization Education-related Organization Health-related Organization Totals: 7: 63.7% 1:9.1% 1: 9.1% 1: 9.1% 1:9.1% 11:100% 7: 63.7% 1:9.1% 1: 9.1% 1: 9.1% 1:9.1% 11:100% Present Full-time Position CEO/President/Owner Vice President Director Manager PR/Communications Specialist Totals: 1: 9.1% 3: 27.3% 2: 18.2% 3: 27.3% 2: 18.2% 11: 100% 1: 9.1% 3: 27.3% 2: 18.2% 3: 27.3% 1: 18.2% 11: 100% Highest Degree Earned College Graduate Masters Degree Doctorate Degree Totals: 1: 9.1% 7: 63.6% 3:27.3% 11: 100% 1: 9.1% 7: 63.6% 3:27.3% 11: 100% Major Journalism & Mass Comm. Public Relations English Business Totals: 1:9.1% 2:18.2% 1:9.1% 7:63.6% 11: 100% 1:9.1% 2:18.2% 1:9.1% 7:63.6% 11: 100% 51

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years, four (36%) had 11-16 year s, and one (9%) had 21-25 years of professional experience in public relations. Regarding the t ype of organizations participants are currently employed with, most participants indicated that they work fo r a corporation (n = 7, 64%), followed by one each for public relations agency, non-profit organizati on, education-related or ganization, and healthrelated organization. One participant is CEO/pres ident/owner of an organization, three are vice president, two director, three managers, and two work as public relations/communications specialist within their or ganization. Most participants (n = 7, 64%) have a Masters degree as their highest earned degree, followed by doctoral de gree (n =3, 27%), and co llege graduate (n = 1, 9%). Seven (64%) participants studied business for their high est degree, two (18%) public relations, one (9%) studied j ournalism and mass communication, and one (9%) studied English for their highest degree. The participants in this study are highly qualified and experien ced public relations professionals, with an average of over ten years of experience in public relations. Seven out of 11 participants are curre ntly working in MNCs that were invol ved in internationa l M&As. All of the participants have first-hand e xperience with international M&As, making them highly suitable for participation in this study. Results of the Delphi Data This section presents the results from th e two Delphi rounds. Results are presented presupposition by presupposition, followed by the num erical results from the second round. This section presents the presupposition and discusses th e full range of qualitative responses that were obtained from the first round. This is followed by the round-two statements corresponding to the presuppositions and the numerical re presentation of responses to those statements. Each of the Likert scale option is followed by a number that represents th e number of panel member who 52

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picked that option, followed by the response mean for that statement. A summary of responses from both the rounds is also presen ted at the end of each presupposition. Presupposition one : Public relations executives working at large-size or strategic merged (or acquired) organization will be offered gr eater power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations operations than those working in ordinary merged (or acquired) organization. Most participants said that the above statem ent holds true in general; however, there are several external as well as internal factors that influence the amount of power and autonomy delegated to public relations pract itioners in merged (or acquired) organization. According to the participants, these factors are financial structur e of the two organizations (privately held or publicly held); merged (or acquired) organization s public relations executiv es skills, expertise, performance, and reputation; type of M&A and the strategy behind it; co rporate culture of the two organizations; and the time frame of the M&A process. One participant who works as communications manager at a multinational information technology services company commented, I believe th at this is, generally, a true statement if all other parameters are considered identical. This is because the executives of (sic) bigger company are more likely to have a better/proven track reco rd. However there will be situations when this might not be true (online communication, Feb. 27, 2009). While working for his organization, the participant has witnessed several small, medium, and large international M&As and therefore, according to the part icipant, type of M&A and the st rategy behind it affect the decision of power and autonomy given to public relations practitioners in the merged (or acquired) organization. For example, whether an M&A is done to gain access to new markets or to consolidate in existing markets; public relations executives in the latter case might get more 53

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overall autonomy. Similarly, another participant w ho is CEO/owner of his company that is under negotiations with an MNC in a M&A deal said that the decision is gove rned by the corporate culture of the two organizations collaborating in an M&A deal. The participant added that the presupposition is applicable for companie s who have good corporate governance with transparent working mechanisms(online communication, Feb. 8, 2009) Along similar reasoning, another particip ant who worked as vice presiden t of investor relations and was primarily responsible for supporting M&As in an MCN mentioned that if the headquarters exercises control over other s ubsidiaries or departments it wi ll use similar policies over the public relations department in the merged (or acquire d) organization. One participant who is director of communi cations at a large Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company that operates in over 100 countries co mmented that power and autonomy form an inverse relationship with each othe r; large organizations have several layers in the management hierarchy, which limits the amount of autonomy that is delegated to pub lic relations executives. In addition, comment was made about the time frame of the M&A; according to one panel member who is manager of communication planning at a global bra nd communications and consumer contact organization th at consulted clients during inte rnational M&As, public relations executives will enjoy more autonomy and power during the process of M&As; however, in the long term, their performance will dictate the amount of autonomy and power they are given within the merged (o r acquired) entity. Following feedback from round one, presupposition one was revised and sent to the panel for their response in round two: Presupposition one (revised) : Irrespective of the size of the merged (or acquired) organization, power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implementation, and evaluation 54

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of public relations operations offered to public relations executives wo rking at merged (or acquired) organization depends on se veral factors, such as the fi nancial and corporate structure of the two organizations; skills, expertise, perf ormance, and reputation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives; type s of merger and acquisition (M&A) and the strategy behind it; and the period before, during, and after M&As. Table 4-2 indicates the mean and standard deviation of responses from the panel in the second round and Figure 4-1 s hows the respective box plot. Table 4-2. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 1 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=11) SD (N =11) Presupposition1 0 0 0 7 4 4.36 0.5 Figure 4-1. Box plot of round 2 mean s related to revised presupposition 1 As Table 4-2 shows, seven participants said that the revised presupposition is true very often and four said the statement is true alwa ys, bringing the mean for the revised presupposition to 4.36 out of five (SD= 0.5). Two participants provided additional comments in response to the revised presupposition. A participant who is PR/co mmunications specialist in a multinational oil and gas corporation pointed out that the revised statement more accurately described acquisitions than mergers and added: 55

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Mergers, in my view, occur between compan ies on a basis of cooperation where resources and different areas of expertise are combined to form a stronger more streamlined entity. On the other hand, acquisitions have more to do with "buying" another organization for a "fit-for-purpose" objective, and molding the acqu ired organization to su it specific business needs/objectives. In this case, the acqui red organization may, depending on if the acquisition was friendly or hosti le, have little-or-no say outsi de the "overall" goals and objectives of the acquiring organizati on. (Online communication, Mar. 9, 2009) Another participant emphasized the importan ce of managements confidence in the skills and talent of the public relations department in the merged (or acquired) organization and said that it is even more important for public relations, which is a function that manages the company's public perception (online communication, Mar. 5, 2009). The participant was a senior public relations manager in a multinatio nal technology company that merged with a competitor to seek new opportunities of grow th and enhance profits. According to the participant, his organization had a well-established and experien ced public relations team with proven record of accomplishments. In addition, both the merging organizations had understaffed public relations department. Theref ore, the senior management combined the expertise from both organizations and provided equal amount of power and authority to public relations executives in the merged organization. Therefore, to summarize, the mean of 4.36 indicates a strong agreement among the panel members regarding revised presupp osition one, which proposes that irrespective of the size of the merged (or acquired) organization, the deci sion of amount of power and autonomy given to public relations executives in th at organization depends on a nu mber internal and external factors, which are taken into consideration by the management while the decision is taken. In round one, participants indicated different f actors that affect the amount of power and autonomy delegated to public rela tions professionals in the merged (or acquired) organization. In order to evaluate the relative importance of th ese factors, in round two we supplied these as specific comments to the participants and asked them to indicate their level of 56

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agreement/disagreement with these statements on a five-point Likert scale. These statements were: Statement 1a : Acquiring organizations financial structure affects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (or acquired) organization. For example, privately held operations are able to provide a greater level of autonomy for its operations than those that are pa rt of publicly held operations. Statement 1b : Corporate culture of the two organizat ions affects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (or acquired) organization. Statement 1c : Skills, expertise, performance, a nd reputation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives affects the power a nd autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (or acquired) organization. Statement 1d : Types of M&A and the strategy behi nd it affect the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merg ed (or acquired) organization. For example, whether an M&A is done to gain access to new ma rkets or to consolidate in existing markets; public relations executives in the latter case might get more overall autonomy. Statement 1e : The time frame of an M&A affects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in an merged (or ac quired) organization; public relations executives will play a more active role dur ing M&As; however, in the long term power and autonomy is dictated by their performan ce within the organization. Statement 1f: Power and autonomy form an inverse relationship; large -size organizations tend to offer greater power to public relations executives; however, these organizations usually have multiple levels in the management hierarc hy, and thus autonomy is relatively restricted. 57

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Table 4-3 presents the means and standard de viation of the responses to these specific statements and Figure 4-2 to 4-7 show the respective box plots. Table 4-3. Round 2 means related to addition comments about presupposition 1 Strongly Disagree (1) Disagree (2) Neutral (3) Agree (4) Strongly Agree (5) Mean (N= 10) SD (N= 10) Statement 1a 0 2 1 4 3 3.8 1.13 Statement 1b 0 0 2 4 4 4.2 0.78 Statement 1c 0 0 1 6 3 4.2 0.63 Statement 1d 0 0 2 4 4 4.2 0.78 Statement 1e 0 0 1 5 4 4.3 0.67 Statement 1f 0 0 4 3 3 3.9 0.87 Figure 4-2. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1a Figure 4-3. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1b 58

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Figure 4-4. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1c Figure 4-5. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1d Figure 4-6. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1e Figure 4-7. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 1f 59

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As Table 4-3 shows, the means of the responses for these statements varies from 3.8 to 4.3 indicating that participants in general agreed with these statements. The most consensus was observed for statement1e (M = 4.3, SD=0.67 ), whic h says that time frame of the M&A process most influences the amount of power and aut onomy provided to public relations practitioners within merged (or acquired) organization. Presupposition two: Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function. Participants, in general, agreed with th e above statements but suggested that the presupposition would hold true only if there are no differences between the two organizations in terms of corporate cultures, and language, cultur al or regional background of employees. One of the participants who works for an organization th at is in the process of being acquired by an MNC and is planning its local oper ations pointed out that certain provisions at local levels like process variances, size of the teams in different regions, etc., should be kept optional while standardization is planned (online communication, Feb. 8, 2009). Therefore, in round two, two declarative statements corresponding to the second presupposition were sent to the pa rticipants for their response: Presupposition 2a: Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function ONLY IF there are no di fferences between the two organizations in terms of corporate cultures, language, cu ltural or regional ba ckground of employees. 60

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Presupposition 2b : Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function. HOWEVER, the publ ic relations function may need localized modifications depending on the natu re of industry also. Therefore, certain provisions at local levels like process variances, size of the teams in different regions, etc., should be kept optional while standardization is planned. Table 4-4 presents the means and standard devi ation of responses from participants in the second round and Figure 4-8 to 4-9 re present the respec tive box plots. Table 4-4. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 2 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=11) SD (N= 11) Presupposition2a 1 3 3 3 1 3.0 1.18 Presupposition2b 0 0 0 6 5 4.5 0.52 Figure 4-8. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 2a Figure 4-9. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 2b 61

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As Table 4-4 shows, the first declarativ e statement corresponding to presupposition two received mixed responses from the participants with a mean of 3.0 (SD= 1.18). Figure 4-8 shows that there were two outliers in the data corresponding to two responses: Never and Always. In this case, an alternative measure is the median or the middle score of the data, which is three. This shows that according to the participants, in general presupposition 2a is only sometimes applicable. However, most participants ag reed with the second revision and the mean of responses for this statement was 4.5 (SD= 0.52), indicati ng a strong consensus among panel members. Participants who did not agree with the first revision, indicated why they thought that it was never, rarely, or only sometimes applicable. One participant said, It is my experience that companies will not carry duplicative overhead, rather it will retrain or regi onalize its functions to allow for handling of cultural and language differences (online co mmunication, Mar. 20, 2009). The participant works as vice president of communications for a large multinational pharmaceuticals company and was involved in se veral international acquisitions that his organization has done over the past few years. Reflecting on his experien ce with international M&As while working with a multinational telecom service provider, another participant pointed out: There are so many examples of corporate cu ltures of acquired companies being chewed over by the acquiring company until there is not hing left from the original culture. For good or bad, corporate culture, language, b ackground of employees will quickly fall victims to the need for sta ndardization if corporation d ecides so (online communication, Mar. 7, 2009). Overall participants agreed that if the orga nizations shared similar market development conditions, competitive environment, and extern al environment conditions (culture, socioeconomic conditions, political, and regulatory environments), the public relations function would 62

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be standardized between the tw o organizations. There were no additional comments made in round one corresponding to presupposition two, theref ore they were not evaluated in round two. Presupposition three : Merged (or acquired) organizati ons public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision making in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, experience and expertise. In general, participants agreed with this st atement; however, suggested that in addition to managements confidence in public relations ex ecutives skills, abilities, experience, and expertise, the decision of autonomy and power also depends on how management wants to integrate the two organizations, i.e ., if there are efficiencies in localizing these functions and the market conditions are conducive. One particip ant also added that the presupposition was especially true in cases where the merged (or acquired) company provides an area of expertise that considered strategically important for the "parent" organization. While working as senior public relations manager for his organization that merged with a competitor, the participant experienced that public relations executives in the merged organization were given more power and autonomy. This occurred b ecause the public relations te am had proven records of accomplishment as competitor in th e past and the senior management wanted to duplicate similar results within the merged entity. Following the feedback, two declarative statements were developed corresponding to presupposition three and were sent to the panel members for their response in the second round. Presupposition 3a: Merged (or acquired) organizations public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision maki ng in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, experi ence, and expertise AND there are efficiencies in localizing these functions and the market conditions are conducive. 63

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Presupposition 3b : Merged (or acquired) organizations public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision maki ng in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, expe rience, and expertise, ESPECIALLY in cases where the acquired company provides an area of e xpertise that is deemed strategically important for the "parent" organization. Table 4-5 shows the means and standard deviation of responses corresponding to presupposition 3a and 3b in round two, followed by respective box plots that are shown in Figure 4-10 and 4-11. As Table 4-5 shows, the means of responses for the two statements were 4.1 (SD= 0.94) and 5.0 (SD=0.5) respectively, indicating that participants re ached an agreement on the two after the second Delphi round. In a ddition to mean, the median of responses corresponding to presupposition 3a was four, which implies that participants considered presupposition 3a to hold true very often. Table 4-5. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 3 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=11) SD (N= 11) Presupposition3a 0 1 1 5 4 4.1 0.94 Presupposition3b 0 0 0 4 7 5.0 0.5 Figure 4-10. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 3a 64

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Figure 4-11. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 3b Presupposition four : Merged (or acquired) organizations with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations de partment, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personnel from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance performing public relations tasks. In general, most participants made two comm ents in response to presupposition four. First, participants said that the decision is governed by the corporate culture of the two organizations; that is, if the organizations c onsidered public relations a strate gic function. Second, participants mentioned that the level of expertise and sophistication of the public relations department in the merged (or acquired) organiza tion influences the decision. One participant raised an interesting and importa nt issue, that it is not critical for any organization (irrespective of size) to have an in house PR competency. Even some of the biggest organizationsoutsource their PR to specialist pr ofessionals and have some resources in house to supervise them (online communication, Feb. 6, 2009). The participant works as manager of communication planning at a br and communications and consumer contact organization and has several clients who have outsourced their pub lic relations function to the organization. Participants evaluated this st atement in the second round. 65

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Another participant said that although larg e organizations will have specialized public relations departments, interde partmental cooperation is inevita ble if public relations, or any other department for that matter, wants to communicate strategically; overall organizational success hinges on interdepartmental cooperation and interdependence (online communication, Feb. 8, 2009). The participant mentioned that as PR /communications specialist in a multinational oil and gas corporation part of his daily activi ties involve interacting with teams from other departments such as marketi ng, legal, and human resource. Therefore, in the second round, two declarative statements corresponding to presupposition four were evaluated by the participants. Presupposition 4a: Merged (or acquired) organizations with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations de partment, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personnel from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance performing public relations ta sks ONLY IF the corporate culture is conducive, management understands the importance of stra tegic public relations, and public relations department has the required e xpertise and sophistication. Presupposition 4b : Merged (or acquired) organizations with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations de partment, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personnel from ot her departments, such as human resources, legal, or finance taking over the public relations role. HOWEVER, it is not "critical" for any organization (irrespective of size) to have an in-house public re lations competency. Even some of the biggest organizations outsource their public relations to specialist professionals and have some resources in house to supervise them. 66

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Table 4-6 shows the mean and standard de viation of responses in the second round, followed by Figure 4-12 and 4-13 that show the respective box plots. Table 4-6. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 4 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=10) SD (N= 10) Presupposition4a 0 1 2 6 1 3.7 0.82 Presupposition4b 0 3 5 1 1 3.0 0.94 Figure 4-12. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 4a Figure 4-13. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 4b The means for the two statements indicate that presupposition four might hold true sometimes but not always. In addition, the me dian for presupposition 4a was four and for presupposition 4b was three, indicating that presupposition 4a is true very often and 4b holds true only sometimes. In round two, one participant po inted out, based on th eir experience with several multinational organizations that often many organizations headquarters run the 67

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communication department at all international subsidiaries. Howe ver, some participants did mention that not having a specialized public re lations department for a large operation is detrimental to the growth of the company and may negatively affect its reputation. Presupposition five : International mergers following a split control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management. In the first round, most particip ants suggested that split-c ontrol management would work well if the merged (or acquired) organization was capable as well as had the expertise needed to carry forward the operations in local markets. In addition, some participants said that they have seen all three arrangements (split control, shar ed, or one partner dominant) working well. One participant who works with a global public relations firm sa id that today, very few organizations understand how to manage dial ogue across a shared management agreement, making public relations less effective in th at model( online communication, Feb. 19, 2009). Participants also said that split-control mana gement worked well in large operations because under split-control management, responsibilities we re clearly allocated which avoided confusion and duplication of work. However, a few participan ts in round one said that the split-control management did not work better than the sh ared or one partner dominant management. Therefore, in round two, following statem ents were evaluated by the panel: Presupposition 5a: International mergers following a split-control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant 68

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(either MNC or local partner) management ONLY WHEN local part ner has the required expertise to carry forward the operations in local markets. Presupposition 5b : International mergers following a split-control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners WILL NOT perform better than other arrangements, su ch as shared manage ment or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management. Table 4-7 shows the means and standard devia tion of responses from the second round. In addition, Figure 4-14 and 4-15 s how the respective box plots. Table 4-7. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 5 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=10) SD (N= 10) Presupposition5a 0 0 1 7 2 4.1 0.57 Presupposition5b 0 3 5 2 0 2.9 0.73 Figure 4-14. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 5a Figure 4-15. Box plot of round 2 means related to presupposition 5b 69

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As Table 4-7 shows, the mean for the firs t statement was 4.1 (SD= 0.57) indicating a strong agreement among the partic ipants; whereas, the mean for the second statement was 2.9 (SD= 0.73) indicating a weak agreement. Some participants provided additional comm ents on the revised presuppositions. However, all of them said that they believe split-contro l management works better than the other two. One participant said that one part ner dominant management would pe rform better if the merged (or acquired) organization does not have the required expertise to take the responsibility of local operations. To further explore presupposition five, additi onal comments made by participants in the first round were sent to the panel in round two for their response. These were: Statement 5a : International mergers following a one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management arrangement to de signate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will pe rform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or split control. Statement 5b : The decision of split controls versus shared management or one partner dominant arrangements depends by and large on the type of industry, span and nature of operations, and top management mindsets of both the partner organization. The means and standard deviation for these st atements are presented in Table 4-8 and the respective box plots are show n in Figure 4-16 and 4-17. Table 4-8. Round 2 means related to addition comments about presupposition 5 Strongly Disagree (1) Disagree (2) Neutral (3) Agree (4) Strongly Agree (5) Mean (N= 10) SD (N= 10) Statement 5a 0 1 5 2 2 3.5 0.97 Statement 5b 0 1 1 6 2 3.9 0.88 70

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Figure 4-16. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 5a Figure 4-17. Box plot of round 2 means related to statement 5b The means for the two statements, 3.5 (SD= 0.97) and 3.9 (SD= 0.88), indicate that panel members somewhat agreed with the statements. Presupposition six: The level of integration will vary across the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relati ons, community relations, employee relations, media relations) within the merged (or acquired) organization. Overall, most participants agreed with presuppos ition six; however, they said that the level of integration depends, to varying extents, upon the available resources and the organizational structure. Therefore, the follo wing revised presupposition was sent to the participants in the second round: 71

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Presupposition six (revised) : The level of integration will vary across the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relations, community relations, employee relations, media relations) within the merged (o r acquired) organization depend ing upon the available resources and organizations corporate culture. Table 4-9 depicts the means and standard de viation of responses obtained in round two. The mean of responses for the revised presupposition was 4.0 (SD=0.94), indicating that participants agreed that the presupposition re flects professional reality very often. One participant said that the level of integrati on varies irrespective of corporate cultures. Table 4-9. Round 2 means related to revised presupposition 6 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=10) SD (N=10) Presupposition 6 0 1 1 5 3 4.0 0.94 Figure 4-18. Box plot of round 2 means related to revised presupposition 6 Presupposition seven : Organizations that utilize a comb ination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective than those who do not. Participants expressed their agreement w ith presupposition seven in the first round and therefore did not indicate any modifications to it. Mo st of them said that a balanced approach to coordination and control that incl udes formal and informal mechanisms is most effective. One participant reflected the overall su mmary of participants responses: 72

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The formal mechanism avoids confusion and ensures uniformity of messages. Ambiguity is reduced. However, it tends to become impers onal in nature and is slow to implement. The informal mechanism is more people oriented since there is more contact. Hence, it is faster to implement. An informal approach backed by formal communication is usually what is followed. Organizations try to achieve the best of both worlds. (Online communication, February 19, 2007). However, one participant said that pr esupposition might not hold true for large organizations, where a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control may lead to confusion and ambiguity. To evaluate this comment, the round-two instrument contained a revised presupposition as follows: Presupposition seven (revised) : Organizations that utilize a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective than those who do not. HOWEVER, it is not true for large organizations where a combination of formal and informal mechanisms can lead to uncertainty. Table 4-10 indicates the mean of responses to the revised presupposit ion and the respective box plot is shown in Figure 4-19. Table 4-10. Round 2 means relate d to revised presupposition 7 Never (1) Rarely (2) Sometimes (3) Very often (4) Always (5) Mean (N=10) SD (N=10) Presupposition 7 0 3 2 4 1 3.3 1.05 Figure 4-19. Box plot of round 2 means related to revised presupposition 7 73

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A mean of 3.3 (SD= 1.05) was obtained for th e revised presupposition seven. Participants who said the revised presupposition holds true onl y rarely explained that according to their professional experience the presupposition is true for all organizations, including organizations with large operations, which indicates that no re visions were necessary to presupposition seven. 74

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The purpose of this thesis was to examine the coordination and c ontrol of global public relations in MNCs following in ternational M&As. Specifically, the major purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework to direct future practices of coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs within the contex t of international M&As Using a Delphi panel investigation of public relations practitioners, who have had worked with MNCs that have experienced M&As on an international scale, this study derived its conclusions from the experience of its participants. Although marketing and advertisi ng scholars have examined the effects of M&As on brand image and brand iden tity; the literature in public relations that examines their effects on the practice is non-existent. By drawing inspiration from international business management research and literature, this study, therefore, takes the first step towards filling this gap in public relations research by adding to the process of theory building about the coordination and control of global public relations. Summary of the Results The Delphi panelists agreed that the study reflects the framework of coordination and control mechanisms used after international M&As In this study, three research questions were explored with the help of seven presuppositions developed through extensive multidisciplinary literature review. In th is section, we discuss each research question and its corresponding presuppositions. A summary of results and their theoretical and practic al implications are presented. The first research question analyzed the fact ors that affect the role and responsibility delegated to the public relations practitioners in the merged (or acquired) organization. In essence, the objective of RQ1 was to understand the factors that affect the coordination and 75

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control of global public relations in the contex t of international M&As. Scholars have outlined several factors that affect the amount of coordination and control exercised by MNCs over their subsidiaries (Barlett & Ghos hal, 2002; Cray, 1984; Daniels et al., 2007; John & Young, 1995; Laroche et al., 2001; Martinez & Jarillo, 1989; Molleda, 2000). Based on previous scholarly research, RQ1 wa s examined within the framework of five presuppositions. Public relations experts in two Delphi rounds evaluated these presuppositions. Results from the first Delphi round indicat ed that presuppositions, although normatively applicable, did not reflect professional reality in their current form. Therefore, participants suggested modifications to these presuppositions, wh ich were incorporated to reflect the opinions of the panel members. In the second round, participants evaluated the revised presuppositions and as results show, reached an agreement th at the revised presuppositions were indeed practically applicable. Each of the revised presupposition corre sponding to the first research question is now discussed: Presupposition one (final) : Irrespective of the size of the merged (or acquired) organization, power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations operations offered to public relations executives wo rking at merged (or acquired) organization depends on se veral factors, such as the fi nancial and corporate structure of the two organizations; skills, expertise, perf ormance, and reputation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives; type s of merger and acquisition (M&A) and the strategy behind it; and the period before, during, and after M&As. According to panel members, the decision doe s not only depend on the size or strategic value of the merged (or acquired) organization, but is rather contingent on several internal and external factors. These factors we re in turn evaluated on a fivepoint Likert scale in the second 76

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round to determine their relative importance. The f actors that were considered most important by the participants was the time frame of the M& A process (M= 4.3); corporate culture of the two organizations (M =4.2); skills, e xpertise, performance, and reput ation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations pr ofessionals (M =4.2); and type of M&A and the strategy behind it (M = 4.2). According to Silver (2009), public relations pr actitioners play a cruc ial role during M&As because they act as communication interface between the management and the diverse organizational target audience such as employees shareholders, and media. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that they will be dele gated more power and autonomy during M&As; however, as Daniels et al. (2007) point out, in the longer-term, organizations regulate allocation and utilization of resources to ensure that employees implement its elements as planned. The authors also emphasize that the organizational cu lture, which includes values and principles of management, work climate, traditions, and ethi cal standards often determine the strategy a company adopts or rejects. They mention, Resea rch suggests that none of these approaches has much of a chance of producing sustainable benef its and lasting competitive advantage without an organization that has complimentary culture (p. 543). Finally, participants emphasized that the types of M&A and the strategy behind them in fluences the power and autonomy assigned to public relations practitio ners in merged (or acquired) or ganization. Although, scholars have identified types of M&As (for e.g. horizontal vertical, or conglomerate) (Gaughan, 2002), it is unclear how they affect the coordination and c ontrol of global public re lations. Participants indicated that in M&As conducted to consolidate in existing market s, public relations executives might get more overall autonomy than when M&As are done to gain access to existing markets. 77

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However, future research needs to explore this variable further to examine its effects on the coordination and control of global public relations. Presupposition two (final): Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, socio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function. However, the public relations function may need localized modifications depending on the nature of industry also. Th erefore, certain provisions at local levels like process varian ces, size of the teams in different regions, etc., should be kept optional while standard ization is planned. From the first round, two revisions were sugge sted to the second presupposition. However, after the second round, the first revision is reject ed because of low mean score (M= 3.0). The second revision obtained a high mean score (M = 4.5) and is accepted. Overall, the results corroborated assertions from scholars that simila r market, external and competitive environment conditions between the two organi zations favor standardization of the public relations function (Daniels et al., 2007; Griffitt, 2000; Laroche et al., 2001; Molleda & Laskin, 2007; Webber, 1996). Presupposition 3a: Merged (or acquired) organizations public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision maki ng in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, experi ence, and expertise, there are efficiencies in localizing these functions and the market conditions are conducive. Presupposition 3b : Merged (or acquired) organizations public relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision maki ng in their markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, experien ce, and expertise, especi ally in cases where the 78

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acquired company provides an area of expertise that is deemed strategically important for the "parent" organization. Both the modifications to presupposition three suggested in the first Delphi round obtained high mean scores of 4.1 and 5.0 respectively in the second round. Therefore, the revised presupposition three is split into two statements to more appropr iately reflect panel members feedback. The first revision reite rates the principle of standard ization versus localization in international operations. As discussed in Chap ter Two, MNCs face two asymmetrical forces: pressures for global integration and pressures fo r local responsiveness; an MNC would adopt a strategy, which lies on a continuum bounded by th ese two asymmetrical forces depending upon the relative efficiency gains of these two appr oaches (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Daniels et al., 2007; Ovaitt, 1988; Theodosiou & Leonidou, 2003). In addition, the second revision is in agreement with previous research that found that the expertise of the subsidiary managers is positively correlated with the amount of independence that these subsidiaries have (Laroche et al., 2001; Molleda & Laskin, 2007). Presupposition four (final) : Merged (or acquired) organizati ons with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public rela tions department, who will be responsible for strategic communication f unctions instead of personnel from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance performing public relations tasks; provided, th e corporate culture is conducive, management understands the importan ce of strategic public relations, and public relations department has the requir ed expertise and sophistication. In the first round, two revisions to presupposition four were suggested. However, in the second round the first revision received low mean scores (M= 3.0) and was rejected. The second revision obtained moderate mean score (M= 3.7) a nd is incorporated above to address feedback 79

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from the panel members. Similar to presupposi tion one, the revisions i ndicate that certain internal and external factors aff ect the way public relations department is structured within the merged (or acquired) organization. These factors have been discussed previously in this section. Presupposition five (final) : International mergers following a split-control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management only wh en local partner has th e required expertise to carry forward the operations in local markets. Following feedback from the first round, two modifications were made to presupposition five. However, after round two, only one of the modifications was accepted, which obtained a mean score of 4.1. The other modification was reje cted because of low mean score (M= 2.9). The results support previous fi ndings by Choi and Beamish (2004) and Beamish (1993) that international mergers following sp lit control management perform better than any other approach of management control because e ach partner takes control of t hose value-creation activities for which it has the skills or resources available. In this study, the second research questi on examined how various public relations activities, such as investor relations, comm unity relations, employee relations, and media relations are integrated within the merged (or acquired) organization. This research question was explored through presupposition six: Presupposition six (final) : The level of integration will vary across the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relations, community relations, employee relations, media relations) within the merged (o r acquired) organization depend ing upon the available resources and organizations corporate culture. 80

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Here again, participants emphasized the importa nce of corporate culture, similar to their feedback on presupposition one and four. The results are in accordance with the assertion made by Molleda (2000) and Molleda an d Laskin (2007) that differe nt strategic communication or public relations practices, such as investor relations, media re lations, employee relations, and community relations, experience diffe rent levels of integration. Finally, with the help of presupposition seve n, the third research question analyzed the coordination and control mechanisms used by th e management, within th e perspective of the public relations department, after international M&As. Presupposition seven (final) : Organizations that utilize a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective than those who do not. One participant in the first round indicated th at a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control might create ambiguity and confusion in large international organizations. However, in the seco nd round participants rejected this modification (M= 3.3) by indicating that it might be true only sometimes. Therefore, no changes were made to presupposition seven and it is accepted in its origin al form. Scholars indicate that organizations that utilize a combination of th ese coordination and c ontrol mechanisms are more effective that those who utilize an either/or strategy (Molleda, 2000; Molleda & Laskin, 2007). It was pointed out by the participants, that increasingly organizations are incorporating a balanced approach of coordination and control, which include formal rules, policies, and procedures and socialization through visits and meetings. Theoretical Conclusions: Model of Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) after In ternational Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) Results of this study indicate that variables proposed for th e coordination of control of global public relations after international M&As are supported in a broad base of MNCs. Delphi 81

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panel members in this study showed general ag reement with the presuppositions generated by the extensive review of existing academic research and many of these presuppositions elicited unanimous consent of the partic ipants. Therefore, it could be assumed that the theoretical framework developed here represen ts professional reality and coul d work in a variety of settings. However, the inference is based on the assumptions that participants adequately represent the views of experts working in MNCs in various co untries (headquarters and subsidiaries and/or sister companies); the study was conducted properly; the presuppositions were developed accurately; and the interpretation of data in the two rounds was done reliably and objectively. The variables tested in this study such as size and stra tegic importance of merged (or acquired) organization; similarity of the mark et development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between partner organizations; an d managements confidence in the skills, abilities, experience, and expertis e of public relations practitioners in the merged (or acquired) organization have been examined in literature from the business perspective. This study, examined their applicability to the coordination and control of global public relations in the context of M&As. The novel element of this st udy is that participants proposed some new variables based on their experien ce with M&As. These variables include corporate culture and financial structure of the two organizations; time frame of M&As; type of M&As and the strategy behind them; and language, cultura l or regional background of employees. As mentioned in Chapter Three, the advantage of qualitative research is that conclusions emerge from the discussion among participants; whereas quantitative research starts with structured hypotheses and tests them is a c ontrolled environment (Babbie, 2003). With the valuable contribution of the participants based on their experience with M&As, this study could 82

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generate a theoretical framework or Model of Coordination and Control of Global Public Relations in MNCs after M&As. The model is depicted in Figure 5-1. Figure 5-1. Model of coordinati on and control of global public relations in MNCs after international M&As, indicating factors affec ting roles, responsibi lities, integration, and configuration of public relations de partment in the merged (or acquired) organization 83

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The model describes, as simply as possible, va riables present in the internal and external environment of partner organizations in international M&As and their e ffects on public relations department in the merged (or acquired) orga nization. The model is in accordance with the structured flexibility approach of Brinkerhoff and Ingle (1989), and demonstrates that effective management incorporate the inte rnal and external contingencies present in the international operating environment (Negandhi, 1983) It also highlights that in an international setting, MNCs need to create a balanced st rategy between global imperativ es and local responsiveness (Blumentritt & Nigh, 2002; Daniels et al., 2007; Lim, 2009; Molleda & Laskin, 2007; Theodosiou & Leonidou, 2003). Although, there could be several other contingencies to which management would have to respond in international M&As, th e purpose of the model is to de monstrate the results of this study, that is, it includes only the variables specifically discusse d in this research. The top rectangle in Figure 5-1 shows fi ve factors that panel member s said affect the power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implemen tation, and evaluation of public relations operations offered to public relations executives working at merged (or acquired) organization. These are, corporate culture and financial struct ure of the two organiza tions; type of M&A and the strategy behind it; time frame of the M&A; and managements conf idence in the skills, expertise, performance, and re putation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives. Out of these factors, the most infl uential factor during coor dination and control of global public relations after international M&As is the confidence that the management has on the skills, expertise, performance and reputation of the pub lic relations practitioners in the merged (or acquired) organization. The panel memb ers emphasized this factor numerous times. 84

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Management is most likely to standardize pub lic relations functions between the partner organizations, if there are similarities in the ma rket development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, so cio-economic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the two organizations. Ho wever, there could be contingencies that emerge from industry variations, such as process variance, size of the teams, etc. Merged (or acquired) organization with larg e operations in a given region will have a specialized public relations de partment, if the corporate cu lture is conducive, that is, management considers public re lations functions stra tegically important and management has confidence in the skills and e xpertise of the public relations executives in the merged (or acquired) organization. This will be therefore, especially true in cases where the merged (or acquired) organization offers an expertise th at is considered esse ntial by the parent. The decision between split versus shared or one partner dominant management to distribute roles and responsibilitie s between the two partners will be determined by the skills and expertise of the merged (or acquired) orga nizations public relations professionals. If management thinks that, the public relations prac titioners in the partner organization could bear the responsibility they will delegate them power and autonomy for local operations. Finally, expertise and public relations resour ces available in the partner organization will determine the level of integration across strate gic communication processes. If the merged (or acquired) organization has the required skills and talent to run specialized departments, some functions such as employee relations and community relations will be localized while the parent will look after other stra tegic functions such as investor relations. 85

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Recommendations for Coordination and Co ntrol of Global Public Relations in Multinational Corporations (MNCs) after In ternational Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) This study attempts to define the framework or model of coordination and control of global public relations after international M&As. The model, which was based on extensive multidisciplinary review of scholarly resear ch, evolved through discussions among public relations experts, who based on their expe rience with M&As strengthened models presuppositions. This study, not only provides the theoretical fr amework, but also practical recommendations on how MNCs can integrate and configure public relations departments within partner organizations afte r international M&As. The first recommendation that this study ma kes is to balance global and local public relations practices. After intern ational M&As, management should evaluate the effectiveness of public relations practitioners in the merged (or acquired) or ganization based on their past performance, reputation, skills, and expertise in order to decide the amount of power and autonomy that should be delegated to them. At the headquarters, management would create provisions to align the overall publ ic relations strategies with organizational missions and goals. However, management should also respond to co ntingencies emerging from pressures of local responsiveness. By utilizing formal and informal coordination and control mechanisms such as training sessions, written policie s, and regulations, the newly in corporated units practitioners should be educated about the overall organizatio nal philosophy and managerial style. It is imperative for MNCs to integrate public relatio ns units worldwide, coordinating common goals; however, public relations practit ioners should be given enough autonomy and power in decision making and planning to r un the local operations. Along similar lines, it is recommended that public relations department should cooperate with other communications departments such as marketing, advertising, human resources, and 86

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legal services, but should not work under them Interdepartmental c ooperation should be promoted by the headquarters; however, it should ensure that large operations have specialized public relations unit to carry forward the local operations. Similarly, merging (or acquiri ng) organization should ensure that its public relations practitioners understand the overall goals, missio n, and philosophy of the newly merged entity. Merged (or acquired) organizati ons management should also cr eate opportunities for its public relations practitioners to shar e ideas and obtain feedback from the headquarters. This could include training sessions, formal and informal meetings, and visits to headquarter to align via socialization its public relations staff with the overall orga nizational policies and goals. After the process of international M&A is complete, management should encourage the public relations practitioners to ev aluate each others competitive advantage, available expertise, skills, and talent, and to split the responsibility betw een the two sets of practitioners, so that both partners contribute to complimentary resources. This split control management will ensure that everyone is responsible for an ac tivity they could perform best. Recommendation for Future Research This study developed an introductory theoretical framework of coordination and control of global public relations following international M&As by soliciting responses from a sample of public relations practit ioners on seven presuppositions. This theoretical framework, not only provides guidelines to MNCs for effective integr ation and configuration of their public relations department after international M& A, but also creates opportunities for future researchers to add, modify, or enhance the suggested model. With this framework, this study aspires to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in public relations. Future research should seek responses from a larger sample of public relations experts working at MNCs that have e xperienced international M&As at some point of time. Although, a 87

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sample of 11 participants is considered adequate for a Delphi panel, research in the future could solicit feedback from a larger pane l. In addition, participants in this study were recruited from three major regions, North America, Asia, and Eu rope. Future research could recruit a more diverse and internationally representative sample to verify, contradict, or enhance the presuppositions in the model. Future research coul d also generate more variable or factors that affect the coordination and contro l of global public relations afte r international M&As and test them to make the model more comprehensive. A factor that emerged in this study, although to a lesser extent, was that coordination and control mechanisms could vary by industry type. This factor should be explored furt her by conducting a cross-industry analysis of coordination and control mechanisms. Each of the variables in th e proposed model warrant further examination to determine their relationship with coordination and control of gl obal public relations and with each other. The strength of these interrelations hips should be examined by future studies to develop a comprehensive theory of coordinati on and control of global public relations after international M&As. Future research could also examine the effectiveness of the proposed model of coordination and control of gl obal public relations during in ternational M&As. By studying some successful international M&As and the coordination and control mechanisms used by managers, future research could analyze if in ternal and external environmental variables proposed in the model are effective in achievi ng managerial objectives for the newly created entity. Limitations of the Study Although, the researcher tried to meet the hi ghest standards of reliability, validity, and objectivity while developing the theoretical model, this study has some limitations. First, the size of the panel probably was too small for such an extensive study. Lins tone and Turoff (2002) 88

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indicate that size of Delp hi panel is not as important as its expertise. According to Witkin and Altschuld (1995), the approximate size of a Delphi panel is gene rally under 50; however, more have been employed. However, a study that aspire s to build a universal model of coordination and control of global pub lic relations could benefit from a larger sample. In addition to the size of the panel, its composition could have been a problem. Most of the participants have had experien ced with international M&As; how ever, some of them did not have a direct experience and were rather involved at a meta-level. Most of the participants agreed with each other and no real differences in opinions surfaced in both the Delphirounds. Participants were recruited using a snow-ball sampling procedure and were acquaintances of mine or of someone else. This could probabl y have created a researcher bias. However, participants were encouraged to provide reasoning of why th ey thought in a particular way, which could have reduced researchers bi as; however, it is still a possibility. Finally, while interpreting the re sults, potential bias could have been introduced, although the researcher tried to objectiv ely analyze the data. However, it could only be ascertained by conducting future research. 89

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APPENDIX A DELPHI ROUND ONE INSTRUMENT The Delphi round one instrument is on the following five pages. Because the actual round was conducted online, it is not possible to recreate the instru ment as it was presented to practitioners. The original ques tionnaire was six pages includi ng the first consent form page, second instructions page, and the last expr essing thank you page. There were two pages containing four presuppositions each soliciting responses, and one page to gather demographic information and professional e xperience of the participants. 90

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Delphi Round One Instrument How to Proceed with the Responses Below are seven presuppositions about the coordination and control of global public relations in multinational corporations after intern ational mergers and acquisitions. We define the process of coordination and cont rol as the one where the distinctive character of both acquirer and acquired can be maintained whilst managing relationships across the boundaries between the two organizations. Our assumption is that eff ective coordination and control of global public relations depends on several exte rnal and internal factors th at operate at both local and international level. The presuppositions are normative, meaning we think this is how coordination and control of global public relations after mergers and acquisitions should be organized to be effective. The scenarios drawn by these presuppositions ma y be very different from public relations practice in your organization. This is what we need to know. Do you agree with our presuppositions? If the practice is different from our normative views, in what ways? Are these views possible in your organization? If they are no t possible, why? Our pur pose here is to begin a dialogue of experts that may eventually lead to a theory or theories on the coordination and control of global public relations. To assist us with this stu dy, then, please carefully review these presuppos itions, then respond to them according to your experiences and understanding of public relations in your organization. As you look at each presupposition, you may ask yourself. Or even respond to, the following questions: a. Do you agree with the statement? b. If you do agree, why? If not, why not? c. Is the statement true in every si tuation you know of, or might there be circumstances, which could create th e need to adjust the statement? 91

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d. If the circumstances render the need for modification, what adjustments would need to be made to make the statement largely accurate? Once you have considered these questions, as well as the specific presuppositions, please respond to each presupposition by supplying you r views of how the normative theory might work in your organization or how it may have probl ems. Please try to provide specific examples to support either view. You may complete this assignment in writing a nd email it back to us; or you may print out a copy of the questionnaire, fill it out by hand, a nd mail it to us at the address mentioned in the email sent to you, with no return address on the envelope. Here are the presuppositions, then, for which we would like your response: #1: Public relations executives wo rking at large-size or strategic2 merged (or acquired) organization will be offered greater power and autonomy in decision making, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations operations than those working in ordinary acquired organization. #2: Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, socio-ec onomic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization3 of the public relations function. #3: Merged (or acquired) organizations publ ic relations professionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision making in thei r markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abiliti es, experience, and expertise. 2 Strategic here implies an merged (or acquired) organiza tion that is large, technologically complex, and highly profitable 3 Standardization refers to a global strategy develope d by the acquiring organization and implemented by all subsidiaries and merged (or acquired) organizations 92

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#4: Merged (or acquired) organizations with la rge operations in a give n country will have a specialized public relations depa rtment, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personnel from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance performing public relations tasks. #5: International mergers following a split control arrangement4 to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared mana gement or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management. #6: The level of integration will vary acro ss the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relations, community re lations, employee relations, media relations) within the merged (or acquired) organization5. #7: Organizations that util ize a combination of formal6 and informal7 mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective8 than those who do not. 4 Under split control management, the partners agree to control distinct functional activities by following a division of labor between partners based on available resources an d skills. In shared management arrangement, partners share control over all value-creation activities by mutual agr eement. One-partner-dominant management resemble the global standardization versus local adaptation strategies, where either a gl obal strategy developed by the MNC or a local adaptation developed by partner is executed. 5 For example, previous research indicat es that while community relations is the most decentralized public relations area, MNCs implement more centralized investor and media relations policies. 6 Structural and formal mechanisms of coordination encompass departmentalization of organizational units, centralization or decentralization of decision making authority, formalization and standardization using formal policies and procedures, and other similar strategies 7 Informal coordination mechanisms include lateral or cross-departmental relations, informal communication, such as personal contacts, meetings, and conferences, and socialization to establish shared strategic objectives and values 8 Effective here means that M&A ac hieve the objectives set forth by the management prior to M&A deal. 93

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Demographic Information and Professional Experience 1. How many years of full-time experience do yo u have in the practice of public relations? 1-5 years ____ 6-10 years ____ 11-20 y ears ____ 21-25 years ____ more than 30 years ____ 2. Which best describes the organization with which you are employed on a full-time basis? Corporation____ Public Relations Ag ency ____ Government____ Non-profit Organization____ Education-relate d organization____ Health-related organization____ Trade Association____ In dependent PR Consultant ____ Other (Please, specify)________ 3. Which title best describes your present full-time position? CEO/president/Owner ____ Vice President ____ Senior Account Executive ____ Account Executive ____ Assi stant Account Executive ____ Director ____ Manager ____ Public Relations/Communication Specia list ____ Other (Please, specify) ______ 4. Please specify your gender: Male______ Female______ 5. Which is the highest degree you earned? Some High School____ High School Graduate____ Some College____ College Graduate____ Masters Degree____ Doctorate Degree____ Other (Please, specify) ____ 94

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6. What did you study as your highest degree? Journalism & Mass Communications_____ Public Relations _____ Advertising ____ English _____ Speech Communication _____ Business _____ Other (Please, specify) _____ 7. If you have additional comment s or thoughts on the coordina tion and control of global public relations in MNCs after intern ational M&As, please include them. ___________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Thank you very much for your time and consideratio n!! It is only with your generous help that this research can be successful. 95

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APPENDIX B GLOSSARY OF TERMS 1. COORDINATION AND CONTROL: Coordination refers any admi nistrative tool for achieving integration among different units within an orga nization or to mechanisms used to integrate various activities of MNCs business value chai n. Control refers to the process by which merging (or acquiring) organizati on influences, to varying degr ees, the behavior and output of merged (or acquired) organization through the use of power, authority and a wide range of bureaucratic, cultural and informal mechanisms. 2. GLOBAL INTEGRATION AND LOCAL RESPONSIVENESS: A multinational corporation (MNCs) faces two asymmetrical forces of standardization or the pressures for global integration and adaptation or the pressures for local responsivene ss. Forces of global integration include need to maximize efficiency by exploiting global ec onomies of scale and scope, Convergence of national markets and need for production efficien cy, and efficiency gains of standardization. Forces of local responsiveness include need to maximize market sensitivity by addressing differences in language, cultural and socio-ec onomic environment, and historical legacy, consumer divergence, and host-government policies. 3. STANDARDIZATION AND ADAPTATION: To deal with the above mentioned pressures, an MNC can follow a global approach (standardization) in which home country assumptions are fundamental or a local approach (adaptation) in which host country practitioners exercise a high autonomy in planning programs and activi ties based on their experiences and contacts. 96

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APPENDIX C CONSENT FORM Dear , I am a graduate student at the College of Journalism and Communica tions, University of Florida, working with Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda, a ssociate professor in the department of Public Relations on my master's thesis The purpose of my thesis is to understand the coordination and control of global public relations in multinationa l corporations after international mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Molleda and I would like to invite you to pa rticipate in this study. Because of your rich and vast professional experience, your views are extremely valuable to us. We know you are extremely busy professional, but this study will only take 10-15 minutes of your valuable time. This study is structured as a Delphi panel inve stigation and seeks your responses to a set of presupposition developed by th e researcher from the scholarly research in the field of coordination and control of public relations. The questi onnaire is structured as an online-survey with seven open-ended questi ons. After you respond to the initial set of statements, we will analyze and compile the da ta and send it to you for your final review. A Delphi study requires at least tw o rounds of data gathering, and perhaps three. In other words, after you respond to the initi al set of propositions attached he re, the data will be analyzed and compiled into one more set of statements to which you again would be asked to respond a few weeks from now. If you agree to part icipate in the project, it is cr itical that you c ontinue with it through both rounds. Please note that Internet communications are insecure and there is a limit to the confidentiality that can be guaranteed due to th e technology itself. Howeve r, once the researcher receives yours responses, standard confidentiality procedures will be employed (any encryption, 97

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IP addresses, host securities, etc. will be discar ded). The data resulting from this study will be kept indefinitely in s ecure office storage for purposes of data analysis. If you are not comfortable with the level of confid entiality provided by the Internet, plea se feel free to print out a copy of the questionnaire, fill it out by hand, and mail it to us at the address given below, with no return address on the envelope. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this study. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may di scontinue your participation in the study at any time without consequence. Without the cooperation of people like you, this project would not be possible. If you have any questions about the research, now or duri ng the course of the pr oject, please contact: Rajul Jain College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 326118400 jainrajul@ufl.edu (352) 8710467 Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda College of Journalism and Communications 3046 Weimer hall PO box 118400 Gainesville, FL 326118400 jmolleda@jou.ufl.edu (352) 273-1223 -------------------------------------------------------------------Please Note: Research at the University of Flor ida that involves human pa rticipants is overseen by the Institutional Review Board. Additional ques tions or problems regarding your rights as a research participant should be a ddressed to the IRB02 Office at the University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 326112250. Telephone: (352) 392-0433 By completing the online questionna ire, you are agreeing to partic ipate in the research. Please begin the questionnaire now by clicking on the "Next" button below. 98

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APPENDIX D DELPHI ROUND ONE EMAIL COVER LETTER Date: 2009 07:51:07 -0800 From: Rajul Jain To: jainrajul@ufl.edu Subject: University of Florida seeks your participation Dear , I am a graduate student at the College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, working with Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda, associate professor in the department of Public Relations on my master's thesis. The purpose of my thesis is to understand the coordination and control of global public relations in multinationa l corporations after international mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Molleda and I would like to invite you to participate in this study. Because of your rich and vast professional experience, your views are extremely valuable to us. We know you are extremely busy professional, but this study will only take 10-15 minutes of your valuable time. This study is structured as a Delphi panel investigation and seeks your responses to a set of presupposition developed by th e researcher from the scholarly research in the field of coordination and control of public relations. The questi onnaire is structured as an online-survey with seven open-ended questi ons. After you respond to the initial set of statements, we will analyze and compile the da ta and send it to you for your final review. To start the study, please use the following links. The first link contains 7 presuppositions for which we would like your response. The second link is a glossary of terms used in this study to assist you in your responses. Presuppositions: Glossary of terms: 99

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Thank you so much for your time and consideration. It will be immensely helpful, if you could complete the questionnaire by . If you know someone, who you think can contribute to this study, please feel free to forward this email to them. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Without the cooperation of people like you, the project will fail. If you have any questions about the research, now or during the course of the project, please contact Rajul Jain College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 326118400 jainrajul@ufl.edu (352) 8710467 Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda College of Journalism and Communications 3046 Weimer hall PO box 118400 Gainesville, FL 326118400 jmolleda@jou.ufl.edu (352) 273-1223 100

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APPENDIX E DELPHI ROUND ONE FOLLOW-UP EMAIL Date: 2009 07:51:07 -0800 From: Rajul Jain To: jainrajul@ufl.edu Subject: Reminder: University of Florida seeks your participation Dear , Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda and I are extr emely grateful to you for expressing your willingness to participate in a Delphi study on the coordination and control of global public relations in multinational corporations afte r international mergers and acquisitions. We would like to thank you, if you already re sponded to the onlin e questionnaire. If however, you haven't had a chance to fill it out yet, we would like to extend our request to fill out the online survey by . To start the study, please use the following lin ks. The first link contains 7 presuppositions for which we would like your response. The second li nk is a glossary of terms used in this study to assist you in your responses. Presuppositions: Glossary of terms: Thank you so much for your time and consid eration. Without the cooperation of people like you, the project will fail. If you have any questions about th e research, now or during the course of the project, please contact Rajul Jain College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 326118400 jainrajul@ufl.edu (352) 8710467 101

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Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda College of Journalism and Communications 3046 Weimer hall PO box 118400 Gainesville, FL 326118400 jmolleda@jou.ufl.edu (352) 273-1223 102

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APPENDIX F DELPHI ROUND TWO INSTRUMENT The Delphi round two instrument is on the fo llowing six pages. Because the actual round was conducted online, it is not possible to recreate the instru ment as it was presented to practitioners. The original questionnaire was two pages corresponding to 11 declarative statements, two pages correspondi ng to eight additional comments, and the last expressing thank you page. 103

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Delphi Round Two Instrument How to Proceed with the Responses Below are 11 statements corresponding to th e 7 propositions sent to you in Round 1. These statements represent revisions based on your responses in the first round. Please read each statement carefully and i ndicate if the statement reflects prof essional reality Always, Very Often, Sometimes, Rarely, or Never. Then, if you wish, add comments as to why you feel that way (if you do not have a specific comment about the statement, you need not say anything but comments would be appreciated). 1. Irrespective of the size of the merged (or acquired) organization, power and autonomy in decision-making, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations operations offered to public relations executives work ing at merged (or acquired) organization depends on several factors such as the financial and corporate structure of the two organizations, skills, expertise, performan ce, and reputation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives, types of merger and acquisition and the strategy behind it, and the period before, dur ing, and after merger and acquisition. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 2. Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, socio-ec onomic conditions, political, and regulatory 104

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environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations function ONLY IF there are no differences between the two organizations in terms of corporate cultures, language, cultural or regional background of employees. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 3. Similarity of the market development, competitive environment, and external environment conditions (culture, socio-ec onomic conditions, political, and regulatory environments) between the collaborating organizations regions will favor standardization of the public relations f unction. HOWEVER, public relations function may need localized modifications depending on the nature of industry also. Therefore, certain provisions at local le vels like process variances, si ze of the teams in different regions etc. should be kept optional while standardization is planned. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 105

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4. Merged (or acquired) organiza tions public relations profe ssionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision making in thei r markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, expe rience, and expertise ONLY IF there are efficiencies in localizing these functions and the market conditions are conducive. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 5. Merged (or acquired) organiza tions public relations profe ssionals will obtain more autonomy and power in decision making in thei r markets, if the management has more confidence in their skills, abilities, experi ence, and expertise, ESPECIALLY in cases where the acquired company provides an area of expertise that is deemed strategically important for the "parent" organization. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 6. Merged (or acquired) organizati ons with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations department, who will be responsible for strategic 106

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communication functions instead of personne l from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance taking over the public relations ro le ONLY IF corporate culture is conducive, management understa nds the importance of strategic public relations, and public relations department has the required expertise and sophistication. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 7. Merged (or acquired) organizati ons with large operations in a given country will have a specialized public relations department, who will be responsible for strategic communication functions instead of personne l from other departments such as human resources, legal, or finance taking over th e public relations role. HOWEVER, it is not "critical" for any organization (i rrespective of size) to have an in-house public relations competency. Even some of the biggest organi zations outsource their public relations to specialist professionals a nd have some resources in house to supervise them. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 107

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8. International mergers followi ng a split control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management ONLY WH EN local partner has the required expertise to carry forward the operations in local markets. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 9. International mergers followi ng a split control arrangement to designate responsibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners WILL NOT perform better than other arrangements, such as shared management or one partner dominant (either MNC or local partner) management. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 10. The level of integration w ill vary across the strategic communication practices (e.g. investor relations, community relations, empl oyee relations, media relations) within the 108

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merged (or acquired) organization depe nding upon the available resources and organizations corporate culture. The above statement is true: a. Always b. Very Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never 11. Organizations that utilize a combination of formal and informal mechanisms of coordination and control will be more effective than those who do not. HOWEVER, it is not true for large organizations, where a combination of formal and informal mechanisms can lead to uncertainty. Below are specific comments from participan ts in Round 1. Please read each statement carefully. On the scales of 1 (s trongly disagree)-5 (strongly agree), mark the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statem ent. Then, if you wish, add comments as to why you feel that way (if you do not have a specific comment about the statement, you need not say anything but comments would be appreciated). 1. Acquiring organizations financial structure a ffects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (o r acquired) organization. For example, privately held operations are able to pr ovide a greater level of autonomy for its operations than those that are pa rt of publicly held operations. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree 109

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c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 2. Corporate culture of the two organizations affects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in me rged (or acquired) organization. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 3. Skills, expertise, performance, and reputation of merged (or acquired) organizations public relations executives a ffects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (or acquired) organization. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 4. Types of merger and acquisition and the strategy behind it affect the power and autonomy offered to public relations executiv es in merged (or acquired) organization. For example, whether M&A is done to gain a ccess to new markets or to consolidate in existing markets; PR executives in the la tter case might get mo re overall autonomy. a. Strongly Agree 110

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b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 5. Time frame of merger and acquisition a ffects the power and autonomy offered to public relations executives in merged (or acquired) organization; public relations executives will play a more active role duri ng merger and acquisitions; however, in the long-term power and autonomy is dictat ed by their performance within the organization. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 6. Power and autonomy form an inverse relati onship; large -size organizations tend to offer greater power to public relations executives; however, these organizations usually have multiple levels in the management hi erarchy, and thus autonomy is relatively restricted. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 111

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7. International mergers following a one partne r dominant (either MNC or local partner) management arrangement to designate respons ibilities to public relations departments of MNCs and local partners will perform bette r than other arrangements, such as shared management or split control. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 8. The decision of split controls versus shared management or one partner dominant arrangements depends by and large on the t ype of industry, span of operations, nature of operations and top management mindset s of both the part ner organization. a. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neutral d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 9. If you have additional comments or thoughts on the coordination and control of global public relations in MNCs afte r M&As, please include them. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 112

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Thank you very much for your time and considerat ion!! It is only with your generous help that this research can be successful. 113

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APPENDIX G DELPHI ROUND TWO EMAIL COVER LETTER Date: 2009 07:51:07 -0800 From: Rajul Jain To: jainrajul@ufl.edu Subject: Invitation for second round of University of Florida study Dear , Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda and I are extremely grateful to you for participating in the Round 1 of this Delphi study on the coordination and co ntrol of global public relations in multinational corporations after international mergers and acqui sitions a few weeks ago. Finally, after days of analysis of your responses, the second a nd final round of the study is ready for your participation. Now that you have so kindly partic ipated in the first r ound, your assistance in the second round instrument is even more important. This study gathered responses from 11 intern ational public relations and communications experts like you. We are extremely pleased with the breadth of pa rticipation. It represents a broad portion of the world. From your combine d, thoroughly insightful comm ents, we have been able to produce the second and final instrument. We have tried hard to select a sample of st atements that represent the broad range of your feedback those you agreed and those who disagreed with our own viewpoints. The statements, for the most part, are included here exactly as you wrote them. In a few instances, we had to modify a word here or there to clarify or strengthen the asser tion. Please don't be offended if you recognize one of your comments that has been s lightly changed (or unders tand that someone else may have made a comment very similar to yours, and theirs is the one ac tually included here). This study will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. There are 11 declarations and 8 specific comments for which we would like your re sponse. Probably the best way to proceed is 114

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to go through each statement and pick the option that best describes the extent to which it represents professional reality in your experience. Then, if you wish, add comments as to why you feel that way (if you do not have a specific comment about the statement, you need not say anything but comments would be greatly appreciated). To start the study, please use the following links: Declarations and Comments: Glossary of terms: Thank you so much for your time and considerat ion. Please review this instrument and respond to it by . Without the cooperation of people like you, this project would not be possible. If you have any questions about the research, now or duri ng the course of the pr oject, please contact: Rajul Jain College of Journalism and Commun ications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 326118400 jainrajul@ufl.edu (352) 8710467 Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda College of Journalism and Communications 3046 Weimer hall PO box 118400 Gainesville, FL 326118400 jmolleda@jou.ufl.edu (352) 273-1223 115

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APPENDIX H DELPHI ROUND TWO FOLLOW-UP EMAIL Date: 2009 07:51:07 -0800 From: Rajul Jain To: jainrajul@ufl.edu Subject: Reminder: second round of University of Florida study Dear , Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda and I are extremely grateful to you for participating in the Round 1 of this Delphi study on the coordination and co ntrol of global public relations in multinational corporations after international mergers and acq uisitions a few weeks ago. This study gathered responses from 11 international public relations and communications experts like you. We are extremely pleased with the breadth of participation. It represen ts a broad portion of the world. From your combined, thoroughly insightful comments we have been able to produce the second and final instrument. You might have received our invitation to par ticipate in the second r ound of this study a few weeks ago. We would like to thank you, if you already res ponded to the second round. If however, you haven't had a chance to fill it out yet, we would like to extend our request to fill out the second round survey by . We have tried hard to select a sample of st atements that represent the broad range of your feedback those you agreed and those who disagreed with our own viewpoints. The statements, for the most part, are included here exactly as you wrote them. In a few instances, we had to modify a word here or there to clarify or strengthen the asser tion. Please don't be offended if you recognize one of your comments that has been s lightly changed (or unders tand that someone else may have made a comment very similar to yours, and theirs is the one ac tually included here). 116

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117 This study will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. There are 18 multiple choice questions for your review. Probably the best way to proceed is to go through each statement and pick the option that best descri bes the extent to which it repres ents professional reality in your experience. Then, if you wish, add comments as to why you feel that way (if you do not have a specific comment about the statement, you need not say anything but comments would be greatly appreciated). To start the study, please use the following links: Declarations and Comments: Glossary of terms: Thank you so much for your time and consid eration. Without the cooperation of people like you, this project would not be possible. If you have any questi ons about the research, now or during the course of the project, please contact: Rajul Jain College of Journalism and Commun ications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 326118400 jainrajul@ufl.edu (352) 8710467 Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda College of Journalism and Communications 3046 Weimer hall PO box 118400 Gainesville, FL 326118400 jmolleda@jou.ufl.edu (352) 273-1223

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Levitt, T. (1983). The gl obalization of market. Harvard Business Review 61, 92-103. Lim, J. S. (2009). Optimizing integration-res ponsiveness (I-R) for multinational corporations (MNC) public relations. In Wanta, W. and Golan, G (Eds.), International media in a global age (in Press). Routledge. Lindqvist, P., & Nordnger, K. U. (2007). (Mis?) using the E-Delphi Method: An Attempt to Articulate the Practical Knowledge of Teaching. Journal of Research Methods and Methodological Issues 1 (1), 1-13. Linstone, H. & Turloff, M. (1975). The Delphi method: Techniques and applications London, UK: AddisonWesley. Linstone, H. & Turloff, M. (2002). The Delphi method: Techniques and applications London, UK: AddisonWesley. Retrieved on Oct 30, 2008 from New Jersey Institute of Technology Information Systems Department Website: http://www.is.njit.edu/pubs /delphibook/delphibook.pdf M & A Profile (1993). 1992 Mergers & Acquisitions 27, 46-53. Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. B. (2006). Designing qualitative research (4th ed.) Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Martinez, J. I., Jarillo, J. C. (1991). Coordi nation demands of international strategies. Journal of International Business Studies 22(3), 429. Martinez, J.I., & Jarillo, J.C. (1989). The evolut ion of research on coordination mechanisms in multinational corporations. Journal of Internatio nal Business Studies 20, 489-514. Molleda, J. C. & Laskin, A (2007) Coordination and control of global public Rrelations to manage cross-national conflict shifts: A multidisciplinary theoretical perspective for research and practice. Paper presented at th e 57th Conference of the International Communication Association, Division of Public RelationsSan Francisco, CAMay 2428, 2007. Molleda, J. C. (2000). Integrativ e public relations in interna tional business: The impact of Administrative models and subsidiary ro les. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Molleda, J. C., & Connolly-Ahern, C. (2002, August). Cross-national con flict shifting: conceptualization and expansion in an in ternational public relations context Paper presented at the convention of the Associ ation for Education in Journalism and Communication, Miami, FL. Molleda, J.C., & Quinn, C. (2004). Cross-national conflict shifting: A global public relations dynamic. Public Relations Review, 30(1), 1-9 121

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rajul Jain was born in 1981 in Indore, India. She received the Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology from Ragiv Gandhi Technical University, Bhopal, India in 2003 and the Masters of Technology in Information and Communication Technology from Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Comm unication Technology, Gandhinagar, India in 2005. She was awarded the certificate of outstanding achievement by the University of Florida in 200708. She has served as a Teaching Assistant and Inst ructor in the Department of Public Relations at College of Journalism and Co mmunications, University of Flor ida. Her research interests include international public relations manageme nt, global coordination and control mechanisms, and international business management strategies Rajul has worked as a Business Analyst from 2005-2007 at Reliance Communications, India. 124