Managing the social consequences of industrial accidents is critical in the face of declining public confidence. Industry has traditionally turned to public re lations to cope with the loss of public confidence. But public relations activities are too often superficial gloss used by companies to polish their images and deflect criticism. We argue that risk communication activities can raise fun damental questions about the relationships of organizations to their environ ments. We examine how relevant organizational theory proposes that organi zations respond to environmental uncertainty. We then contrast organizational theory with how public relations theorists and risk communication specialists propose that companies should respond to volatile publics. In particular, we examine the case of Sybron Chemicals Inc., a small chemical specialty manu facturer, to suggest that an organization may reduce both environmental un certainty and the organizational infrastructure that stands between the com pany and the community. Finally, we suggest the conditions under which a company might adopt this strategy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management