A knowledge management approach to understanding ethical knowledge in public relations Journal Article uri icon



  • PurposeThis study aims to explicate the characteristics of ethical knowledge according to a knowledge management theoretical framework that conveys ethical knowledge as a form of tacit knowledge that is personal, subjective, intangible, and difficult to communicate to others.Design/methodology/approachThe study is based on a survey with 350 public relations practitioners in the USA.FindingsThe findings show that ethical knowledge in public relations, as a professional construct, is tacit only to the extent that it is a personal body of knowledge grounded in individual actions and experiences, but it is explicit in that it is tangible and could be communicated and shared in the workplace. Age, work experience and the number of ethics courses taken in an individual's public relations career are some of the significant determinants shaping the public relations practitioners' conceptualizations of ethical knowledge.Practical implicationsThe study reinforces the importance of a holistic approach to ethics, where structured and formal training programs and codes of ethics are supported directly by a congruence between formal initiatives and public relations professionals' personal values.Originality/valueBy explicating the characteristics of ethical knowledge and its implications on knowledge transfer of ethics in public relations, and in understanding the determinants shaping public relations professionals' conceptualization of ethical knowledge, this study offers an empirical contribution to an area of study that has received mostly normative and philosophical discussion.

publication date

  • May 4, 2012

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 9, 2017 8:11 AM

Full Author List

  • Ting Lee S

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1363-254X

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 185

end page

  • 203


  • 16


  • 2