Envisioning PR research without taking organizations as collective actors for granted: A rejoinder and extension to Hou

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


In a recent article in Public Relations Inquiry, Jenny Hou has fittingly argued for a stronger focus on agency and actorhood in PR research. We point to two crucial aspects in which we think her arguments need to be extended, namely: (a) embracing the constitutive role of communication for organizational actorhood and agency, and (b) rethinking the role of PR in the constitution of organizational actors. We argue that such extension would allow for an important and radical twist in perspective that highlights a widely neglected question in PR research: What if the collective actorhood status of organizations is not treated as a given but rather arises from communicative attributions of such actorhood status to social entities? Finally, we develop key implications from this shift in perspective for PR scholarship, education, and practice.

ZeitschriftPublic Relations Inquiry
Seiten (von - bis)119-127
Anzahl der Seiten9
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.2021

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research was funded by a public research grant from the Norwegian Research Council as part of the TOPFORSK project “Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy” led by BI Norwegian Business School (project no. 275347).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.