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The Consequences of Culture for Public Relations: The Case of Women in the Foreign Service

The Consequences of Culture for Public Relations: The Case of Women in the Foreign Service In this case study of a class-action suit against the U.S. Department of State, I focus on sex discrimination in job assignments as a way of exploring the existence and consequences of organizational culture on public relations and, more specifically, on female professionals aspiring to a managerial role. I begin with a look at women's history in the Foreign Service and continue with a discussion of its personnel system. Taken together, this historical and contemporary analysis (accomplished through a triangulation of methods that included lengthy personal interviews and examination of relevant documents) suggests that despite legal progress and a change in organizational culture, female Foreign Service officers continue to be disadvantaged. The explanation for the clash that led to their 14-year-long legal struggle lies in a strong subculture operating primarily in posts overseas. That male-dominated counterculture limited women's abilities for career advancement. I conclude that discrimination against women whose work involves communication as part of their diplomatic service also might adversely affect their constituencies, particularly in developing countries. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Relations Research Taylor & Francis

The Consequences of Culture for Public Relations: The Case of Women in the Foreign Service

Journal of Public Relations Research , Volume 7 (2): 23 – Apr 1, 1995

The Consequences of Culture for Public Relations: The Case of Women in the Foreign Service

Abstract

In this case study of a class-action suit against the U.S. Department of State, I focus on sex discrimination in job assignments as a way of exploring the existence and consequences of organizational culture on public relations and, more specifically, on female professionals aspiring to a managerial role. I begin with a look at women's history in the Foreign Service and continue with a discussion of its personnel system. Taken together, this historical and contemporary analysis...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1532-754X
eISSN
1062-726X
DOI
10.1207/s1532754xjprr0702_03
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this case study of a class-action suit against the U.S. Department of State, I focus on sex discrimination in job assignments as a way of exploring the existence and consequences of organizational culture on public relations and, more specifically, on female professionals aspiring to a managerial role. I begin with a look at women's history in the Foreign Service and continue with a discussion of its personnel system. Taken together, this historical and contemporary analysis (accomplished through a triangulation of methods that included lengthy personal interviews and examination of relevant documents) suggests that despite legal progress and a change in organizational culture, female Foreign Service officers continue to be disadvantaged. The explanation for the clash that led to their 14-year-long legal struggle lies in a strong subculture operating primarily in posts overseas. That male-dominated counterculture limited women's abilities for career advancement. I conclude that discrimination against women whose work involves communication as part of their diplomatic service also might adversely affect their constituencies, particularly in developing countries.

Journal

Journal of Public Relations ResearchTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 1, 1995

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