Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

YUKI FUJIOKA

Second Advisor

CYNTHIA HOFFNER

Third Advisor

NATALIE TINDALL

Abstract

In public relations, minority public relations practitioners are feeling left behind by the profession (Ford & Appelbaum, 2005). Where do top executives stand on employment diversity within their organizations? An online survey of 20 top executives of small-sized public relations agencies explored how top executives’ perceptions of and normative beliefs about diversity practices were related to their future engagement in diversity practices at work. Based on the theory of reasoned action, this explanatory study found that executives’ perceptions of peer endorsement of diversity were associated with greater intention of organizational engagement in diversity practices. Neither perceived benefits of nor perceived concerns about diversity were related to future engagement. Recommendations for contacting this hard-to-reach audience, as well as suggestions for promoting diversity practices among top executives, were discussed.

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