Review of Literature



0000This Capstone project is using three theories to explain and help predict the outcome of the problem. They include co-orientation theory (acquaintance process), predicted outcome value theory (POV), social judgment theory (SJT), and leader-member exchange theory (LMX).
Co-orientation Theory or Acquaintance Process
0000Newcomb (1961) found that "in propositional form, the stronger A's attraction toward B the greater the strength of the force upon A to maintain minimal discrepancy between his own and B's attitude, as he perceives the latter, toward the same X; and, if positive attraction remains constant, the greater the perceived discrepancy in attitude the stronger the force to reduce it. We shall refer to this force as strain" (as cited by Littlejohn, p. 242).
0000Scheff (1967) suggested that higher orders of co-orientation exist beyond the simple perception of the other's feeling by offering this explanation: "If we call agreement the zero level of co-orientation, then perception of the others feelings ("we recognized that they recognized it") is first-level co-orientation, and perception of the other's perception ("we recognized that they recognized that we recognized it") is the second-level of co-orientation" (p. 36).
0000Currall and Judge (1995) found one way to operationalize interorganizational trust is to focus on the level of trust between the individuals who provide the linking mechanisms across organizational boundaries, namely boundary role persons (BRP). Currall et al. (1995) determined that higher mutual trust should exist with a BRP dyad when dyad members (1) have positive attitudes toward trusting each other, (2) perceived normative pressure to trust each other, (3) have been trustworthy in the past, and (4) have trusting personalities (p. 155).
0000Co-orientation supports our study by explaining the dyadic relationship of PAO as the BRP with the commander. The PAO serves as BRP to the internal and external audiences in regard to community relations, command information, and media relations. Positive attitudes of trust can be formed through both formal and informal education. A commander can also gain positive or negative first-hand experiences with PA personnel and activities. Past examples in the form of second-hand stories shared by mentors, peers, and subordinates also affect the trustworthiness of PA personnel and activities as perceived by the commander.
Predicted Outcome Value Theory
0000Sunnafrank's (1986) predicted outcome value theory focused on anticipated rewards and costs of relationships. The POV theory maintains that the need to maximize positive outcomes is central to the process of developing relationships (Infante, Rancer, &Womack, 1997). Predicted positive awards, according to Infante et al. (1997), should influence a person's decision to seek, avoid, or restrict further communication (p. 266). According to Berger (1986) predicting an outcome value is itself one type of uncertainty-reducing activity.
0000The primary determinant of relational growth in POV is the degree in which an individual's outcome-maximization goals are advanced (Sunnafrank, 1986). For the purpose of this definition, outcome maximization within an organization is a central reason for information seeking, and reducing uncertainty in relationships. According to Sunnafrank (1990), "the POV position that outcome maximization goals motivate and explain initial interaction communicative behavior presently appears to provide the most accurate and parsimonious account of these findings" (p. 99).
0000POV supports our study by explaining why a commander does or does not integrate PA into daily unit mission. Based on outcome maximization goals, the commander may be motivated to not accept certain risks associated with PA activities and therefore minimize his involvement with PA personnel. Lacking a clear understanding of PA may affect commanders' perceived value of PA. This may be due to a lack of formal or informal education that enforce positive benefits of PA interaction. Education introduces commanders to stated dictums, verbal and written policies and proven success stories. By measuring a commander's positive or negative experiences and exposure to examples of PA personnel and activities, this study will explain what role internal and external influences have on a commander's willingness to integrate PA.
Social Judgment Theory
0000Sherif found that in social perception, anchors are internalized from past experience. This internal anchor affects and influences the manner in which a person communicates his responses to others. The more important the issue is to a person's ego, the stronger that person's internal anchor will influence what he or she understands as cited in (Littlejohn, 1978, pp 189-190). According to Infante, Rancer, and Womack, the ego-involvement theory takes a basic principle of persuasion which states "that to change a person's most acceptable position on a topic, the message must fall within the person's latitude of acceptance. A persuader can also attempt to widen the latitude of acceptance by advocating a position in the person's latitude of non-commitment. If successful, the persuader will widen the receiver's latitude of acceptance, thus creating a larger 'target' for a second persuasion attempt" (as cited in Infante, Rancer & Womack, 1997, p. 165).
0000Primarily, an individual's attitudes are formed in dyadic relationships with some degree of emotional attachment or ego-involvement. Attitudes are also formed with exposure to pronouncements, dictums, and printed or spoken policy. These all make up the psychological individual interacting as a member of a group or institution he belongs too (Sherif, Sherif & Nebergall, 1965).
0000Social judgment theory applies to this study in that it says people make judgments on the basis of anchors or reference points. The anchors are internal and based on past experience. Additionally, it says the more important an issue is to somebody, the stronger the anchor will influence what is understood and accepted or valued. Formal and informal education, and direct and indirect experiences can all have an impact on the anchors or reference points from which commanders decided to integrate public affairs. The more commanders perceive public affairs is relevant to them, the more they will value public affairs and integrate it into overall unit mission. Moreover, the PA can use appropriate messages and persuasion techniques to influence a commander's degree of integration once an anchor point is established.
Leader-Member Exchange Theory
0000Research in 1975 by Graen, Dansereau, and colleagues was responsible for developing the relationship-based approach to leadership, which was initially termed the vertical dyad linkage model of leadership (Schriesheim, Castro, & Coglier, 1999). In 1982, additional research by Graen, Novak and Sommerkamp supported the first branch of development from early VDL, which was labeled as the leader-member exchange model. Schriesheim et al. (1999) found that Scandura, Graen, and Novak research in 1986 provides a clear and detailed definition for leader-member exchange phenomenon:
0000Leader-member exchange is (a) a system of components and their relationships (b) involving both members of a dyad (c) involving interdependent patterns of behavior and (d) sharing mutual outcome instrumentalities and (e) producing conceptions of environments, cause maps, and value (p. 77).
0000Three factors of respect, trust, and obligation determine the three-dimensional conceptualization of LMX quality. Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995) further explain that an offer will not be made and accepted without (1) mutual respect for the capabilities of the other, (2) the anticipation of deepening reciprocal trust with the other and (3) the expectation that interacting obligation will grow over time as career-oriented social exchanges blossom into a partnership (as cited by Schriesheim et al., 1999, p. 78). This is a clear departure from former LMX research in that Graen and Uhl-Bien are now describing LMX in terms of a relationship as the main focus.
Unless leaders demonstrate a healthy degree of trust in a subordinate, the subordinates' perception of the leaders' trust in them is only based on attributes of the leaders' behavior, which, in turn, affects the subordinates' attitudes and behavior toward the leaders (Brower, Schoorman, & Tan, 2000). According to Ellis and Fisher (1994), within the social dimension of a group, at least four strategies are offered for increasing attractiveness and facilitating communication to one another; (1) increase the frequency of interaction, (2) reciprocate liking and interaction, (3) self-disclosure, and (4) develop bonding competence.
0000The LMX theory supports our study by explaining why commanders develop different levels of trust with individual staff members and how this affects leader-member exchange. With this in mind, public affairs officers working in direct support of a commander may perceive a low level of trust from the commander when integration of public affairs is low and commander's expectations are not verbalized. This behavior may be a direct result of a commander's lack of knowledge on public affairs capabilities and function or that attitudes and perceptions about public affairs value do not support a strong work-oriented relationship; a kind of "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude.
0000With this framework in mind, a commander's relationship with each of his or her subordinates in not equivalent, but develops in a particular way that casts each subordinate in an in-group or out-group role. If then a commander relies on critical exchange of ideas from his or her staff, then a certain amount of trust is afforded each staff member to varying degrees based on relationships formed with each individual member. Krone (1991) states that "in-group subordinates are more involved in communicating and administering activities, and seem to enjoy greater work-related support and responsiveness from their superiors," while "out-group subordinates tend to develop more formal, restricted relationships with their supervisors and perform fairly routine tasks in their workgroups" (p. 9).