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"
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
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
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.