An Historical Analysis of the Organized Labor Movement's Influence on Corporate Public Relations Theory and Practice
Bergsma, J. Mark
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of organized labor on corporate public relations theory and practice. Many other forces have influenced corporate public relations, but this paper focuses on some of the general and specific effects caused by organized labor. The central contention of this paper is that 20th century corporate public relations has, in part, evolved in response to the activities of organized labor, and it will continue to do so in the future. In this paper this evolution is traced through three phases: The roots of American unionism and public relations from 1850-1918, the influence of the legislation of organized labor from 1918-1953, and the effects of union decline from 1953-1980s. The method adopted to support this contention is the juxtaposition of an historical reconstruction of the development of both organized labor and corporate public relations from the mid 19th century to the present.
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