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Integrating leadership into public relations

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Title:
Integrating leadership into public relations a case study of the avenir project at the International Committee of the Red Cross
Creator:
Sutton, Susan Denise
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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English
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xi, 165 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Public relations -- Case studies ( lcsh )
Leadership -- Case studies ( lcsh )
Nonprofit organizations -- Public relations ( lcsh )
Communication in organizations ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 157-165).
Thesis:
Communication
General Note:
Department of Communication
Statement of Responsibility:
by Susan Denise Sutton.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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44094840 ( OCLC )
ocm44094840
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LD1190.L48 1999m .S88 ( lcc )

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Full Text
INTEGRATING LEADERSHIP INTO PUBLIC RELATIONS:
A CASE STUDY OF THE AVENIR PROJECT AT THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
by
Susan Denise Sutton
B.F. A., University of Florida, 1992
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Communication
1999


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Susan Denise Sutton
has been approved
by
Michael Monsour
a-2-17
Date


Sutton, Susan Denise (M.A., Communication)
Integrating Leadership into Public Relations: A Case Study of the Avenir Project of the
International Committee of the Red Cross
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Barbara J. Walkosz
ABSTRACT
Approaching the close of the 20th Century, the public relations profession finds itself
balanced on a precipice between legitimacy and hucksterism. Communication researchers have
identified central issues such as decision-making, conflict resolution, and ethics that must be
redefined by the profession. The purpose of this study is to 1) reconceptualize the basic
assumptions of the public relations profession utilizing leadership and communication theories, and
2) to conduct a case study of the International Committee of the Red Cross Avenir project as a
model of this reconceptualization. The data collected and subsequent recommendations present
ways to improve communications and elevate the practice of public relations.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend its
publication.
Signed
in
Barbara J. Walkosz


DEDICATION
For Roger and Aggie, my parents, without whose support none of this would have been possible.
For Tonya, my sister, best friend and counsel.
For Renato, the love of my life.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to sincerely thank Yves Daccord, Head of the Communication Department at the
International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland.
I would like to thank Barbara Walkosz for her guidance and assistance, and for reigning me in and
keeping me in check when I needed it.
I would also like to thank Sam Betty and Mike Monsour for their valuable advice and feedback.


CONTENTS
Figures..............................................................................x
Tables...............................................................................xi
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.....................................................................1
Problem Statement.............................................................2
Context of the Problem....................................................... 2
Goals and Objectives..........................................................3
Operational Definitions.......................................................4
Considerations for Nonprofits.................................................5
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................................8
Public Relations Literature...................................................8
Public Relations Ethics..............................................12
Selected Aspects of Leadership Literature....................................14
Heifetz Model of Leadership.........................................18
Selected Aspects of Organizational Communication Literature..............,...22
Synthesizing Public Relations, Organizational Communication, and
Leadership Literature........................................................28
3. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY................................................34
Conduct of the Research......................................................35
Site Selection and Access............................................35
Field Procedures.....................................................37
vi


Data Analysis..........................................................38
Criteria of Soundness..........................................................39
4. THE CASE STUDY....................................................................41
Brief History of the ICRC......................................................42
Relations to Other Red Cross Entities..........................................43
The ICRC.......................................................................44
Functions of the ICRC..........................................................46
ICRC/Avenir Project Data.......................................................47
The Avenir Project.....................................................48
Division of Communication- Effects of Avenir on Structure and Policies.51
Internal and External Communication Tools..............................55
Data Analysis..................................................................57
Involve stakeholders in identifying adaptive challenge.................58
Regulate stress / Provide holding environment..........................62
Maintain focus on the issues...........................................63
Give adaptive work back to stakeholders................................65
Protect unconventional or marginalized voices..........................67
View from the balcony..................................................68
Collaboration..........................................................69
Vision.................................................................72
5. DISCUSSION........................................................................74
Overview'......................................................................74
Involve and give adaptive work back to stakeholders....................76
vii


Regulate stress / Provide holding environment........................79
Maintain focus on the issues.........................................80
Protect unconventional or marginalized voices........................81
View from the balcony................................................82
Collaboration........................................................82
Vision...............................................................84
6. CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS...................................87
Conclusions..................................................................87
Limitations and implications for practice....................................89
Suggestions for future research..............................................92
APPENDIX
A. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS.95
B. QUESTIONS FOR MR. YVES DACCORD AND THE ICRC.................98
C. STATUTES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS....101
D. ICRC DECISION-MAKING STRUCTURES.............................110
E. MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ICRC...............................114
F. PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH YVES DACCORD. ICRC..................116
G. ICRC HEADQUARTERS: ICRC APPROVES PLAN OF ACTION.............149
H. ORGANIZATION OF COMMUNICATION DIVISION, ICRC................150
I. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMUNICATION DIVISION, ICRC.........151
vm


J. THE ICRC AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS.........................153
K. PEOPLE ON WAR-PROJECT.................................155
L. PEOPLE ON WAR-VOICE................................. 156
REFERENCES..................................................157
IX


FIGURES
Figure
2.1 Theory / Literature Overlap.......................................................32
4.1 Red Cross Relations...............................................................44
x


TABLES
Table
2.1 Heifetz Situation Types......................................................19
4.1 Data Results..................................................................61
xi


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Lets write good angel on the devils horn (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, II, iv, 16).
Approaching the close of the 20111 Century, the public relations profession finds itself
balanced on a precipice between legitimacy and hucksterism. The image of the image-makers is
well known and it is not favorable. In the waning years of the twentieth century, spin is in and for
professionals in the practice of public relations, that aint particularly good news (Seitel, 1998, p.
1). Public relations professionals are often referred to as flacks, and the words used to describe
their work are image, spin, hype, cover-up, and damage-control. Such terms have acquired
negative connotations associated with unethical and unsubstantive practices engaged in by public
relations practitioners. These negative conceptualizations are supported by the tendency to twist
the truth to serve a specific need or interest [which] has been a common practice of public relations
professionals (Finn, 1993, p. 40). A study of journalists perceptions of public relations
professionals reveal an overall negative impression of the practice with words such as distraction,
disaster.. .hype, and schmooze being most closely associated with public relations (Spicer, 1993, p.
47). Further, popular books such as Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies. Damn Lies, and the Public
Relations Profession reveal an even stronger criticism of the profession and those engaged in it: PR
has become a communications medium in its own right, an industry designed to alter perception,
reshape reality and manufacture consent (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p. 2). The general perception
is that public relations practitioners are less concerned with the truth than with protecting an image
1


or a client (Spicer, 1993, p. 58). The facts cited above provide a frame within which the following
problem statement may be understood.
Problem Statement
In order for public relations to forge a place as a legitimate practice in the next millennium,
practitioners will have to engage in a paradigm shift away from image and spin and move towards
leadership. The task of specifying what leadership in the context of public relations means and how
this may be accomplished will be addressed in the literature review and will be the intent of this
research.
Context of the Problem
As the world approaches the new century, many factors such as globalization, rapidly
shifting public opinion, downsizing of corporations, and advances in information technology are
shaping the environment in which communication and public relations practitioners will operate.
By the way of globalization, as a result of the internationalization of commodity flows, migratory
movements, pollution and information, the classical congruence of nation, state, and democracy is in
a process of dissolution (Dahl, 1998, Trends in cross-border and intercultural communication).
This fact presents major challenges to communications professionals, particularly those involved in
humanitarian or political activity involving weakening states.
With the basic understanding that cultures vary greatly as do the symbols that provide
insight or convey their values, norms and expectations, it is very important to understand the impact
that communications and media have on diverse cultures.
Media can serve to repress as well as to liberate, to unite as well as fragment a society, both
to promote and to hold back change. This makes media an extremely powerful tool, as
promoter of social, structural and cultural change, a role model for those that follow it
(Dahl, 1998, Trends in cross-border and intercultural communication).
2


The increase in international communication and information flow is facilitated especially by, but
not limited to, the Internet. Internet use is growing by leaps and bounds every day, and cross-
cultural communication is merely a mouse-click away at any time. For example, in China,
hacktivists are gaining attention to their causes via the Internet by breaking into sensitive
government computers and proliferating free speech.
A political journal called Tunnel is said to be edited secretly in China and sent by E-mail
each week to an address in the United States, where it is then E-mailed anonymously back
to thousands of Chinese readers. Big Reference is another online challenge to the
authorities. One recent issue extolled individualism and paid tribute to the mother of a
student killed when troops crashed the pro-democracy protest in Tiananmen Square in
1989 (Fang, 1998, p. 47).
The Internet has become free speech in its most pure and powerful form. Estimates are that Internet
use could exceed 400 million by the year 2000.
The quintessential characteristic of the new electronic media is tha(t they all connect with
one another. We are witnessing the evolution of a universal, interconnected network of
audio, video and electronic text communication that will blur the distinction between
interpersonal and mass communication and between public and private
communications...The ultimate result...will be intellectual pluralism and personalized
control over communication (Dahl, 1998, Trends in cross-border and intercultural
communication).
These changes in technology and international communication illustrate the new environment in
which communications and public relations professionals must now function.
Goals and Objectives
The objective of this research is to illustrate and direct attention to the significant problems
in the field of public relations, and to discuss possible solutions or steps towards solutions. The
research will show how leadership theory may be applied to and integrated into public relations and
organizational communication theory, and thus suggest a modified paradigm. It is the goal of this
research to augment this paradigm through increased understanding of how public relations best


functions in an organization and how integrated leadership affects the practice and the organization
itself. This research will contribute to the body of academic knowledge of public relations and
organizational communication, and to a lesser extent, leadership. It should also have practical
implications for the practitioner regarding communication (internal and external) models and theory.
The research design will be partly descriptive and partly exploratory due to the nature of the study.
The research design is partly descriptive, as it investigates a particular organization, its policies, and
programs in relation to existing literature and theory. The research design is also partly exploratory
in that it connects the theories and literature of leadership, public relations, and organizational
communication to propose a new paradigm or definition for the practice of public relations.
Operational Definitions
The following operational definitions will be utilized in the study:
Public Relations: will refer to the practice of building and maintaining relations and managing
interdependencies with all publics (stakeholders) associated with an organization. Therefore, when
this term is used, it encompasses internal and external communication (see below).
Image: will refer to a general or public perception, as of a company, especially when achieved by
calculation aimed at creating goodwill.
Leadership: will refer to the tenets of involving all stakeholders in identification and definition of
problems or issues, regulating stress and providing a holding environment, maintaining disciplined
focus on the issues, giving work back to stakeholders, protecting unconventional voices, gaining
perspective, collaboration, and vision.
Internal Communication: will refer to any and all communications with employees or within the
organization; intraorganizational communication.
4


External communication: will refer to any and all communication with external publics,
organizations or entities (encompasses media relations).
Collaboration: will refer to the act or acts involved in working with two or more internal or' external
parties toward a common goal. Includes sharing information and ideas, setting a common goal,
sharing responsibility for meeting the goal, working together to achieve the goals (though possibly
via different tasks), and sharing resources.
Vision: will refer to the desired end-state of the organization communicated to the organizations
employees.
Holding environment: will refer to the state achieved by the organization or individuals within the
organization when keeping focus or attention on issues at hand, simultaneously keeping pressure up
while preventing collapse or chaos within the various publics. According to Heifetz (1994): A
holding environment consists of any relationship in which one party has the power to hold the
attention of another party and facilitate adaptive work (p. 104-105).
Avenir project: will refer to the particular project purposes, structure and implementation set forth
by the Department of Communication at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Considerations for Nonprofits
Of special interest to this research are particular aspects of and considerations for the
nonprofit sector, also known as the charitable sector, independent sector, voluntary sector, and tax-
exempt sector (Salamon, 1992). The nonprofit sector is experiencing all of the previously discussed
challenges of the public relations profession, in addition to challenges specific to the nonprofit
sector.
In the U.S., for example, nonprofits are under attack in the political arena.
5


The for-profit organizations complain that nonprofits enjoy an unfair competitive
advantage because of their tax advantages and exemptions. For-profit organizations have
not so far achieved any major changes in public policy, although there have been scattered
victories at the state level (Rathgeb Smith, 1993, p. 212).
There is also increasing competition by for-profit organizations in fields traditionally populated by
nonprofits. In the long run, these challenges may lead to a smaller nonprofit sector because the
agencies may find it more difficult to raise revenues and fend off competitive bids from for-profit
organizations (Rathgeb Smith, 1993, p.212). Nonprofit organizations are also under increasing
public scrutiny. Time magazine notes that although the vast majority of nonprofits are well run and
dedicated to their mission, as their numbers and size have increased, they have attracted a rising
number of swindlers, creative bookkeepers, and highly paid executives (Zagorin, 1993, p. 36).
Seib and Fitzpatrick (1995) note that nonprofits face criticism reflecting declining public trust and
an increasing demand for accountability. Since nonprofit organizations depend on public
confidence to remain viable, rebuilding credibility with constituents is critical (Seib & Fitzpatrick,
1995, p. 50).
Nonprofit organizations also tend to resist strategic communications and public relations
for several reasons. Most lack the financial resources and knowledge, or have had only negative
experiences with the media. Also, nonprofits may hold attitudes that hinder public relations
programs. For example, nonprofits are resistant to using public relations due to ethical questions.
At other times, the feeling is that the nobility of the cause is enough to gamer the attention necessary
to move the issue, but unfortunately that is no longer true in our world today (Bonk, Griggs &
Tynes, 1999). However, in order for nonprofits to compete in the marketplace of ideas, it is vital to
adopt a strategic communications and public relations plan. The case chosen for this research is an
international nonprofit organization that is involved in humanitarian advocacy and action. It is an
additional goal of this research to illuminate the possibilities for nonprofits in this respect.
6


In this chapter, the challenges facing the field of public relations, the context of the
problem, the goals and objectives of this study, the operational definitions relevant to the research,
and the challenges facing nonprofits in society today have been discussed.
The following chapter will examine the existing literature in public relations,
organizational communication, and leadership in connection with the questions under study.
7


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
..........There are three major areas of literature that are relevant to this study: (1) public relations,
(2) leadership, and (3) organizational communication. This chapter provides a literature review of
these areas as they relate to the role of public relations in organizations (with emphasis on, but not
limited to, the nonprofit sector).
Through a study of selected aspects of leadership theory, organizational communication
theory, and public relations theory, a basis for a new paradigm and approach to public relations can
be understood and developed.
Public Relations Literature
The practice of public relations is relatively new. The public relations industry did not
formally exist prior to the 20th Century. Publicity was once the work of carnival hawkers and
penny-ante hustlers smoking cheap cigars and wearing cheap suits (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p.
13). Such is the legacy left by P.T. Bamum, considered the forerunner of the modem-day public
relations practitioner (Seitel, 1998). In 1975, the Foundation for Public Relations Research and
Education analyzed 472 different definitions of public relations and released the following
composite:
Public relations is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain
mutual lines of communications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between
an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems and issues; helps
management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and
emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; helps
management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning
system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound ethical communication
techniques as its principal tools. (Seitel, 1998, p. 6).
8


Another definition in use today is: Public relations is the management function which evaluates
public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the
public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and
acceptance (Seitel, 1998, p.7). There is currently no standard, agreed-upon definition of public
relations. For the purposes of this study, the former stated operational definition of public relations
will be used for this thesis.
The definition of public relations and its duties continues to evolve. A trend affecting the
field of public relations today is the move towards integrated marketing. Integrated marketing is
the combination of marketing, advertising, sales promotion, and public relations. As integrated
marketing becomes more and more the rule in agencies and companies, the need for
communications cross-training of marketing, advertising, sales promotion, and public relations
becomes a requirement for all communicators (Seitel, 1998, p. 297). There is concern among
practitioners regarding this trend, who fear the subjugation or elimination of the practice of public
relations to marketing, sales, or advertising disciplines (Seitel, 1998). This concern is well founded
and would certainly hinder the profession in recognizing its full leadership potential.
Public relations functions do have power and influence. Internal and external
communication permeates all organizations including for-profit, nonprofit, and government
institutions. Harold Laswell has written, By the use of sanctioned words and gestures, the elite
elicits blood, work, taxes, applause from the masses. When the political order works smoothly, the
masses venerate the symbols (Laswell, 1936, p. 131). By these words, Laswell intimates the power
of symbol manipulation and information control, otherwise known as propaganda in some sectors
and persuasion in others.
9


Lester (1995) notes all human communication uses persuasion and propaganda in an
attempt to mold or change a listeners or viewers attitude (p. 80). Propaganda is defined as a type
of communication that is promotional and manipulative, and is aimed at eliciting a desired response.
Propaganda as it was originally used was to attempt to control public opinion (Jowett & ODonnell,
1986). Today, observers note that public opinion is probably a presidents greatest political
resource (Bennett, 1980). For example, U.S. presidents have become increasingly dependent upon
their images, and have contingency plans for controlling the news about events which requires the
use of less than ethical public relations tactics to put the best possible interpretation on whatever is
reported as news (Lowi, 1989). Obviously, the term propaganda has gained a negative
connotation over the past several decades, as it is thought of as the duping of an unsuspecting pubic
through misleading or false information (Lester, 1995, p. 83). However, critics have expanded
the definition [of propaganda] to include many of the persuasion techniques utilized by all
governments and large corporations to persuade an unsuspecting public (Lester, 1995, p. 83). Still,
persuasion is generally considered as the socially acceptable way of attempting to change an
individuals attitudes or behaviors. Though persuasion has a less negative connotation than
propaganda, it may be that the difference between persuasion and propaganda is simply the
social definition of the words (Lester, 1995, p. 83). Despite the controversy, public opinion and
attempts to affect it are based in communication practices (Lester, 1995; Seitel, 1998).
The use of public relations to shape public opinion through the written and spoken word is
well-documented (see Gmnig, J., 1997 for a review). Evidences of the power of public opinion
prove to every man the necessity of understanding the public, of adjusting to it, of informing it, of
winning it over (Bemays, 1955, p. 5). However, the problem lies in the abuse of such power. The
literature reflects the fact that the focus of public relations over the past few years has devolved into
10


a focus on image creation and public opinion formation, and the problems these acts have for the
field. Unfortunately, many top corporate and government leaders have come to rely on their public
relations experts not only to write their speeches, but often to decide what the substance of those
speeches and statements should be (Finn, 1993, p. 41). Obviously, public relations remains a
powerful tool and practitioners are in a powerful position to provide direction to their clients and
organizations.
However, public relations practitioners are often constrained in their efforts to provide
effective communication by the very organizations in which they operate. Newsom, Turk, and
Kruckeberg (1996) note the main factors that constrain public relations practitioners: lack of access
to management, restraints on information collection, roadblocks to dissemination of timely, accurate
information, and a narrow definition of the role of public relations (p. 264).
As noted previously, communication and public relations professionals face another
hurdle: the general negative perception of public relations as persuasion or propaganda.
Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news. You never know
when a PR agency is being effective; youll just find your views slowly shifting (Stauber &
Rampton, 1995, p. 14). Studies have shown the overwhelmingly consistent use of the terms public
relations and PR to suggest an attempt to sidestep or manipulate the truth for some dubious end
(Spicer, 1993, p. 47). Practitioners in the field are aware of and concerned about this apparent
trend. Due to these attitudes, much of the recent public relations literature has been focused on
ethics.
11


Public Relations Ethics
Public relations is considered by many to be a tool used by the untrustworthy to deceive
the unwitting. Thus, neither public relations nor those who use it are trusted, and the very service
that is supposed to help an organization win credibility is itself suspect (Newsom, Turk, &
Kruckeberg, 1996, p.82). A significant problem facing the public relations field is the tendency to
avoid and thereby allow clients or organizations to not focus on the real issues and problems (or
sometimes even the truth). Public relations practitioners are often asked to create positive image
impressions that will deflect attention away from whatever is causing the real problem. The
perception of a problem may be addressed, but the real issues that have created the situation are
avoided. Often, it is when a company or client has something to hide that they go to the public
relations professionals for help (Spicer, 1993). They wish to avoid scandal or trouble, and they
expect a quick fix often in the guise of damage control or crisis management. To the extent
that the public relations professional allows the company or client to believe a quick fix is
possible, they may be doing a disservice to their company or client, to society, and to the profession
itself. If professionals submerge their own ethical values to those of their clients, they may
generate personal and organizational mindsets that anything goes which produces breaches of
ethical behavior and so creates more problems (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p. 262).
Political figures have also been accused of substituting public relations for true leadership.
The maxim live by PR, die by PR is indicative of the focus on image and the use of public
relations in politics. Political PR people often find themselves caught in the middle of conflicts
resulting from the use of news media by public officials and vice versa (Newsom, Turk, &
Kruckeberg, 1996, p. 263). Often, political figures engage in the stagecraft of governing and the
displacement of the serious business of American government by a kind of shallow pageantry
12


(Greenfield, 1998, p. 68). This is an example of the use of public relations as a tool to address the
symptoms of a problem instead of the real problem itself. The lines between government PR and
policy, between propagandizing and advocating, are pretty thin these days, and who chooses the PR
and propagandizing puts himself at exceptional risk (Greenfield, 1998, p. 68). Large public
relations firms have also been found to engage in grass-roots advocacy to the extent of forming
their own front groups for their powerful clients interests. These industry-generated astroturf
movements are controlled by the corporate interests that pay their bills (Stauber & Rampton, 1995,
p. 14). Public relations firms argue that they are merely serving their client as adeptly as possible,
but they are putting their energies into the generation of images rather than addressing of issues.
In response to societys attitudes towards public relations and its practitioners, the Public
Relations Society of America (PRSA) developed their Code of Professional Standards (Appendix
A). This code requires conducting business in the public interest, dealing fairly with the public,
adhering to standards of accuracy and truth and not knowingly disseminating false and misleading
information or corrupting the integrity of channels of communication (Newsom, Turk, &
Kruckeberg, 1996, p.264). However, although valuable, ethical codes in public relations are
unenforceable.. .they are most influential with ethical and responsible people and have minimal
effect on those genuinely needing direction (Wright, 1993, p. 13). The PRSA also provides
educational books to its members regarding ethics and management skills. Public relations
textbooks used in college courses emphasize the need for strong ethics as well, espousing ideals
such as professionalism, ethics and leadership in that they must have the vision, courage, and
character to lead themselves, their organizations and their profession into the next golden century
(Seitel, 1998, p. 492).
13


It is apparent that the practitioners of public relations are not blind to the trouble and
challenges facing the profession. Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996) note that part of the
problem is the perception of truth. Public relations practitioners convictions may run counter to
positions held by clients, but the practitioner finds him or herself persuaded by the clients experts.
The question of corruptions of judgment is a serious one for public relations people. Often the
heart of a dispute is not over facts but over the interpretations of facts and over conflicting value
systems (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p.263). In such cases, the best course of action is to
ask the right questions to regain perspective, and from there formulate or revise strategies and
recommendations (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996). This recommendation is similar to the
leadership tenet espoused by Heifetz (1994) of getting on the balcony (gaining perspective), which
will be discussed in a following chapter.
In summary, the profession of public relations unfortunately has the potential to become
increasingly suspect as one of the more untrustworthy and unworthy consequences of an out-of-
control communications environment (Finn, 1993, p. 42). However, the profession also has the
potential to provide leadership in organizations. In order to establish a connection between
leadership and public relations, selected aspects of the leadership literature will be examined in the
following section.
Selected Aspects of Leadership Literature
The literature on leadership is vast. The majority of the literature is focused upon
leadership in single, traditional organizations, and on leader-follower interactions. For decades, the
term leadership referred to the people who hold top management positions and the functions they
serve (Heifetz, 1994, p. 15). Public relations professionals may not always hold positions of
14


authoritative leadership. However, the literature does suggest a concept of leadership without
formal authority, or without authority at all. Coe (1992) states that leaders may be formally selected
or may be (and often are) any members of the network. Different members may be leaders at
different times for different aspects (Coe, 1992, p. 8). Understanding this application of leadership
is important for public relations professionals.
Leadership rests not only on the shoulders of one individual, but also on all who share the
mission and vision. In that sense, leadership becomes a state of consciousness rather than a
personality trait or set of skills (Van Seters & Field, 1990, p. 38). This concept incorporates
collaboration which is also addressed as a vital element in leadership. Chrislip and Larson (1994)
write of leadership as collaboration, specifically as a process role whose tasks incorporate creating
shared ownership, inspiring confidence, and maintaining a problem-solving focus. A notion of
shared power also exists when considering collaboration as well. Collaborative leadership requires
developing a new notion of power and learning that the more power and control we share, the more
we have to use (Melaville & Blank, 1993, p. 79).
Therefore, the concept that leadership can and should be shared is integral to the leadership
literature. Gardner (1990) summarizes: The taking of responsibility is at the heart of leadership.
To the extent that leadership tasks are shared, responsibility is shared (p. 152). This statement can
be seen as a precursor to Heifetz (1994) views of leadership as involving and empowering
stakeholders and mobilizing adaptive work.
However, it is important to remember that collaboration is not necessarily easy to achieve.
Gray and Hay (1986) note that troublesome issues associated with the shared power ideal include
behind the scenes decision-making by an elite few who then ratify in public, lack of sufficient power
by would-be convenors to generate sufficient participation and commitment, or lack of power to
15


assure implementation of the collaborations decisions. The goal of collaboration is to reach
consensus, which requires the existence and management of conflict. In consensus, participants
examine their contending views, overtly addressing the sources of conflicts, constructing a common
ground, and eventually reaching a win/win solution (Mirel, 1994, p. 60). This process entails
intense conflict as sources of differences are aired as well as entailing lengthy deliberations that are
not complete until all participants endorse outcomes without a sense of trade-off or coercion
(Mirel, 1994, p. 60). It is a responsibility of leadership to keep channels of communication open
for continuing debate and discussion when necessary.
Another central concept of leadership to be considered in this context is vision. Multiple
scholars have addressed the importance of creating, communicating, and maintaining a vision of the
desired end state (Coe, 1992; Gardner, 1990; Heifetz, 1994; Terry, 1993). Vision is at the heart of
leadership because vision transcends political interests (Terry, 1993, p. 38). The literature also
states that vision itself is insufficient, but that as important, if not more so, is the ability to
communicate that vision (Kouzes & Posner, 1987, p. 100). This can be an immense challenge,
especially in complex organizations. Therefore, as constituent diversity increases, visions must be
framed to appeal to a wider range of participants and organizations must cope with more varied
interests and concerns (Brown, 1991, p. 823).
Vision is also used as a tool for facilitating transformational change. Transformation has
become a key survival tool for organizations coping with the turbulence that characterizes todays
environment (Nutt & Backoff, 1997, p. 490). As discussed in Chapter 1, the world is changing
rapidly and organizations must find ways to adapt for survival. Vision is seen as playing or holding
a key role which offers a strategic and inspiring picture of what the organization can become,
16


indicating whom the organization wants to serve, how this will be done, and the regard and image
these actions can produce (Nutt & Backoff, 1997, p. 492).
Vision is tied to an organizations identity and image. Internally, the identity of an
organization is affected by the vision provided to its employees. Therefore, if a discrepancy is
perceived between the identity and the vision of an organization, disenchantment and dissatisfaction
result (Flynn, 1998). Also, deterioration of an organizations image is an important trigger to
action as each individuals sense of self is tied in part to that image (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991, p.
520). Dutton and Dukerich (1991) also explain the distinction between identity and image as such:
An organizations identity describes what its members believe to be its character; an organizations
image describes insiders assessments of what outsiders think (p. 547).
Often, coupled with the concept of vision in leadership is the concept of shared values.
t
This concept overlaps somewhat with organizational communication literature, which will be
discussed in the following section. Shared organizational values have been termed a bedrock
without which principled leadership becomes nearly impossible (Gardner, 1990, p. xii). A
dedicated program of internal communications is essential to relating organizational values to
employees in order to provide effective leadership.
For the purposes of this research, leadership traits and tenets will be elicited from Ronald
A. Heifetz Leadership Without Easy Answers (1994), in addition to the main tenets noted above.
Heifetz (1994) espouses several tenets of leadership, which may be applied to the practice of public
relations, including: the importance of collaboration; leadership as possible in positions of authority
(either formal or informal) and positions without authority; identifying and involving all
stakeholders; giving the work back to the people; maintaining perspective; and protecting
17


unconventional voices. Heifetz (1994) proposes these concepts as aspects of effective management
of conflict and change.
Heifetz Model of Leadership
Heifetz model of leadership is centered on mobilizing people to tackle tough problems,
especially in todays uncertain and changing societies. Thus, the effective management of conflict
and change coupled with problem solving are recommended methods to facilitate change processes.
The exposure and orchestration of conflict within individuals and constituencies provide the
leverage for mobilizing people to learn new ways (Heifetz, 1994, p. 22). Heifetz (1994) contends
that the most valuable (and difficult) task of leadership is promoting adaptive work for which the
inclusion of competing value perspectives may be essential for success (p. 23). Table 2.1 illustrates
the differences between technical and adaptive work according to Heifetz.
18


Table 2.1: Heifetz Situation Types (Heifetz. 1994, p. 76)
Situation Problem Definition Solution and implementation Primary locus of responsibility Kind of work
Type I Clear Clear Leader Technical
Type II Clear Requires Leader and Technical
Learning stakeholder /adaptive
Type III Requires Requires Stakeholder > Adaptive
Learning Learning leader
The difficult problems most organizations and societies face today require adaptive work.
As indicated in Table 2.1, in situations requiring adaptive work, the primary locus of responsibility
for the work lies more heavily on the stakeholder, with assistance from the leader. Heifetz model
suggests certain leadership tenets for facilitating and promoting such adaptive work.
Heifetz (1994) stresses keeping disciplined focus on the real issues, and not allowing work
avoidance mechanisms to interfere with easy quick fixes to difficult problems: One ought to
take a skeptical stance, at least momentarily, when some action suddenly makes everybody feel
good (p. 39). Heifetz notes that humans naturally grant extraordinary power to leaders in time of
stress, and expect the right answers to be provided immediately. Leaders often fall into the trap of
telling us what we want to hear, of providing quick technical fixes to difficult problems, which
eventually turn out not to be solutions to the real problems at all. When the stakeholders recognize
that the answers provided do not solve the problem, discouragement and disillusionment result.
Habitually seeking solutions from people in authority is maladaptive (Heifetz, 1994, p. 73).
Leaders and publics alike should recognize that answers to difficult problems do not come easily or
19


quickly (Heifetz, 1994). Conflict and disequilibrium are actually necessary for constructive
conflict and problem solving to occur. Thus, Heifetz portends that leaders should maintain focus on
the real problems, as difficult or controversial as they may be.
As leaders keep focus on the difficult issues, they must also regulate the associated stress
by providing a holding environment. A holding environment consists of any relationship in which
one party has the power to hold the attention of another party and facilitate adaptive work (Heifetz,
1994, p. 105). This can be any form of relationship, from interpersonal to international, and the
strategic task is to maintain a level of tension that mobilizes people. Heifetz suggests doing this by
regulating the flow of information (pacing and sequencing), keeping tabs on the level of tension, and
recognizing how much the environment can handle. By focusing attention on real issues, leaders
will actually ripen those issues. He suggests leaders should identify which issues can currently
engage attention, and while directing attention to them, counteract work avoidance mechanisms like
denial, scapegoating, externalizing the enemy, pretending the problem is technical, or attacking
individuals rather than issues (Heifetz, 1994, p. 128). Knowing when to increase and decrease
pressure on the environment comes from knowing the environment intimately, and building trust.
Giving the work back to the people involved, the stakeholders, is central to Heifetz model.
In his model, as discussed above, leaders regulate stress and keep focus on the real issues.
Adaptive situations tend to demand a more participative mode of operating to shift responsibility to
the primary stakeholders (Heifetz, 1994, p. 121). The stakeholders do the actual adaptive work
themselves. Leaders facilitate their ability to manage the stress and perform the adaptive work. An
authority can induce learning by asking hard questions and by recasting stakeholder expectations to
develop the ability to respond and perform the required work. Thus, by devising a strategy that
shifts responsibility for the problem to the primary stakeholders, leaders may facilitate an
20


environment in which people look to themselves to solve difficult problems. When stakeholders are
involved in the definition and solution of a problem, they are far more committed and enthusiastic in
the implementation. An authority who excludes stakeholders from defining and solving the
problem risks developing an incomplete solution or a solution to the wrong problem. Not only can
lack of information undermine the quality of work, but the distress of exclusion can also cause
people to sabotage the process and attack authority (Heifetz, 1994, p. 118). However, Heifetz does
acknowledge that crisis situations may not allow for a more participative process. In these cases, a
leader may have to become more autocratic when the issue is likely to overwhelm the current
resilience of the group or society given the time available for the decision"(Heifetz, 1994, p. 122).
As mentioned previously, protecting unconventional voices is also an important tenet of
leadership. Give cover to those who raise hard questions and generate distress people who point
to the internal contradictions (conflicts) of the society (Heifetz, 1994, p. 128). As noted before,
conflict is necessary for change, and often, unconventional voices can provoke rethinking or offer
otherwise unconsidered perspectives.
In summary, Heifetz (1994) proposes five strategic principles of leadership:
(1) Identify the adaptive challenge.
(2) Keep the level of distress within a tolerable range for doing adaptive work.
(3) Focus attention on ripening issues and not on stress-reducing distractions.
(4) Give the work back to people, but at a rate they can stand.
(5) Protect voices of leadership without authority, (p. 128)
Heifetz also notes several advantages to leadership without authority. Those who are not in
positions of authority have latitude for creative deviance (Heifetz, 1994, p. 188). They are able to
deviate from the norms of authoritative decision-making. In positions without authority, it may be
more difficult for leaders to provide the holding environment. However, this allows more flexibility
and opportunities to focus on one particular issue, without having to meet multiple expectancies
21


from multiple constituencies. Finally, leadership without authority often has access to frontline
information on the particular issue or problem directly from the stakeholders involved.
One final leadership tenet of interest to this research, as noted earlier, is Heifetz idea of
getting up to the balcony, or gaining and keeping perspective. If one can get on the balcony
instead of getting caught up in recreating the problem internally, one can seize the opportunity of
using the organization as a case in point a laboratory for identifying challenges and inventing
options for taking action outside, which was the organizations original aim (Heifetz, 1994, p. 256).
In summary, Heifetz proposes leadership as managed stress, disciplined by attention to
the issues, with pressure on those who need to take responsibility for the changes in their midst, and
protective cover for threatened leadership voices (Heifetz, 1994, p. 139).
This section has discussed in detail the main leadership tenets used in this study. The next
section will discuss selected aspects of organizational communication pertinent to this research.
Selected Aspects of Organizational Communication Literature
Organizational communication is pertinent to this research for various reasons. In todays
changing environment, organizations are struggling to retain valued employees, compete for scarce
resources, and find their identity and niche in the global economy. The study of leadership often
focuses on leadership in for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental organizations. Leaders must
determine the best methods for implementing organizational change and rely on proven
organizational communication theories. Organizational communication and public relations are
associated in several ways involving internal or employee communication and external
communication conducted by an organization. Due to this overlap, selected aspects of the
22


organizational communication literature must be addressed, including Weicks process model,
strategic internal communication systems, and conflict and change management.
The literature on organizational communication is also vast and varied. Bantz (1990) and
others have recognized Karl Weicks (1979) program of research as influencing theorizing in
organizational communication throughout the last two decades. Of specific interest to this research
are Weicks concepts of uncertainty or equivocality reduction in organizations, which is relevant to
effective conflict and change management. Weick (1979) conceptualized organizations as a series
of linked processes that run from enactment to selection to retention. Taken together, the processes
increase shared meaning among members of an organization. Weick (1979) holds that an
organization is only so long as it is processing and communicating. The enactment process
creates the information to which the system must adapt. This process removes a small degree of
equivocality. The selection process is a narrowing down or application of criteria by which
large amounts (or too much) information may be selected down to a manageable level. This is the
process by which the greatest amount of equivocality is removed. The final process is retention
by which selected information may be retained for future reference or sent back to the beginning of
the cycle as Weicks model reflects. Weicks model suggests that the greater the equivocality in a
system, the fewer assembly rules may be in place, which in turn creates the need for a greater
number of cycles to be selected to enable removal of equivocality. This change model is integral to
organizational communication theory and important to this research as it relates to management of
organizational change and conflict. From this, we may derive the importance of organizational
commitment to open internal communication. In organizations where the information flow is stifled
or insufficient in some way, members are faced with greater uncertainty which may lead to
23


increased organizational conflicts. This model provides insight into how change is processed
through an organization via communication.
Another relevant aspect of the traditional organizational communication literature regards
Henri Fayols identification of the classical problem in organizational communication (Conrad &
Poole, 1998). Fayols classical problem described how to get negative communication up to the
management that needs it to implement changes in policy. Negative upward communication is very
difficult if not impossible depending on the size and structure of the organization. Fayol suggested
creating bridges by which lower-level workers could by-pass middle management in times of
crises to reach the policy-makers with the critical information. How an organization handles
equivocality (conflict, change, or crisis which every organization faces sometimes on a daily basis)
relates to its organization, communication, and leadership, especially in formulating and
maintaining relationships. Providing employees with communication bridges is an effective tool to
improve the information and communication flow.
Fayols bridges are a method of building and maintaining relationships, as well as
managing conflict within organizations. One aspect of any effective, comprehensive organizational
model is the building and sustaining of relationships with key constituents.... It is the building and
sustaining of relationships that provides continuity, longevity, and maturity in an organization
(Winder & Judd, 1996, p.2). Any organization that wishes to attain continuity and longevity must
be able to effectively manage conflict and change.
The organizational communication literature that addresses conflict and change
management is of interest to this research as well. Organizational communication professionals
(usually employee or internal communication professionals) are often utilized in times of stress and
crisis, which normally involve conflict and/or change. The prevailing views of conflict are negative,
24


and most corporate cultures and individuals avoid conflict and resist change. Thus, there is a
general tendency to define and conceptualize conflict in negative terms, but all forms of
confrontations, intense discussion, dialogue and debate are treated as negative conflict (Menon,
1996). Because conflict is perceived as bad, most people and corporations wish to ignore or avoid
conflict.
A common means of avoiding conflict (or repressing it) is to be secretive...The notion is
that if nobody knows what you are doing, there can be little conflict. By being secretive
you may delay conflict and confrontation, but when it does surface, it will have far more
negative emotions attached to it than would have been the case if things were more open
(Bacal, 1998, p. 130).
It is the opportunity and responsibility of the communication professionals to foster a more open
communication environment within the organization.
Much of the organizational literature is focused on recent phenomena concerning
employee dissatisfaction, dissent, and workplace anger or violence. All organizations must deal
with conflict and change.
Good organizational conflict is conflict and disagreement that allows the organization or
people in it to grow, solve problems more effectively, and counter-balance the inertia that
most organizations develop. Good organizational conflict contributes to helping people
examine that which they take for granted, old ways of doing things that may no longer be
optimal, and stimulate creativity and problem solving (Bacal, 1998, p. 131).
However, it is evident by todays increase in employee distrust and dissatisfaction that
conflict is handled poorly in most corporations, and the environment is one of closed or stifled
communications. Much of that is due to internal public relations tactics including, again, spin.
Corporate America is infatuated with spin. Top executives still fear giving employees straight talk.
Instead of giving them the bad news with the good news, companies try to make everything seem a
little too shiny and bright. Result: employees who believe the spin get angry when reality sets in
(Flynn, 1998, p. 26).
25


There is increasing employee disenchantment resulting from this spin as reflected by
growing employee complaints, employment lawsuits, and employee turnover. In a 1998
Workforce/E.span survey, 84% of the participating Human Resources professionals reported'that
employee hostility in their organizations has increased (Flynn, 1998, p. 27). Employees are often
ignored as a public in corporate public relations, and internal communications are commonly
insufficient or ignored completely (Seitel, 1998). Employees and organizations are recognizing
more and more that a close, family-like organizational culture can no longer exist. More than 70
percent of employees believe that they must be self-sufficient in managing their careers, rather than
relying on their current firms (Conrad & Poole, 1998, p. 422). At the same time, organizations are
asking or demanding employees they do retain to do more with less, which leads to even greater
employee disenchantment and conflict in the workplace (Conrad & Poole, 1998).
According to Bacal (1998), main contributors to ineffective or ugly conflict and
employee dissatisfaction in organizations include: Nonaction (a corporate culture tenet that we
dont have conflict here), administrative orbiting (claiming that the conflict is being dealt with
but the problem never gets addressed), law and order (using power and regulations to repress
outward manifestations of conflict), and secrecy (a common means of avoiding or repressing
conflict). However, conflict is necessary in organizations to promote valuable change and avoid
stagnation. Much of the organizational communication literature addresses this concern of
corporations today (Bacal, 1998; Conrad & Poole, 1998; Flynn, 1998).
Conrad and Poole (1998) also discuss the concept of voice relating to organizational
communication: Recently, organizational communication theorists have started to focus on the
concept of voice, recognizing that a crucial element of social and organizational power
relationships is regulating who gets to speak and who does not, what they may speak about, and how
26


they must speak in order to be heard (p. 255). They also note ways of claiming and protecting the
voice of marginalized groups (Conrad & Poole, 1998). This is reminiscent of one of the previously
discussed tenets of leadership: protecting unconventional or marginalized voices.
One area of organizational communication that has examined sustaining relationships and
managing conflict and change in order to build a strong organization is the work on organizational
culture. The concept of organizations as culture is a large area of research in organizational
communication. Culture has been defined as the shared assumptions, values, beliefs, language,
symbols, and meaning systems that hold the organization together (Conrad & Poole, 1998, p.115).
Another definition or perspective is that organizations are communicative creations (similar to
Weicks theory) and that organizational cultures are taken-for-granted shared meanings that people
assign to their surroundings (Conrad & Poole, 1998, p. 116). The culture of an organization is
intimately associated with its communication practices and will have an impact on its identity,
vision, and image (for a review, see Conrad & Poole, 1998; Eisenberg & Goodall, 1993; Morgan,
1986).
Conrad and Poole (1998) summarize the challenges facing organizations today, which are
reflective of previously considered challenges:
They [organizations] can focus on individuality, domination, and control, become more
competitive and divided, with one group of members turning against another and
magnifying long-held antagonisms based on organizational rank, class, race, ethnicity, and
gender. Or they can focus on creating a meaningful community that represents the interests
of multiple stakeholders and meets the needs of all of its members (p. 422)
This statement can be linked to the operational definitions for this research of leadership
and public relations. It is important to note that there is an overlap of the leadership and
organizational communication literatures due to the communicative and power aspects of leadership
in organizations. Individuals or units of organizations are seen as being powerful or powerless
27


depending on the composite image that their communicative acts establish in the minds of other
members of their organization (Conrad & Poole, 1998, p. 249). This statement illustrates the
significance of communications within organizations.
Synthesizing Public Relations. Organizational Communication,
and Leadership Literature
Although no published research exists that formally links these bodies of literature,
evidence can be found that leadership, organizational communication, and public relations are not
foreign to each other. Several similarities have been noted in the previous sections. This section
will first investigate models of communication in comparison to the tenets of leadership described
earlier. Next, a synthesis of leadership theory including Heifetz tenets of leadership, and aspects of
organizational communication and public relations literatures will be presented.
The International Association of Business Communicators (LABC) conducted a study
entitled Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management in 1992. The study was
a multi-cultural analysis of how public relations is conceptualized, valued, supported, managed, and
carried out in organizations. Professional communicators recognize that globalization has greatly
affected and will continue to challenge all organizations. Turbulence, rather than stability, is the
norm in todays organizational environments (L. Grunig, 1997, p.80). The IABC study was
commissioned to determine the most effective and successful approaches to public relations in
organizations. The study contains many similarities to and correlations with Heifetzs study of
leadership in Leadership Without Easy Answers. This section will attempt to connect the ideas and
tenets of leadership to effective and ethical organizational communication and public relations.
28


The IABC study advocates a two-way symmetrical model of communication. Two-way
communication is the best way to achieve excellent communication, which is communication
that is managed strategically, meets its objectives, and balances the needs of the organization and
the needs of key publics (Lindeborg, 1994, p. 5). This sort of communication is facilitated by:
The value placed on communication by top management. Here, the emphasis is on
collaboration, they want two-way communication and win-win outcomes (Lindeborg, 1994,
p. 6).
The role and behavior of the top communicator: facilitating and encouraging participation,
decision and policy-making, and working closely with top management to solve problems that
involve communication and relationships.
A corporate culture that is participative and inclusive. Such a culture is decentralized, with
shared power and decision making. It welcomes innovation and ideas from the outside
(Lindeborg, 1994, p. 6).
These factors are correlated to Heifetzs (1994) tenets of collaboration (reaching a win-win
solution), participative problem solving and decision-making, and protection of unconventional
voices. Subsequent studies have corroborated the IABC conclusions. One major proposition [in
the IABC study] held that two-way, symmetrical communication is a vital component of effective
public relations. In fact, we have long argued that excellence in communication is characterized by
two-way, balanced relationships with strategic publics (L. Grunig, 1997, p. 79).
The IABC study also revealed six views of public relations in society:
Pragmatic: PR is a useful practice that adds value for clients by helping to meet their objectives.
Neutral: PR is a phenomenon to be studied.
Conservative: PR is a tool for defending powerful interests.
29


Radical: PR is a tool for promoting improvement and reform.
Idealistic: PR is a mechanism by which organizations and publics interact to manage
interdependence and conflict for the benefit of all.
Critical: PR is a part of the larger organizational system, subject to evaluation regarding its
ethics, social consequences, and effectiveness.
The Idealistic view of public relations is the only one that is based on a two-way symmetrical
model, yet is not often put into practice. It is also the view emphasizing management of conflict and
change in the public relations practice. The Radical view also reflects some of Heifetzs (1994)
theory of ripening issues to facilitate change. However, the two most common ways public relations
is practiced today are the pragmatic and conservative views. The authors of the study feel these
roles limit the effectiveness of public relations and have been adopted by practitioners because they
are the views held by their clients (Lindeborg, 1994, p. 10). Here, the imposed limitations of
public relations are evidenced by how the dominantly held views may be the least ethical and
committed to organizational development.
Another notable overlap between leadership, public relations, and organizational
communication literatures is the identity concept. Identity is intimately involved in communication
processes of an organization, both internally and externally. As discussed in previous sections, all
three of these bodies of research address this concept. Also, if there is a large commonality
between self-image, imago [vision], structure, and culture of the organization, then we identify a
strong identity (Rebel, 1997, p.207).
The connections that can be made between leadership, public relations, and organizational
communication suggest the potential for the practice of public relations, and possible future
directions or goals. Figure 2.1 provides a visual representation of the current overlap. Each circle
30


contains aspects and concepts from each body of literature as previously discussed, with current
overlapping concepts appearing at intersecting sections of each circle. This figure represents the
current state of synthesis, whereas this research proposes further integration of leadership theory
into public relations and organizational communication.
31


Public relations literature
Leadership
literature
Organizational
communication
literature
Figure 2.1: Theory/Literature
Overlap
32


Figure 2.1 illustrates how public relations literature, leadership theory, and organizational
theory already overlap as indicated by the shaded area. The purpose of this research is to show how
the remaining leadership tenets could be integrated into the public relations and organizational
communication literature, and thus into actual implementation and practice. Conversely, other less
than ethical concepts which appear, such as hype and spin could therefore possibly be moved
out of practice. Therefore, in the data analysis section in Chapter 4, all of the concepts appearing in
the leadership literature section will be considered in terms of public relations and organizational
communication policies and practices.
This section has presented a possible model of how leadership tenets may be integrated into
public relations and organizational communication practices, as illustrated by Figure 2.1. The
chapter provided a literature review of the public relations, leadership, and organizational
communication literature as it relates to this study. The chapter also made an attempt to illustrate
the overlap of concepts within organizational communication, public relations, and leadership
literature. This study will examine a model within an organization that, as closely as possible,
integrates the tenets of leadership into its public relations and organizational communication
policies and practices.
The following chapter will examine the methodology used in the study. The topics that
will be covered include research design, conduct of the research, and data analysis.


CHAPTER3
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
The aim of this research is to increase understanding of the potential for a leadership role of
public relations in organizations. As noted, the state of the literature indicates that the problems in
the public relations field are recognized but solutions are not apparent. Furthermore, no connection
between the theories of leadership and of public relations has been made in established literature.
The research design for this study, then, must be suitable to explore and describe the nature
of relationships between a dependent variable public relations and an independent variable -
level of leadership integration. Also, given the importance of context and rich details to the
proposed research, the methodology utilized must include the ability to consider such factors.
Therefore, a qualitative method was selected, specifically the case study. According to Ooms
(1993):
Case studies are used as exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research strategy, and are
particularly useful when the focus is on a complex new social event, institution, or
phenomenon over which the investigator has no control, (p. 9)
The applicability of this description to the current research is evident. According to Yin (1989),
the case study, like other research strategies, is a way of investigating an empirical topic by
following a set of pre-specified procedures (p. 25). As integration of leadership into public
relations in organizations is a new theoretical application, it meets Yins (1989) criteria:
In general, case studies are the preferred strategy when how or why questions are
being posed, when the investigator has little control over events, and when the focus is a
contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context (p. 13).
Yins reasons for selecting a single case study design are also applicable to this research. According
to Yin (1989), one of the reasons to choose a single case is where the case represents an extreme or
34


unique case (p. 47). Since the case chosen is unique, a single case design was selected (see
following chapter for discussion of selected case).
However, this is not to indicate that theory building or applicability to practice is not
achievable. Although the case chosen may be unique, the single case study is not unique to
academic research. In addition to close adherence to accepted case study conduct and design, the
ability to generalize findings was taken into consideration when selecting the case. The study will
be what Yin (1989) refers to as an embedded single-case design (p. 42). This means the study
will involve more than one unit of analysis (for example, the organization as a whole, a particular
department, and an individual), which is in contrast to the holistic design that would only consider
one unit.
Conduct of the Research
Site Selection and Access
The first tasks in the conduct of the research were site selection and negotiation of access.
According to Marshall and Rossman (1989), the ideal site is one where:
(1) entry is possible; (2) there is a high probability that a rich mix of many of the
processes, people, programs, interactions, and/or structures that may be a part of the
research question will be present; (3) the researcher can devise an appropriate role
to maintain continuity of presence for as long as necessary; and (4) data quality and
credibility of the study are reasonably assured by avoiding poor sampling decisions
(p. 54).
The research site was not drawn randomly from a sample of organizations. Rather, it was selected
in accordance with the operational definition of leadership and public relations (set forth in Chapter
1) in combination with the existence of an organizational implementation (the Avenir project) of
those same operational definitions. As Eisenhardt (1989) explains,
35


Sampling of cases from the chosen population is unusual when building theory from case
studies. Such research relies on theoretical sampling (ie, cases are chosen for theoretical,
not statistical reasons).. .Random selection is neither necessary, nor even preferable.. .The
goal of theoretical sampling is to choose cases which are likely to replicate or extend the
emergent theory (p. 537).
With consideration of the factors named above and research of known organizations
(particularly nonprofit organizations), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was
chosen as the organization to be examined in the case study. After thorough research of available
written material regarding the ICRCs Avenir project and preliminary contact with Yves Daccord,
Head of the Communication Division of the ICRC, the chosen site appeared to have the probability
of being a rich data source and meeting the goal of theoretical sampling (likelihood to support
extension of emergent theory).
The next issue at hand was gaining access, shortly followed by other concerns typical of
qualitative research such as building trust, role management, managing political issues, and
awareness of reciprocity issues (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The initial link and introduction of
the researcher was made via personal letter from the researcher to Yves Daccord of the ICRC. This
initial contact was responded to in kind by personal letter from Yves Daccord. Subsequently, a
second letter was sent to Mr. Daccord, explaining the research more thoroughly. A list of
preliminary questions accompanied this second letter (Appendix B).
It was agreed that the researcher could personally interview Mr. Daccord upon a visit to the
ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The researcher could also have access to internal
ICRC documents regarding the Avenir project. The purpose and intent of the research was clearly
explained and evidenced by a signed release. Trust was developed through clear communication of
interest and research intent, expression of sincere gratitude regarding access and interview granting,
36


and respectful listening. Role management and political concerns were not issues for the conduct of
the research.
Field Procedures
As noted, a researcher enters the field with a case study protocol to guide efforts. The
heart of the protocol is a set of substantive questions reflecting the actual inquiry, and are reminders
to the investigator regarding the information that needs to be collected, and why (Yin, 1989, p. 76).
Questions for this research were derived from the literature on leadership, public relations and
organizational communication. The focus of questions was:
To what extent / level has the ICRCs Avenir project integrated leadership into public relations?
This particular question could not be asked directly, as it is a, intricate, difficult, and
complicated question. However, by focusing on the tenets of leadership as discussed in the
literature review, this question can be evaluated. Interview questions attempted to determine the
level of collaboration within the organization and amongst organizational partners; the level of
vision communicated to its publics; the level to which the organization identifies and involves all
stakeholders; the level to which the organization gives work (regarding problem definition and
solution) back to stakeholders; the level to which the organization protects unconventional voices;
and finally, the level to which the organization provides a holding environment and regulates stress
when it comes to ripening issues within and outside of the organization. Background,
organizational structure, and standard procedures and policies questions were included as well.
With these questions in mind, data collection was initiated. Yin (1989) notes six sources which
can be the focus of data collection for case studies: documentation, archival records, interviews,
37


direct observation, participant-observation, and physical artifact (p. 85). The first four were
essential components of the current case study research. The sources of data include:
Published documentation and/or papers relating to the ICRC.
Articles and/or papers published by the ICRC.
The Head of the Department of Communication of the ICRC.
Observation of the movements, policies, projects and campaigns of the ICRC during and after
implementation of the Avenir project.
Direct observation of work environment at ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Data Analysis
Yin (1989) describes several levels of questions to be used as part of data collection and
analysis which include: questions asked of individual respondents, questions asked of the individual
case, questions asked of the study itself (how it relates to the literature), and normative questions
which might be asked in terms of practice implications and recommendations. Every attempt was
made to follow these recommendations for data analysis. Qualitative data analysis was employed,
using an interpretive approach. Denzin (1994) states:
In the social sciences, there is only interpretation. Nothing speaks for itself. Confronted
with a mountain of impressions, documents, and field notes, the qualitative researcher faces
the difficult and challenging task of making sense of what has been learned (p. 500).
As noted by Marshall and Rossman (1989), the sense making is a search for general statements
about relationships among categories or data by way of: data organization; generation of
categories, themes and patterns; considering alternate explanations of the data; and, interpretation
(p. 112).
38


Spatial displays were also employed to illustrate interorganizational relationships and
organization of the data collected. These displays were used for description and analysis applying
selected strategies suggested by Miles and Huberman (1984): noting patterns and themes, seeing
plausibility, subsuming particulars into the general, noting relations between variables, building a
chain of evidence, and making conceptual coherence.
Criteria of Soundness
Marshall and Rossman (1989) contend, all research must respond to canons that stand as
criteria against which the trustworthiness of the project can be evaluated (p. 144). For qualitative
research, these canons are referred to as criteria of soundness (p. 144). Marshall and Rossman
(1989) present four constructs which more accurately [than the positivist paradigm constructs of
internal and external validity, reliability and objectivity] reflect the assumptions of the qualitative
paradigm (p. 145): credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.
The first construct is credibility, in which the goal is to demonstrate that the inquiry was
/
conducted in such a manner as to ensure the subject was accurately identified and described
(Marshall & Rossman, 1989, p. 145). This criterion would be addressed through careful use of
literature in construction of case study and interview questions, multiple data sources, and
fieldwork.
The second is transferability, which is the ability to generalize to theory. This would be
addressed by strong linkage to a clear theoretical framework and establishment of operational
definitions. According to Yin (1989), the most important validity question for the case study
method is not statistical generalization to a population, but analytic generalization to a theory
(p. 10). Yin (1989) suggests, and this research will comply, utilizing multiple sources of evidence,
39


creating a case study data base which includes all data collected, and maintaining a chain of
evidence which can logically be followed and understood by anyone reviewing the study process.
The third criteria is dependability in which the researcher attempts to account for '
changing conditions in the phenomenon chosen for study as well as changes in the design created by
increasingly refined understanding of the study (Marshall & Rossman, 1989, p. 147). This study
endeavored to achieve dependability through implementation of careful and thorough analytic and
reporting procedures.
The final construct is confirmability, which captures the traditional concept of objectivity
(Marshall & Rossman, 1989, p. 147). Every attempt was made to question the data, employ the best
critical interviewing skills, practice value-free note taking, as well as repeated scrutiny of the data
collection and analysis procedures.
The following chapter will provide an introduction to the case study, a brief history and
description of the chosen organization, and data analysis.
40


CHAPTER 4
THE CASE STUDY
The organization of interest is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). There
are several reasons behind choosing this particular organization. First, it is a politically neutral
organization within a politically neutral country. As an international humanitarian action
organization, it faces all if not more of the challenges and problems facing the majority of
organizations within the U.S. and worldwide. Second, it is a very large and well-established
organization (it has approximately 8,000 to 10,000 employees and has been in existence since
1863). This fact will ensure that the organization will be in existence for a very long time during
and after the study is completed for possible future research or observation. The ICRC also
establishes a link (ability for generalization) to large corporations in the U.S. and worldwide
(especially regarding structure, organization, and implementation). Third and most importantly, it is
currently implementing an organizational program of interest to this research: the Avenir Project.
Upon review of the description and explanation of the Avenir project, many elements of leadership
and their connection to the field of public relations were identified. The study will delve into the
Avenir project as a model of integration of leadership into public relations.
Before any interviews were conducted, however, a working knowledge of the ICRC and of
the Avenir project was achieved. Thorough background and historical research was conducted, and
every attempt was made to collect up-to-date information on the Avenir project.
41


Brief History of the ICRC
In June of 1859, Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman, was witness to the horrific scene of
thousands of wounded soldiers left to die in agony for lack of medical services on the battlefield of
Solferino in northern Italy. In 1862, he published his book A Memory of Solferino in which he
called for relief societies to be formed with volunteer nurses to care for the wounded in wartime, and
for those societies to be recognized and protected through an international agreement. His ideas
soon led to the creation of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded. By invitation
from the Committee, representatives from sixteen countries and four philanthropic institutions
convened in Geneva, Switzerland in 1863, marking the founding of the International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) as an institution. Following in 1864, the Swiss government convened a
diplomatic conference in Geneva at the urging of the newly formed ICRC. Representatives of
twelve governments negotiated and adopted a treaty called Geneva Convention for the
Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. This ten-article treaty was
the first treaty of international humanitarian law. The creation of Red Cross Societies all over
Europe and the United States followed. Further conferences were held in later years establishing
protection of additional categories of victims, such as prisoners of war. After the Second World
War, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 were adopted, providing protection for the first time of
civilians in wartime. The Conventions were then supplemented in 1977 by two Additional
Protocols.
Henry Dunant also established the emblem of a red cross on a white background (the
reverse of the Swiss flag) for the ICRC. The symbol represented the neutrality of the institution and
ensured the protection of the wounded and those who cared for them. In wartime, the red cross on a
white background (and later the red crescent adopted by Societies) is the visible sign of protection
42


conferred by the Geneva Conventions on people and objects authorized to display it, and misuse of
the emblem is a violation of international humanitarian law.
Relations to Other Red Cross Entities
During the wars of the 19th Century, the different branches of the Red Cross family
established their identity: the National Societies as auxiliaries to the armed forces of their respective
countries, and the ICRC as a neutral intermediary between the conflicting parties. Today, there are
several institutions or federations which formed from the original ICRC.
The ICRC itself is an independent humanitarian institution. It is the founding body of the
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (see figure 2). Acting as a neutral
intermediary in the event of armed conflict or disturbances, it seeks on its own initiative, or on the
basis or the Geneva Conventions and the Protocols additional thereto, to protect and assist victims
of international or non-intemational armed conflict and those affected by internal disturbances or
tension (ICRC: Answers to your questions, 1998, p 2.). It is the responsibility of the ICRC to
grant official recognition to potential Red Cross or Red Crescent National Societies, which may then
apply to join the Federation.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies develops and
supports National Societies (such as The American Red Cross) throughout the world. The
Federation mainly focuses on natural and technological disasters, and is a separate entity from each
of the National Societies. The National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities in
humanitarian matters, and may vary in function and role from country to country. The ICRC does
work closely with most of the National Societies, and it is responsible for coordinating the National
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies international relief operations to assist victims of conflict.
43


Together, all three of these entities make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement, also known as the International Red Cross as illustrated by Figure 4.1:
FIGURE 4.1: Red Cross Relations
The ICRC
The ICRC is headquarted in Geneva, Switzerland. It conducts field operations in
approximately 80 countries and has delegations in 58 countries (International Review of the Red
Cross No. 833). The total personnel is currently almost 10,000 people, with approximately 632
(1998 figure) located at headquarters in Geneva. In 1998, ICRC delegates visited over 190,000
44


detainees in more than 1,300 places of detention, and provided more than 64,000 tons of relief
supplies (International Review of the Red Cross No. 833).
The ICRC is known first and foremost for field operations in aid of victims of armed
conflict and internal violence. However, it also is charged with the roles as guardian, or promoter
and custodian, of international humanitarian law. This role is charged to the ICRC by Article 5 of
the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which is to undertake the
tasks incumbent upon it under the Geneva Conventions, to work for the faithful application of
international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to take cognizance of any
complaints based on alleged breaches of that law (Sandoz, 1998, p.2). This role will be explored
further in relation to communication and the goals of this research.
The ICRC is governed by the Statutes of the International Committee of the Red Cross
(Appendix C). These statues dictate the action, form and structure of the organization. The
decision-making bodies of the ICRC are (a) the Assembly; (b) the Assembly Council, (c) the
Presidency, (d) the Directorate, and (e) Management Control. Functions and responsibilities of
each and current members may be found in Appendix D.
Its Mission Statement (Appendix E) also guides the ICRC. The ICRC pursues the mandate
it received from the international community to help victims of war and internal violence and to
promote compliance with international humanitarian law (Appendix E). The purpose of
international humanitarian law is to limit and prevent human suffering in times of armed conflict.
The core of the law is in the four Geneva Conventions and their two Additional Protocols which
provide protection to the following categories listed below by Convention or Protocol:
First Convention: wounded and sick members of the armed forces in the field;
Second Convention: wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of the armed forces at sea;
45


Third Convention: prisoners of war;
Fourth Convention: civilians in times of war;
Protocols of 1977: supplement the Conventions and aim to limit the use of violence and
protect the civilian population by strengthening the rules governing the conduct of
hostilities (Getting to Know the ICRC, 1997, pp. 13-14).
The brief summary of the Conventions and Protocols stated above are at the heart of what the ICRC
was established to protect and what it is mandated to promote, guard, and monitor.
Functions of the ICRC
Yves Sandoz (1998) proposes six functions of the ICRC regarding international
humanitarian law:
The monitoring function- i.e., constant reappraisal of humanitarian rules to ensure
that they are geared to the reality of conflict situations, and preparing for their
adaptation and development when necessary.
The catalyst function- i.e., stimulation, especially within groups of governmental and
other experts, discussion of problems encountered and possible solutions, whether
such solutions involve changes to the law or otherwise.
The promotion function- i.e., advocacy in favor of the law, helping to disseminate
and teach it, and urging States to adopt national measures necessary for its
implementation.
The guardian angel function- i.e., defending international humanitarian law against
legal developments that disregard its existence or might tend to weaken it.
The direct action function- i.e., making a direct and practical contribution to
application of the law in situations of armed conflict.
46


The watchdog function- i.e., raising the alarm, first among the States and other
parties directly concerned in an armed conflict, and thereafter among the international
community as a whole, whenever serious violations of the law occur (pp. 2-3):
Governmental, corporate, and particularly nonprofit organizations may have functions
common to those outlined above. Two of them, the promotion and catalyst functions, are of
particular interest to this case study. The ICRC utilizes every tool at its disposal for these two
functions, such as websites, CD-ROMs, advertising campaigns, lectures, development and dispersal
of brochures, calendars, posters, newsletters, reviews, press releases, articles, and other publications.
The ICRC functions very much like nonprofit organizations in the U.S. Acting on the basis
of the specific mandate it has received from the States bound by the Geneva Conventions and the
Protocols, the ICRC functions in over 80 countries around the world. The ICRCs operations are
funded by contributions from governments, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
supranational organizations, non-governmental organizations, public and private sources and
legacies (Getting to Know the ICRC, 1997, p. 3). Like most nonprofits in the U.S., the ICRC is
driven by a specific mission and mandate, and all contributions are voluntary.
This section has presented a brief history and description of the ICRC and what it does.
The next section will include an introduction to and examination of the Avenir project.
ICRC/Avenir Project Data
On June 7, 1999, a personal interview was conducted with Mr. Yves Daccord, Head of the
Department of Communications for the ICRC in Geneva, Switzerland. The interview was tape
recorded with permission from Mr. Daccord, and field notes were taken during the interview.
47


References will be made to this interview (personal interview) of which the full text may be found
in Appendix F. Other archived documentation and ICRC structural information were gathered
during a five-month period prior to the interview and a five-month period after the interview.
The Avenir Project
According to Mr. Yves Daccord, the Avenir project (named for the French word lavenir
meaning the future) was first conceived in 1996. The board decided in 1996 that there was a
clear need with the changing time, changing environments, there was a clear need to discuss- not
only to have a top down but a bottom up [communication process] too (Y. Daccord, personal
interview, June 1999). The results of the Avenir project were presented to and adopted by the
ICRCs Assembly on December 12, 1997 (Appendix G). Subsequently, a plan of action was drawn
up and endorsed at the Assembly meeting on April 29 and 30, 1998. The timetable for
implementation stretches from May 1998 to September 2001. The Avenir project is apian of action
for the ICRC to address the new challenges, become more proactive, and adopt strategies that will
allow it to respond and adapt to changing environments.
Certain challenges forced the ICRC to look at itself and its organization, and realize that
understanding and adaptation to the challenges would be necessary for survival and success. The
ICRCs Avenir project: Challenges, mission and strategy (1997) notes the general feeling of
uncertainty as the world approaches the new millennium:
In the post-Cold War era, the worlds communities have in many senses lost their bearings
and much of their capacity to give meaning to the future. The vision of continuous
progress has been shattered, and there is a widespread feeling of uncertainty as to what the
future holds in store. This feeling is gaining ground as a result of two simultaneous but
contradictory forces, namely globalization and the assertion of individual identity (p. 1).
48


As an international organization, the ICRC is in a unique position to experience firsthand
the challenges associated with globalization and emerging technologies as discussed previously.
Accompanying this is the probability that armed violence and conflicts arising from the trend
towards fragmentation of societies will continue in the years to come, with an increasing impact on
the civilian population (The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 1). New and often unknown
players as well as the weakening of the state cause situations in which the ICRC must function to be
increasingly volatile and unpredictable. The humanitarian environment itself is becoming more
complex as well, including increasing competition from new humanitarian players (similar to
increasing competition in the non-profit sector of the U.S.).
The ICRC recognizes, also as noted previously, that some leaders tend to employ work
avoidance mechanisms in stressful situations and provide technical solutions to extremely difficult
problems. In an age of instant and graphic television coverage, politicians have little stomach for
the hard decisions that are actually needed.... Increasingly, political leaders tend to let things slide
(Boegli, 1998, p. 2).
In light of such challenges, the ICRC realized a major change of strategy is required
(The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 3). The four main strategies of the Avenir project are:
(a) restoring independent humanitarian action, knowledge of and respect for humanitarian
law and principles to their proper status,
(b) strengthening dialogue with all players,
(c) bringing humanitarian action close to the victims, looking to the long term and
establishing priorities;
(d) increasing the ICRCs efficiency (The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 3).
The first strategy in the Avenir project document (1997) involves the ICRCs mandate as
guardian of international humanitarian law: The ICRC intends to remain the promoter of
humanitarian action.. .putting persuasion before condemnation. The values underlying humanitarian
law.. .must be incorporated in a message that is systematically propagated and constantly adapted to
49


the cultural environment for which it is intended (p. 4). This strategy is based on effective
communication tailored to the specific public or audience.
The second strategy involves establishing and maintaining relations and dialogue with all
players concerned (all stakeholders). This strategy also incorporates collaboration: The ICRC
will seek not only to share its experience and views, but also to coordinate its action with that of
other relevant humanitarian agencies, even launching joint appeals should the circumstances
require (The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 2).
The third strategy involves giving more weight to its delegations and making them more
sensitive to the local context of a given conflict (The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 2). By
bringing humanitarian action close to the victims, the ICRC will be able to put the law in context of
the local conflict and thus communicate and promote it more effectively.
The fourth strategy involves improving internal communication and restructuring the
organization to meet the challenges. Functioning more effectively in a complex and uncertain
environment will ultimately enhance the security, mobility and motivation of ICRC staff members
(The ICRCs Avenir Project, 1997, p. 8).
According to Yves Daccord, this first presentation of the Avenir project is referred to as the
Avenir studies, and then afterwards there was a plan of action for the ICRC for 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001 (personal interview, June 1999). The Avenir project as described above reflects that first
phase, the studies, or recommendations presented by the conclusions of the study. The second
phase involves actual structural and policy changes implemented at the ICRC as a result of the
Avenir studies.
This section has provided a brief description of the Avenir project. The following section
will discuss what effects the Avenir project has had on the ICRC.
50


Division of Communication- Effects of Avenir on Structure and Policies
Yves Daccord heads the Division of Communication of the ICRC. He was appointed as
Head of Communication in December of 1998. One of his first assignments was to follow up on
the Avenir studies: Because people were not very happy with the outcome of December 97 [the
Avenir studies], it was too vague, so I was asked to do it, and I was appointed last year in December
98 as Head of Communication and my task was to merge in fact all of this, and to find a new
strategy and a new way of organizing (personal interview, June 1999). He established The 1999
Communication Group (GCOMM99) as a means of following up the Avenir plan adopted by the
Assembly (Daccord, Schaad, Saddler, Lusser, Dutli, de Perrot, Gauthier, & Masse, 1998, p. 1).
The group created a report titled Unite Communication 99 which was adopted by the Directorate.
This report, referred to by Mr. Daccord as the baby of Avenir, pinpoints challenges and solidifies
the orientations, mission, guiding principles, responsibilities, and organization of the newly merged
Communication Division.
The group identified, from the Avenir studies, the specific challenges related to
communication. As discussed previously, advances in technology and access to information is a
challenge all communication professionals face in todays world. The ICRC communication
division is greatly affected by this changing environment. Unconfirmed figures flash around the
planet within minutes and the political decision-makers no longer know what reports they can rely
on. In this situation, what counts more than anything is the credibility of the information and the
party relaying it (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 5). GCOMM99 recognized as well that humanitarian
agencies are valued as sources of information and expertise, and that quality of personal contacts
is as important as the quality of the information provided (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 5). This places
51


the ICRC in a unique and often difficult position. The ICRC must maintain a presence in the media
in order to compete in the information market both at world and at local level, but must also
reinforce its credibility and maintain relationships with all players involved which can lead to
conflicting choices (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 6). The ICRC must always follow its mandate of
protecting and promoting international humanitarian law, but also must keep lines of
communication open during emotional conflicts. The challenge here is to find a position which
will enable the ICRC to communicate without being perceived as a danger and a threat to the parties
to the conflict (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 7). One necessary step is to redefine the identity of the
ICRC in order to meet these challenges. This is a necessary step in projecting a clear image and
the strengthening of its identity is a prerequisite for the ICRC to act on its environment (Daccord et
al, 1998, p. 7).
t
GCOMM99 took the recommendations presented in the Avenir studies and solidified them
into a plan of action for the Communication Division. The Communication Division of the ICRC
was originally seven different divisions, each working separately and independently of one another:
There was one communication unit that was mainly dealing with information and there was
a lot of production, audio-visual materials, right? But they didnt really play a strategic
role. And there was another side which we call Dissemination which was promotion of
international humanitarian law.. .and there was the division with the military and security
forces. So all were split, so what we have decided was the challenge is so big, and as you
mentioned we want to have an impact on the top leadership, on the decision-making
strategy, we wanted to gather all of these people (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June
1999).
As a result of the Avenir studies, the ICRC realized it needed to merge all seven communication
divisions into one integrated department. Each section retains its expertise and focus, but the
communication skills are brought together into one department (Appendix H). An additional focus
52


for this reorganization, and of the Avenir project as a whole, is internal communication. According
to Yves Daccord:
And inside, one of the key issues is internal communication. Absolutely key issue. And
that was something we never really tackled seriously at ICRC. That was new so what
we are bringing in, what we want as the Communication department bring the top
leadership of the ICRC the means and expertise about internal communications, so a
strategy of internal communications (personal interview, June 1999).
As a result of the Avenir studies and the challenges identified, the Communication division
also adopted nine main orientations which will be the working focus of the Communication
division:
To draw up a message which is consistent without necessarily being uniform on the
basis of IHL [international humanitarian law], the Fundamental Principles and the expertise
and identity of the ICRC.
To innovate in order to guarantee lasting success. To have the capacity to monitor closely
all developments relevant to ICRC communication. To incorporate them into long term
strategies and into policies at both local and global levels.
To rely above all on skills and to make the best possible use of them. To bring to the fore
the skills of the ICRCs national staff as a strength in dealing with local issues. To ensure
that these skills are made available to users.
To cease analyzing the environment chiefly on the basis of target audiences or problems to
be resolved. To aim instead at rapid identification of opportunities and, if necessary, to
seize them when they offer themselves. To adopt a forward-looking and innovative
attitude.
To create the space needed to favor this approach through a strong framework of reference,
within which it is possible to act with speed and flexibility.
To favor project management. To ensure that the projects planned and the opportunities
seized serve to support the objectives of the ICRC and correspond to the priorities, to the
resources available and to the characteristics of the context.
To master the main tools of communication, especially in campaigns and marketing, as
well as the sciences of influencing behavior. To have the capacity to produce effective
materials for public information.
53


To adopt decentralization as a strategic policy for putting the options defined into practice,
for establishing a solid footing in regional contexts and for improving support to the
delegations.
To be rigorous in management and to adapt the organization of the Communication
Division to needs (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 8).
The mission of the Communication Division was also redefined as a result of the Avenir
studies:
The mission of the Communication Division and of all its staff at headquarters and in the
field is to provide the ICRC with the leadership, expertise and means needed for internal
and external communication to (a) make an impact on the behavior of those who determine
the fate of the victims of war, (b) to influence those who can obstruct of facilitate the action
of the ICRC, and (c) to reinforce the identity of the Institution and to project a clear image
(Daccord et al., 1998, p. 9).
The responsibilities of the Communication Division pursuant to the mission statements and
orientations are intricately associated with the mission and mandate of the ICRC as discussed in the
previous section (see Appendices C and E). The responsibilities of the newly integrated
communication department were redefined and solidified as a result of the Avenir studies (Appendix
I)-
All of the structural and policy changes implemented were possible due to the
understanding of the importance of communication by the top levels at the ICRC. One of the
things that most of our colleagues realize is that communications is a key element. There is a clear
understanding from the top management due to the fact that you do it, or you die (Y. Daccord,
personal interview, June 1999).
This section has provided an overview of the structural and policy effects of the Avenir
project. Further discussion and analysis will be completed in following sections. The next section
54


will discuss tools utilized by the ICRC Communication Division for internal and external
communication.
Internal and External Communication Tools
The ICRC has adopted internal communication as a new organizational focus. Several
tools have been put into place to facilitate internal communication. For example, an intranet
databank based on Lotus Notes has been implemented in which all staff (field and headquarters) can
access information on a daily basis. Everybody can look at-it and its valid for headquarters and
field (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The ICRC also utilizes E-mail extensively (for
detailed specifics on the ICRCs telecommunications, see Appendix J). A second classical form of
internal communication utilized is an employee newspaper called Avenue de la Paix which is
named for the street on which the ICRC is located in Geneva. According to Mr. Daccord, the
newspaper is a very, lets say, funny newspaper. It is done by people inside my unit, and its open
and quite critical of the ICRC. Discussion and openness, the idea is that we want this to be read by
people.... A lot of discussions, sometimes heavy ones where people are not happy (personal
interview, June 1999).
Internal communication is also facilitated by direct work with the directorate. According to
Mr. Daccord, we have a directorate and we train a lot with them, we have four directors so my role
is to advise them. So in June, we have three major meetings with the top leadership and the
[middle] leadership too. Field and headquarters [meet] together to discuss the main issues. They
can talk to the directorate and say that doesnt work. Its not happening. We are worried....
(personal interview, June 1999).
55


For external communication, the ICRC utilizes any and all tools possible to achieve its
goals and mandate. Global campaigns are conducted from Geneva through global media: Through
CNN, BBC, etc., a global network (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). They also work
through each National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society in particular countries. You have
very classical promotions: calendars, books, brochures, publications, the web, as well as CDs, CD-
ROMs and local entertainment and performances (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
An example of this is the ICRCs activity in Africa:
We have worked on Africa, on a project where we wanted Africans speaking to Africans.
In Africa its more and more clear to be a white person is not anymore a good way to go to
pass a message. Its difficult, and African leaders are very very strong leaders. So what we
did was make a campaign with six major singers, so we have a CD [title song So Why?]
and it was promoted all over Africa. With a very strong message about respect the rules,
respect the civilians in war. And then they made a tour, and we had a movie about it,
which is Music Goes to War, and we have a book also fWoza Africa!. Thats only a
focus on Africa, its not worldwide, its just a focus on Africa. Using our network, and
also the commercial channel (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
As an international humanitarian agency involved in highly emotional or controversial
conflicts worldwide, media relations is a very important aspect of ICRC functions. All delegates go
through three weeks of training, which includes media and communication instruction. The basics
regarding dealing with the media are covered initially: We of course explain to them
communication in general, what does it mean, they way they have to behave, that wearing dark
glasses at a checkpoint, its not a good idea (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Persons
being sent to the field undergo additional training regarding dissemination and speaking to the
media. The ICRC has adopted a more open policy regarding media relations, at least, as much as
possible. According to Mr. Daccord:
The other thing we understand also, especially in communication, its not possible anymore
to say no comment, or very difficult. We are very careful about the way we deal with
information, but the more careful you are, the more closed you are, the more you have to
56


explain why you cant. Now we start to understand this, so in communication, we are more
and more able to explain this, and be more and more open to people. And in
communication, what we do is we dont really have a spokesperson, contrary to a lot of
different organizations. We want journalists being directly connected with the people in
charge. We [still] have a Head of Media.. .but still what we dont want is to have a kind of
official language.... Sometimes of course it has a little problem, but generally speaking its
much better. The relation is much better with the press, much more open (personal
interview, June 1999).
This section provided a description of the communication tools utilized by the ICRC.
Analysis and discussion of these tools will take place in the following section on data analysis.
Data Analysis
This section will discuss the policies, practices and projects of the ICRC addressed by the
Avenir project in relation to the tenets of leadership previously discussed in Chapter 2. The
leadership tenets that appeared in the leadership literature circle of Figure 2.1 will be discussed in
detail in relation to communication practices and policies of the ICRC, specifically: involving
stakeholders in identifying the adaptive challenge, regulating stress, maintaining a focus on the
issues, giving adaptive work back to stakeholders, protecting unconventional voices, gaining a view
from the balcony, collaboration, and vision.
Table 4.1 provides a summary of the following sections. The change model and processes
as discussed in the organizational communication literature review apply to the Avenir project. The
table shows how the changes are proceeding and progressing through the organization. The top of
the table, labeled Level of Integration, exemplifies the stages of change in the organization as per
Weick.
All of the following concepts and aspects will have import to theory which will be
addressed in Chapter 6. First, analysis and understanding of the data must be completed and
achieved.
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Involve stakeholders in identifying adaptive challenge
A first step when faced with an internal or external problem or conflict is to identify the
adaptive challenge. This includes involving the stakeholders in the identification and definition of
the problem at hand. The ICRC has recognized this as an important step in achieving its goals and
mission. As indicated in Table 4.1, this leadership tenet is being incorporated into policies,
practices, and projects addressed by Avenir, and is in the initial stage of implementation overall.
One of the four main strategies of the Avenir project is bringing humanitarian action close to the
victims, looking to the long term and establishing priorities (Future of the ICRC: plan of action,
1998, p. 1). According to ICRC documentation, this requires greater initial analysis of situations on
a local context basis, and making ICRC delegations more sensitive to the local context of a given
conflict (Future of the ICRC: plan of action, 1998, p. 2). This position indicates greater
involvement of stakeholders.
The leadership tenet of involving stakeholders in identifying the adaptive challenge is
evident in the ICRC campaign called People On War (Appendix I). This campaign is above all a
methodical listening process, whose purpose is to gather the opinions of people worldwide on the
rules of war defined by international humanitarian law (People on War in Brief, 1999, p.l). This
project being carried out by the ICRC is illustrative of involving people in the identification and
definition of problems pertaining to international humanitarian law. The project includes group
discussions and thousands of individual interviews, as well as a web site (www.onwar.org). The
projects ultimate goal once the listening and assessment phases are over is to enhance the
effectiveness of international humanitarian law and of humanitarian action in general (People on
War in Brief, 1999, p.l). The ICRC has acknowledged the importance of involving those closest
58


to a problem or conflict. As noted by Urs Boegli (1998), the head of the ICRCs Media Services:
If we recognize the value of taking the trouble to listen to those who truly know a situation.. .then
we will at least be taking steps towards greater credibility (p.3).
Another example of how and where the ICRC embodies the leadership tenet of involving
stakeholders in the identification and definition of the problem is in dissemination of international
humanitarian law. The ICRC has recognized that in order for its dissemination activities to be
effective, it must address the identification of needs by or with the beneficiaries (Haroff-Tavel,
1998, p. 8). The ICRC has adopted an inclusive approach relating the essentials of humanitarian
law to the humanitarian values inherent in the culture and traditions of local populations evident in
traditions, stories, proverbs, historical and literary references, and music. Indeed, comprehension
of the ICRCs humanitarian message often depends on the existence of corresponding tenets in local
custom (The ICRCs Avenir project, 1997, p. 5). In this sense, the ICRC is involving local
culture and local decision-makers and opinion-makers in the dialogue. Dissemination should
preferably meet an expectation.... A dissemination project should, if possible, be undertaken to
meet specific needs or in response to requests made by political, military, academic, educational or
other authorities (Haroff-Tavel, 1998, p.8). According to Yves Daccord, this is mainly done at the
level of delegations: What we are doing is work with our relays or local people, and make a task or
focus group and say, ok, obviously we have problems. We compare this to what the government
says.... To have more local involvement, be more informed about whats going on, whats the
problem, whats the main issue (personal interview, June 1999).
The Avenir project also addresses the need for involving internal stakeholders (employees
and delegates) in the identification and definition of problems within the ICRC. According to Mr.
Daccord, the ICRC recognized that there was a clear need to discuss not only to have a top
59


down but a bottom up [communication process] too- a discussion getting the people in the field
involved too (personal interview, June 1999). Improving internal communication is one of the
measures identified as vital to the strategy of increasing the ICRCs efficiency (as identified by the
Avenir project). According to Mr. Daccord, the ICRC has policies that allow for employees to
discuss problems directly with top management. This, however, does create some difficulties for
the top management. Its difficult for the top leadership to deal with that. You realize very quickly
that the door is not open very easily ten hours a day.... We have to teach our management to be a
little more strategic (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
In summary, the Avenir project has led the ICRC to clarify and focus on the need to
include stakeholders in the identification and definition of problems. This is evident in the
statement of guiding principles for the Communication Division outlined by the GCOMM99
group in response to the Avenir studies: Understanding others enhances communication.
Familiarity with sensitive issues, diverse cultures, individual concerns and contexts. Need to remain
close to both internal and external customers so as to understand their aims and problems, and meet
their expectations (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 10).
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LEVEL OF INTEGRATION
Involve stakeholders in identifying adaptive challenge Avenir strategies; IHL dissemination policies; Nev internal conumnication program; "People On War'1 canpaign
Regulate Stress /provide holding environment Avenir strategies; reporting policies
Maintainfocus on the issues Constant focus coiIHL (miss ion and mandate)
Involve stakeholders in solution process Avenir strategies ; greater delegate autanorry, focus on local cultures
Protect unconventional / m ar gnalis e d voic e s Responsibilities of Dept, of Comminicatian; 'People On Wai*' campaign
Perspective / View from the balcony Open channels of ccanmmication with all parties; ability to move past ideologies
Collaboration Avenir strategies; Commitment to collaboration; Responsibilities of Dept, of C cutuTTurdc ation
Pr ovi si on / C omm uni c ation of Vision Nav internal communication policy; Re-defiruns identity
Table 4.1: Data Results
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Regulate stress / Provide holding environment
The next vital leadership step is keeping the stress at a level that is tolerable and allows for
and facilitates adaptive work. Heifetz (1994) refers to this as providing a holding environment.
This is a difficult aspect of leadership, as it involves applying pressure while at the same time
knowing how much stress an environment can handle. It requires open lines of communication in
order to know the environment sufficiently. As Table 4.1 indicates, the ICRC has implemented
strategies and policies addressing this issue. According to Yves Daccord:
One of the strengths of the ICRC is that we want absolutely to have all the channels open,
which is risky, which is sometimes dangerous, but we want to. And it means first of all
that you have contact with them, you know them. You have a real knowledge from their
family, of the way they work, of their history (personal interview, June 1999).
Because the ICRC insists upon keeping all channels open, they are able to eventually know and
establish a history with each party involved. In that way, they are able to eventually predict
behavior and actions of players. This is one of the strategies identified by the Avenir project:
The ICRC must direct its energy to a systematic effort to maintain contact with all the
entities concerned, in particular States, the various centers of power in civil society-
including economic circles and special interest and pressure groups- and new non-State
players such as guerrilla forces, paramilitary groups, private armies, and even groups that
might be connected with organized crime. In this context, it intends to establish a
humanitarian platform, that is, a mechanism for identifying and updating the institutions
agenda of priority issues and of the problems and challenges to be anticipated and solved
by mobilizing the international community in a targeted manner (ICRCs Avenir project,
ICRC, 1997, p. 6).
Knowing the parties involved is one main step in being able to regulate the stress of adaptive work.
The second aspect is being able to apply the right amount of pressure to a situation regarding the
issue at hand in order to facilitate adaptive work. This involves continuing communication with the
players involved regarding the identified challenge. Positive relations does not mean silence, fear,
62


or the abandonment of humanitarian values, but the establishment of a constructive, although partly
critical, dialogue that takes due account of the different responsibilities, means and strengths of the
partners concerned (Davey & Blondel, 1999, p. 4). The ICRC is committed to having the courage
to take positions and conduct campaigns on essential issues. It is a policy of the ICRC to conduct
campaigns on an international level, but also on a local level coordinated by the local delegation.
However, the ICRC recognizes the need to ripen the issues at a rate that the particular
environment can handle. The ICRC undertakes to report only to the authorities concerned. This
means that ICRC delegates.. .can build up a relationship of mutual trust and respect.. ..[At times] the
ICRC may choose to publicly voice its concern; however, it will never publish its findings
(Getting to know the ICRC, 1997, p.5). In this way, the ICRC is able to maintain relationships,
while at the same time apply pressure to ripen issues.
An element of regulating stress to facilitate adaptive work is being flexible and responsive
to the environment (Heifetz, 1994). The Communication Division has re-emphasized flexibility as a
vital element to its success. This is evident in the statement of guiding principles for the
Communication Division outlined by the GCOMM99 group in response to the Avenir studies:
Monitoring the development of the ICRCs environment and knowing how to incorporate new
trends advisedly and at the right moment (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 10).
Maintain focus on the issues
Maintaining focus on the issues is a goal which was re-enforced and re-emphasized by the
Avenir project, but is not new to the ICRC. At the heart of the ICRCs mission and mandate is a
commitment to maintain a focus on international humanitarian law through dissemination,
63


promotion, and direct action. Avenir re-emphasized maintaining focus on the issues as a main
strategy:
Restoring independent humanitarian action, knowledge of and respect for humanitarian law and
principles to their proper status.. ..This involves asserting the ICRCs role as a universal
reference point for issues connected with international humanitarian law.. ..The plan of action
proposed 38 measures in this regard, aimed at establishing closer complementarity between
international humanitarian law and human rights law, promoting and developing international
humanitarian law, spreading knowledge of and enhancing respect for humanitarian law among
the new perpetrators of armed violence (Future of the ICRC: plan of action, 1998, p. 2).
Externally, the ICRC is involved in maintaining focus on the real issues in many different
ways. One example is its current campaign People on War, the campaign focusing on the rules of
war. Through this campaign, the ICRC is trying to have an impact on people, then they start to
behave, during wartime, according to the rules, right? Which is very difficult for the people to
understand, that even in war you have limits (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The
ICRC employs various tools to maintain focus on the issues, for example by referring to local
traditions, calling on influential and respected community leaders and appealing to artists and
entertainers in theatre or circus, for example- to prompt people to think about the problem
(Sommaruga, 1999, p.3). The ICRC also continually applies pressure to governments and non-
government entities regarding international humanitarian law.
[The ICRC] helps to reassert the rule of law by developing new treaty rules, when needed,
to keep pace with the reality of todays conflicts; by reinforcing law-related institutions to make
them more efficient and accountable, and by increasing government compliance with the law.
[The ICRC] helps to strengthen civil society through its efforts to mobilize non-state actors-
non-govemmental organizations, the media, groups of citizens, etc. to ensure observation of
international humanitarian law....[The ICRC] acts on structures, targeting collective systems
and services [through] educational programs it helps organize in schools and its contribution to
the setting up of national mechanisms to implement international humanitarian law. [The
ICRC] contributes to the training in terms of humanitarian law of tomorrows military,
academic, political and other leaders, some of whom will inevitably have influence over the
course of conflicts (ICRC Special Report, 1998, p.17).
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The ICRC is the only organization formally entrusted with a specific mandate and role as
guardian of international humanitarian law by the international community. The Communication
Division is intricately involved in this mission and mandate, as evidenced by the above, and the
ICRCs commitment to dialogue: The ICRC intends to remain the promoter of humanitarian
action....The challenge it faces is to reach and influence, by means of dialogue, all actual or
potential perpetrators of violence, placing emphasis on the moral dimension and putting persuasion
before condemnation (The ICRCs Avenir project, 1997, p. 4). The Communication Division is
charged with providing the ICRC the means and expertise to accomplish this goal, as evidenced by
the responsibilities outlined by the GCOMM99 group as a result of Avenir (see Appendix I).
Internally, the ICRC focuses on the main issues with input from top management,
employees and delegates. The internal newspaper Avenue de la Paix allows for open, often
critical, discussions of issues. The ICRC also holds periodic internal meetings for discussion.
According to Yves Daccord, this provides an open line of discussion: Field and headquarters [are
brought together] to discuss about the main issues (personal interview, June 1999).
As noted in Table 4.1, the ICRC has institutionalized the leadership tenet of maintaining
disciplined attention to the issues. Although this focus is not new to the ICRC, the Avenir project
has re-enforced and re-emphasized this commitment.
Give adaptive work back to stakeholders
The leadership tenet of giving adaptive work back to stakeholders is a difficult goal to
accomplish, even in the best of circumstances. As noted previously, it is human nature to look to
leaders to provide answers in times of stress. Leaders take an inherent risk by giving that work back
to the public involved, and must therefore be accessible for guidance and facilitation (Heifetz,
65


1994). As indicated in Table 4.1, the Avenir project addressed the need for greater autonomy of
delegations and greater involvement of local publics. As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC
has adopted a strategy to attempt giving adaptive work back to the stakeholders.
The ICRC has recognized that it cannot simply pass down solutions to problems occurring in
the field when it is in Geneva and far away from the problem itself. One recommendation of the
Avenir studies was that the ICRC must give more weight to its delegations and allow them greater
autonomy (The ICRCs Avenir project, 1997, p. 5). The headquarters of the ICRC in Geneva is
a guiding facility for the field delegations, in essence giving adaptive work back to the local
delegation and public involved to arrive at a solution.
So generally speaking whats going on is mostly done at the level of a delegation in a
country. Its rarely done in Geneva. We provide advice.. .we also give the tools, the methods
and so on. But in fact its mainly the delegation, the head of the delegation, and the
communication in the field which will do this job. We have a lot of autonomy in the field.
Especially in conflict time. I tell you, in conflict time things are moving so quickly, and in
Geneva, nobody can [tell them what to do], you know, I dont know. I have in team now in
Kosovo, in Pristina, what can I tell them? I just dont know. We can discuss, I can work with
them on the criteria, I can work with them on strategical framework, but I have to trust them
otherwise.... So autonomy, we wanted to underline, thats very important. Its even more and
more important because the conflicts are more and more difficult (Y. Daccord, personal
interview, June 1999).
This autonomy allows the delegations, with local networks and contacts, to test and implement
solutions specifically tailored to the particular region and problem. While it must at times be the
ICRC that takes the initiative in this area and actually launches the programs needed, that aim is
always to obtain commitment from the authorities and the local people to carry on that work over
the long term (ICRC Special Report, 1998, p. 2). According to Heifetz (1994), this is an
essential step in real leadership: to sustain adaptive change, the community has eventually to
discover and develop its own capacity for doing work, including the capacity to authorize other
citizens without expecting magic (p. 248).
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The ICRC recognizes the need for giving work back to stakeholders as opposed to passing
down rules or policies. As a humanitarian agency, the obstacles they encounter are often the result
of the image they project: they may be perceived as purveyors of Western values, destabilizing the
host society, as instruments of the foreign policy of wealthy States or of the economic interests of
the private sector (Haroff-Tavel, 1998, p.2). In order to survive in the context of modem conflict,
and to achieve their mission and mandate, the ICRC has recognized it must give adaptive work back
to those intimately involved.
Protect unconventional or marginalized voices
As noted previously, the disequilibrium necessary for constructive change to occur is often
initiated by unconventional voices. This concept has been identified as a tenet of leadership
(protecting unconventional voices) and of organizational communication (providing a voice to
marginalized groups). As communication professionals, public relations practitioners are in a
unique position to provide this leadership. The ICRC accomplishes this, to varying degrees,
externally and internally.
Pursuant to its mission and mandate, the ICRC provides a voice to detainees and victims of
war. The ICRC visits prisoners of war and often acts as an advocate on their behalf. In recent
years, ICRC delegates have been visiting some 100,000 detainees annually in more than 50
countries in the world, and will speak out when necessary (Getting to know the ICRC, 1997, p.
4).
The current campaign, People on War, is also an excellent example of the ICRCs protection
and provision of voice (Appendix L). The aim of this unique project is to give a voice to people
directly or indirectly affected by war, both civilians and combatants, and to sound out their views on
67


the rules that apply in wartime (Keller, 1999, p. 3). By providing a voice to those involved in
conflict, the ICRC very well may uncover previously unconsidered issues and insights, and
potentially create disequilibrium necessary for change. It is our hope that this consultation,' carried
out under the slogan even wars have limits, will highlight the complexity of war and stimulate
wide-ranging debate on the subject (Keller, 1999, p. 3).
In addition, two of the responsibilities of the Communication Division are related to
providing a voice to stakeholders. Responsibilities of the Communication Division, as outlined by
the GCOMM99 group in response to the Avenir project, include [the Communication Division]
networks on the international level to achieve a more profound analysis, to fine-tune priorities and
to adapt strategies, and [the Communication Division] masters the methods and tools of
communication [and] establishes and applies policies and standards (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 11).
Table 4.1 indicates the level to which the ICRC has implemented the leadership tenet of
protecting unconventional or marginalized voices. This has been a goal of the ICRC as reflected in
its mission and mandate, but the Avenir project has placed a sharper focus and emphasis on the
importance of this concept.
View from the balcony
According to Heifetz (1994), it is necessary for leaders (with or without authority) to
extract themselves from the emotionality of a situation and gain perspective. As a politically
neutral agency, the ICRC is able to move past ideologies to gain perspective of often volatile
situations. The ICRC is impartial: its only criterion is the victims needs. The ICRC is neutral and
remains detached from all political issues related to conflict (Getting to know the ICRC, 1997, p.
1).
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Gaining perspective is necessary for survival in highly emotional, stressful situations
(Heifetz, 1994). A strength of the ICRC is that they continually strive to keep all channels open,
regardless of the players involved. This allows dialogue to take place and understanding to be
eventually achieved.
People who are on a daily basis discussing with everybody.... We [the ICRC] dont have
the problems that most of the agencies or nonprofit organizations have in some
governments, which is We dont talk to Milosevic because he is a devil. Boom, finish,
over. Fine, but how do you anticipate the thinking of Milosevic? How do you do it? How
do you work with these people? So we want absolutely to keep all of these channels
open....and it means first of all that you have contact with them, you know them. (Y.
Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
Having the ability to distance oneself from the emotional turmoil of a given problem is conducive to
establishing and maintaining relationships with the players involved, and it is something that the
ICRC practices regularly.
Lets take Rwanda .. .very difficult to anticipate the thinking. I mean, we didnt anticipate
the genocide. But we stayed, contrary to the others, we stayed during all the time. Then
afterwards, then thats mainly a difference for ICRC because then you really start to know
the people. Now, we are able to anticipate whats going on in Rwanda. We really know,
were not surprised, (personal interview, 1999).
As noted in Table 4.1, the ICRC has institutionalized the leadership tenet of maintaining a
view from the balcony.
Collaboration
As noted previously, collaboration is essential for effective management of conflict and
change (Heifetz, 1994). The Avenir project specifically pinpoints increased cooperation and
collaboration as essential to the future of the ICRC.
Turning now to interaction with other humanitarian players in conflict situations, the ICRC
would like to enhance the overall coherence of humanitarian activities by being available to
69


ensure the coordination of emergency assistance operations, under the conditions that guarantee
the independence of its action....The ICRC intends to develop its relations with other
humanitarian players. In particular, it wants to establish alliances with NGOs [non-
governmental organizations] and intergovernmental agencies that share its ethical standards and
humanitarian principles (The ICRCs Avenir project, 1997 pp. 5 and 7).
The ICRC has observer status at the United Nations General Assembly and coordinates its activities
with many humanitarian agencies such as WHO and UNICEF. In particular, the ICRC cooperates
with:
The Council of Europe
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
The Organization of African Unity
The Organization of the Islamic Conference
The Non-Aligned Movement
The Organization of American States
The Inter-Parliamentary Union
However, collaboration is somewhat new to the ICRC. Because of their neutral status and history,
the ICRC must be careful of whom they collaborate with in each country.
ICRC is well known not be very very open, and to have a very very specific mandate. Of
course, in communication one of our problems is to be quite clear that we are not the same as
the others. So we clearly distinguish ourselves from the other ones. Our strategy is to say we
are not the same. We are not UN, we are not the NATO. We are ICRC which is very different.
Now our problem is.. .you have the other agencies, which is true. We work with them so from
time to time we have some project together.. ..It depends very much on the area and it depends
very much on the image of the players.. .Afghanistan for example, we dont work with the UN
very clearly. For good reason because the UN [has] a very clear political stance, we dont want
to have the same stance so we have to be careful. On the other side, in Bosnia, we work very
closely with the UN for a lot of reasons.. ..Thats the larger circle. Then you have the inner
circle which is the Red Cross family, which is very complex. ... You have what we call the
National Societies, so the National Red Cross, the American Red Cross.. .and the American Red
Cross and the ICRC, we dont share the same view. We have problems together. ..we dont
always agree on everything. They dont want us to be too much focused on America. But we
still have a lot of things, a lot to do with the U.S. government, we are not very happy with them.
So it doesnt make things very easy (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
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Levels of collaboration vary from country to country, but generally the ICRC is focused on
increasing cooperation and collaboration. The ICRC realizes that this requires open lines of
communication. ICRC has to realize that we are not the only ones in the world, right? That there
are a lot of other actors, there is competition and there is other expertise. We need the UN for
example. That means you need to exchange information, youre also open about your own
problems, you dont just say no comment, you start to say yes, it was difficult, sorry (Y.
Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
Internally, the Avenir project has emphasized collaboration among divisions. As a result of the
Avenir project, the seven departments dealing with communication functions were merged into one
department (see Appendix H). Each centre of expertise has its own focus and specialty, but
brings its acquisitions to bear on the procedures and working methods of the other units of the
Communication Division. [Each centre of expertise] advises on the strategies to be adopted in
order to achieve the communication objectives of the ICRC (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 14). This
allows for close collaboration within the Communication Division, which also has direct access to
and support from top management, providing a collaborative internal effort between departments.
As indicated in Table 4.1, increased cooperation and collaboration is specifically addressed by
the Avenir project, and is thus a new strategy and goal for the ICRC. As a result of the Avenir
studies, the ICRC has recognized it must move from a competitive to a collaborative model in order
to survive and succeed in a changing, uncertain environment.
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Vision
The development and communication of vision for organizations is essential to effective
leadership. On first assessment, one would think the ICRC has no difficulty in this arena,
specifically due to its history, mission and mandate. However, a finding of the Avenir project was
that the ICRC has a strong identity and image in the world at large. On the other hand, the people
consulted inside the organization tended to find its identity patchy and lacking in focus. This
weakened their commitment to the Institution (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 7). As noted in Table 4.1,
a new focus on the leadership tenet of providing and communicating vision is in the initial stages of
implementation at the ICRC.
As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC is redefining its identity, which is providing a vision
or picture of what the organization can become. As things stand now, the ICRC needs to redefine
its identity. This is a necessary step in projecting a clear image and the strengthening of its identity
is a prerequisite for the ICRC to act on its environment (Daccord et al, 1999, p. 7). To this end,
one of the responsibilities for the newly merged Communication Division laid out by the
GCOMM99 group is [the Communication Division] ensures that the internal communication
policy reinforces the identity of the Institution (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 12).
Externally, the ICRC must deal with a unique situation regarding its identity that may
contribute to the difficulty in communicating a clear vision. The Red Cross is normally viewed as
a single concept when in fact, as noted previously, there are several components each independent
of the other.
On the communication side, I perfectly understand thats a classical [problem], for a
normal American citizen or Swiss citizen, it doesnt make any difference, you know. The Red
Cross, its the same. Is that American Red Cross, International Committee of Red Cross.. .ok, I
understand one is National one is International.. .1 understand this is quite classical. So it
means, I can do what I want as a communicator, I just need to realize and to accept the fact that
for the general public its almost the same (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
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As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC has a goal of clarifying and solidifying its identity,
particularly on the internal organizational level. To achieve the objectives of the Avenir plan, it
will be necessary to mobilize all of our personnel. Any such mobilization will depend, inter alia, on
a genuine policy of internal communication (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 7).
The Communication Division will not focus on image, but on identity as a means to a clear
image. If this identity is clearly and strongly communicated to employees and delegates, an
appropriate and strong image will result. We need to have a strong corporate identity in order to
pass a good message. We cannot afford having a delegate saying stupid things on CNN, seen by
everybody two minutes later [and potentially] have a serious impact. Maybe not, but maybe yes, so
we cannot afford this (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
The previous sections have attempted to illuminate specific ICRC,policies, programs, and
projects that incorporate the previously discussed leadership tenets as a direct or indirect result of
the Avenir project. The following chapter will include discussion and conclusions.
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CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION
The following section will present a discussion of observations from the case study as they
relate to the literature on leadership, public relations and organizational communication.
Specifically, the following section will present an overview of the entire Avenir project in relation
to communication. That section is followed by a discussion of each of the previously considered
leadership tenets from the data analysis: involving and giving adaptive work back to stakeholders,
regulating stress, maintaining focus on the issues, protecting unconventional voices, gaining a view
from the balcony, collaboration, and vision.
Overview
The ICRCs Avenir project began as a study (the Avenir studies) of the new and difficult
challenges facing the organization in light of todays uncertain and changing world environment.
The resulting recommendations and plan of action have brought about major changes to the
ICRC affecting its structures, its working methods, and the responsibilities of its staff (Future of
the ICRC: plan of action, 1998, p. 3). In fact, these changes will continue for several years to
come. The Avenir project, initially implemented in 1998, is not scheduled for completion until the
year 2001. Even then, however, Avenir will not cease. It was important to make a comprehensive
five year plan... [what] we wanted was in 2001, that this plan of Avenir has been achieved. Most of
it, at least the priorities. It doesnt mean that Avenir stops in 2001, we hope not (Y. Daccord,
personal interview, June 1999). The Avenir project, then, is essentially a way for the ICRC to
acknowledge and address major world changes and the absolute need for the organization to be
74


flexible and adaptive to those changes. The focus of this research has been on the affects of the
Avenir project on the ICRC Communication Division which has been presented in the previous
chapter and will be discussed in this chapter.
As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC established a goal to move towards greater
openness in all of its internal and external relations. This means greater openness with all its
internal and external publics to the greatest extent possible. However, due to the nature of their
work, ICRC employees and delegates must approach openness realistically:
We think its about communication. What you need is a local network, you need people
who know very well the area.... To have more local involvement, be more informed about
whats going on, whats the problem, whats the main issue, and to disclose information.
Now there is still some information we dont want to disclose, which is all the protection
information, all the things linked to protection of people, prisoners, all of this is still very
confidential (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
The ICRC strives for improved flow of communication which is geared toward reducing uncertainty
among its employees and delegates. As noted in the literature review of organizational
communication, this is an important element in todays changing environment.
To a large degree the ICRC embraces a two-way communication model as described in
Chapter 2. Internally, the ICRC recognizes the value of communication by providing
communication division employees access to top management. We have very good access to top
people. Daily access. [We] have a meeting or so with them, meeting the [ICRC] president, meeting
the director general, meeting the director of operations on a weekly basis.... Really having a channel
open, in order to avoid any problems (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Also, as noted
previously, all individuals involved in field operations receive training in communication skills.
Externally, when the ICRC develops communication messages for campaigns, they have recognized
the importance of providing two-way communications: It would be a mistake to believe that the
message is a product delivered to its addressee in a one-way relationship. The act of communicating
75


involves exchange, dialogue, listening, questioning, give and take, and attempts to reach mutual
understanding (Harroff-Tavel, 1998, p.5).
The Avenir project is still in the process of implementation, and the newly merged
Communication Division is just beginning to deal with new orientations, guiding principals,
structure and responsibilities. However, the analysis of the gathered data indicates that the Avenir
project has resulted in a preliminary model of communication that integrates leadership into public
relations.
Involve and give adaptive work back to stakeholders
The ICRC has acknowledged the importance of involving stakeholders in the identification
and definition of problems. The ICRC policies on developing communication and campaigns
include using local customs, local norms, and local celebrities. However, this is an area in which
the ICRC appears to need the development of more effective models:
Interviewer: How do you extract what people really feel, not just....
Daccord: Not just what we feel they feel?
Interviewer: Right.
Daccord: Were not very good at that, I have to be honest (Y. Daccord, personal
interview, June 1999).
According to Yves Daccord, the ICRC needs to improve its research methods as it develops
communication programs: Were not very good at research, we do it quickly and sometimes based
on assumptions [from] our previous projects (personal interview, June 1999). Research is one area
that the Avenir project attempts to address and solidify. According to Yves Daccord, the ICRC has
traditionally been a reactive organization. As a humanitarian agency that responds to fast-moving,
sudden crises and conflicts, it has become very adept at reacting to crises. However, research has
been limited because of the reactive nature of the organization. We have been very much activity
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oriented, and we are trying to move now from activity oriented to results oriented (Y. Daccord,
personal interview, June 1999).
A key concept associated with the leadership tenet of involving stakeholders is evaluation.
Keeping stakeholders at the center of discussion and action regarding the issues would allow for
greater understanding of the results of an implemented solution. This is also an area in which Mr.
Daccord feels the ICRC could improve, and which the Avenir project addresses. Where we are not
very good is evaluation afterwards. At what time do we stop? Whats the criteria? When do we say
stop, yes, move, change? We dont know (personal interview, June 1999). As a result of the
Avenir project, the ICRC has adopted a policy of being proactive and evaluative instead of reactive
and non-evaluative. And in [the] Communication [Division] we want to be the leader about this.
We have integrated a new way to approach the objectives of the ICRC. Its called Planning for
Results so we really try now to have our delegations thinking about results (Y. Daccord, personal
interview, June 1999).
The ICRC makes every attempt to keep lines of communication open to all parties involved
in all conflicts in which they become involved. In fact, one of the centres of expertise of the
newly merged Communication Division is devoted solely to this purpose. The Relations unit
maintains formal relations with the armed forces, the security services, and, in general, all bearers
of arms, in order to develop and maintain a network of contacts (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 15).
However, new perpetrators of violence have surfaced in recent years which present greater difficulty
and challenges. Kids, twelve years old, guns...what do you tell them? How do you anticipate what
they will think? Whats their strategy? What do you do? Thats the problem (Y. Daccord, personal
interview, June 1999.) These new challenges are all the more reason for the ICRC to keep those
lines of communication open and involve all stakeholders whether or not they are formal and
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structured. As discussed previously, when stakeholders are involved in the definition and solution
of problems, they are committed to the solution. Whereas if stakeholders are ignored, they are more
likely to resist and attack potential solutions or even the leaders proposing those solutions (Heifetz,
1994).
The data indicate that the ICRC has started along a path of involving stakeholders in
problem identification and definition processes. One recommendation of the Avenir project regards
maintaining closer proximity to the victims. The proximity referred to above encompasses
familiarity with the local culture, which makes it possible to gain a better understanding and to
anticipate the thinking of the different players (ICRCs Avenir project, 1997, p. 5). The extent to
which this is actually implemented and adhered to would require additional research.
The Communication Division is certainly dedicated to involving stakeholders as mentioned
above. Every attempt is made to create messages and disseminate material that is popular,
entertaining, and locally relevant. However, the data is less supportive regarding the leadership
tenet of giving adaptive work back to stakeholders. Although there is some indication that the value
of involving stakeholders in the solution process is recognized, additional research would be needed
to determine the extent to which, if at all, this leadership tenet is actually implemented and
institutionalized. The question remains as to whether the ICRCs popular and entertaining
messages result in the desired effect. For if the real issue and message is still considered by the
local public as a foreign import, the ICRC will not have achieved its purpose. At this point,
according to Yves Daccord, the ICRC is not very adept at evaluation and research, and thus does not
have much data on the effectiveness of its campaigns.
It may be the case that the ICRC may be addressing different perceptions of issues and
problems than involved stakeholders. If so, this would indicate a greater need for stakeholder
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involvement. However, the ICRC is somewhat restricted by the mandate charged to it by the
international community, and the ICRC must act within its specific mandate as determined by its
statutes and the Geneva Conventions and subsequent Protocols. In some cases, reminding
stakeholders of their obligations under international humanitarian law, or even being sure they
know the law, may not necessarily mean the law is understood or is perceived as relevant and
applicable to their problems.
The data indicate that the ICRC recognizes this, but additional research would be needed at
both headquarters and delegations after Avenir is more fully implemented. If all stakeholder groups
are involved in the processes of problem identification, definition, and solution, then the
Communication Division and the ICRC will have greater success in research, evaluation, message
formulation and dissemination, and ultimately its mission and mandate.
Regulate stress / Provide holding environment
The ICRC is generally successful at ripening issues by regulating stress among established
and known stakeholders. They rely on their knowledge of and history with specific combatants to
know when to push further on an issue, or when to decrease pressure. As Heifetz (1994) notes, this
is a difficult goal to accomplish, and the ICRC has discovered that it requires a history with
involved parties. Because the ICRC, in certain countries, acts alone and without formal political
authority, they are able to maintain issue focus and gain frontline detailed information, which are
benefits of acting without authority (Heiftez, 1994). Yet, as the ICRC is an established and formal
organization, albeit non-political, they appear to have less latitude for creative deviance (Heifetz,
1994, p. 188). The focus on keeping all lines of communication open with all parties may hinder
their ability to ripen issues in a way that could be more creative and effective for a particular
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audience. This, however, is a concern addressed by the Avenir project. The ICRC is adopting
policies to allow for greater autonomy of delegations to deal with local situations as they see fit.
This flexibility and ability to adapt is a key concept of the Avenir project. [There] was a clear
understanding of ICRC people that the world is changing, but what does it mean completely? We
have to adapt [to] a lot of change, especially due to inside factors but also outside factors (Y.
Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
If the ICRC adheres to and embraces this concept, they will be able to adapt to changing
environments and quickly assess situations. In this way, they will be able to more accurately
regulate the stress involved in change processes and conflict situations. By accurately regulating
that stress, they will be able to ripen issues and bring the debates to the forefront. Additional
research would be needed to determine the extent to which this leadership tenet is actually
institutionalized.
Maintain focus on the issues
The ICRC has been quite successful in maintaining disciplined attention to the issues. As it
is charged with the protection and promotion of international humanitarian law by the international
community, the ICRC continually focuses on those particular issues.
However, it is interesting to note that, even according to the ICRC, international
humanitarian law is often ignored, even when every attempt is made at communicating the
importance and relevance of the law. It may be possible that the ICRC is allowing work avoidance
mechanisms to occur. Destructive conflict may be a symptom of people attempting to deal with an
adaptive problem, therefore the task should be to counteract those avoidance behaviors and at the
same time affirm the significance and relevance of directly addressing the real issues and, in this
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case, international humanitarian law. The act of simply reminding parties involved in conflict of
their responsibilities under the law may not be sufficient and alternative measures must be
investigated. Additional extensive research would be necessary in this area.
Protect unconventional or marginalized voices
The data indicates that the ICRC is successful at providing and protecting the voice of
marginalized groups. This concept is applicable to both internal and external publics (or
stakeholders).
Still, the ICRC recognizes the opportunities for improvement. Providing and protecting the
voices of unconventional or marginalized voices is an area in which the ICRC recognizes a need for
greater commitment. The current campaign, People on War, as discussed previously is a step in
the right direction for the attainment of this goal. This campaign is not a method to find new ways
of repeating the same message, but is a tool to actually listen and provide a voice to those directly or
indirectly involved in armed conflict (Appendix L). It is an excellent example of protecting the
voice of marginalized groups.
The new commitment to internal communication is also an interesting organizational step
towards this leadership tenet. As noted by Yves Daccord, the ICRC desires to have a
communication program that is not only a top-down process by which information is passed down
from top management, but also a bottom-up process by which employees are given a way to voice
opinions, concerns, or ideas. By committing to its employees and delegates in this manner, the
ICRC may be protecting potential leadership voices within its own organization. Additional
research would be necessary to determine adherence to this policy and the effects it may have on the
organization itself.
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View from the balcony
The data indicate that the ICRC is very successful at gaining and keeping perspective, or a
view from the balcony. They are able to move past ideologies and the emotions of violent
conflicts, and maintain contacts and relationships despite actions and behavior that may violate
some or all of the Geneva Conventions. As communications professionals, this is extraordinarily
important. As noted previously, being able to ask the right questions and extract oneself
emotionally from a situation to gain such perspective is not only an element of ethical public
relations but of effective leadership as well. The fact that the ICRC is willing to communicate and
work with all stakeholders, including militia groups and other types of combatants as well as victims
and government entities, is unique and indicative of their ability to move past ideologies and rise
above emotions to address the real issues.
The data indicate that the ICRC has been successful in institutionalizing this leadership
tenet. However, additional research would be necessary to determine the actual level of adherence
and commitment at the different levels of headquarters and delegations. It would also be necessary
to determine how the ICRC ensures commitment to this concept by its employees and delegates,
especially considering the work involved in highly emotional or controversial situations.
Collaboration
As noted in the literature review, the concept of collaboration is important to leadership,
and to the effective management of conflict and change. The ICRC has recognized major changes
in the environments in which it operates and the need to adapt to those changes: Ever since the
upheavals of 1989, the environment in which humanitarian action takes place has been undergoing
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constant change.... New types of problems are appearing which call for an appropriate response
(ICRCs Avenir project, 1997, p.l). One of the responses the ICRC has begun to implement is
greater collaboration. The ICRC has addressed this internally by combining all facets of
communication into one Communication Division, and putting a new focus on internal
communication. Externally, the ICRC has recognized that it must cooperate and coordinate with
other humanitarian players, with a focus on elements of the Movement.
This focus on collaboration, especially with other humanitarian players, is significant. As
noted previously, nonprofit organizations in the U.S. are facing increasing competition from other
nonprofits as well as for-profit organizations. The ICRC is not immune to this competitive trend.
They recognize increasing competition in the humanitarian action arena as well. However, the
ICRC response to this competition is not to fight or compete with other players, or adopt
integrative marketing techniques, but to collaborate. There are a lot of other actors, there is
competition, and there are other expertise. So we need to call the other expertise, we need them too.
That means you need to exchange information, youre open (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June
1999). This is a point that may enlighten nonprofits in the U.S. The ICRC embraces the
competition as an opportunity, and makes attempts to work with other humanitarian players
recognizing that it is the best way to achieve their goals. According to Mr. Daccord, they recognize
that they are not the only experts in the world. Faced with the major challenges of todays society,
the ICRC realizes it must collaborate for success and survival. In todays changing world,
promoting rules to limit violence in crisis situations is a responsibility of the global village which
is taking shape, comprising a network of State, economic and political entities, organizations,
associations, and citizens (Harroff-Tavel, 1998, p. 10).
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An interesting point concerning this increased focus and commitment to collaboration is
the fact that the ICRC is moving away from a competition model. Of course, they have recognized
quite clearly that they must become more proactive, and put the focus on results, not only on
reaction to crises. Still, this new focus emphasizes leadership. This is reflected as well in one of the
orientations outlined for the Communication Division by the Avenir project: To cease analyzing
the environment chiefly on the basis of target audiences.... To aim instead at rapid identification of
opportunities.... To adopt a forward-looking and innovative attitude (Daccord et al., 1999, p.8).
Essentially, this moves the focus of communications and public relations out of marketing
and promotion. As noted previously, the trend in the U.S. is for communications (including public
relations) to be included under the umbrella of integrated marketing, which implies a focus on
one-way communication and the selling of a product or idea. Non-profits in the U.S. assume that to
compete, they must adopt the same type of integrated marketing paradigm which often does not
seem to fit or coincide with their mission. They often will adopt the same marketing tools such as
identifying target audiences and formulating messages to present to those target audiences.
However, the ICRC presents a different possibility. By not relying solely on target audience
analysis, but also on identification of opportunities and collaboration with other players, they will
move away from mere marketing and towards innovation and leadership.
Vision
The ICRC has a very specific vision and image that it needs to communicate to the outside
world in order to successfully pursue its mission. To achieve its goal of projecting a clear image,
the ICRC is focusing on its identity and on a commitment to internal communication. It is
interesting to note, research on image and identity has to do more with insiders (employees)
84


perceptions of the company (Eisenberg & Goodall, 1993, p.313). Thus, the data indicate that the
ICRC is moving in the best direction in order to achieve the goal of solidifying their identity.
The ICRC, as a result of the Avenir project, has adopted a goal of redefining and
communicating identity, which is providing vision or a picture of what the organization could
become. Like any organization, it must deal with internal factors and people resistant to change. As
a long-established organization, the ICRC does face this resistance.
Lets see how we work, and if we are able to change our culture, its not very easy.
Especially when you are successful, which is the case with the ICRC. Money is flowing in,
we dont have a major problem, we dont want to push people but we do need to
change....but if you have somebody who is happy, who has worked 20 years like this...that
is the problem (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
If the vision and identity are unstable or inconsistent, that resistance may be more difficult to
overcome. The Avenir project, as previously noted, specifically calls for an improved and dedicated
program for internal communication to redefine and solidify its identity. Also, the data indicate
that the newly merged Communication Division will be playing a greater role within the ICRC.
This in itself presents a challenge internally.
Its more people inside than outside. Because you see people who do not understand or
disagree or are extremely worried because their personal experience is very bad with
media, and everything about communications is media to them so they are very worried.
They dont understand that we are much more large than just media. So oftentimes you
have to overcome very strong resistance (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999).
As noted in the literature review of organizational communication, employees today have
become more disenchanted with corporate organizations. Organizations in the U.S. often try to
elicit more commitment from their employees by creating a family culture. However, employees
have become distrustful of this in the face of downsizing and other organizational conflicts. The
ICRC has recognized that presenting a family-like corporate culture is not feasible or effective.
The problem is, we have to realize it is not anymore a family. Our organization is 10,000 people
85


working, so its time to be serious (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Instead of telling
employees they are part of a family and risking subsequent disillusionment, the ICRC is focusing
on actual identity and reality as their corporate culture. They are a large, diverse and complicated
organization, and if they approach their corporate culture from the basis of their actual identity,
corporate spin is all but eliminated and the chances of employees becoming disillusioned when
reality sets in are greatly reduced.
This approach reinforces the ICRCs commitment to openness in its relations. Still,
additional research would be needed here as well once the Avenir project and the new focus on
internal communication is more fully implemented.
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CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter will address conclusions from the case study, implications for practice, and
recommendations for future research.
Conclusions
At the end of the 20th century the world is facing rapid and unpredictable changes. New
forms of communication have brought the vision of a global village and globalization, not only
to business and finance, but also to culture. With the rise of the Internet, intercultural
communications have become easily and quickly accessible. This vision of a global community is
paired with an increased assertion of individual identity. This continuous intercultural
transformation is a difficult change process, as evidenced by the myriad of problems facing societies
today ranging from new perpetrators of violence to increasing employee dissatisfaction.
Communication professionals facing these varying problems concerning their organizations are
charged with understanding and communicating with new and changing publics. Now, possibly
more than ever, leadership is needed at all levels in all organizations around the world, especially in
communication.
Professional communicators, such as public relations practitioners, are in a unique position
to provide such leadership within their organizations. Whether their organization is a nonprofit
working towards a humanitarian goal, or a for-profit working towards greater employee satisfaction
and investment returns, the impact of integrated leadership in communication strategies could be
significant.
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The possibilities for action on the part of communication professionals are numerous and the
potential is tremendous. The ICRCs Avenir project is an example of how the tenets of leadership
may be integrated into an organizations communication practices and policies.
A good communication program should not start with communication at all, but with a
critical review of the organizational structure and the potentials within this structure to meet the
demand for openness and public involvement (Renn & Levine, 1991, p. 214). The ICRC
accomplished this with the Avenir studies and project. The ICRC recognized the challenges of the
changing environment, globalization, and emerging communication technologies. By conducting
the Avenir studies, the ICRC examined their organizational structure, and determined what needed
to be done to meet the demands required to achieve their mission and mandate. Increased openness
and involvement of stakeholders is only one aspect of what they determined as necessary. The
Avenir project also addressed the need for collaboration with other potentially competing
humanitarian players. These actions will move the ICRC away from a competitive model to a more
collaborative model, which includes a solid organizational identity and open two-way lines of
communication.
With the difficult, adaptive problems facing organizations today, it becomes all the more
evident that involving the stakeholders in identifying and defining problems is essential. Although
this is not an easy task, it is still possible, and research has shown this process to be quite effective..
The ICRC, as a result of the Avenir project, has determined to put more weight on stakeholder
voices and opinions. By doing this, the ICRC may be able to address the real issues from the
perspectives of those involved. If they are then able to involve stakeholders, at least as much as is
possible, in the solution of problems, the resulting solutions will be more effective and long lasting.
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Although neither the Avenir project documentation nor other archived documentation
mentions leadership tenets or leadership integration into public relations, an analysis of the
actions as a result of the Avenir project lead to the conclusion that the ICRC is starting along a path
towards a new model of organizational communication and public relations which incorporates
leadership. What does this mean for public relations practitioners? The next section will discuss the
limitations to this research, as well as address significant implications for practice.
Limitations and implications for practice
Before outlining some of the implications for practitioners derived from this research, it is
important to recognize the limitations of the study. First, while confirming applications of the
literatures could be noted, these results were derived from only one case. Second, the results are not
complete or finished as the ICRC is a dynamic organization and the Avenir project is still ongoing.
In fact, the Avenir project will continue to be implemented and adapted for at least two more years
if not longer.
However, possible implications for practitioners in the field of public relations are still
presented. Whether granted formal authority or not, public relations practitioners do have choices,
to varying degrees, regarding how they conduct their communication programs and counsel their
organizations or clients. Public relations practitioners can choose to integrate leadership tenets into
their own practice, and may counsel their organizations and clients in that direction as well. For
example, public relations practitioners could choose to move away from a competitive integrated
marketing approach towards a more collaborative approach. This is not to imply that integrated
marketing has no function or place in organizations. However, public relations should not be
incorporated under the umbrella of marketing if it is to function in a leadership capacity. Public
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Full Text

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INTEGRATING LEADERSHIP INTO PUBLIC RELATIONS: A CASE STUDY OF THE AVENIR PROJECT AT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS by Susan Denise Sutton B.F.A., University of Florida, 1992 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Communication 1999

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Susan Denise Sutton has been approved by Michael Monsour Date

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Sutton, Susan Denise (M.A.,-Communication) Integrating Leadership into Public Relations: A Case Study of the Avenir Project of the International Committee of the Red Cross Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Barbara J. Walkosz ABSTRACT Approaching the close of the 20th Century, the public relations profession finds itself balanced on a precipice between legitimacy and hucksterism. Communication researchers have identified central issues such as decision-making, conflict resolution, and ethics that must be redefined by the profession. The purpose of this study is to 1) reconceptualize the basic assumptions of the public relations profession utilizing leadership and communication theories, and 2) to conduct a case study of the International Committee of the Red Cross' Avenir project as a model of this reconceptualization. The data collected and subsequent recommendations present ways to improve communications and elevate the practice of public relations. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. iii

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DEDICATION For Roger and Aggie, my parents, without whose support none of this would have been possible. For Tonya, my sister, best friend and counsel. For Renato, the love of my life.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to sincerely thank Yves Daccord, Head of the Communication Department at the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva ; Swjtzerland. I would like to thank Barbara W alkosz for her guidance and assistance, and for reigning me in and keeping me in check when I needed it. I would also like to thank Sam Betty and Mike Monsour for their valuable advice and feedback.

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CONTENTS Figures ................................ ................. .............. .......... ... ............................. .... ............... ... ......... ....... . x Tables ..... ..... .............. ..................... .............. ........... ..... .... ....... .... ....................................... ........ ...... xi CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................. ... ..................................... ............... I Problem Statement ............................................................................................ ....... ......... .... 2 Context ofthe Problem ........................................................... ..................................... ..... .... 2 Goals and Objectives .......... .......................................................... ..... ................ ... ................ 3 Operational Definitions .. ................... .... ...... .... ... ....... ......... ...... .................................... ...... .. 4 Considerations for Nonprofits ................... ." .................... .. ... ........ ..... .................. ................... 5 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ....................................................................... ...... ................ 8 Public Relations Literature ......................... ........ ............ .... ...... .... ......... ...... ..................... ... 8 Public Relations Ethics ............. .. ................. .......... .... ......... ......... .... .... ............... 12 Selected Aspects of Leadership Literature ..................................... ............................... ...... 14 Heifetz' Model of Leadership ............................ ..... ................................... .......... 18 Selected Aspects of Organizational Communication Literature .......... ........ ................. ....... 22 Synthesizing Public Relations, Organi z ational Communication, and Leadership Literature ...................... ........... ... ........................................ ... ........................... 28 3. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY ..... ......................... .... ................................... 34 Conduct of the Research ........... ..................................... ... .... ...... ............................... ...... .. 3 5 Site Selection and Access ................. ............. ............................. .................... .... 35 Field Procedures .......................................................... ... .......... ........................... 37 VI

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Data Anal y sis ..... . . .......... ......... ...... ... ......... ..................... ......... .......................... 3 8 Criteria of Soundness .......................... ... ................ . .......................................................... 39 4. THE CASE STUDY ..... . ....... .... .............. ............. .................................... ..................... .. ......... 41 Brief History ofthe ICRC .... .............................................................................. .... ............. 42 Relations to Other Red Cross Entitie s .......... ...... ................................................................ 43 The ICRC ... ....... ..... ...................... ....... . ........... ...... .......................................... .... ............. 44 Functions ofthe ICRC .... ..... ............ . .... ........... ...... ......... ..................................... ............ 46 ICRC / Avenir Project Data .... ........... .... ........... ........ ............................. ..... ......... ................. 47 The Avenir Project ......... ...................................................................... .... ........... 48 Division of Communication Effects of A v enir on Structure and Policie s ........... 51 Internal and External Communication Tools .............................................. .. .. ...... 55 Data Anal y sis ... .... ... .......... ........... ........ ...... ................ .. ............. .......... ........ ............. .......... 57 Involve stakeholders in identifying adaptive challenge ...... .... .............................. 58 Regulate stress Pro v ide holding environment.. ........................ .... ....................... 62 Maintain focus on the issues ...... .......... ...... ........................ .......... ........ ........ ......... 63 Give adaptive work back to s takeholders ........................................ ...... .......... ...... 65 Protect unconvent i onal or marginalize d voices ...... .. .. .... ................ ...... .... ............ 67 View from the balcony .. ...... ...... .......... ........ ......... ........... ....... .............................. 68 Collaboration ...... ........... ..... ....... .... .... . ....... . .... ....... ....... ........ . . .............. .. ....... 69 Vision . ... ..... ............................. .. ....................... ............................... ......... ......... 72 5 DISCUSSION .............. .... ..... ................... .... .... ............... ..... ... .. ... ........................ .............. ...... .. 74 O v erview .......... .... ........... ............... . . ................................. ....... ..... ...... ............... .............. 74 Invol v e and give adaptive work back to s takeholders .................... .... ...... ............. 76 vii

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Regulate stress I Provide holding environment .......................................... .......... 79 Maintain focus on the issues ............................ ....... .... ... ..... .................. ....... . .... 80 Protect unconventional or marginalized voices ......... ........ .................... .... .... ..... 81 View from the balcony ....................... ....... .......................... : 82 Collaboration ..... ...... .... .... ...... ........... ............................... ................... . ........... 82 Vision .... .... ...................... . ............ ....................................... ... .............. .... . .......... 84 6 CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMME!\tl)A TIONS .... ...... ... .......... . ........ 87 Conclusions .......... .... ..... ........... ....... ....... ........................... .......... ... ... . ... ............... . ........... 87 Limitations and implications for practice .... ....... ... ............. ... ......... . ............ ........... ... ......... 89 Suggestions for future research .......................................... ........ .......... .... ... ....... ..... ........... 92 APPENDIX A. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS .......... 95 B QUESTIONS FOR MR. YVES DACCORD AND THE ICRC ... ....... . ......... ........ ... ..... ......... 98 C. STATUTES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS .......... ..... 101 D. ICRC DECISION-MAKING STRUCTURES ................... ..... ... ....... ... .... ....... ......... ....... . . 110 E MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ICRC ......................................................... .... . .... . .......... 114 F. PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH YVES DACCORD ICRC ... ...... ... .... ....... .... ........ ......... 116 G. ICRC HEADQUARTERS: ICRC APPROVES PLAN OF ACTION ... ... ....... ... ...... ...... ....... 149 H. ORGANIZATION OF COMMUNICATION DIVISION ICRC . ......... . ...... .... ....... ...... ...... 150 I. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMUNICATION DIVISION, ICRC. .......... ........ ........... 151 Vlll

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J THE ICRC AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ........ .... ............ .... ...................... .................... 153 K. "PEOPLE ON WA.R" -PROJECT .......................................................................................... 155 L PEOPLE ON WAR" -VOICE ............................................................................................... 156 REFERENCES ............ ................. ... ..... ......................... ...... ........................................... ........ ......... 157 IX

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FIGURES Figure 2 1 Theory I Literature Overlap ........................................................ ......... .32 4.1 Red Cross Relations .......................................................................... .44 X

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TABLES Table 2.1 Heifetz' Situation Types .... ........................................ .. .................... 19 4.1 Data Results ................................................................................. 61 XI

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION "Lets write good angel' on the devil's hom" (Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, II, iv, 16). Approaching the close of the 20th Century, the public relations profession finds itself balanced on a precipice between legitimacy and hucksterism. The image of the "image-makers" is well known and it is not favorable. "In the waning years of the twentieth century, spin is in and for professionals in the practice of public relations, that ain t particularly good news (Seitel 1998, p. 1 ). Public relations professionals are often referred to as "flacks," and the words used to describe their work are "image, spin hype, cover-up, and damage-control." Such terms have acquired negative connotations associated with unethical and unsubstantive practices engaged in by public relations practitioners. These negative conceptualizations are supported by "the tendency to twist the truth to serve a specific need or interest [which] has been a common practice of public relations professionals" (Finn 1993, p. 40). A study of journalists' perceptions of public relations professionals reveal an overall negative impression of the practice with words such as "distraction, disaster. .. hype, and schmooze" being most closely associated with public relations (Spicer, 1993 p 4 7) Further, popular books such as Toxic Sludge is Good for You : Lies. Damn Lies. and the Public Relations Profession reveal an even stronger criticism of the profession and those engaged in it: "PR has become a communications medium in its own right, an industr y designed to alter perception, reshape reality and manufacture consent" (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p. 2). The general perception is that "public relations practitioners are less concerned with the truth than with protecting an image

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or a client" (Spicer, 1993, p. 58). The facts cited above provide a frame within which the following problem statement may be understood. Problem Statement In order for public relations to forge a place as a legitimate practice in the next millennium, practitioners will have to engage in a paradigm shift away from image and "spin" and move towards leadership. The task of specifying what leadership in the context of public relations means and how this may be accomplished will be addressed in the literature review and will be the intent of this research. Context of the Problem As the world approaches the new century, many factors such as globalization rapidly shifting public opinion, downsizing of corporations, and advances in information technology are shaping the environment in which communication and public relations practitioners will operate. "By the way of' globalization,' as a result of the internationalization of commodity flows, migratory movements, pollution and information, the classical congruence of nation, state, and democracy is in a process of dissolution" (Dahl, 1998 Trends in cross-border and intercultural communication). This fact presents major challenges to communications professionals, particularly those involved in humanitarian or political activity involving weakening states With the basic understanding that cultures vary greatly as do the symbols that provide insight or convey their values norms and expectations, it is very important to understand the impact that communications and media have on diverse cultures Media can serve to repress as well as to liberate, to unite as well as fragment a society, both to promote and to hold back change This makes media an extremely powerful tool, as promoter of social, structural and cultural change a role model for those that follow it (Dahl, 1998, Trends in cross-border and intercultural communication). 2

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The increase in international communication and information flow is facilitated especially by, but not limited to, the Internet. Internet use is growing by leaps and bounds every day, and crosscultural communication is merely a "mouse-click" away at any time. For example, in China, "hacktivists" are gaining attention to their causes via the Internet by breaking into sensitive government computers and proliferating free speech. A political journal called 'Turmel' is said to be edited secretly in China and sent by E-mail each week to an address in the United States, where it is then -mailed anonymously back to thousands of Chinese readers. "Big Reference" is another online challenge to the authorities. One recent issue extolled individualism and paid tribute to the mother of a student killed when troops crushed the pro-democracy protest in Tiananmen Square in 1989 (Fang, 1998, p. 47). The Internet has become free speech in its most pure and powerful form. Estimates are that Internet use could exceed 400 million by the year 2000. The quintessential characteristic of the new electronic media is tha;t they all connect with one another We are witnessing the evolution of a universal, interconnected network of audio, video and electronic text communication that will blur the distinction between interpersonal and mass communication and between public and private communications ... The ultimate result... will be intellectual pluralism and personalized control over communication (Dahl, 1998, Trends in cross-border and intercultural communication). These changes in technology and international communication illustrate the new environment in which communications and public relations professionals must now function. Goals and Objectives The objective of this research is to illustrate and direct attention to the significant problems in the field of public relations, and to discuss possible solutions or steps towards solutions. The research will show how leadership theory may be applied to and integrated into public relations and organizational communication theory, and thus suggest a modified paradigm It is the goal of this research to augment this paradigm through increased understanding of how public relations best 3

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functions in an organization and how integrated leadership affects the practice and the organization itself. This research will contribute to the body of academic knowledge of public relations and organizational communication, and to a lesser extent, leadership. It should also have practical implications for the practitioner regarding conununication (internal and external) models and theory. The research design will be partly descriptive and partly exploratory due to the nature of the study. The research design is partly descriptive, as it investigates a particular organization, its policies, and programs in relation to existing literature and theory. The research design is also partly exploratory in that it connects the theories and literature of leadership, public relations, and organizational communication to propose a new paradigm or definition for the practice of public relations. Operational Definitions The following operational defmitions will be utilized in the study: Public Relations: will refer to the practice of building and maintaining relations and managing interdependencies with all publics (stakeholders) associated with an organization. Therefore, when this term is used, it encompasses internal and external communication (see below). Image : will refer to a general or public perception, as of a company, especially when achieved by calculation aimed at creating goodwill. Leadership: will refer to the tenets of involving all stakeholders in identification and defmition of problems or issues, regulating stress and providing a holding environment, maintaining disciplined focus on the issues, giving work back to stakeholders, protecting unconventional voices, gaining perspective collaboration, and vision Internal Conununication: will refer to any and all communications with employees or within the organization; intraorganizational conununication 4

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External communication: will refer to any and all communication with external publics, organizations or entities (encompasses media relations). Collaboration: will refer to the act or acts involved in working with two or more internal or external parties toward a common goal. Includes sharing information and ideas, setting a common goal, sharing responsibility for meeting the goal, working together to achieve the goals (though possibly via different tasks), and sharing resources. Vision: will refer to the desired end-state of the organization conununicated to the organization's employees Holding environment : will refer to the state achieved by the organization or individuals within the organization when keeping focus or attention on issues at hand, simultaneously keeping pressure up while preventing collapse or chaos within the various publics. According to Heifetz (1994): "A holding environment consists of any relationship in which one party has the power to hold the attention of another party and facilitate adaptive work" (p. 104-1 05). Avenir project: will refer to the particular project purposes, structure and implementation set forth by the Department of Communication at the International Committee ofthe Red Cross (ICRC). Considerations for Nonprofits Of special interest to this research are particular aspects of and considerations for the nonprofit sector also known as the charitable sector, independent sector, voluntary sector, and tax exempt sector (Salamon, 1992). The nonprofit sector is experiencing all of the previously discussed challenges of the public relations profession, in addition to challenges specific to the nonprofit sector. In the U.S for example, nonprofits are under attack in the political arena. 5

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The for-profit organizations complain that nonprofits enjoy an unfair competitive advantage because of their tax advantages and exemptions. For-profit organizations have not so far achieved any major changes in public policy, although there have been scattered victories at the state level (Rathgeb Smith, 1993, p. 212). There is also increasing competition by for-profit organizations in fields traditionally populated by nonprofits. "In the long run, these challenges may lead to a smaller nonprofit sector because the agencies may find it more difficult to raise revenues and fend off competitive bids from for-profit organizations" (Rathgeb Smith, 1993, p.212) Nonprofit organizations are also under increasing public scrutiny. Time magazine notes that although the vast majority of nonprofits are well run and dedicated to their mission, "as their numbers and size have increased, they have attracted a rising number of swindlers, creative bookkeepers, and highly paid executives" (Zagorin, 1993, p. 36). Seib and Fitzpatrick ( 1995) note that nonprofits face criticism reflecting declining public trust and an increasing demand for accountability. "Since nonprofit organizations depend on public confidence to remain viable, rebuilding credibility with constituents is critical" (Seib & Fitzpatrick, 1995, p. 50). Nonprofit organizations also tend to resist strategic communications and public relations for several reasons. Most lack the financial resources and knowledge, or have had only negative experiences with the media. Also, nonprofits may hold attitudes that hinder public relations programs. For example, nonprofits are resistant to using public relations due to ethical questions. At other times, the feeling is that the nobility of the cause is enough to gamer the attention necessary to move the issue, but unfortunately that is no longer true in our world today (Bonk, Griggs & Tynes, 1999). However, in order for nonprofits to compete in the marketplace of ideas, it is vital to adopt a strategic communications and public relations plan. The case chosen for this research is an international nonprofit organization that is involved in humanitarian advocacy and action. It is an additional goal of this research to illuminate the possibilities for nonprofits in this respect. 6

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In this chapter the challenges facing the field of public relations the context of the problem, the goals and objectives of this study, the operational definitions relevant to the research and the challenges facing nonprofits in society today have been discussed The following chapter will examine the existing literature in public relations, organizational communication and leadership in connection with the questions under stud y 7

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CHAPTER2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ... ... ..... .... There are three major areas ofliterature that are relevant to this study : (I) public relations, (2) leadership, and (3) organizational communication. This chapter provides a literature review of these areas as they relate to the role of public relations in organizations (with emphasis on, but not limited to, the nonprofit sector). Through a study of selected aspects of leadership theory, organizational communication theory, and public relations theory, a basis for a new paradigm and approach to public relations can be understood and developed. Public Relations Literature The practice of public relations is relatively new The public relations industry did not formally exist prior to the 20th Century. "Publicity" was "once the work of carnival hawkers and penny-ante hustlers smoking cheap cigars and wearing cheap suits" (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p. 13) Such is the legacy left by P.T. Barnum, considered the forerunner of the modern-day public relations practitioner (Seitel, 1998). In 1975, the Foundation for Public Relations Research and Education analyzed 472 different defmitions of "public relations" and released the following composite: Public relations is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its publics ; involves the management of problems and issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion ; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve the public interest ; helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends ; and uses research and sound ethical communication techniques as its principal tools (Seitel, 1998, p 6). 8

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Another definition in use today is: "Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance" (Seitel, 1998, p.7). There is currently no standard, agreed-upon definition of public relations. For the purposes of this study, the former stated operational definition of public relations will be used for this thesis The definition of public relations and its duties continues to evolve. A trend affecting the field of public relations today is the move towards "integrated marketing." Integrated marketing is the combination of marketing, advertising, sales promotion, and public relations. "As integrated marketing becomes more and more the rule in agencies and companies, the need for communications cross-training of marketing, advertising, sales promotion, and public relations becomes a requirement for all communicators" (Seitel 1998 p. 297). There is concern among practitioners regarding this trend who fear the subjugation or elimination of the practice of public relations to marketing, sales, or advertising disciplines (Seitel, 1998) This concern is well founded and would certainly hinder the profession in recognizing its full leadership potential. Public relations functions do have power and influence. Internal and external communication permeates all organizations including for-profit, nonprofit, and government institutions. Harold Laswell has written, "By the use of sanctioned words and gestures, the elite elicits blood work, taxes, applause from the masses. When the political order works smoothly, the masses venerate the symbols" (Laswell, 1936, p. 131) By these words, Laswell intimates the power of symbol manipulation and information control, otherwise known as propaganda in some sectors and persuasion in others 9

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Lester ( 1995) notes "all human communication uses persuasion and propaganda in an attempt to mold or change a listener's or viewer's attitude" (p. 80). Propaganda is defined as a type of communication that is promotional and manipulative, and is aimed at eliciting a desired response. Propaganda as it was originally used was to attempt to control public opinion (Jowett & O'Donnell, 1986). Today, observers note that public opinion is probably a president's greatest political resource (Bennett, 1980). For example, U .S. presidents have become increasingly dependent upon their "images," and have contingency plans for controlling the news about events which requires the use of less than ethical public relations tactics to put the best possible interpretation on whatever is reported as news (Lowi, 1989). Obviously the term "propaganda" has gained a negative connotation over the past several decades, as it "is thought of as the duping of an unsuspecting pubic through misleading or false information" (Lester, 1995, p. 83). However, "critics have expanded the definition [of propaganda] to include many of the persuasion techniques utilized by all governments and large corporations to persuade an unsuspecting public" (Lester, 1995, p. 83). Still, persuasion is generally considered as the socially acceptable way of attempting to change an individuals attitudes or behaviors Though "persuasion has a less negative connotation than "propaganda," it may be that "the difference between persuasion and propaganda is simply the social definition of the words" (Lester, 1995 p 83) Despite the controversy, public opinion and attempts to affect it are based in communication practices (Lester, 1995; Seitel, 1998) The use of public relations to shape public opinion through the written and spoken word is well-documented (see Grunig J 1997 for a review). "Evidences of the power of public opinion prove to every man the necessity of understanding the public, of adjusting to it, of informing it, of winning it over (Bernays, 1955 p 5). However the problem lies in the abuse of such power. The literature reflects the fact that the focus of public relations over the past few years has devolved into 10

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a focus on image creation and public opinion formation, and the problems these acts have for the field. "Unfortunately, many top corporate and government leaders have come to rely on their public relations experts not only to write their speeches, but often to decide what the substance of those speeches and statements should be" (Finn 1993, p. 41). Obviously, public relations remains a powerful tool and practitioners are in a powerful position to provide direction to their clients and organizations. However, public relations practitioners are often constrained in their efforts to provide effective connnunication by the very organizations in which they operate. Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg ( 1996) note the main factors that constrain public relations practitioners: "lack of access to management, restraints on information collection roadblocks to dissemination of timely, accurate information, and a narrow defmition of the role of public relations" (p. 264). As noted previously, communication and public relations professionals face another hurdle: the general negative perception of public relations as "persuasion" or "propaganda." "Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news You never know when aPR agency is being effective ; you'lljust find your views slowly shifting" (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p. 14). Studies have shown "the overwhelmingly consistent use of the terms public relations and PR to suggest an attempt to sidestep or manipulate the truth for some dubious end" (Spicer, 1993, p. 47). Practitioners in the field are aware of and concerned about this apparent trend Due to these attitudes, much of the recent public relations literature has been focused on ethics. 11

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Public Relations Ethics "Public relations is considered by many to be a tool used by the untrustworthy to deceive the unwitting. Thus, neither public relations nor those who use it are trusted, and the very service that is supposed to help an organization win credibility is itself suspect" (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p.82). A significant problem facing the public relations field is the tendency to avoid and thereby allow clients or organizations to not focus on the real issues and problems (or sometimes even the truth). Public relations practitioners are often asked to create positive image impressions that will deflect attention away from whatever is causing the real problem. The perception of a problem may be addressed, but the real issues that have created the situation are avoided. Often, it is when a company or client has something to hide that they go to the public relations professionals for help (Spicer, 1993). They wish to avoid "scandal" or trouble, and they expect a "quick fix" often in the guise of"damage control" or "crisis management." To the extent that the public relations professional allows the company or client to believe a "quick fix" is possible, they may be doing a disservice to their company or client, to society, and to the profession itself "If professionals submerge their own ethical values to those of their clients, they may generate personal and organizational rnindsets that 'anything goes which produces breaches of ethical behavior and so creates more problems" (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p. 262). Political figures have also been accused of substituting public relations for true leadership. The maxim "live by PR, die by PR" is indicative of the focus on image and the use of public relations in politics "Political PR people often fmd themselves caught in the middle of conflicts resulting from the use of news media by public officials and vice versa" (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p. 263). Often, political figures engage in "the stagecraft of governing" and "the displacement of the serious business of American government by a kind of shallow pageantry" 12

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(Greenfield, 1998 p 68). This is an example of the use of public relations as a tool to address the symptoms of a problem instead of the real problem itself. "The lines between government PR and policy, between propagandizing and advocating are pretty thin these days, and who chooses the PR and propagandizing puts himself at exceptional risk" (Greenfield, 1998, p 68). Large public relations firms have also been found to engage in "grass-roots advocacy to the extent of forming their own front groups for their powerful clients interests. These "industry-generated 'astroturf movements are controlled by the corporate interests that pay their bills" (Stauber & Rampton, 1995, p. 14). Public relations firms argue that they are merely serving their client as adeptly as possible, but they are putting their energies into the generation of images rather than addressing of issues. In response to society's attitudes towards public relations and its practitioners the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) developed their Code of Professional Standards (Appendix A). This code requires "conducting business in the public interest dealing fairly with the public, adhering to standards of accuracy and truth and not knowingly disseminating false and misleading information or corrupting the integrity of channels of communication" (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg 1996 p.264). However, "although valuable ethical codes in public relations are unenforceable ... they are most influential with ethical and responsible people and have minimal effect on those genuinely needing direction" (Wright 1993 p. 13). The PRSA also provides educational books to its members regarding ethics and management skills. Public relations textbooks used in college courses emphasize the need for strong ethics as well, espousing ideals such as professionalism, ethics and leadership in that "they must have the vision, courage and character to lead themselves, their organizations and their profession into the next golden century" (Seitel 1998 p. 492) 13

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It is apparent that the practitioners of public relations are not blind to the trouble and challenges facing the profession. Newsom, Turk, and Kruckeberg (1996) note that part of the problem is the perception of"truth." Public relations practitioners' convictions may run counter to positions held by clients, but the practitioner finds him or herself persuaded by the clients' experts. "The question of corruptions of judgment is a serious one for public relations people Often the heart of a dispute is not over facts but over the interpretations of facts and over conflicting value systems" (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996, p.263) In such cases the best course of action is to ask the right questions to regain perspective, and from there formulate or revise strategies and recommendations (Newsom, Turk, & Kruckeberg, 1996) This recommendation is similar to the leadership tenet espoused by Heifetz ( 1994) of getting on the balcony (gaining perspective) which wjll be discussed in a following chapter. In summary, the profession of public relations unfortunately has the potential to "become increasingly suspect as one ofthe more untrustworthy and unworthy consequences of an out-of control communications environment" (Finn, 1993, p. 42) However the profession also has the potential to provide leadership in organizations. In order to establish a connection between leadership and public relations, selected aspects of the leadership literature will be examined in the following section Selected Aspects of Leadership Literature The literature on leadership is vast. The majority of the literature is focused upon leadership in single, traditional organizations, and on leader-follower interactions. "For decades, the term leadership referred to the people who hold top management positions and the functions they serve" (Heifetz 1994, p. 15). Public relations professionals may not always hold positions of 14

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authoritative leadership However the literature does suggest a concept of leadership without formal authority, or without authority at all. Coe ( 1992) states that leaders may be formally selected or may be (and often are) any members of the network. "Different members may be leaders at different times for different aspects" (Coe, 1992, p. 8). Understanding this application ofleadership is important for public relations professionals. "Leadership rests not only on the shoulders of one individual, but also on all who share the mission and vision. In that sense, leadership becomes a state of consciousness rather than a personality trait or set of skills" (Van Seters & Field, 1990, p. 38). This concept incorporates collaboration which is also addressed as a vital element in leadership. Chrislip and Larson (1994) write of leadership as collaboration, specifically as a process role whose tasks incorporate creating shared ownership, inspiring confidence, and maintaining a problem-solving focus. A notion of shared power also exists when considering collaboration as well. "Collaborative leadership requires developing a new notion of power and learning that the more power and control we share, the more we have to use" (Melaville & Blank 1993, p 79). Therefore, the concept that leadership can and should be shared is integral to the leadership literature. Gardner (1990) summarizes: "The taking of responsibility is at the heart ofleadership. To the extent that leadership tasks are shared, responsibility is shared" (p. 152). This statement can be seen as a precursor to Heifetz' ( 1994) views of leadership as involving and empowering stakeholders and mobilizing adaptive work. However, it is important to remember that collaboration is not necessarily easy to achieve Gray and Hay (1986) note that troublesome issues associated with the shared power ideal include behind the scenes decision-making by an elite few who then ratify in public, lack of sufficient power by would-be convenors to generate sufficient participation and commitment or lack of power to 15

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assure implementation of the collaboration's decisions The goal of collaboration is to reach consensus, which requires the existence and management of conflict. "In consensus, participants examine their contending views, overtly addressing the sources of conflicts, constructing a common ground," and eventually reaching a win/win solution (Mirel, 1994, P, 60). This process "entails intense conflict as sources of differences are aired as well as entailing lengthy deliberations that are not complete until all participants endorse outcomes without a sense of trade-off or coercion" (Mire!, 1994, p. 60) It is a responsibility of leadership to keep channels of communication open for continuing debate and discussion when necessary. Another central concept of leadership to be considered in this context is vision Multiple scholars have addressed the importance of creating, communicating, and maintaining a vision of the desired end state (Coe, 1992; Gardner, 1990; Heifetz, 1994; Terry, 1993). "Vision is at the heart of leadership because vision transcends political interests" (Terry, 1993, p. 38). The literature also states that vision itself is insufficient, but that "as important, if not more so, is the ability to communicate that vision" (Kouzes & Posner, 1987, p 1 00). This can be an immense challenge, especially in complex organizations. Therefore, "as constituent diversity increases, visions must be framed to appeal to a wider range of participants and organizations must cope with more varied interests and concerns" (Brown, 1991, p. 823). Vision is also used as a tool for facilitating transformational change "Transformation has become a key survival tool for organizations coping with the turbulence that characterizes today's envirorunent" (Nutt & Backoff 1997 p 490) As discussed in Chapter I, the world is changing rapidly and organizations must fmd ways to adapt for survival. Vision is seen as playing or holding a key role which "offers a strategic and inspiring picture of what the organization can become 16

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indicating whom the organization wants to serve, how this will be done, and the regard and image these actions can produce" (Nutt & Backoff 1997, p. 492). Vision is tied to an organization's identity and image. Internally, the identity of an organization is affected by the vision provided to its employees. Therefore, if a discrepancy is perceived between the identity and the vision of an organization, disenchantment and dissatisfaction result (Flynn, 1998). Also, "deterioration of an organization's image is an important trigger to action as each individual's sense of self is tied in part to that image" (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991, p 520). Dutton and Dukerich (1991) also explain the distinction between identity and image as such: "An organization's identity describes what its members believe to be its character; an organization's image describes insiders assessments of what outsiders think" (p. 547). Often, coupled with the concept of vision in leadership is the concept of shared values. This concept overlaps somewhat with organizational communication literature, which will be discussed in the following section Shared organizational values have been termed a "bedrock" without which "principled leadership becomes nearly impossible" (Gardner, 1990, p. xii). A dedicated program of internal communications is essential to relating organizational values to employees in order to provide effective leadership. For the purposes of this research, leadership traits and tenets will be elicited from Ronald A. Heifetz' Leadership Without Easy Answers (1994), in addition to the main tenets noted above. Heifetz (1994) espouses several tenets ofleadership which may be applied to the practice of public relations, including: the importance of collaboration; leadership as possible in positions of authority (either formal or informal) and positions without authority; identifying and involving all stakeholders; giving the work back to the people; maintaining perspective; and protecting 17

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unconventional voices Heifetz ( 1994) proposes these concepts as aspects of effective management of conflict and change Heifetz' Model of Leadership Heifetz model ofleadership is centered on mobilizing people to tackle tough problems especially in today's uncertain and changing societies Thus the effective management of conflict and change coupled with problem solving are recommended methods to facilitate change proce s ses. "The exposure and orc hestration of conflict within individuals and constituencies provide the leverage for mob i lizing people to learn new ways" (Heifetz 1994 p 22). Heifetz (1994) contends that the most valuable (and difficult) task of leadership is promoting "adaptive work for which "the inclusion of competing value perspectives may be essential" for success (p. 23). Table 2.1 illustrates the differences between "technical" and adaptive" work according to Heifetz. 18

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Table 2 .1: Heifetz' Situation Types (Heifetz, 1994. p. 76) Situation Problem Solution and Primary locus Kind of Definition implementation of responsibility work Type I Clear Clear Leader Technical Type II Clear Requires Leader and Technical Learning stakeholder /adaptive Type III Requires Requires Stakeholder > Adaptive Learning Learning leader The difficult problems most organizations and societies face today require adaptive work. As indicated in Table 2.1, in situations requiring adaptive work, the primary locus of responsibility for the work lies more heavily on the stakeholder, with assistance from the leader. Heifetz' model suggests certain leadership tenets for facilitating and promoting such adaptive work. Heifetz (1994) stresses keeping disciplined focus on the real issues, and not allowing "work avoidance mechanisms" to interfere with easy "quick fixes" to difficult problems: "One ought to take a skeptical stance, at least momentarily, when some action suddenly makes everybody feel good" (p. 39). Heifetz notes that humans naturally grant extraordinary power to leaders in time of stress, and expect the right answers to be provided immediately. Leaders often fall into the trap of telling us what we want to hear, of providing "quick technical fixes" to difficult problems, which eventually turn out not to be solutions to the real problems at all. When the stakeholders recognize that the answers provided do not solve the problem, discouragement and disillusionment result. "Habitually seeking solutions from people in authority is maladaptive" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 73). Leaders and publics alike should recognize that answers to difficult problems do not come easily or 19

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quickly (Heifetz 1994 ). Conflict and "disequilibrium" are actually necessary for constructive conflict and problem solving to occur Thus, Heifetz portends that leaders should maintain focus on the real problems, as difficult or controversial as they may be. As leaders keep focus on the difficult issues, they must also regulate the associated stress by providing a holding environment. "A holding environment consists of any relationship in which one party has the power to hold the attention of another party and facilitate adaptive work" (Heifetz, 1994, p.l 05). This can be any form of relationship, from interpersonal to international, and the strategic task is to maintain a level of tension that mobilizes people. Heifetz suggests doing this by regulating the flow of information (pacing and sequencing), keeping tabs on the level of tension, and recognizing how much the environment can handle. By focusing attention on real issues, leaders will actually ripen those issues. He suggests leaders should "identify which issues can currently engage attention, and while directing attention to them, counteract work avoidance mechanisms like denial, scapegoating, externalizing the enemy, pretending the problem is technical, or attacking individuals rather than issues" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 128). Knowing when to increase and decrease pressure on the environment comes from knowing the environment intimately, and building trust. Giving the work back to the people involved the stakeholders, is central to Heifetz' model. In his model as discussed above, leaders regulate stress and keep focus on the real issues. "Adaptive situations tend to demand a more participative mode of operating to shift responsibility to the primary stakeholders" (Heifetz, 1994, p 121). The stakeholders do the actual adaptive work themselves. Leaders facilitate their ability to manage the stress and perform the adaptive work. An authority can induce learning by asking hard questions and by recasting stakeholder expectations to develop the ability to respond and perform the required work. Thus, by devising a strategy that shifts responsibility for the problem to the primary stakeholders, leaders may facilitate an 20

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environment in which people look to themselves to solve difficult problems When stakeholders are involved in the definition and solution of a problem, they are far more committed and enthusiastic in the implementation. "An authority who excludes stakeholders from defining and solving the problem risks developing an incomplete solution or a solution to the wrong problem. Not only can lack of information undermine the quality of work, but the distress of exclusion can also cause people to sabotage the process and attack authority" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 118). However, Heifetz does acknowledge that crisis situations may not allow for a more participative process. In these cases, a leader may have to become "more autocratic when the issue is likely to overwhelm the current resilience of the group or society given the time available for the decision'"'(Heifetz, 1994, p. 122). As mentioned previously, protecting unconventional voices is also an important tenet of le. adership. "Give cover to those who raise hard questions and generate distress-people who point to the internal contradictions (conflicts) of the society" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 128) As noted before, conflict is necessary for change, and often, unconventional voices can provoke rethinking or offer otherwise unconsidered perspectives In summary, Heifetz ( 1994) proposes five strategic principles ofleadership: (I) Identify the adaptive challenge. (2) Keep the level of distress within a tolerable range for doing adaptive work. (3) Focus attention on ripening issues and not on stress-reducing distractions. ( 4) Give the work back to people, but at a rate they can stand. (5) Protect voices ofleadership without authority (p 128) Heifetz also notes several advantages to leadership without authority Those who are not in positions of authority have "latitude for creative deviance" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 188). They are able to deviate from the norms of authoritative decision-making. In positions without authority, it may be more difficult for leaders to provide the holding environment. However, this allows more flexibility and opportunities to focus on one particular issue, without having to meet multiple expectancies 21

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from multiple constituencies. Finally, leadership without authority often has access to frontline information on the particular issue or problem directly from the stakeholders involved. One final leadership tenet of interest to this research, as noted earlier, is Heifetz' idea of getting up to the balcony, or gaining and keeping perspective. "If one can get on the balcony instead of getting caught up in recreating the problem internally, one can seize the opportunity of using the organization as a case in point-a laboratory -for identifying challenges and inventing options for taking action outside, which was the organization's original aim" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 256). In sununary, Heifetz proposes leadership as "managed stress, disciplined by attention to the issues, with pressure on those who need to take responsibility for the changes in their midst, and protective cover for threatened leadership voices" (Heifetz, 1994, p. 139). This section has discussed in detail the main leadership tenets used in this study. The next section will discuss selected aspects of organizational communication pertinent to this research. Selected Aspects of Organizational Communication Literature Organizational communication is pertinent to this research for various reasons. In today's changing environment, organizations are struggling to retain valued employees, compete for scarce resources, and find their identity and niche in the global economy. The study ofleadership often focuses on leadership in for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental organizations. Leaders must determine the best methods for implementing organizational change and rely on proven organizational communication theories. Organizational communication and public relations are associated in several ways involving internal or employee communication and external communication conducted by an organization. Due to this overlap, selected aspects of the 22

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organizational communication literature must be addressed, including Weick's process model, strategic internal communication systems, and conflict and change management. The literature on organizational communication is also vast and varied. Bantz (1990) and others have recognized Karl Weick's (1979) program of research as influencing theorizing in organizational communication throughout the last two decades. Of specific interest to this research are Weick's concepts of uncertainty or equivocality reduction in organizations, which is relevant to effective conflict and change management. Weick (1979) conceptualized organizations as a series oflinked processes that run from enactment to selection to retention. Taken together, the processes increase shared meaning among members of an organization Weick ( 1979) holds that an organization only so long as it is processing and communicating. The "enactment" process creates the information to which the system must adapt. This process removes a small degree of equivocality. The "selection" process is a "narrowing down" or application of criteria by which large amounts (or too much) information may be selected down to a manageable level. This is the process by which the greatest amount of equivocality is removed The final process is "retention" by which selected information may be retained for future reference or sent back to the beginning of the cycle as Weick's model reflects. Weick' s model suggests that the greater the equivocality in a system, the fewer "assembly rules" may be in place, which in turn creates the need for a greater number of cycles to be selected to enable removal of equivocality. This change model is integral to organizational communication theory and important to this research as it relates to management of organizational change and conflict. From this, we may derive the importance of organizational commitment to open internal communication In organizations where the information flow is stifled or insufficient in some way, members are faced with greater uncertainty which may lead to 23

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increased organizational conflicts. This model provides insight into how change is processed through an organization via communication. Another relevant aspect of the traditional organizational communication literature regards Henri Fayol's identification of the classical problem in organizational communication (Comad & Poole, 1998). Fayol's classical problem described how to get negative communication up to the management that needs it to implement changes in policy. Negative upward communication is very diffi,cult if not impossible depending on the size and structure of the organization. Fayol suggested creating "bridges" by which lower-level workers could by-pass middle management in times of crises to reach the policy-makers with the critical information. How an organization handles equivocality (conflict, change, or crisis which every organization faces sometimes on a daily basis) relates to its organization, communication, and leadership, especially in formulating and maintaining relationships. Providing employees with communication bridges is an effective tool to improve the information and communication flow. Fayol s bridges are a method of building and maintaining relationships, as well as managing conflict within organizations. One aspect of any effective, comprehensive organizational model is "the building and sustaining of relationships with key constituents .... It is the building and sustaining of relationships that provides continuity, longevity, and maturity in an organization" (Winder & Judd, 1996, p.2) Any organization that wishes to attain continuity and longevity must be able to effectively manage conflict and change. The organizational communication literature that addresses conflict and change management is of interest to this research as well. Organizational communication professionals (usually employee or internal communication professionals) are often utilized in times of stress and crisis, which normally involve conflict and/or change. The prevailing views of conflict are negative, 24

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and most corporate cultures and individuals avoid conflict and resist change. Thus there is a general tendenc y to define and conceptua l iz e conflict in negative terms but all fonns of confrontations, intense discussion, dialogue and debate are treated as negative conflict (Menon, 1996) Because conflict is perceived as bad," most people and corporations wish to ignore or avoid conflict. A common means of avoiding conflict (or repressing it) is to be secretive ... The notion is that if nobody knows what you are doing there can be little conflict. By being secretive you may delay conflict and confrontation, but when it does surface, it will have far more negative emotions attached to it than would have been the case if things were more open (Bacal 1998, p. 130). It is the opportunity and responsibility of the communication professionals to foste r a more open communication environment within the organization. Much of the organizational literature is focused on recent phenomena concerning employee dissatisfaction, dissent, and workplace anger or violence. All organizations must deal with conflict and change. Good organizational conflict is conflict and disagreement that allows the organization or people in it to grow, solve problems more effectively, and counter-balance the inertia that most organizations develop. Good organizational conflict contributes to helping people examine that which they take for granted, old ways of doing things that may no longer be optimal and stimulate creativity and problem solving (Bacal, 1998, p. 131) Ho w ever, it is e v ident by today s increase in employee distrust and dissatisfaction that conflict is handled poorly in most corporations, and the environment is one of closed or stifled communications Much of that is due to internal public relations tactics including again spin." Corporate America is infatuated with spin Top executives still fear giving employees straight talk. Instead of giving them the bad news with the good news, companies try to make everything seem a little too shiny and bright. Result: employees who believe the spin get angry when reality sets in" (Flynn, 1998 p 26) 25

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There is increasing employee disenchantment resulting from this "spin" as reflected by growing employee complaints employment lawsuits and employee turnover "In a 1998 Workforce/E.span survey, 84% of the participating Human Resources professionals reported" that employee hostility in their organizations has increased" (Flynn, 1998, p. 27). Employees are often ignored as a "public" in corporate public relations, and internal communications are commonly insufficient or ignored completely (Seitel, 1998). Employees and organizations are recognizing more and more that a "close, family-like" organizational culture can no longer exist. "More than 70 percent of employees believe that they must be self-sufficient in managing their careers, rather than relying on their current firms (Comad & Poole, 1998, p 422) At the same time, organizations are asking or demanding employees they do retain to do more with less, which leads to even greater employee disenchantment and conflict in the workplace (Comad & Poole, 1998). According to Bacal (1998), main contributors to ineffective or "ugly" conflict and employee dissatisfaction in organizations include: Nonaction (a corporate culture tenet that "we don t have conflict here ), "administrative orbiting" (claiming that the conflict is being dealt with but the problem never gets addressed), "law and order" (using power and regulations to repress outward manifestations of conflict) and secrecy (a common means of avoiding or repressing conflict). However, conflict is necessary in organizations to promote valuable change and avoid stagnation. Much of the organizational communication literature addresses this concern of corporations today (Bacal, 1998; Comad & Poole, 1998; Flynn, 1998) Comad and Poole (1998) also discuss the concept of"voice" relating to organizational communication : "Recently, organizational communication theorists have started to focus on the concept of 'voice,' recognizing that a crucial element of social and organizational power relationships is regulating who gets to speak and who does not what they may speak about and how 26

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they must speak in order to be heard" (p. 255). They also note ways of claiming and protecting the voice of marginalized groups" (Comad & Poole 1998) This is reminiscent of one of the previously discussed tenets of leadership: protecting unconventional or marginalized voices. One area of organizational communication that has examined sustaining relationships and managing conflict and change in order to build a strong organization is the work on organizational culture. The concept of organizations as culture is a large area of research in organizational communication Culture has been defined as "the shared assumptions, values, beliefs, language, symbols, and meaning systems that hold the organization together" (Comad & Poole, 1998, p.115). Another definition or perspective is that organizations are communicative creations (similar to Weick's theory) and that organizational cultures are "taken-for-granted shared meanings that people assign to their surroundings" (Comad & Poole, 1998, p 116). The culture of an organization is intimately associated with its communication practices and will have an impact on its identity, vision, and image (for a review, see Comad & Poole, 1998; Eisenberg & Goodall, 1993; Morgan, 1986). Comad and Poole (1998) summarize the challenges facing organizations today, which are reflective of previously considered challenges: "They [organizations] can focus on individuality, domination, and control, become more competitive and divided, with one group of members turning against another and magnifying long-held antagonisms based on organizational rank, class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Or they can focus on creating a meaningful community that represents the interests of multiple stakeholders and meets the needs of all of its members" (p. 422) This statement can be linked to the operational definitions for this research of leadership and public relations. It is important to note that there is an overlap of the leadership and organizational communication literatures due to the communicative and power aspects ofleadership in organizations. "Individuals or units of organizations are seen as being powerful or powerless 27

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depending on the composite image that their communicative acts establish in the minds of other members of their organization" (Comad & Poole, 1998, p. 249). This statement illustrates the significance of communications within organizations. Synthesizing Public Relations. Organizational Communication. and Leadership Literature Although no published research exists that formally links these bodies of literature, evidence can be found that leadership, organizational communication, and public relations are not foreign to each other. Several similarities have been noted in the previous sections This section will first investigate models of communication in comparison to the tenets of leadership described Next, a synthesis of leadership theory including Heifetz' tenets of leadership, and aspects of organizational communication and public relations literatures will be presented. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) conducted a study entitled "Excellence in Public Relations and Management" in 1992 The study was a multi-cultural analysis of how public relations is conceptualized, valued, supported, managed, and carried out in organizations. Professional communicators recognize that globalization has greatly affected and will continue to challenge all organizations. "Turbulence, rather than stability is the norm in today's organizational environments" (L. Grunig, 1997, p.80). The IABC study was commissioned to determine the most effective and successful approaches to public relations in organizations. The study contains many similarities to and correlations with Heifetz's study of leadership in Leadership Without Easv Answers. This section will attempt to connect the ideas and tenets of leadership to effective and ethical organizational communication and public relations. 28

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The IABC study advocates a two-way symmetrical model of communication. Two-way communication is the best way to achieve "excellent communication," which is "communication that is managed strategically, meets its objectives, and balances the needs of the organization and the needs of key publics" (Lindeborg, 1994, p. 5). This sort of communication is facilitated by: The value placed on communication by top management. Here, the emphasis is on collaboration, "they want two-way communication and win-win outcomes" (Lindeborg, 1994 p. 6). The role and behavior of the top communicator: facilitating and encouraging participation, decision and policy-making, and working closely with top management to solve problems that involve communication and relationships. A corporate culture that is participative and inclusive. "Such a culture is decentralized, with shared power and decision making. It welcomes innovation and ideas from the outside" (Lindeborg, 1994, p. 6). These factors are correlated to Heifetz's (1994) tenets of collaboration (reaching a win-win solution), participative problem solving and decision-making, and protection of unconventional voices. Subsequent studies have corroborated the IABC conclusions. "One major proposition [in the IABC study] held that two-way, symmetrical communication is a vital component of effective public relations. In fact, we have long argued that excellence in communication is characterized by two-way, balanced relationships with strategic publics" (L. Grunig, 1997, p. 79). The IABC study also revealed six views of public relations in society: Pragmatic: PR is a useful practice that adds value for clients by helping to meet their objectives. Neutral: PR is a phenomenon to be studied. Conservative : PR is a tool for defending powerful interests. 29

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Radical: PR is a tool for promoting improvement and reform. Idealistic : PR is a mechanism by which organizations and publics interact to manage interdependence and conflict for the benefit of all. Critical: PR is a part of the larger organizational system, subject to evaluation regarding its ethics, social consequences, and effectiveness The Idealistic view of public relations is the only one that is based on a two-way symmetrical model, yet is not often put into practice It is also the view emphasizing management of conflict and change in the public relations practice The Radical view also reflects some of Heifetz's (1994) theory of ripening issues to facilitate change. However, the two most common ways public relations is practiced today are the pragmatic and conservative views The authors of the study "feel these roles limit the effectiveness of public relations and have been adopted by practitioners because they are the views held by their clients" (Lindeborg, 1994, p. 10) Here, the imposed limitations of public relations are evidenced by how the dominantly held views may be the least ethical and committed to organizational development. Another notable overlap between leadership, public relations and organizational communication literatures is the identity concept. Identity is intimately involved in communication processes of an organization, both internally and externally As discussed in previous sections, all three of these bodies of research address this concept. Also, "if there is a large commonality between self-image, imago [vision] structure and culture of the organization then we identify a strong identity" (Rebel, 1997, p.207). The connections that can be made between leadership, public relations, and organizational communication suggest the potential for the practice of public relations and possible future directions or goals. Figure 2 1 provides a visual representation of the current overlap. Each circle 30

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contains aspects and concepts from each body of literature as previously discussed, with current overlapping concepts appearing at intersecting sections of each circle This figure represents the current state of synthesis whereas this research proposes further integration of leadership theory into public relations and organizational communication 31

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Public relations literature Theories of "persuasion" "Hype "Sp i n" "Integrated marketing" -Behavior modification -Management of change -View from the balcony -Provide a hold ing Invol v e stakeholders in identification of problems environment ( r eg u late stress ) -Maintain focus on real issue s -Promote I facilttate adaptive work -Involve stak e holders in definition and solution of problems -2-way commun i cation model anti QfVision,.,ldenttty .. -Man;ilgement of. confiiCt and crises -Build and maintain _. -Collaboration -Provis ion and protection of Voice -Regulate flow of information (regulate stress) -Corporate culture -Power ... controlling "voice" Leadership literature Figure 2.1: Theory/Literature Overlap 32 Organizational communication literature

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Figure 2.1 illustrates how public relations literature, leadership theory and organizational theory already overlap as indicated by the shaded area. The purpose of this research is to show how the remaining leadership tenets could be integrated into the public relations and organizational communication literature, and thus into actual implementation and practice Conversely, other less than ethical concepts which appear, such as "hype" and "spin" could therefore possibly be moved out of practice. Therefore, in the data analysis section in Chapter 4, all of the concepts appearing in the leadership literature section will be considered in terms of public relations and organizational communication policies and practices. This section has presented a possible model of how leadership tenets may be integrated into public relations and organizational communication practices, as illustrated by Figure 2 .1. The chapter provided a literature review of the public relations, leadership, and organizational communication literature as it relates to this study. The chapter also made an attempt to illustrate the overlap of concepts within organizational communication, public relations and leadership literature. This study will examine a model within an organization that, as closely as possible, integrates the tenets of leadership into its public relations and organizational communication policies and practices. The following chapter will examine the methodology used in the study. The topics that w ill be covered include research design, conduct of the research and data analysis 33

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CHAPTER3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY The aim of this research is to increase understanding of the potential for a leadership role of public relations in organizations. As noted, the state of the literature indicates that the problems in the public relations field are recognized but solutions are not apparent. Furthermore, no connection between the theories ofleadership and of public relations has been made in established literature. The research design for this study, then, must be suitable to explore and describe the nature of relationships between a dependent variable public relations and an independent variable level of leadership integration. Also, given the importance of context and rich details to the proposed research the methodology utilized must include the ability to consider such factors Therefore, a qualitative method was selected, specifically the case study. According to Ooms (1993) : Case studies are used as exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research strategy, and are particularly useful when the focus is on a complex new social event, institution, or phenomenon over which the investigator has no control. (p. 9) The applicability of this description to the current research is evident. According to Yin ( 1989), "the case study like other research strategies, is a way of investigating an empirical topic by following a set of pre-specified procedures" (p. 25). As integration ofleadership into public relations in organizations is a new theoretical application it meets Yin s (1989) criteria : In general, case studies are the preferred strategy when "how" or "why" questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events and when the focus is a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context (p. 13) Yin's reasons for selecting a single case study design are also applicable to this research. According to Yin (1989), one of the reasons to choose a single case "is where the case represents an extreme or 34

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unique case" (p. 47). Since the case chosen is unique, a single case design was selected (see following chapter for discussion of selected case) However, this is not to indicate that theory building or applicability to practice is not achievable. Although case chosen may be unique, the single case study is not unique to academic research. In addition to close adherence to accepted case study conduct and design, the ability to generalize fmdings was taken into consideration when selecting the case. The study will be what Yin (1989) refers to as "an embedded single-case design" (p. 42). This means the study will involve more than one unit of analysis (for example, the organization as a whole, a particular department, and an individual), which is in contrast to the "holistic" design that would only consider one unit. Conduct of the Research Site Selection and Access The first tasks in the conduct of the research were site selection and negotiation of access. According to Marshall and Rossman (1989), the ideal site is one where : ( 1) entry is possible; (2) there is a high probability that a rich mix of many of the processes, people, programs, interactions, and/or structures that may be a part of the research question will be present ; (3)the researcher can devise an appropriate role to maintain continuity of presence for as long as necessary; and (4) data quality and credibility of the study are reasonably assured by avoiding poor sampling decisions (p. 54). The research site was not drawn randomly from a sample of organizations. Rather, it was selected in accordance with the operational definition ofleadership and public relations (set forth in Chapter 1) in combination with the existence of an organizational implementation (the Avenir project) of those same operational definitions. As Eisenhardt ( 1989) explains, 35

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Sampling of cases from the chosen population is unusual when building theory from case studies Such research relies on theoretical sampling (ie cases are chosen for theoretical not statistical reasons) ... Random selection is neither necessary, nor even preferable ... The goal of theoretical sampling is to choose cases which are likely to replicate or extend the emergent theory (p. 537). With consideration of the factors named above and research ofknown organizations ( particularly nonprofit organizations) the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was chosen as the organization to be examined in the case study. After thorough research of available written material regarding the ICRC's Avenir project and preliminary contact with Yves Daccord, Head of the Communication Division of the ICRC the chosen site appeared to have the probability of being a rich data source and meeting the goal of theoretical sampling (likelihood to support extension of emergent theory) The next issue at hand was gaining access shortly followed by other concerns typical of qualitative research such as building trust role management, managing political issues and awareness of reciprocity issues (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The initial link and introduction of the researcher was made via personal letter from the researcher to Yves Daccord of the ICRC. This initial contact was responded to in kind by personal letter from Yves Daccord. Subsequently, a second letter was sent to Mr. Daccord, explaining the research more thoroughly. A list of preliminary questions accompanied this second letter (Appendix B) It w as agreed that the researcher could personally interview Mr. Daccord upon a visit to the ICRC headquarters in Geneva Switzerland. The researcher could also have access to internal ICRC documents regarding the A venir project. The purpose and intent of the research was clearly explained and evidenced by a signed release. Trust was developed through clear communication of interest and research intent, expression of sincere gratitude regarding access and interview granting, 36

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and respectful listening. Role management and political concerns were Iiot issues for the conduct of the research. Field Procedures As noted, a researcher enters the field with a case study protocol to guide efforts. "The heart of the protocol is a set of substantive questions reflecting the actual inquiry, and are reminders to the investigator regarding the information that needs to be collected, and why" (Yin, 1989, p. 76). Questions for this research were derived from the literature on leadership, public relations and organizational communication. The focus of questions was: To what extent /level has the ICRC's Avenir project integrated leadership into public relations? This particular question could not be asked directly, as it is a, intricate, difficult, and complicated question However, by focusing on the tenets ofleadership as discussed in the literature review, this question can be evaluated. Interview questions attempted to determine the level of collaboration within the organization and amongst organizational partners; the level of vision communicated to its publics; the level to which the organization identifies and involves all stakeholders; the level to which the organization gives work (regarding problem definition and solution) back to stakeholders; the level to which the organization protects unconventional voices; and finally, the level to which the organization provides a holding envirorunent and regulates stress when it comes to ripening issues within and outside of the organization. Background, organizational structure, and standard procedures and policies questions were included as well With these questions in mind, data collection was initiated. Yin (1989) notes six sources which "can be the focus of data collection for case studies: documentation, archival records, interviews, 37

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direct observation, participant-observation, and physical artifact" (p 85). The flrst four were essential components of the current case study research. The sources of data include : Published documentation and/or papers relating to the ICRC. Articles and/or papers published by the ICRC The Head of the Department of Communication of the ICRC. Observation of the movements, policies, projects and campaigns of the ICRC during and after implementation of the A venir project. Direct observation of work environment at ICRC headquarters in Geneva Switzerland. Data Analysis Yin ( 1989) describes several levels of questions to be used as part of data collection and analysis which include: questions asked of individual respondents, questions asked of the individual case, questions asked of the study itself (how it relates to the literature), and normative questions which might be asked in terms of practice implications and recommendations. Every attempt was made to follow these recommendations for data analysis. Qualitative data analysis was employed, using an interpretive approach Denzin (1994) states: In the social sciences, there is only interpretation. Nothing speaks for itself. Confronted with a mountain of impressions documents and field notes the qualitative researcher faces the difflcult and challenging task of making sense of what has been learned (p. 500). As noted by Marshall and Rossman (1989), the sense making "is a search for general statements about relationships among categories or data" by way of: data organization; generation of categories, themes and patterns; considering alternate explanations of the data; and, interpretation (p. 112). 38

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Spatial displays were also employed to illustrate interorganizational relationships and organization of the data collected These displays were used for description and analysis applying selected strategies suggested by Miles and Huberman (1984): noting patterns and themes, seeing plausibility subsuming particulars into the general, noting relations between variables, building a chain of evidence, and making conceptual coherence. Criteria of Soundness Marshall and Rossman (1989) contend, "all research must respond to canons that stand as criteria against which the trustworthiness of the project can be evaluated" (p 144). For qualitative research these canons are referred to as "criteria of soundness" (p. 144). Marshall and Rossman (I 989) present four constructs which more accurately [than the positivist paradigm constructs of internal and external validity, reliability and objectivity] reflect the assumptions of the qualitative paradigm (p. 145) : credibility transferability, dependability, and confmnability. The first construct is credibility, "in which the goal is to demonstrate that the inquiry was conducted in such a manner as to ensure the subject was accurately identified and described" (Marshall & Rossman 1989, p. 145). This criterion would be addressed through careful use of literature in construction of case study and interview questions, multiple data sources, and fieldwork. The second is transferability which is the ability to generalize to theory. This would be addressed by strong linkage to a clear theoretical framework and establishment of operational definitions. According to Yin (1989) the most important validit y question for the case study method is not statistical generalization to a population, but analytic generalization" to a theory (p. 10) Y in (1989) suggests, and this research will comply utilizing multiple sources of evidence, 39

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creating a case study data base which includes all data collected, and maintaining a chain of evidence which can logically be followed and understood by anyone reviewing the study process. The third criteria is dependability "in which the researcher attempts to account for changing conditions in the phenomenon chosen for study as well as changes in the design created by increasingly refined understanding of the study" (Marshall & Rossman, 1989 p. 147) This study endeavored to achieve dependability through implementation of careful and thorough analytic and reporting procedures. The final construct is confrrmability "which captures the traditional concept of objectivity" (Marshall & Rossman, 1989, p. 147). Every attempt was made to question the data, employ the best critical interviewing skills, practice value-free note taking as well as repeated scrutiny of the data collection and analysis procedures. The following chapter will provide an introduction to the case study, a brief history and description of the chosen organization, and data analysis. 40

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CHAPTER4 THE CASE STUDY The organization of interest is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). There are several reasons behind choosing this particular organization First, it is a politically neutral organization within a politically neutral country. As an international humanitarian action organization, it faces all if not more ofthe challenges and problems facing the majority of organizations within the U.S and worldwide. Second, it is a very large and well-established organization (it has approximately 8,000 to I 0,000 employees and has been in existence since 1863) This fact will ensure that the organization will be in existence for a very long time during and after the study is completed for possible future research or observation. The ICRC also establishes a link (ability for generalization) to large corporations in the U.S. and worldwide (especially regarding structure organization, and implementation). Third and most importantly, it is currently implementing an organizational program of interest to this research: the A venir Project. Upon review of the description and explanation of the A venir project many elements of leadership and their connection to the field of public relations were identified. The study will delve into the A venir project as a model of integration of leadership into public relations. Before any interviews were conducted, however, a working knowledge of the ICRC and of the Avenir project was achieved Thorough background and historical research was conducted, and every attempt was made to collect up-to-date information on the A venir project. 41

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BriefHistory of the ICRC In June of 1859, Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman, was witness to the horrific scene of thousands of wounded soldiers left to die in agony for lack of medical services on the battlefield of Solferino in northern Italy. In 1862, he published his book A Memory of Solferino in which he called for relief societies to be formed with volunteer nurses to care for the wounded in wartime, and for those societies to be recognized and protected through an international agreement. His ideas soon led to the creation of the "International Committee for Relief to the Wounded." By invitation from the Committee, representatives from sixteen countries and four philanthropic institutions convened in Geneva, Switzerland in 1863, marking the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as an institution. Following in 1864, the Swiss government convened a diplomatic conference in Geneva at the urging of the newly formed ICRC. Representatives of twelve governments negotiated and adopted a treaty called "Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field." This ten-article treaty was the first treaty of international humanitarian law. The creation of Red Cross Societies all over Europe and the United States followed. Further conferences were held in later years establishing protection of additional categories of victims, such as prisoners of war. After the Second World War, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 were adopted, providing protection for the first time of civilians in wartime The Conventions were then supplemented in 1977 by two Additional Protocols. Henry Dunant also established the emblem of a red cross on a white background (the reverse ofthe Swiss flag) for the ICRC. The symbol represented the neutrality of the institution and ensured the protection of the wounded and those who cared for them. In wartime, the red cross on a white background (and later the red crescent adopted by Societies) is the visible sign of protection 42

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conferred by the Geneva Conventions on people and objects authorized to display it, and misuse of the emblem is a violation of international humanitarian law. Relations to Other Red Cross Entities During the wars of the 19th Century the different "branches" of the Red Cross family established their identity: the National Societies as auxiliaries to the armed forces of their respective countries, and the ICRC as a neutral intermediary between the conflicting parties. Today, there are several institutions or "federations" which formed from the original ICRC. The ICRC itself is an independent humanitarian institution. It is the founding body ofthe International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (see figure 2). Acting as a neutral intermediary "in the event of armed conflict or disturbances, it seeks on its own initiative, or on the basis or the Geneva Conventions and the Protocols additional thereto, to protect and assist victims of international or non-international armed conflict and those affected by internal disturbances or tension" ("ICRC: Answers to your questions 1998, p 2 .). It is the responsibility of the ICRC to grant official recognition to potential Red Cross or Red Crescent National Societies, which may then apply to join the Federation. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies develops and supports National Societies (such as The American Red Cross) throughout the world. The Federation mainly focuses on natural and technological disasters, and is a separate entity from each of the National Societies. The National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities in humanitarian matters and may vary in function and role from country to country. The ICRC does work closely with most of the National Societies, and it is responsible for coordinating the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' international relief operations to assist victims of conflict. 43

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Together all three of these entities make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement also known as the International Red Cross as illustrated by Figure 4.1: FIGURE 4.1 : Red Cross Relations l ICRC J International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement \1_ Individual National Societies The ICRC The ICRC is headquarted in Geneva, Switzerland. It conducts field operations in approximately 80 countries and has delegations in 58 countries (International Review of the Red Cross No 833). The total personnel is currently almost 10, 000 people, with approximately 632 (1998 figure) located at headquarters in Geneva In 1998, ICRC delegates visited over 190,000 44

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detainees in more than I ,300 places of detention, and provided more than 64,000 tons of relief supplies (International Review of the Red Cross No. 833). The ICRC is known first and foremost for field operations in aid of victims of armed conflict and internal violence. However it also is charged with the roles as "guardian," or promoter and custodian, of international humanitarian law. This role is charged to the ICRC by Article 5 of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which is "to undertake the tasks incumbent upon it under the Geneva Conventions, to work for the faithful application of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to take cognizance of any complaints based on alleged breaches of that law" (Sandoz 1998 p 2) This role will be explored further in relation to communication and the goals of this research. The ICRC is governed by the Statutes of the International Committee of the Red Cross (Appendix C). These statues dictate the action, form and structure of the organization. The decision-making bodies of the ICRC are (a) the Assembly; (b) the Assembly Council, (c) the Presidency, (d) the Directorate, and (e) Management Control. Functions and responsibilities of each and current members may be found in Appendix D. Its Mission Statement (Appendix E) also guides the ICRC. The ICRC pursues the mandate it received from the international community "to help victims of war and internal violence and to promote compliance with international humanitarian law (Appendix E). The purpose of international humanitarian law is to limit and prevent human suffering in times of armed conflict. The core of the law is in the four Geneva Conventions and their two Additional Protocols which provide protection to the following categories listed below by Convention or Protocol: First Convention : wounded and sick members of the armed forces in the field; Second Convention : wounded sick and shipwrecked members of the armed forces at sea ; 45

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Third Convention: prisoners of war; Fourth Convention: civilians in times of war ; Protocols of 1977: supplement the Conventions and aim to limit the use of violence and protect the civilian population by strengthening the rules governing the conduct of hostilities ("Getting to Know the ICRC," 1997, pp. 13-14). The brief summary of the Conventions and Protocols stated above are at the heart of what the I CRC was established to protect and what it is mandated to promote, guard, and monitor. Functions of the ICRC Yves Sandoz (1998) proposes six functions of the ICRC regarding international humanitarian law: The 'monitoring' functioni.e., constant reappraisal of humanitarian rules to ensure that they are geared to the reality of conflict situations, and preparing for their adaptation and development when necessary. The 'catalyst' functioni.e., stimulation, especially within groups of governmental and other experts, discussion of problems encountered and possible solutions, whether such solutions involve changes to the law or otherwise. The 'promotion' functioni.e., advocacy in favor of the law, helping to disseminate and teach it, and urging States to adopt national measures necessary for its implementation. The 'guardian angel' functioni.e., defending international humanitarian law against legal developments that disregard its existence or might tend to weaken it. The 'direct action' functioni.e., making a direct and practical contribution to application of the law in situations of armed conflict. 46

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The 'watchdog' functioni e., raising the alarm, first among the States and other parties directly concerned in an armed conflict, and thereafter among the international community as a whole, whenever serious violations of the law occur (pp. 2-3): Governmental, corporate, and particularly nonprofit organizations may have functions common to those outlined above. Two of them, the promotion and catalyst functions, are of particular interest to this case study. The ICRC utilizes every tool at its disposal for these two functions, such as websites, CD-ROMs, advertising campaigns, lectures, development and dispersal of brochures, calendars, posters, newsletters, reviews, press releases, articles, and other publications. The ICRC functions very much like nonprofit organizations in the U.S. Acting on the basis of the specific mandate it has received from the States bound by the Geneva Conventions and the Protocols, the ICRC functions in over 80 countries around the world. The ICRC's "operations are funded by contributions from governments, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, supranational organizations, non-governmental organizations, public and private sources and legacies" ("Getting to Know the ICRC", 1997, p. 3). Like most nonprofits in the U.S., the ICRC is driven by a specific mission and mandate, and all contributions are voluntary. This section has presented a brief history and description of the ICRC and what it does. The next section will include an introduction to and examination of the Avenir project. ICRC/Avenir Project Data On June 7, 1999, a personal interview was conducted with Mr. Yves Daccord, Head of the Department of Communications for the ICRC in Geneva, Switzerland. The interview was tape recorded with permission from Mr. Daccord, and field notes were taken during the interview 47

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References will be made to this interview ("personal interview") of which the full text may be found in Appendix F. Other archived documentation and ICRC structural information were gathered during a five-month period prior to the interview and a five-month period after the interview. The A venir Project According to Mr. Yves Daccord, the Avenir project (named for the French word "l'avenir" meaning "the future") was first conceived in 1996. "The board decided in 1996 that there was a clear need with the changing time, changing environments, there was a clear need to discussnot only to have a 'top down' but a 'bottom up' [communication process] too" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The results of the Avenir project were presented to and adopted by the ICRC's Assembly on December 12, 1997 (Appendix G). Subsequently, a plan of action was drawn up and endorsed at the Assembly meeting on April 29 and 30, 1998. The timetable for implementation stretches from May 1998 to September 2001. The A venir project is a plan of action for the ICRC to address the new challenges, become more proactive, and adopt strategies that will allow it to respond and adapt to changing environments. Certain challenges forced the ICRC to look at itself and its organization, and realize that understanding and adaptation to the challenges would be necessary for survival and success. The ICRC's "Avenir project: Challenges, mission and strategy" ( 1997) notes the general feeling of uncertainty as the world approaches the new millennium: In the post-Cold War era, the world's communities have in many senses lost their bearings and much of their capacity to give meaning to the future. The vision of continuous progress has been shattered, and there is a widespread feeling of uncertainty as to what the future holds in store. This feeling is gaining ground as a result of two simultaneous but contradictory forces, namely globalization and the assertion of individual identity (p. I). 48

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As an international organization, the ICRC is in a unique position to experience firsthand the challenges associated with globalization and emerging technologies as discussed previously. Accompanying this is the probability "that armed violence and conflicts arising from the trend towards fragmentation of societies will continue in the years to come, with an increasing impact on the civilian population" ("The ICRC's Avenir Project", 1997 p. 1). New and often unknown players as well as the weakening of the state cause situations in which the ICRC must function to be increasingly volatile and unpredictable. The humanitarian environment itself is becoming more complex as well including increasing competition from new humanitarian players (similar to increasing competition in the non-profit sector of the U.S.). The ICRC recognizes, also as noted previously, that some leaders tend to employ "work ayoidance" mechanisms in stressful situations and provide technical solutions to extremely difficult problems "In an age of instant and graphic television coverage, politicians have little stomach for the hard decisions that are actually needed .... Increasingly, political leaders tend to let things slide" (Boegli, 1998, p. 2). In light of such challenges, the ICRC realized "a major change of strategy is required" ("The ICRC s Avenir Project", 1997, p. 3). The four main strategies of the Avenir project are: (a) restoring independent humanitarian action, knowledge of and respect for humanitarian law and principles to their proper status, (b) strengthening dialogue with all players, (c) bringing humanitarian action close to the victims, looking to the long term and establishing priorities; (d) increasing the ICRC's efficiency ("The ICRC's Avenir Project", 1997, p 3). The first strategy in the Avenir project document (1997) involves the ICRC's mandate as guardian of international humanitarian law: "The ICRC intends to remain the promoter of humanitarian action ... putting persuasion before condemnation. The values underlying humanitarian Jaw ... must be incorporated in a message that is systematically propagated and constantly adapted to 49

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the cultural environment for which it is intended" (p. 4). This strategy is based on effective communication tailored to the specific public or audience. The second strategy involves establishing and maintaining relations and dialogue with all players concerned (all stakeholders). This strategy also incorporates collaboration: "The ICRC will seek not only to share its experience and views, but also to coordinate its action with that of other relevant humanitarian agencies, even launching joint appeals should the circumstances require" ("The ICRC's Avenir Project", 1997, p. 2). The third strategy involves giving more weight to its delegations and making them "more sensitive to the local context of a given conflict" ("The ICRC's Avenir Project", 1997, p. 2). By bringing humanitarian action close to the victims, the ICRC will be able to put the law in context of the local conflict and thus communicate and promote it more effectively. The fourth strategy involves improving internal communication and restructuring the organization to meet the challenges. "Functioning more effectively in a complex and uncertain environment will ultimately enhance the security, mobility and motivation ofiCRC staff members" ("The ICRC's Avenir Project", 1997, p. 8). According to Yves Daccord, this first presentation of the A venir project is referred to as the "Avenir studies, and then afterwards there was a plan of action for the ICRC for 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001" (personal interview, June 1999). The Avenir project as described above reflects that first phase, the "studies," or recommendations presented by the conclusions of the study. The second phase involves actual structural and policy changes implemented at the ICRC as a result of the Avenir "studies." This section has provided a brief description of the A venir project. The following section will discuss what effects the Avenir project has had on the ICRC. 50

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Division of CommunicationEffects of A venir on Structure and Policies Yves Daccord heads the Division of Communication of the ICRC. He was appointed as Head of Communication in December of 1998. One of his first "assignments" was to follow up on the Avenir studies: "Because people were not very happy with the outcome of December 97 [the A venir studies], it was too vague, so I was asked to do it, and I was appointed last year in December '98 as Head of Communication and my task was to merge in fact all of this, and to find a new strategy and a new way of organizing" (personal interview June 1999). He established "The 1999 Communication Group (GCOMM99) as a means of following up the Avenir plan adopted by the Assembly" (Daccord, Schaad, Saddler, Lusser, Dutli, de Perrot, Gauthier, & Masse, 1998, p. 1). The group created a report titled "Unite Communication 99" which was adopted by the Directorate. This report, referred to by Mr. Daccord as "the baby of Avenir pinpoints challenges and solidifies the orientations, mission, guiding principles, responsibilities, and organization of the newly merged Communication Division. The group identified from the A venir studies, the specific challenges related to communication. As discussed previously, advances in technology and access to information is a challenge all communication professionals face in today's world. The ICRC communication division is greatly affected by this changing environment. "Unconfirmed figures flash around the planet within minutes and the political decision-makers no longer know what reports they can rely on. In this situation, what counts more than anything is the credibility of the information and the party relaying it" (Daccord et al., 1998, p 5) GCOMM99 recognized as well that "humanitarian agencies are valued as sources of information and expertise," and that "quality of personal contacts is as important as the quality of the information provided" (Daccord et al., 1998, p 5) This places 51

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the ICRC in a unique and often difficult position The ICRC must maintain a presence in the media in order to "compete in the information market both at world and at local level," but must also reinforce its credibility and maintain relationships with all players involved which can lead to "conflicting choices" (Daccord et al., 1998, p 6) The ICRC must always follow its mandate of protecting and promoting international humanitarian law, but also must keep lines of communication open during emotional conflicts. "The challenge here is to find a position which will enable the ICRC to communicate without being perceived as a danger and a threat to the parties to the conflict" (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 7) One necessary step is to redefine the identity of the ICRC in order to meet these challenges "This is a necessary step in projecting a clear image and the strengthening of its identity is a prerequisite for the ICRC to act on its environment" (Daccord et al., 1998, p 7) GCOMM99 took the recommendations presented in the A venir studies and solidified them into a plan of action for the Communication Division The Communication Division of the ICRC was originally seven different divisions, each working separately and independently of one another: There was one communication unit that was mainly dealing with information and there was a lot of production audio-visual materials, right? But they didn't really play a strategic role And there was another side which we call Dissemination which was promotion of international humanitarian law ... and there was the division with the military and security forces So all were split, so what we have decided was the challenge is so big, and as you mentioned we want to have an impact on the top leadership, on the decision-making strategy, we wanted to gather all of these people (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). As a result of the Avenir studies, the ICRC realized it needed to merge all seven communication divisions into one integrated department. Each section retains its expertise and focus, but the communication skills are brought together into one department (Appendix H). An additional focus 52

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for this reorganization, and of the A venir project as a whole, is internal communication. According to Yves Daccord: And inside, one of the key issues is internal communication. Absolutely key issue. And that was something we never really tackled seriously at ICRC. That was new -so what we are bringing in, what we want as the Communication department -bring the top leadership of the ICRC the means and expertise about internal communications, so a strategy of internal communications (personal interview, June 1999). As a result of the A venir studies and the challenges identified, the Communication division also adopted nine main "orientations" which will be the working focus of the Communication division: To draw up a message which is consistent-without necessarily being uniform-on the basis ofiHL [international humanitarian law] the Fundamental Principles and the expertise and identity of the ICRC. To innovate in order to guarantee lasting success. To have the capacity to monitor closely all developments relevant to ICRC communication. To incorporate them into long term strategies and into policies at both local and global levels. To rely above all on skills and to make the best possible use of them. To bring to the fore the skills of the ICRC's national staff as a strength in dealing with local issues. To ensure that these skills are made available to users. To cease analyzing the environment chiefly on the basis of target audiences or problems to be resolved. To aim instead at rapid identification of opportunities and, if necessary, to seize them when they offer themselves. To adopt a forward-looking and innovative attitude. To create the space needed to favor this approach through a strong framework of reference, within which it is possible to act with speed and flexibility. To favor project management. To ensure that the projects planned and the opportunities seized serve to support the objectives of the ICRC and correspond to the priorities, to the resources available and to the characteristics of the context. To master the main tools of communication, especially in campaigns and marketing, as well as the sciences of influencing behavior. To have the capacity to produce effective materials for public information. 53

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studies : To adopt decentralization as a strategic policy for putting the options defined into practice, for establishing a solid footing in regional contexts and for improving support to the delegations. To be rigorous in management and to adapt the organization of the Communication Division to needs (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 8). The mission of the Communication Division was also redefined as a result of the A venir The mission of the Communication Division and of all its staff at headquarters and in the field is to provide the ICRC with the leadership, expertise and means needed for internal and external communication to (a) make an impact on the behavior of those who determine the fate of the victims of war, (b) to influence those who can obstruct of facilitate the action of the ICRC and (c) to reinforce the identity of the Institution and to project a clear image (Daccord et al., 1998, p. 9). The responsibilities of the Communication Division pursuant to the mission statements and orientations are intricately associated with the mission and mandate of the ICRC as discussed in the previous section (see Appendices C and E). The responsibilities of the newly integrated communication department were redefined and solidified as a result of the Avenir studies (Appendix I) All of the structural and policy changes implemented were possible due to the understanding of the importance of communication by the top levels at the ICRC. "One of the things that most of our colleagues realize is that communications is a key element. There is a clear understanding from the top management due to the fact that you do it, or you die" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999) This section has provided an overview of the structural and policy effects of the A venir project. Further discussion and analysis will be completed in following sections. The next section 54

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will discuss tools utilized by the ICRC Communication Division for internal and external communication. Internal and External Communication Tools The ICRC has adopted internal communication as a new organizational focus Several tools have been put into place to facilitate internal communication For example, an intranet databank based on Lotus Notes has been implemented in which all staff(field and headquarters) can access information on a daily basis. "Everybody can look at-it and it's valid for headquarters and field" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The ICRC also utilizes E-mail extensively (for detailed specifics on the ICRC's telecommunications, see Appendix J). A second classical form of internal communication utilized is an employee newspaper called "A venue de la Paix" which is named for the street on which the ICRC is located in Geneva. According to Mr. Daccord, the newspaper is "a very, let's say, funny newspaper. It is done by people inside my unit and it's open and quite critical of the ICRC. Discussion and openness, the idea is that we want this to be read by people .... A lot of discussions, sometimes heavy ones where people are not happy" (personal interview, June 1999). Internal communication is also facilitated by direct work with the directorate. According to Mr. Daccord, "we have a directorate and we train a lot with them, we have four directors so my role is to advise them. So in June, we have three major meetings with the top leadership and the [middle] leadership too. Field and headquarters [meet) together to discuss the main issues They can talk to the directorate and say 'that doesn't work. It's not happening. We are worried .... (personal interview, June 1999). 55

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For external communication, the ICRC utilizes any and all tools possible to achieve its goals and mandate. Global campaigns are conducted from Geneva through global media: "Through CNN, BBC, etc., a global network (Y. Daccord personal interview June 1999). They also work through each National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societ y in part i cular countries "You have very classical promotions: calendars, books, brochures, publications the web," as well as CD's, CDROM's and local entertainment and performances (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). An example of this is the ICRC's activity in Africa : We have worked on Africa, on a project where we wanted Africans speaking to Africans. In Africa it's more and more clear to be a white person is not anymore a good way to go to pass a message. It's difficult, and African leaders are very very strong leaders So what we did was make a campaign with six major singers so we have a CD [title song So Why?] and it was promoted all over Africa. Wit h a very strong message about respect the rules respect the civilians in war. And then they made a tour and we had a movie about it, w hich is "Music Goes to War," and we have a book also (Woza Africa]. That's only a focus on Africa, it's not worldwide, it's just a focus on Africa Using our network, and also the commercial channel (Y. Daccord personal interview, June 1999). A s an international humanitarian agency i nvolved in highly emotional or controversial conflicts worldwide, media relations is a very important aspect ofiCRC functions. All delegates go through three weeks of training which includes media and communication instruction The basics regarding dealing with the media are covered initially : "We of course explain to them communication in general what does it mean, they way they have to behave, that wearing dark glasses at a checkpoint, it's not a good idea" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Persons being sent to the field undergo additional training regarding dissemination and speaking to the media. The ICRC has adopted a more open policy regarding media relations, at least, as much as possible According to Mr. Daccord: The other thing we understand also especially in communication it 's not possible anymore to say no comment ," or very difficult. We are very careful about the way w e deal with information, but the more careful you are the more closed you are, the more you have to 56

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explain why you can't. Now we start to understand this, so in communication, we are more and more able to explain this, and be more and more open to people. And in communication, what we do is we don t really have a spokesperson, contrary to a lot of different organizations. We want journalists being directly connected with the people in charge. We [still] have a Head of Media ... but still what we don't want is to have a kind of official language .... Sometimes of course it has a little problem, but generally speaking it's much better. The relation is much better with the press, much more open (personal interview, June 1999). This section provided a description of the communication tools utilized by the ICRC. Analysis and discussion of these tools will take place in the following section on data analysis. Data Analysis This section will discuss the policies, practices and projects of the ICRC addressed by the A venir project in relation to the tenets of leadership previously discussed in Chapter 2. The leadership tenets that appeared in the leadership literature circle of Figure 2.1 will be discussed in detail in relation to communication practices and policies of the ICRC, specifically: involving stakeholders in identifying the adaptive challenge regulating stress, maintaining a focus on the issues, giving adaptive work back to stakeholders protecting unconventional voices, gaining a view from the balcony collaboration and vision Table 4.1 provides a summary of the following sections The change model and processes as discussed in the organizational communication literature review apply to the Avenir project. The table shows how the changes are proceeding and progressing through the organization. The top of the table, labeled "Level of Integration," exemplifies the stages of change in the organization as per Weick. All of the following concepts and aspects will have import to theory which will be addressed in Chapter 6. First, analysis and understanding of the data must be completed and achieved. 57

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Involve stakeholders in identifying adaptive challenge A first step when faced with an internal or external problem or conflict is to identify the adaptive challenge. This includes involving the stakeholders in the identification and definition of the problem at hand The ICRC has recognized this as an important step in achieving its goals and mission. As indicated in Table 4.1, this leadership tenet is being incorporated into policies, practices, and projects addressed by Avenir, and is in the initial stage of implementation overall. One of the four main strategies of the Avenir project is "bringing humanitarian action close to the victims, looking to the long term and establishing priorities" ("Future of the ICRC: plan of action," 1998, p. 1 ). According to ICRC documentation, this requires greater initial analysis of situations on a local context basis and "making ICRC delegations more sensitive to the local context of a given conflict" ("Future of the ICRC: plan of action," 1998, p. 2). This position indicates greater involvement of stakeholders. The leadership tenet of involving stakeholders in identifying the adaptive challenge is evident in the ICRC campaign called "People On War" (Appendix I). This campaign "is above all a methodical listening process, whose purpose is to gather the opinions of people worldwide on the rules of war defined by international humanitarian law" ("People on War in Brief," 1999, p.l). This project being carried out by the ICRC is illustrative of involving people in the identification and definition of problems pertaining to international humanitarian Jaw. The project includes group discussions and thousands of individual interviews, as well as a web site (www.onwar.org). "The project's ultimate goal-once the listening and assessment phases are over-is to enhance the effectiveness of international humanitarian Jaw and of humanitarian action in general" ("People on War in Brief," 1999, p.l). The ICRC has acknowledged the importance of involving those closest 58

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to a problem or conflict. As noted by Urs Boegli (1998), the head of the ICRC's Media Services: "If we recognize the value of taking the trouble to listen to those who truly know a situation ... then we will at least be taking steps towards greater credibility" (p.3). Another example ofhow and where the ICRC embodies the leadership tenet of involving stakeholders in the identification and definition of the problem is in dissemination of international humanitarian law. The ICRC has recognized that in order for its dissemination activities to be effective, it must address "the identification of needs by or with the beneficiaries" (Haroff-Tavel, 1998, p 8). The ICRC has adopted an inclusive approach relating the essentials of humanitarian law to the humanitarian values inherenfin the culture and traditions oflocal populations evident in traditions, stories, proverbs, historical and literary references, and music. "Indeed, comprehension of the ICRC s humanitarian message often depends on the existence of corresponding tenets in local custom" ("The ICRC's Avenirproject," 1997, p. 5). In this sense, the ICRC is involving local culture and local decision-makers and opinion-makers in the dialogue. "Dissemination should preferably meet an expectation .... A dissemination project should, if possible, be undertaken to meet specific needs or in response to requests made by political, military, academic, educational or other authorities" (HaroffTavel 1998, p.8) According to Yves Daccord, this is mainly done at the level of delegations: "What we are doing is work with our relays or local people, and make a task or focus group and say, ok, obviously we have problems. We compare this to what the government says .... To have more local involvement, be more informed about what's going on, what s the problem, what's the main issue" (personal interview, June 1999). The A venir project also addresses the need for involving internal stakeholders (employees and delegates) in the identification and definition of problems within the ICRC. According to Mr. Daccord, the ICRC recognized that "there was a clear need to discuss-not only to have a 'top 59

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down' but a 'bottom up' [communication process] tooa discussion getting the people in the field involved too" (personal interview, June 1999) Improving internal communication is one ofthe measures identified as vital to the strategy of increasing the ICRC s efficiency (as identified by the Avenir project). According to Mr. Daccord, the ICRC has policies that allow for employees to discuss problems directly with top management. This however, does create some difficulties for the top management. "It's difficult for the top leadership to deal with that. You realize very quickly that the door is not open very easily ten hours a day .... We have to teach our management to be a little more strategic" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). In summary, the A venir project has led the ICRC to clarify and focus on the need to include stakeholders in the identification and defmition of problems This is evident in the statement of "guiding principles for the Communication Division outlined by the GCOMM99 group in response to the A venir studies: "Understanding others enhances communication. Familiarity with sensitive issues, diverse cultures individual concerns and contexts. Need to remain close to both internal and external customers so as to understand their aims and problems, and meet their expectations" (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 10). 60

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!n-.rolve stakeholders in identifying adepti ve .:?, '\: C'O.;" ..... policies; NeN ii:demal cOltUtW1ication !Jl!D;;mn; "People On w.r challenge i : : : Regulate Stress I provide hal ding emironment !policies b ! i Maintain focus on the i j l lcons!an! focus cniHL l lissues !Avexirstrate;ies; ! ! : del : : : : o;ab! i i i i Involv-e stakeholders in !a1.1tonomy; focus on ! i l 1 solution process l i !P ... sponsibilities ofDept of l Protect uncon-..entional I l l jcomrrunication; ''Peopl; i I mar voices l l i iop>nclwmoJs of Perspective /View from the balcony ! i jcommmication with all i i i !parties; ability to,...,...., i i i jpas I idoolcQes -----------1----------------l:::::::----------T-------------------T---------------------\ j cofollabD ploraoftion; j j j : :.r;.op:.m s e : : : IC ollaboralion 1 i i :commumcat:i.on : : : : Pro.ision/Communication !poEcyF'...,-dP.finirc;; ! ! ofV ision ___________ l_ ________________________________ L_ _________________ ......... J .... ___________________ j Table 4.1: Data Results 61

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Regulate stress I Provide holding environment The next vital leadership step is keeping the stress at a level that is tolerable and allows for and facilitates adaptive work Heifetz (1994) refers to this as providing a holding environment. This is a difficult aspect ofleadership, as it involves applying pressure while at the same time knowing how much stress an environment can handle. It requires open lines of communication in order to know the environment sufficiently. As Table 4.1 indicates, the ICRC has implemented strategies and policies addressing this issue. According to Yves Daccord: One of the strengths of the ICRC is that we want absolutely to have all the channels open, which is risky, which is sometimes dangerous, but we want to And it means first of all that you have contact with them, you know them. You have a real knowledge from their family, of the way they work, of their history (personal interview, June 1999) Because the ICRC insists upon keeping all channels open, they are able to eventually know and establish a history with each party involved. In that way, they are able to eventually predict behavior and actions of players. This is one of the strategies identified by the Avenir project: The ICRC must direct its energy to a systematic effort to maintain contact with all the entities concerned, in particular States, the various centers of power in civil society including economic circles and special interest and pressure groupsand new non-State players such as guerrilla forces, paramilitary groups, private armies, and even groups that might be connected with organized crime. In this context, it intends to establish a humanitarian platfonn, that is, a mechanism for identifying and updating the institution's agenda of priority issues and of the problems and challenges to be anticipated and solved by mobilizing the international community in a targeted manner ("ICRC's A venir project," ICRC, 1997, p. 6). Knowing the parties involved is one main step in being able to regulate the stress of adaptive work. The second aspect is being able to apply the right amount of pressure to a situation regarding the issue at hand in order to facilitate adaptive work. This involves continuing communication with the players involved regarding the identified challenge. "Positive relations does not mean silence, fear, 62

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or the abandorunent ofhumanitarian values, but the establishment of a constructive although partly critical, dialogue that takes due account of the different responsibilities, means and strengths of the partners concerned (Davey & Blonde!, 1999, p. 4). The ICRC is committed to having the courage to take positions and conduct campaigns on essential issues. It is a policy of the ICRC to conduct campaigns on an international level, but also on a local level coordinated by the local delegation. However, the ICRC recognizes the need to ripen the issues at a rate that the particular environment can handle. "The ICRC undertakes to report only to the authorities concerned. This means that ICRC delegates ... can build up a relationship of mutual trust and respect .... [At times] the ICRC may choose to publicly voice its concern; however, it will never publish its findings" ("Getting to know the ICRC," 1997, p 5). In this way, the ICRC is able to maintain relationships, while at the same time apply pressure to ripen issues. An element of regulating stress to facilitate adaptive work is being flexible and responsive to the environment (Heifetz, 1994) The Communication Division has re-emphasized flexibility as a vital element to its success. This is evident in the statement of "guiding principles" for the Communication Division outlined by the GCOMM99 group in response to the Avenir studies : "Monitoring the development of the ICRC's envirorunent and knowing how to incorporate new trends advisedly and at the right moment" (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 10) Maintain focus on the issues Maintaining focus on the issues is a goal which was re-enforced and re-emphasized by the Avenir project, but is not new to the ICRC. At the heart of the ICRC's mission and mandate is a commitment to maintain a focus on international humanitarian law through dissemination, 63

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promotion, and direct action A venir re-emphasized maintaining focus on the issues as a main strategy: Restoring independent humanitarian action, knowledge of and respect for humanitarian law and principles to their proper status .... This involves asserting the ICRC's role as a universal reference point for issues connected with international humanitarian law .... The plan of action proposed 38 measures in this regard, aimed at establishing closer complementarity between international humanitarian law and human rights law, promoting and developing international humanitarian law, spreading knowledge of and enhancing respect for humanitarian law among the new perpetrators of armed violence ("Future of the ICRC: plan of action," 1998, p. 2). Externally, the ICRC is involved in maintaining focus on the real issues in many different ways. One example is its current campaign "People on War," the campaign focusing on the rules of war. Through this campaign, the ICRC is "trying to have an impact on people, then they start to behave, during wartime, according to the rules, right? Which is very difficult for the people to understand, that even in war you have limits" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The ICRC employs various tools to maintain focus on the issues "for example by referring to local traditions, calling on influential and respected community leaders and appealing to artists and entertainers in theatre or circus, for exampleto prompt people to think about the problem" (Sommaruga, 1999, p.3). The ICRC also continually applies pressure to governments and nongovernment entities regarding international humanitarian law. [The ICRC] helps to reassert the rule of law by developing new treaty rules, when needed, to keep pace with the reality oftoday's conflicts; by reinforcing law-related institutions to make them more efficient and accountable, and by increasing government compliance with the law. [The ICRC] helps to strengthen civil society through its efforts to mobilize non-state actors non-governmental organizations, the media, groups of citizens, etc. to ensure observation of international humanitarian law .... [The ICRC] acts on structures, targeting collective systems and services [through] educational programs it helps organize in schools and its contribution to the setting up of national mechanisms to implement international humanitarian law. [The ICRC] contributes to the training in terms ofhumanitarian law of tomorrow's military, academic, political and other leaders some of whom will inevitably have influence over the course of conflicts ("ICRC Special Report," 1998, p 17). 64

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The ICRC is the only organization formally entrusted with a specific mandate and role as guardian of international humanitarian law by the international community. The Communication Division is intricately involved in this mission and mandate, as evidenced by the above and the ICRC's commitment to dialogue: "The ICRC intends to remain the promoter of humanitarian action .... The challenge it faces is to reach and influence, by means of dialogue, all actual or potential perpetrators of violence, placing emphasis on the moral dimension and putting persuasion before condemnation" ("The ICRC's Avenir project," 1997, p. 4). The Communication Division is charged with providing the ICRC the means and expertise to accomplish this goal, as evidenced by the responsibilities outlined by the GCOMM99 group as a result of Avenir (see Appendix 1). Internally, the ICRC focuses on the main issues with input from top management, employees and delegates. The internal newspaper "Avenue de la Paix" allows for open, often critical, discussions of issues. The ICRC also holds periodic internal meetings for discussion. According to Yves Daccord, this provides an open line of discussion: "Field and headquarters [are brought together] to discuss about the main issues" (personal interview, June 1999). As noted in Table 4.1, the ICRC has institutionalized the leadership tenet of maintaining disciplined attention to the issues. Although this focus is not new to the ICRC the A venir project has re-enforced and re-emphasized this commitment. Give adaptive work back to stakeholders The leadership tenet of giving adaptive work back to stakeholders is a difficult goal to accomplish, even in the best of circumstances. As noted previously, it is human nature to look to leaders to provide answers in times of stress Leaders take an inherent risk by giving that work back to the public involved, and must therefore be accessible for guidance and facilitation (Heifetz, 65

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1994). As indicated in Table 4.1, the Avenir project addressed the need for greater autonomy of delegations and greater involvement oflocal publics. As a result of the A venir project, the ICRC has adopted a strategy to attempt giving adaptive work back to the stakeholders. The ICRC has recognized that it cannot simply pass down solutions to problems occurring in the field when it is in Geneva and far away from the problem itself. One recommendation of the A venir studies was that "the ICRC must give more weight to its delegations and allow them greater autonomy" ("The ICRC's Avenir project," 1997, p. 5). The headquarters of the ICRC in Geneva is a guiding facility for the field delegations, in essence giving adaptive work back to the local delegation and public involved to arrive at a solution. So generally speaking what's going on is mostly done at the level of a delegation in a country. It's rarely done in Geneva. We provide advice ... we also give the tools, the methods and so on But in fact it's mainly the delegation, the head of the delegation, and the communication in the field which will do this job. We have a lot of in the field. Especially in conflict time. I tell you, in conflict time things are moving so quickly, and in Geneva, nobody can [tell them what to do], you know, "I don't know." I have in team now in Kosovo, in Pristina, what can I tell them? I just don't know. We can discuss, I can work with them on the criteria, I can work with them on strategical framework, but I have to trust them otherwise .... So autonomy, we wanted to underline, that s very important. It's even more and more important because the conflicts are more and more difficult (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). This autonomy allows the delegations with local networks and contacts, to test and implement solutions specifically tailored to the particular region and problem. "While it must at times be the ICRC that takes the initiative in this area and actually launches the programs needed, that aim is always to obtain commitment from the authorities and the local people to carry on that work over the long term" ("ICRC Special Report," 1998 p. 2). According to Heifetz (1994), this is an essential step in real leadership: "to sustain adaptive change, the community has eventually to discover and develop its own capacity for doing work, including the capacity to authorize other citizens without expecting magic (p. 248) 66

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The ICRC recognizes the need for giving work back to stakeholders as opposed to passing down rules or policies. As a humanitarian agency, "the obstacles they encounter are often the result of the image they project: they may be perceived as purveyors of Western values, destabilizing the host society, as instruments of the foreign policy of 'wealthy' States or of the economic interests of the private sector" (HaroffTavel, 1998, p.2). In order to survive in the context of modem conflict, and to achieve their mission and mandate, the ICRC has recognized it must give adaptive work back to those intimately involved. Protect unconventional or marginalized voices As noted previously, the disequilibrium necessary for constructive change to occur is often initiated by unconventional voices. This concept has been identified as a tenet ofleadership (protecting unconventional voices) and of organizational communication (providing a voice to marginalized groups). As communication professionals, public relations practitioners are in a unique position to provide this leadership. The ICRC accomplishes this, to varying degrees, externally and internally. Pursuant to its mission and mandate, the ICRC provides a voice to detainees and victims of war. The ICRC visits prisoners of war and often acts as an advocate on their behalf. "In recent years, ICRC delegates have been visiting some 100,000 detainees annually in more than 50 countries in the world," and will speak out when necessary ("Getting to know the ICRC," 1997, p. 4). The current campaign, "People on War," is also an excellent example of the ICRC's protection and provision of voice (Appendix L). "The aim of this unique project is to give a voice to people directly or indirectly affected by war, both civilians and combatants, and to sound out their views on 67

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the rules that apply in wartime" (Keller 1999 p 3) By providing a voice to those involved in conflict, the ICRC very well may uncover previously unconsidered issues and insights, and potentially create disequilibrium necessary for change. "It is our hope that th i s consultation ; carried out under the slogan even wars have limits,' will highlight the complexity of war and stimulate wide-ranging debate on the subject" (Keller 1999 p 3) In addition, two of the responsibilities of the Communication Division are related to providing a voice to stakeholders Responsibilities of the Communication Division, as outlined by the GCOMM99 group in response to the A venir project include "[the Communication Division] networks on the international level to achieve a more profound analysis, to fine-tune priorities and to adapt strategies," and "[the Communication Division] masters the methods and tools of communication [and] establishes and applies policies and standards" (Daccord et al., 1999, p. 11). Table 4.1 indicates the level to which the ICRC has implemented the leadership tenet of protecting unconventional or marginalized voices. This has been a goal of the ICRC as reflected in its mission and mandate but the A venir project has placed a sharper focus and emphasis on the importance ofthis concept. View from the balcony According to Heifetz ( 1994 ) it is necessary for leaders (with or without authority) to extract themselves from the emotionality of a situation and gain perspective As a politically neutral agency the ICRC is able to move past ideologies to gain perspective of often volatile situations. "The ICRC is impartial: its only criterion is the victims needs. The ICRC is neutral and remains detached from all politic a l issues related to conflict" ("Getting to know the ICRC ," 1997 p. 1 ). 68

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Gaining perspective is necessary for survival in highly emotional, stressful situations (Heifetz, 1994). A strength of the ICRC is that they continually strive to keep all channels open, regardless of the players involved. This allows dialogue to take place and understanding to be eventually achieved. People who are on a daily basis discussing with everybody .... We [the ICRC] don't have the problems that most of the agencies or nonprofit organizations have in some governments, which is "We don't talk to Milosevic because he is a devil." Boom, finish, over. Fine, but how do you anticipate the thinking ofMilosevic? How do you do it? How do you work with these people? So we want absolutely to keep all of these channels open .... and it means first of all that you have contact with them, you know them. (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Having the ability to distance oneself from the emotional turmoil of a given problem is conducive to establishing and maintaining relationships with the players involved, and it is something that the ICRC practices regularly. Let's take Rwanda ... very difficult to anticipate the thinking. I mean, we didn't anticipate the genocide. But we stayed, contrary to the others, we stayed during all the time. Then afterwards, then that's mainly a difference for ICRC because then you really start to know the people. Now, we are able to anticipate what's going on in Rwanda. We really know, we're not surprised. (personal interview, 1999). As noted in Table 4.1, the ICRC has institutionalized the leadership tenet of maintaining a "view from the balcony." Collaboration As noted previously, collaboration is essential for effective management of conflict and change (Heifetz, 1994 ). The A venir project specifically pinpoints increased cooperation and collaboration as essential to the future of the ICRC. Turning now to interaction with other humanitarian players in conflict situations, the ICRC would like to enhance the overall coherence of humanitarian activities by being available to 69

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ensure the coordination of emergency assistance operations, under the conditions that guarantee the independence of its action ... .The ICRC intends to develop its relations with other humanitarian players. In particular, it wants to establish alliances with NGOs [non governmental organizations] and intergovernmental agencies that share its ethical standards and humanitarian principles ("The ICRC's Avenir project, 1997 pp. 5 and 7). The ICRC has observer status at the United Nations General Assembly and coordinates its activities with many humanitarian agencies such as WHO and UNICEF. In particular, the ICRC cooperates with: The Council of Europe The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe The Organization of African Unity The Organization of the Islamic Conference The Non-Aligned Movement The Organization of American States The Inter-Parliamentary Union However, collaboration is somewhat new to the ICRC. Because of their neutral status and history, the ICRC must be careful of whom they collaborate with in each country ICRC is well known not be very very open, and to have a very very specific mandate. Of course, in communication one of our problems is to be quite clear that we are not the same as the others. So we clearly distinguish ourselves from the other ones. Our strategy is to say we are not the same. We are not UN, we are not the NATO. We are ICRC which is very different. Now our problem is ... you have the other agencies, which is true. We work with them so from time to time we have some project together. .. .It depends very much on the area and it depends very much on the image of the players . Afghanistan for example we don't work with the UN very clearly. For good reason because the UN [has] a very clear political stance, we don't want to have the same stance so we have to be careful. On the other side, in Bosnia, we work very closely with the UN for a lot of reasons ... That's the larger circle Then you have the inner circle which is the Red Cross family, which is very complex. .. You have what we call the National Societies, so the National Red Cross, the American Red Cross ... and the American Red Cross and the ICRC, we don't share the same view We have problems together ... we don't always agree on everything They don't want us to be too much focused on America. But we still have a lot of things, a lot to do with the U.S. government, we are not very happy with them. So it doesn't make things very easy (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). 70

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Levels of collaboration vary from country to country, but generally the ICRC is focused on increasing cooperation and collaboration. The ICRC realizes that this requires open lines of communication. "ICRC has to realize that we are not the only ones in the world, right? That there are a lot of other actors, there is competition and there is other expertise. We need the UN for example. That means you need to exchange information, you're also open about your own problems, you don't just say 'no comment,' you start to say 'yes, it was difficult, sorry" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Internally, the Avenir project has emphasized collaboration among divisions. As a result of the A venir project, the seven departments dealing with communication functions were merged into one department (see Appendix H). Each "centre of expertise" has its own focus and specialty, but "brings its acquisitions to bear on the procedures and working methods of the other units of the Communication Division. [Each 'centre of expertise'] advises on the strategies to be adopted in order to achieve the communication objectives of the ICRC" (Daccord et al., 1999, p.I4). This allows for close collaboration within the Communication Division, which also has direct access to and support from top management, providing a collaborative internal effort between departments. As indicated in Table 4.1, increased cooperation and collaboration is specifically addressed by the Avenir project, and is thus a new strategy and goal for the ICRC. As a result of the Avenir studies, the ICRC has recognized it must move from a competitive to a collaborative model in order to survive and succeed in a changing, uncertain environment. 71

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The development and communication of vision for organizations is essential to effective leadership On first assessment, one would think the ICRC has no difficulty in this arena, specifically due to its history, mission and mandate. However, a finding of the Avenir project was that "the ICRC has a strong identity and image in the world at large. On the other hand, the people consulted inside the organization tended to find its identity patchy and lacking in focus. This weakened their commitment to the Institution" (Daccord eta!., 1999, p. 7). As noted in Table 4 .1, a new focus on the leadership tenet of providing and communicating vision is in the initial stages of implementation at the ICRC. As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC is redefining its identity, which is providing a vision or picture of what the organization can become. "As things stand now, the ICRC needs to redefine its identity This is a necessary step in projecting a clear image and the strengthening of its identity is a prerequisite for the ICRC to act on its environment (Daccord eta!, 1999 p 7). To this end, one of the responsibilities for the newly merged Communication Division laid out by the GCOMM99 group is "[the Communication Division] ensures that the internal communication policy reinforces the identity of the Institution" (Daccord eta!., 1999, p. 12). Externally, the ICRC must deal with a unique situation regarding its identity that may contribute to the difficulty in communicating a clear vision. The "Red Cross" is normally viewed as a single concept when in fact, as noted previously there are several components each independent ofthe other On the communication side I perfectly understand that s a classical [problem], for a normal American citizen or Swiss citizen, it doesn't make any difference, you know. The Red Cross, it's the same. Is that American Red Cross, International Committee of Red Cross ... ok, I understand one is National one is International. .I understand this is quite classical. So it means, I can do what I want as a communicator, I just need to realize and to accept the fact that for the general public it's almost the same (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). 72

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' \ As a result of the Avenir project, the ICRC has a goal of clarifying and solidifying its identity, particularly on the internal organizational level. "To achie v e the objectives of the Avenir plan, it will be necessary to mobilize all of our personnel. Any such mobilization will depend, inter alia on a genuine policy of internal communication" (Daccord et al. 1999, p 7) The Communication Division will not focus on image but on identity as a means to a clear image If this identity is clearly and strongly communicated to employees and delegates, an appropriate and strong image will result. "We need to have a strong corporate identity in order to pass a good message We cannot afford having a delegate saying stupid things on CNN seen by everybody two minutes later [and potentiall y ] have a serious impact. Maybe not but maybe yes, so we cannot afford this" (Y. Daccord personal interview, June 1999) The previous sections have attempted to illuminate specific ICRC,policies programs, and projects that incorporate the previously discussed leadership tenets as a direct or indirect result of the A venir project. The following chapter will include discussion and conclusions 73

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CHAPTERS DISCUSSION The following section will present a discussion of observations from the case study as they relate to the literature on leadership, public relations and organizational communication. Specifically, the following section will present an overview of the entire A venir project in relation to communication. That section is followed by a discussion of each of the previously considered leadership tenets from the data analysis: involving and giving adaptive work back to stakeholders, regulating stress, maintaining focus on the issues, protecting unconventional voices, gaining a view from the balcony, collaboration, and vision. Overview The ICRC's Avenir project began as a study (the Avenir studies) of the new and difficult challenges facing the organization in light oftoday's uncertain and changing world environment. The resulting recommendations and plan of action have brought about major changes to the ICRC "affecting its structures, its working methods, and the responsibilities of its staff' ("Future of the ICRC: plan of action," 1998, p. 3 ). In fact, these changes will continue for several years to come. The Avenir project, initially implemented in 1998, is not scheduled for completion until the year 2001. Even then, however, Avenir will not cease. "It was important to make a comprehensive five year plan ... [what] we wanted was in 2001, that this plan of Avenir has been achieved. Most of it, at least the priorities. It doesn't mean that A venir stops in 2001, we hope not" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The Avenir project, then, is essentially a way for the ICRC to acknowledge and address major world changes and the absolute need for the organization to be 74

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flexible and adaptive to those changes. The focus of this research has been on the affects of the A venir project on the ICRC Communication Division which has been presented in the previous chapter and will be discussed in this chapter. As a result of the A venir project, the ICRC established a goal to move towards greater openness in all of its internal and external relations. This means greater openness with all its internal and external publics to the greatest extent possible. However, due to the nature of their work, ICRC employees and delegates must approach "openness" realistically: We think it's about communication. What you need is a local network, you need people who know very well the area .... To have more local involvement, be more informed about what's going on, what's the problem, what's the main issue, and to disclose information. Now there is still some information we don't want to disclose which is all the protection information, all the things linked to protection of people, prisoners, all of this is still very confidential" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). The ICRC strives for improved flow of coiJUDunication which is geared toward reducing uncertainty among its employees and delegates. As noted in the literature review of organizational coiJUDunication this is an important element in today's changing environment. To a large degree the ICRC embraces a two-way communication model as described in Chapter 2. Internally, the ICRC recognizes the value of communication by providing communication division employees access to top management. "We have very good acc ess to top people Daily access. (We] have a meeting or so with them, meeting the [ICRC] president, meeting the director general, meeting the director of operations on a weekly basis .... Really having a channel open, in order to avoid any problems" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). Also as noted previously, all individuals involved in field operations receive training in communication skills. Externally when the ICRC develops communication messages for campaigns they have recognized the importance of providing two-way communications : "It would be a mistake to believe that the message is a product delivered to its addressee in a one-way relationship. The act of communicating 75

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involves exchange, dialogue, listening, questioning, give and take, and attempts to reach mutual understanding" (Harroff-Tavel, 1998, p.5). The Avenir project is still in the process of implementation, and the newly merged Communication Division is just beginning to deal with new orientations, guiding principals, structure and responsibilities. However, the analysis of the gathered data indicates that the A venir project has resulted in a preliminary model of communication that integrates leadership into public relations. Involve and give adaptive work back to stakeholders The ICRC has acknowledged the importance of involving stakeholders in the identification and defmition of problems. The ICRC policies on developing communication and campaigns include using local customs, local norms, and local celebrities However, this is an area in which the ICRC appears to need the development of more effective models: Interviewer: How do you extract what people really feel, not just. ... Daccord: Not just what we feel they feel? Interviewer: Right. Daccord: We're not very good at that, I have to be honest (Y. Daccord personal interview, June 1999). According to Yves Daccord, the ICRC needs to improve its research methods as it develops communication programs: "We're not very good at research we do it quickly and sometimes based on assumptions [from] our previous projects" (personal interview, June 1999). Research is one area that the Avenir project attempts to address and solidify. According to Yves Daccord, the ICRC has traditionally been a reactive organization. As a humanitarian agency that responds to fast-moving, sudden crises and conflicts, it has become very adept at reacting to crises. However, research has been limited because of the reactive nature of the organization. "We have been very much activity 76

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oriented, and we are trying to move now from activity oriented to results oriented" (Y. Daccord personal interview, June 1999). A key concept associated with the leadership tenet of involving stakeholders is evaluation. Keeping stakeholders at the center of discussion and action regarding the issues would allow for greater understanding of the results of an implemented solution This is also an area in which Mr. Daccord feels the ICRC could improve, and which the Avenir project addresses. "Where we are not very good is evaluation afterwards At what time do we stop? What s the criteria? When do we say stop, yes, move, change? We don't know" (personal interview, June 1999). As a result of the A venir project the ICRC has adopted a policy of being proactive and evaluative instead of reactive and non-evaluative. "And in [the] Communication [Division] we want to be the leader about this. We have integrated a new way to approach the objectives of the ICRC. It s called 'Planning for Results' so we really try now to have our delegations thinking about results" (Y. Daccord, personal interview June 1999) The ICRC makes every attempt to keep lines of communication open to all parties involved in all conflicts in which they become involved In fact one of the centres of expertise" ofthe newly merged Communication Division is devoted solely to this purpose The Relations unit "maintains formal relations with the armed forces, the security services, and in general, all bearers of arms in order to develop and maintain a network of contacts" (Daccord et al. 1999 p 15). However new perpetrators of violence have surfaced in recent years which present greater difficulty and challenges "Kids twelve years old guns .. what do you tell them? How do you anticipate what they will think? What s their strategy? What do you do? That's the problem" (Y. Daccord, personal interview June 1999 ) These ne w challenges are all the more reason for the ICRC to keep those lines of communication open and involve all stakeholders whether or not they are formal and 77

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structured. As discussed previously, when stakeholders are involved in the definition and solution of problems, they are committed to the solution. Whereas if stakeholders are ignored, they are more likely to resist and attack potential solutions or even the leaders proposing those solutions (Heifetz, 1994). The data indicate that the ICRC has started along a path of involving stakeholders in problem identification and definition processes. One recommendation of the Avenir project regards maintaining closer proximity to the victims. "The proximity referred to above encompasses familiarity with the local culture, which makes it possible to gain a better understanding and to anticipate the thinking of the different players" ("ICRC's Avenir project", 1997, p. 5). The extent to which this is actually implemented and adhered to would require additional research. The Communication Division is certainly dedicated to involving stakeholders as mentioned above. Every attempt is made to create messages and disseminate material that is popular, entertaining, and locally relevant However, the data is less supportive regarding the leadership tenet of giving adaptive work back to stakeholders Although there is some indication that the value of involving stakeholders in the solution process is recognized, additional research would be needed to determine the extent to which if at all, this leadership tenet is actually implemented and institutionalized. The question remains as to whether the ICRC's "popular" and "entertaining" messages result in the desired effect. For if the real issue and message is still considered by the local public as a foreign import, the ICRC will not have achieved its purpose. At this point, according to Yves Daccord, the ICRC is not very adept at evaluation and research, and thus does not have much data on the effectiveness of its campaigns. It may be the case that the ICRC may be addressing different perceptions of issues and problems than involved stakeholders. If so, this would indicate a greater need for stakeholder 78

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involvement. However the ICRC is somewhat restricted by the mandate charged to it by the international community and the ICRC must act within its specific mandate as determined by its statutes and the Geneva Conventions and subsequent Protocols In some cases, reminding stakeholders of their obligations under international humanitarian law, or even being sure they "know" the law, may not necessarily mean the law is understood or is perceived as relevant and applicable to their problems. The data indicate that the ICRC recognizes this, but additional research would be needed at both headquarters and delegations after A venir is more fully implemented. If all stakeholder groups are involved in the processes of problem identification, definition, and solution, then the Communication Division and the ICRC will have greater success in research, evaluation, message formulation and dissemination, and ultimately its mission and mandate. Regulate stress I Provide holding environment The ICRC is generally successful at ripening issues by regulating stress among established and known stakeholders. They rely on their knowledge of and history with specific combatants to know when to push further on an issue or when to decrease pressure As Heifetz (1994) notes this is a difficult goal to accomplish, and the ICRC has discovered that it requires a history with involved parties. Because the ICRC, in certain countries acts alone and without formal political authority, they are able to maintain issue focus and gain frontline detailed information, which are benefits of acting without authority (Heiftez, 1994 ) Yet, as the ICRC is an established and formal organization, albeit non-political, they appear to have less "latitude for creative deviance" (Heifetz, 1994, p 188) The focus on keeping all lines of communication open with all parties may hinder their ability to ripen issues in a way that could be more creative and effective for a particular 7 9

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audience. This however, is a concern addressed by the A venir project. The ICRC is adopting policies to allow for greater autonomy of delegations to deal with local situations as they see fit. This flexibility and ability to adapt is a key concept of the A venir project. "[There] was a clear understanding ofiCRC people that the world is changing, but what does it mean completely? We have to adapt [to) a lot of change, especially due to inside factors but also outside factors" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). If the ICRC adheres to and embraces this concept, they will be able to adapt to changing environments and quickly assess situations. In this way, they will be able to more accurately regulate the stress involved in change processes and conflict situations. By accurately regulating that stress, they will be able to ripen issues and bring the debates to the forefront. Additional research would be needed to determine the extent to which this leadership tenet is actually institutionalized. Maintain focus on the issues The ICRC has been quite successful in maintaining disciplined attention to the issues. As it is charged with the protection and promotion of international humanitarian law by the international community, the ICRC continually focuses on those particular issues. However, it is interesting to note that, even according to the ICRC international humanitarian law is often ignored, even when every attempt is made at communicating the importance and relevance of the law It may be possible that the ICRC is allowing work avoidance mechanisms to occur. Destructive conflict may be a symptom of people attempting to deal with an adaptive problem, therefore the task should be to counteract those avoidance behaviors and at the same time affirm the significance and relevance of directly addressing the real issues and, in this 80

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case, international humanitarian law. The act of simply "reminding" parties involved in conflict of their responsibilities under the law may not be sufficient and alternative measures must be investigated. Additional extensive research would be necessary in this area. Protect unconventional or marginalized voices The data indicates that the ICRC is successful at providing and protecting the voice of marginalized groups. This concept is applicable to both internal and external publics (or stakeholders). Still, the ICRC recognizes the opportunities for improvement. Providing and protecting the voices of unconventional or marginalized voices is an area in which the ICRC recognizes a need for greater commitment. The current campaign, "People on War," as discussed previously is a step in the right direction for the attainment of this goal. This campaign is not a method to find new ways of repeating the same message, but is a tool to actually listen and provide a voice to those directly or indirectly involved in armed conflict (Appendix L). It is an excellent example of protecting the voice of marginalized groups. The new commitment to internal communication is also an interesting organizational step towards this leadership tenet. As noted by Yves Daccord, the ICRC desires to have a communication program that is not only a "top-down" process by which information is passed down from top management, but also a "bottom-up" process by which employees are given a way to voice opinions, concerns, or ideas By committing to its employees and delegates in this manner, the ICRC may be protecting potential leadership voices within its own organization. Additional research would be necessary to determine adherence to this policy and the effects it may have on the organization itself. 81

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View from the balconv The data indicate that the ICRC is very successful at gaining and keeping perspective, or a view from the balcony. They are able to move past ideologies and the emotions of violent conflicts, and maintain contacts and relationships despite actions and behavior that may violate some or all of the Geneva Conventions. As communications professionals, this is extraordinarily important. As noted previously, being able to ask the right questions and extract oneself emotionally from a situation to gain such perspective is not only an element of ethical public relations but of effective leadership as well. The fact that the ICRC is willing to communicate and work with all stakeholders, including militia groups and other types of combatants as well as victims and government entities, is unique and indicative of their ability to move past ideologies and rise above emotions to address the real issues. The data indicate that the ICRC has been successful in institutionalizing this leadership tenet. However, additional research would be necessary to determine the actual level of adherence and commitment at the different levels of headquarters and delegations. It would also be necessary to determine how the ICRC ensures commitment to this concept by its employees and delegates, especially considering the work involved in highly emotional or controversial situations. Collaboration As noted in the literature review, the concept of collaboration is important to leadership, and to the effective management of conflict and change. The ICRC has recognized major changes in the environments in which it operates and the need to adapt to those changes: "Ever since the upheavals of 1989, the environment in which humanitarian action takes place has been undergoing 82

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constant change .... New types of problems are appearing which call for an appropriate response" ("ICRC's Avenir project," 1997 p.l). One of the responses the ICRC has begun to implement is greater collaboration. The ICRC has addressed this internally by combining all facets of communication into one Communication Division, and putting a new focus on internal communication. Externally, the ICRC has recognized that it must cooperate and coordinate with other humanitarian players, with a focus on elements of the Movement. This focus on collaboration, especially with other humanitarian players, is significant. As noted previously, nonprofit organizations in the U.S. are facing increasing competition from other nonprofits as well as for-profit organizations. The ICRC is not immune to this competitive trend. They recognize increasing competition in the humanitarian action arena as well. However, the ICRC response to this competition is not to fight or compete with other players, or adopt "integrative marketing" techniques, but to collaborate. "There are a lot of other actors, there is competition, and there are other expertise. So we need to call the other expertise, we need them too. That means you need to exchange information, you're open" (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). This is a point that may enlighten nonprofits in the U.S. The ICRC embraces the competition as an opportunity, and makes attempts to work with other humanitarian players recognizing that it is the best way to achieve their goals. According to Mr. Daccord, they recognize that they are not the only experts in the world. Faced with the major challenges oftoday's society, the ICRC realizes it must collaborate for success and survival. "In today's changing world, promoting rules to limit violence in crisis situations is a responsibility of the 'global village' which is taking shape, comprising a network of State, economic and political entities organizations associations, and citizens" (HarroffTavel, 1998, p.l 0). 83

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An interesting point concerning this increased focus and commitment to collaboration is the fact that the ICRC is moving away from a competition model. Of course, they have recognized quite clearly that they must become more proactive, and put the focus on results, not only on reaction to crises. Still, this new focus emphasizes leadership. This is reflected as well in one of the orientations outlined for the Communication Division by the Avenir project: "To cease analyzing the environment chiefly on the basis of target audiences .... To aim instead at rapid identification of opportunities . .. To adopt a forward-looking and innovative attitude" (Daccord et al., 1999, p.8) Essentially, this moves the focus of commuiiications and public relations out of marketing and promotion. As noted previously, the trend in the U.S. is for communications (including public relations) to be included under the umbrella of"integrated marketing," which implies a focus on communication and the selling of a product or idea. Non-profits in the U.S. assume that to compete, they must adopt the same type of"integrated marketing" paradigm which often does not seem to fit or coincide with their mission. They often will adopt the same marketing tools such as identifying target audiences and formulating messages to present to those target audiences. However, the ICRC presents a different possibility. By not relying solely on target audience analysis, but also on identification of opportunities and collaboration with other players, they will move away from mere marketing and towards innovation and leadership. The ICRC has a very specific vision and image that it needs to communicate to the outside world in order to successfully pursue its mission. To achieve its goal of projecting a clear image, the ICRC is focusing on its identity and on a commitment to internal communication. It is interesting to note, "research on image and identity has to do more with insiders' (employees') 84

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perceptions of the company" (Eisenberg & Goodall, 1993, p.313). Thus the data indicate that the ICRC is moving in the best direction in order to achieve the goal of solidifying their identity The ICRC as a result of the A venir project, has adopted a goal of redefining and communicating identity, which is providing vision or a picture of what the organization could become. Like any organization, it must deal with internal factors and people resistant to change. As a long-established organization, the ICRC does face this resistance. Let's see how we work, and if we are able to change our culture, it's not very easy Especially when you are successful, which is the case with the ICRC. Money is flowing in, we don't have a major problem, we don't want to push people but we do need to change .... but if you have somebody who is happy, who has worked 20 years like this ... that is the problem (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). If the vision and identity are unstable or inconsistent, that resistance may be more difficult to overcome. The Avenir project, as previously noted, specifically calls for an improved and dedicated program for internal communication to redefme and solidify its identity. Also, the data indicate that the newly merged Communication Division will be playing a greater role within the ICRC. This in itself presents a challenge internally. It's more people inside than outside. Because you see people who do not understand or disagree or are extremely worried because their personal experience is very bad with media and everything about communications is media to them so they are very worried. They don't understand that we are much more large than just media. So oftentimes you have to overcome very strong resistance (Y. Daccord, personal interview, June 1999). As noted in the literature review of organizational communication employees today have become more disenchanted with corporate organizations. Organizations in the U.S. often try to elicit more commitment from their employees by creating a "family" culture. However, employees have become distrustful of this in the face of downsizing and other organizational conflicts. The ICRC has recognized that presenting a "family-like" corporate culture is not feasible or effective. "The problem is, we have to realize it is not anymore a 'family.' Our organization is 10,000 people 85

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working, so it's time to be serious" (Y. Daccord personal interview June 1999) Instead of tellin g employees they are part of a "family" and risking subsequent disillusionment, the ICRC is focusing on actual identity and reality as their corporate culture. They are a large diverse and complicated organization, and if they approach their corporate culture from the basis of their actual identity, corporate spin" is all but eliminated and the chances of employees becoming disillusioned when reality sets in are greatly reduced. This approach reinforces the ICRC s commitment to openness in its relations. Still additional research would be needed here as well once the Avenir project and the new focus on internal communication is more fully implemented. 86

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CHAPTER6 CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS This chapter will address conclusions from the case study, implications for practice, and recommendations for future research. Conclusions At the end of the 20th century the world is facing rapid and unpredictable changes New forms of communication have brought the vision of a "global village" and "globalization," not only to business and finance, but also to culture. With the rise of the Internet, intercultural communications have become easily and quickly accessible. This vision of a global community is paired with an increased assertion of individual identity. This continuous intercultural transformation is a difficult change process, as evidenced by the myriad of problems facing societies today ranging from new perpetrators of violence to increasing employee dissatisfaction. Communication professionals facing these varying problems concerning their organizations are charged with understanding and communicating with new and changing publics. Now, possibly more than ever, leadership is needed at all levels in all organizations around the world, especially in communication. Professional communicators, such as public relations practitioners, are in a unique position to provide such leadership within their organizations. Whether their organization is a nonprofit working towards a humanitarian goal, or a for-profit working towards greater employee satisfaction and investment returns, the impact of integrated leadership in communication strategies could be significant. 87

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The possibilities for action on the part of communication professionals are numerous and the potential is tremendous The ICRC's Avenir project is an example of how the tenets ofleadership may be integrated into an organization's communication practices and policies "A good communication program should not start with communication at all, but with a critical review of the organizational structure and the potentials within this structure to meet the demand for openness and public involvement" (Renn & Levine, 1991, p. 214). The ICRC accomplished this with the Avenir studies and project. The ICRC recognized the challenges of the changing environment, globalization, and emerging communication technologies. By conducting the Avenir studies, the ICRC examined their organizational structure, and determined what needed to be done to meet the demands required to achieve their mission and mandate. Increased openness and involvement of stakeholders is only one aspect of what they determined as necessary. The A venir project also addressed the need for collaboration with other potentially competing humanitarian players. These actions will move the ICRC away from a competitive model to a more collaborative model, which includes a solid organizational identity and open two-way lines of communication. With the difficult, adaptive problems facing organizations today, it becomes all the more evident that involving the stakeholders in identifying and defining problems is essential. Although this is not an easy task it is still possible, and research has shown this process to be quite effective .. The ICRC, as a result of the Avenir project, has determined to put more weight on stakeholder voices and opinions By doing this, the ICRC may be able to address the real issues from the perspectives of those involved. If they are then able to involve stakeholders, at least as much as is possible in the solution of problems, the resulting solutions will be more effective and long lasting. 88

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Although neither the A venir project documentation nor other archived documentation mentions "leadership tenets" or "leadership integration into public relations," an analysis of the actions as a result of the Avenir project lead to the conclusion that the ICRC is starting along a path towards a new model of organizational communication and public relations which incorporates leadership. What does this mean for public relations practitioners? The next section will discuss the limitations to this research as well as address significant implications for practice. Limitations and implications for practice Before outlining some of the implications for practitioners derived from this research, it is important to recognize the limitations of the study. First, while confirming applications of the literatures could be noted, these results were derived from only one case. Second, the results are not complete or finished as the ICRC is a dynamic organization and the Avenir project is still ongoing. In fact, the Avenir project will continue to be implemented and adapted for at least two more years if not longer. However, possible implications for practitioners in the field of public relations are still presented. Whether granted formal authority or not, public relations practitioners do have choices, to varying degrees, regarding how they conduct their communication programs and counsel their organizations or clients Public relations practitioners can choose to integrate leadership tenets into their own practice, and may counsel their organizations and clients in that direction as well For example, public relations practitioners could choose to move away from a competitive "integrated marketing" approach towards a more collaborative approach. This is not to imply that "integrated marketing" has no function or place in organizations However, public relations should not be incorporated under the umbrella of "marketing" if it is to function in a leadership capacity. Public 89

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relations is a function in and of itself, with the potential of providing a valuable contribution to nonprofit, for-profit, or governmental entities. Under many circumstances, a leadership function for public relations may not be necessary. For example, promoting a new product or event probably does not require significant leadership as defined in the literature and this research. In these cases, "integrated marketing" may be all that is required. However, for organizations facing challenging issues such as high employee turnover, a public controversy or crisis, or emotionally charged social problems, leadership is not only desired, but also essential. In these cases, public relations professionals who are able to initiate and conduct communication programs that are integrated with sound leadership techniques will have a greater chance at assisting their organizations through the turmoil and contributing to their survival and success. offered: With the above caveats in mind, the following recommendations for practitioners are 1. Public relations practitioners can facilitate understanding of the real issues and counsel in the direction of addressing the real issues by involving, to the greatest degree possible, all stakeholders concerned in the identification and definition of problems. It is up to the public relations professional to determine if he or she will allow a "cover up," or counsel the client toward truth and managing the conflict or crisis directly. 2. Practitioners can assist in regulating stress and providing a holding environment through the regulation of the flow of information. Public relations professionals already recognize the importance of constantly re-evaluating and adjusting messages to key publics. This concept could be extended to keeping up the stress and pressure only to the point that it facilitates constructive change and growth (in situations that 90

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call for this type of action, such as controversial issues or beha v ior modification campaigns etc.). 3. Practitioners can assist in maintaining disciplined focus on the issues Practitioners could possibly do this by avoiding "hype" and "spin," and not allowing work avoidance technique s to take the place of adaptive work 4. Practitioners can involve stakeholders in the solution of problems, in essence giving the work back to the stakeholders By no means would this be a simple process but as noted in the literature review, stakeholders involved in this process are more receptive and enthusiastic about the resulting decisions. 5. Practitioners can protect unconventional or marginalized voices. As the communication professionals in organizations public relations staff are involved in internal and external communication decisions and policies. Internally, pract i tioners can foster a participative corporate culture b y providing opportunities for real communication between stakeholders. Externally practitioners can accomplish this by recommending programs or campaigns that protect and listen to all voices. 6 Practitioners can gain and keep proper perspective during crises They can also counsel clients or top management to maintain such a view from the balcony During emotional or controversial situations this may be very difficult but is also necessary for appropriate and effective communication practices. 7. Practitioners can counsel towards and encourage collaboration. When faced with difficult issues or problems, collaborating with internal and external publics (and potentially even competitors) could be the most effective method to arrive at th e best possible solutions for all parties involved. 91

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8. Practitioners can re-commit to providing and communicating a strong vision. This, of course, would have to be a collaborative effort with top management. Practitioners can be certain to focus on actual identity and reality for that vision, rather than a fabricated or impossible image, and resist corporate spin. All or only a chosen few of the above implications for practice could be implemented by public relations practitioners to any degree they feel is possible or applicable to their own situations and organizations Nonprofit organizations may fmd this new "model" more appealing and acceptable than a marketing model. Still, this new paradigm is possibly idealistic in a market driven, competitive economy. However, the new challenges facing societies and the current state of public relations calls for creative action and possibly even idealism. If this paradigm is adopted and put into practice in the field of public relations, the entire field may actually be able to evolve, with "hype" and "spin" no longer definitive of the industry. Of course, the paradigm presented by this research is neither solidified in practice nor researched to the extent necessary for theory development. Therefore, future research is recommended in the following section. for future research Future research is needed in several areas concerned with this case study, from the investigation of other relevant bodies of literature to the specific practices and policies of the ICRC as a result of the A venir project. As noted previously, the ICRC s Avenir project is currently being implemented, and will continue to be implemented for at least two more years if not more. Therefore, the need for additional and future research on the ICRC and the Avenir project is required As the recommendations from the A venir project are more fully implemented, policies and practices at the 92

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ICRC may change from what they are today Also since this study only focused on the policies from ICRC headquarters, additional research would be needed at the delegation level to determine the level of actual leadership integration in communication policies. Additionally, the ICRC and the Communication Division will continually reassess the Avenir project and its resultant policies and programs. As the surrounding environment changes, so too will the ICRC and its communication policies. The project was intended to increase flexibility and adaptation, and will therefore be in a constant state of adaptation itself. According to Yves Daccord: To be honest now ifl make an assessment, what I would say, it's more the first step towards Avenir. It s an adaptation. [The Avenir project] is a way to have the ICRC at a level where it's again able to think in the future, have the resources have the think tank have the power to be able to address problems decentralize, ask questions, be flexible enough, be better than today [with] the resources we have (personal interview, June 1999). It is also interesting to note the process of change within the organization As Table 4.1 indicates, the external processes of change appear to proceed more quickly and become institutionalized more readily The changes affecting internal procedures appear to be more difficult to implement and embrace. Additional research involving organizational change and organizational communication could be done on this aspect of the data results There are also several other bodies ofliterature that may be applicable to any future research that would benefit and add to the discussions. First risk communication (and specifically health risk communication) could potentially add a great deal to the discussion. The concepts of risk perception and assessment, trust credibility and behavior modification are significant issues in this literature (Covello vonWinterfeldt & Slovic 198 7 ; Renn & Levine 1991; Slovic Fischhoff & Lichtenstein; 1982) These issues are very relevant to the current study, as well as to public relations organizational communication, and l e adership in general. Second, the study of crisis communication is applicable to this study as well. Some research has already been published 93

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regarding integrating elements of risk communication into crisis communication (Williams & Olaniran, 1998). As all organizations must deal with crises at some point in time, and the ICRC deals with crises almost on a daily basis, this area of study is quite relevant. Third, additional research on media effects and behavior modification campaigns should be addressed in future research in order to assess the outcome of these communication programs and strategies. Finally, future research in the area of public relations is needed. "We are beginning to understand the far-reaching consequences of public relations to society, yet few of our presuppositions have been scrutinized and evaluated" (Grunig, L., 1992, p 70). Pearson (1990) offers a proposal relative to this research that public relations can be "a particular kind of collaborative decision-making process" (p. 232). New thoughts and ideas regarding the field public relations and the challenges it faces are emerging and should incorporated into future research (for a review, see VerCic, 1997). In conclusion, the ICRC, to varying levels of integration, has developed communication and public relations policies that integrate leadership. The issues facing leaders, or potential leaders, today are complex and difficult. Public relations professionals, should they accept the responsibility along with the challenge, have the potential to provide real leadership. This is a new paradigm or definition of public relations that requires and deserves further investigation and research, and potentially theory development. If the tenets of leadership are integrated into public relations, practitioners may be able to shift from "spin" and "hype" to effective leadership. Heifetz ( 1994) concludes aptly: Leadership, as seen in this light, requires a learning strategy. A leader has to engage people in facing the challenge, adjusting their values, changing perspectives, and developing new habits of behavior. The adaptive demands of our societies require leadership that takes responsibility without waiting for revelation or request. One may lead perhaps with no more than a question in hand (p 276). 94

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APPENDIX A PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (Public Relations Society of America.) This Code was adopted by the PRSA Assembly in 1988.1t replaces a Code ofEthics in force since 1950 and revised in 1954, 1959, 1963, 1977, and 1983. For information on the Code and enforcement procedures please call the chair of the Board of Ethics through PRSA Headquarters. Declaration of Principles Members of the Public Relations Society of America base their professional principles on the fundamental value and dignity of the individual, holding that the free exercise of human rights, especially freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press, is essential to the practice of public relations. In serving the interests of clients and employers, we dedicate ourselves to the goals of better communication understanding, and cooperation among the diverse individuals, groups, and institutions of society, and of equal opportunity of employment in the public relations profession. We pledge: To conduct ourselves professionally, with truth accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public; To improve our individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the profession through continuing research and education; And to adhere to the articles of the Code of Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations as adopted by the governing Assembly of the Society. Code of Professional Standards for the Practice ofPublic Relations 95

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These articles have been adopted by the Public Relations Society of America to promote and maintain high standards of public service and ethical conduct among its members. I. A member shall conduct his or her professional life in accord with the public interest. 2. A member shall exemplify high standards of honesty and integrity while carrying out dual obligations to a client or employer and to the democratic process. 3. A member shall deal fairly with the public, with past or present clients or employers, and with fellow practitioners, giving due respect to the ideal of free inquiry and to the opinions of others. 4. A member shall adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth, avoiding extravagant claims or unfair comparisons and giving credit for ideas and words borrowed from others. 5. A member shall not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information and shall act promptly to correct erroneous communications for which he or she is responsible. 6. A member shall not engage in any practice which has the purpose of corrupting the integrity of channels of communications or the processes of government. 7. A member shall be prepared to identify publicly the name of the client or employer on whose behalf any public communication is made. 8. A member shall not use any individual or organization professing to serve or represent an announced cause, or professing to be independent or unbiased, but actually serving another or undisclosed interest. 9. A member shall not guarantee the achievement of specified results beyond the member's direct control. I 0. A member shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the express consent of those concerned, given after a full disclosure of the facts. 96

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11. A member shall not place himself or herself in a position where the member's personal interest is or may be in conflict with an obligation to an employer or client, or others, without full disclosure of such interests to all involved 12. A member shall not accept fees, commissions gifts or any other consideration from anyone except clients or employers for whom services are performed without their express consent given after full disclosure of the facts. 13. A member shall scrupulously safeguard the confidences and privacy rights of present, former, and prospective clients or employers 14. A member shall not intentionally damage the professional reputation or practice of another practitioner. 15. If a member has evidence that another member has been guilty of unethical illegal, or unfair practices, including those in violation of this Code the member is obligated to present the information promptly to the proper authorities of the Society for action in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article XII of the Bylaws 16. A member called as a witness in a proceeding for enforcement of this Code is obligated to appear unless excused for sufficient reason b y the judicial panel 17. A member shall, as soon as possible, sever relations with any organization or individual if such relationship requires conduct contrary to the articles of this Code. (source: http: / /v.'WW.prsa. com) 97

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APPENDIXB QUESTIONS FOR MR. YVES DACCORD AND THE ICRC Definitional questions 1. How was the "Avenir project" first conceived? When and how was the need for a new aggressive project determined? (Specifically regarding communications issues) 2 What is the current status of the "Avenirproject"? What does 'avenir' mean? 3. What do you see happening with it over the next few years? 4. How do you think it will affect the ICRC, and especially the Communications department? 5. What do you anticipate will be the global impact of the "Avenir project"? Communication Division ofiCRC 6. How will the "Avenir project" impact the Communications Dept. of the ICRC? 7 What changes have you seen regarding Public Relations and/or Internal Communications at the ICRC over the past 10 years? 8. How does the ICRC plan on addressing organizational communication issues as the ICRC enters the next century for example : What are the Internal Employee relations strategies for dealing with conflict and change? 9 How and where do you see Leadership as a function of Communications? Communication Strategies 10. How was the Communications strategy ofthe ICRC developed? Who conducts communications research? Who is responsible for implementation? 11. What tools and/or tactics will the ICRC use for persuasion and promotion of humanitarian action and anti-violence messages? 98

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12. In the 12 December 1997 document outlining the "Avenir project" challenges, mission and strategy, section #3 (Strategy): 3.1.3How will this message "that is systematically propagated and constantly adapted to the cultural environment" be researched and developed? How does the communications dept. and ICRC determine key target audiences? What is the current status? 13. Sec. 3.2.2The document states the ICRC "must give more weight to its delegations and allow them greater autonomy", what led to this decision? What were the signs of this need? 14. Sec. 3.2.4The document reveals intercultural communication sensitivity ... How will the ICRC tailor its messages? How will you "anticipate the thinking of the different players"? 15. Sec 3.3 2ICRC plans to "adapt and strengthen its humanitarian diplomacy, which may be defined as its overall policy of external relations aimed at spreading knowledge ...... What tools and tactics for this educational campaign will the ICRC utilize? What are the challenges the communication department faces in this area? 16. Sec. 3.3.6ICRC plans to "move towards greater openness" in all its relations ... how will with be implemented? How is this a change from previous years? What ICRC and Communication department policies will be affected and how will these policies be changed? 17. What are the most effective PR tools the ICRC uses? What are the most effective dissemination methods? 18. /hat is the ICRC's policy towards the media? How has this changed over the past few years? 99

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I 9 How has the ICRC embraced collaboration with other humanitarian players? How do such coalitions or collaborations affect the ICRC and how has the Communication dept. been utilized in this process? 20. How does the communications department determine when a public is ready for change, or how does it assess a publics' ability to accept change? How does it assess the capacity for stress? How do you determine when to push harder, and when to hold back? 21. When met with opposition, or a closed environment or public, how does the communication department address this, approach this, and solve this problem? Internal Communication 22. How does the Communication Department work with the Medical and Legal divisions? What is the protocol? 23. What has contributed to the success of the Communications Department and ICRC Communications in general? 24. How has the ICRC embraced collaboration with other humanitarian players? How do such coalitions or collaborations affect the ICRC and how has the Communication dept. been utilized in this process? 25. Has the communications department always been viewed as integral to the functions of the ICRC, and how important is that for communications effectiveness? 100

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APPENDIXC STATUTES OF THE ICRC I September 1998 International Review of the Red Cross no 324 p 537-543 as of24 June 1998 At its meeting of24 June 1998 the Assembly of the International Committee of the Red Cross adopted the ICRC's new Statutes When the Assembly took the decisions arising from the A venir project ( see The ICRC Looks to the Future ," ICRC, No. 322 March 1998 pp. 126-136), it also approved new internal structures for the organization, and the relevant of the Statutes had to be amended accordingly The new ICRC Statutes replace those of2 1 June 1973 They came into effect on 20 July 1998 Article 1 -International Committee of the Red Cross 1. The Int e rnational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), founded in Geneva in 1863 and formally recognized in the Geneva Conventions and by the International Conferences of the Red Cross [1 ] is an independent humanitarian organization having a status of its own 2 It is one of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. [2] Article 2 Legal status 101

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As an association governed by Article 60 and following ofthe Swiss Civil Code, the ICRC has legal personality Article 3 Headquarters, emblem and motto 1. The headquarters of the ICRC is in Geneva. 2. Its emblem is a red cross on a white ground. Its motto is Inter arma caritas It likewise acknowledges the motto Per humanitatem ad pacem. Article 4 Role 1 The role of the ICRC shall be in particular : a) to maintain and disseminate the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, namely humanity impartiality, neutrality, independence voluntary service, unity and universality; b) to recognize any newly established or reconstituted National Society which fulfils the conditions for recognition set out in the Statutes of the Movement and to notify other National Societies of such recognition ; c) to undertake the tasks incumbent upon it under the Geneva Conventions [3] to work for the faithful application of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to take cognizance of any complaints based on alleged breaches of that Jaw; 102

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d) to endeavour at all times as a neutral institution whose humanitarian work is carried out particularly in time of international and other armed conflicts or internal strife to ensure the protection of and assistance to military and civilian victims of such events and of their direct results; e) to ensure the operation of the Central Tracing Agency as provided in the Geneva Conventions; f) to contribute, in anticipation of armed conflicts, to the training of medical personnel and the preparation of medical equipment, in cooperation with the National Societies, the military and civilian medical services and other competent authorities; g) to work for the understanding and dissemination of knowledge of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to prepare any development thereof; h) to carry out mandates entrusted to it by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent {the International Conference) 2. The ICRC may take any humanitarian initiative which comes within its role as a specifically neutral and independent institution and intermediary, and may consider any question requiring examination by such an institution. Article 5 Relations with the other components of the Movement I. The ICRC shall maintain close contact with the National Societies. In agreement with them, it 103

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shall cooperate in matters of common concern, such as their preparation for action in times of armed conflict respect for and development and ratification of the Geneva Conventions and the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles and international humanitarian law 2. In situations foreseen in Article 4, paragraph I d) which require coordination of assistance provided by National Societies of other countries the ICRC in cooperation with the National Society of the country or countries concerned shall coordinate such assistance in accordance with the agreements concluded with the other components of the Movement. 3 The ICRC shall maintain close contact with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It shall cooperate with the latter in matters of common concern in accordance with the Statutes of the Movement and the agreements concluded between the two organizations Article 6 Relations outside the Movement The ICRC shall maintain relations with government authorities and any national or international institution whose assistance it considers useful Article 7-Membership of the ICRC 1 The ICRC shall co opt its Members from among Swiss citizens. It shall comprise fifteen to twenty-five Members. i The rights and duties of Members of the ICRC shall be laid down in Internal Regulations. 104

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3 Members of the ICRC shall be subject to re election every four years After three terms of four years they must obtain a three-fourths majority of the full membership of the ICRC in order to serve any additional term. 4 The ICRC may elect honorary members Article 8-Decision-making bodies of the ICRC The decision-making bodies of the ICRC shall be : (a) the Assembly ; (b) the Assembly Council; (c) the Presidency; (d) the Directorate; (e) Management Control. Article 9 Assembly I. The Assembly shall be the supreme governing body of the ICRC. It shall oversee all the ICRC's activities formulate policy, define general objectives and institutional strategy and approve the budget and accounts. It shall delegate certain of its powers to the Assembly Council. 2. The Assembl y shall be composed of th e Members o f the ICRC. It shall be collegial in character. Its President and two Vice-Presidents shall be the President and Vice-Presidents of the ICRC. Article 10Assembly Council 105

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I. The Assembly Council shall be a body of the Assembly which acts on the authority of the latter It shall prepare the Assembly's activities, take decisions on matters within its area of competence, and serve as a link between the Directorate and the Assembly to which it shall report regularly 2 The Assembly Council shall comprise five members elected by the Assembly. 3. The Assembly Council shall be presided over by the President of the ICRC Article II Presidency I. The President of the ICRC shall assume primary responsibility for the external relations of the institution 2 As President of the Assembly and of the Assembly Council he shall ensure that the areas of competence of these two bodies are safeguarded 3. The President of the ICRC shall be assisted in the performance of his duties by a permanent Vice President and a non-permanent Vice-President. Article 12 Directorate I. The Directorate shall be the executive body of the ICRC, responsible for applying and ensuring application of the general objectives and institutional strategy defined by the Assembly or the Assembly Council. The Directorate shall also be responsible for the smooth running and the 106

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efficiency of the Administration, which comprises ICRC staff as a whole. 2. The Directorate shall be composed of the Director-General and the three Directors, all appointed by the Assembly. 3. The Directorate shall be chaired by the Director-General. Article 13 Power of representation 1. All commitments made by the President or the Directorate shall be binding on the ICRC. The terms and conditions under which they exercise their powers shall be set out in the Internal Regulations. 2. All documents involving fmancial commitments on the part of the ICRC towards third parties must bear the signature of two duly authorized persons The Assembly Council shall determine on a proposal from the Directorate, the amounts below which this requirement may be waived. Article 14-Management Control 1. The ICRC's Management Control shall have an internal monitoring function independent of the Directorate It shall report directly to the Assembly. It shall proceed through internal operational and financial audits. 2. Management Control shall cover the ICRC as a whole, both field and headquarters Its aim shall be to assess, on an independent basis, the performance of the institution and the pertinence of the 107

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means deployed in relation to the ICRC's strategy 3. In the area of finance, the role ofManagement Control shall complement that of the firm(s) of external auditors mandated by the Assembly Article 15 Assets and fmancial verification I. The principal assets of the ICRC shall be the contributions of governments and National Societies, funds from private sources and its income from securities. 2. These assets and such capital funds as it may have at its disposal, shall alone to the exclusion of any personal or collective liability of its Members guarantee commitments entered into by the ICRC. 3. The utilization of those assets and funds shall be subject to independent financial verification both internally (by Management Control) and externally (by one or more firms of auditors). 3 Even in case of dissolution, Members shall have no personal claim to the assets of the ICRC, which shall be used solely for humanitarian purposes Article 16 Internal Regulations The Assembly shall provide for the implementation of the present Statutes, in particular b y establishing Internal Regulations. Article 17 Revision 108

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I. The Assembly may revise the present Statutes at any time. Revision shall be the subject of discussion at two separate meetings, on the agendas of which it shall be an item. 2. The Statutes may be amended only if so decided by a final two-thirds majority vote of the Members present and constituting at least half of the full membership of the ICRC. Article 18 Entry into force The present Statutes shall replace the Statutes ofthe International Committee of the Red Cross of21 June 1973 and shall take effect as from 20 July 1998 Notes: 1. Since 8 No:vember 1986, the title of the International Conference has been International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. 2. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Movement) is also known as the International Red Cross It comprises the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the National Societies), the International Committee of the Red Cross (the International Committee or ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 3. In the present Statutes, the expression Geneva Conventions also covers their Additional Protocols for the States party to those Protocols 109

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APPENDIXD ICRC DECISION-MAKING STRUCTURES Assembly The Assembly is the supreme governing body of the ICRC. It oversees all the ICRC's activities. It formulates policy, defmes general objectives and institutional strategy, and approves the budget and accounts It delegates certain of its responsibilities to the Assembly Council. Composed of the members of the ICRC, it is collegial in character. Its President and two Vice-Presidents are the President and Vice-Presidents of the ICRC. Mr Cornelio Sommaruga, President Doctor of Laws of Zurich University (member of the Committee since 1986) Mr Jacques Forster, permanent Vice-President (since 1.8.1999), Doctor of Economics, Professor at the Graduate Institute ofDevelopment Studies in Geneva (1988) Ms Anne Petitpierre Vice-President, Doctor of Laws, Barrister, Professor at the Geneva Law Faculty (1987) Ms Renee Guisan, General Secretary of the "Institut de la Vie international", head of medico-social institutions, member of the International Association for Volunteer Effort ( 1986) Mr Paolo Bernasconi, Bachelor of Laws, Barrister, lecturer in fiscal law and economic criminal law at the Universities ofSt Gallen, Zurich and Milan, former Public Prosecutor in Lugano (1987) Ms Lise lotte Kraus-Gurny Doctor of Laws of Zurich University ( 1988) Ms Susy Bruschweiler nurse, former Director of the Swiss Red Cross College of Nursing in Aarau, Chairwoman of SV Service Contract Catering ( 1988). Mr Jacques Moreillon Bachelor of Laws Doctor of Political Science Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, former Director General at the ICRC (1988). 110

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Mr Rodolphe de Haller Doctor of Medicine, lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva former President of the Swiss Association against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (1991). Mr Daniel Thurer, Doctor of Laws, LL.M (Cambridge), Professor at the University of Zurich (1991) Mr Jean-Franc;ois Aubert, Doctor of Laws, former Professor at the University ofNeuchatel, former member of the Swiss National Council and Council of State (1993). Mr Georges-Andre Cuendet Bachelor of Laws of the University of Geneva graduate of the Institute of Political Studies of the University of Paris (France) Master of Arts of Stanford University (USA) member of the Administrative Council ofCologny, Geneva (1993). Mr Eric Roethlisberger Doctor of Political Science of the Graduate Institute oflntemational Studies in Geneva ( 1994) Mr Ernst A. Brugger, Doctor ofNatural Science consultant for economic development issues professor at the University of Zurich (1995). Mr Jean-Roger Bonvin, Doctor of Economics of the University ofSt Gallen, President of the Development Centre of the Organization for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD) in Paris (1996) Mr Jakob Nuesch, diploma in agricultural engineering and doctorate in technical sciences from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Professor of Microbiology at the University ofBasle, former President of the Federal Institute ofTechnology in Zurich (1997) Mr Peter Arbenz graduate in Economics member ofthe ICRC from 1983 to 1987, former Swiss Federal Council Delegate for Refugee Affairs Chairman of the Zurich branch of the Swiss Red Cross Consultant for Strategic and Enterprise D e velopment ( 1997) Mr Andre von Moos Doctor of Laws of the University of Zurich Bachelor of Economics of the Ill

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University ofSt Gallen SMP certificate of the Harvard Business School. Formerly Chairman of the von Moos Group, industrialist (1998). Mr Olivier Vodoz Bachelor of Laws of the University of Geneva Barrister former Deputy in the Geneva Grand Conseil and former President of the Conseil d'Etat of the Republic and Canton of Geneva (1998). Ms Gabrielle Nanchen, Bachelor of Social Science of the University of Lausanne and diploma from the Lausanne School of Social Studies Former member of the Swiss National Council (1998) Mr Jean de Courten Bachelor of Laws former delegate and former Director of Operations at the ICRC (1998). M Jean-Philippe Assai (15 August 1999) Jionorary members: Mr Jean Pictet, Honorary Vice-President, Ms Denise Bindschedler-Robert Mr Ma x Daetwyler, Mr Josef Feldmann, Mr Athas Gallina Mr Henry Huguenin Mr Rudolf Jackli Mr Pierre Keller Mr Robert Kohler Mr Pierre Languetin Mr Oli v ier Long Mr Marcel A Naville Mr Richard Pestalozzi, Ms Francesca Pometta, Mr Raymond R Probst, Mr Alain Rossier, Mr Dietrich Schindler, Mr Hans Peter Tschudi, Dr Alfredo Vannotti. Assembly Council The Assembly Council is a subsidiary body of the Assembl y, to which the latter delegates certain of it s po w ers. It prepares the Assembly's activities and takes decisions on matters within its competence, in particular strategic options relating to general policy on funding personnel and communication. It serves as a link between the Directorate and the Assembly to which it reports regularly. Composed of five members elected by the Assembl y, it is chaired by the President of the 112

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ICRC. Mr Cornelio Sommaruga, President Mr Jacques Forster, permanent Vice-President Mr Ernst A. Brugger, member of the ICRC Ms Liselotte Kraus-Gumy, member of the ICRC Mr Jakob Niiesch, member of the ICRC Directorate The Directorate is the executive body of the ICRC, responsible for applying and ensuring application of the general objectives and institutional strategy defined by the Assembly or the Assembly Council. The Directorate is also responsible for the smooth running of the ICRC and for the efficiency of its staff as a whole. It is composed of the Director-General and the three Directors, all appointed by the Assembly. It is chaired by the Director-General. Mr Paul Grossrieder, Director-General Mr Jean-Daniel Tauxe, Director of Operations Mr Yves Sandoz, Director for International Law and Communication Mr Jacques Stroun, Director of Human Resources and Finance Mr Frans:ois Bugnion, substitute for the Director-General Ms Frans:oise Krill, substitute for the Director of Operations Mr Rene Kosirnik, substitute for the Director for International Law and Communication Mr Rene Zagolin, substitute for the Director of Human Resources and Finance (source: www.icrc org "Decision Making Structures", August 1999) 113

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APPENDIXE MISSION STATEMENT OF THE ICRC The ICRC acts to help all victims of war and internal violence, attempting to ensure implementation of humanitarian rules restricting armed violence. *The ICRC's mission arises from the basic human desire, common to all civilizations, to lay down rules governing the use of force in war and to safeguard the dignity of the weak. *The ICRC has received a mandate from the international community to help victims of war and internal violence and to promote compliance with international humanitarian law. *The ICRC's activities are aimed at protecting and assisting the victims of armed conflict and internal violence so as to preserve their physical integrity and their dignity and to enable them to regain their autonomy as quickly as possible. *The ICRC is independent of all governments and international organizations. Its work is prompted by the desire to promote humane conduct and is guided by empathy for the victims. The ICRC is impartial: its only criterion for action is the victims' needs. The ICRC is neutral and remains detached from all political issues related to conflict. *By applying these principles strictly, the ICRC is able to act as an intermediary between the parties of armed conflict and to promote dialogue in situations of internal violence, with a view to finding solutions for matters of humanitarian concern. *Through its work, the ICRC helps to prevent the worsening of crises and even at times to resolve them. *The ICRC systematically reminds all military and civilian authorities directly involved in armed conflict or internal violence of their obligations under international humanitarian law and the other humanitarian rules by which they are bound. 114

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* The ICRC has the duty to remind all States oftheir collective obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law In all societies and cultures the ICRC endeavors to promote international humanitarian law and the fundamental human values underlying that law As the founding member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement the ICRC directs and coordinates the international work of the Movement's components in connection with armed conflict and internal violence. The ICRC gives priority to cooperation with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their Federation It acts in consultation with all other organizations involved in humanitarian work. (Extracted from Getting to Know the ICRC, ICRC 1997 ) 115

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APPENDIXF PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH YVES DACCORD ICRC (June, 1999Headquarters ofthe International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva CH) Interviewer (I) : First of all .. what exactly doe s avenir mean, the word, and what is the project really .. ? Daccord (D): Good question . uh I need to ftrst of all show you physically the "baby" of the Avenir plan of action ... what you saw, there is 2 phase there was one we call the "Avenir studies" and then afterwards there was a plan of action for the ICRC for 1998, 1999,2000 2001. You can see this in the phase I just show you where we stand. You know about the ICRC, more or Jess how it' s organized yes? I : Yes D : You have the board the board decided in 1996 that there was a clear need with the changing time, changing environments, there was a clear need to discuss not only to have a top down but a "bottom up" too -a discussion getting the people in the field involved too .... And then what happened there was you can see exactly now 2 years ago there was a "sounding board here in Geneva with fteld and headquarters persons and then in 97, the end of '97, the committee decided and adopted part of the text you saw in December '97. But this text was still I would say vague. It was interesting gave some orientation, but very vague in a way The question was what do we do 116

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with that, right? Good question So we worked hard then afterwards during 4 months in order to have a "plan of actions" which is a consistent one, very precise, with 130 measures ... See .. this is the measure number one, that's what we have to do, is it done? Yeswhat are the priorities, 1,2,3 priorities, who's responsible (is there a) delay? What is the link with other measures, ok? That's what it is, in order to implement this change. So when we mention "A venir" I think in the beginning there was not a clear questions, "avenir" was very much linked with, in French, "l'avenir", "the future"Ok, what's the next 5 years for us? And I think at the beginning when we started the discussion was much more to look at outside you know? Was a clear understanding ofiCRC people that the world is changing, but what does it mean completely. Berlin wall has fall down so what is going on, what is going to happen? Are we already able to see some clear trends in the future? Those were the first things. Then afterwards, quite logically I would say, during these asides there was also a refocus on the, I would say, repercussion to this vision on the ICRC as such, the way we are organized, the way we are ready to answer the challenge. So, it's more a change process .. than anything else. I: So the word "avenir" means the future? D: The future, yes, absolutely. I: Ok, so that's how it was first conceived. What's happening with it right now? You're doing one of these (measures as pointed out. .. ) 117

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D: Yes yes Well physically I can tell you, you can see I'm moving there just at the end of the comet" (paper) I'm the Head of Communication what I've been designing this plan was we needed, with the challenge we are facing in the field, security challenge we have lost a lot of our colleagues in '96 especially, and that was one of the reasons also why we moved on that, and that in '97 we also had problems too and still have problems, we have our team now in Kosovo, it's dangerous it s very very serious-So how do we organize ourselves, how are we able to have access ... -how do we explain that the ICRC is a unique organization that rests upon principle, that we are different from the other, that we are not politic, we're neutral, does it mean something at the end of the century? Those are all the questions, so for example, what we decided was to merge 7 different divisions working closely connection with the large specter of Communication, to put in one major department. .. so I'm just on my way now to finish my travel. (Referring tothe office in state of flux they are moving to new building) I: That's kind of the idea I got from this preliminary paper on the Internet, and that's what intrigued me was that reading leadership literature relates to your program, that's exactly .. terrific Ok ... how do you anticipate will be the global impact of the Avenir project,-I mean, this is leading somewhere? D : Yes it's leading somewhere but it's quite difficult to evaluate because what I think we didn't really realize is that we are, as I would say most of the organizations in the Western world at least could be a public or private enterprise whatsoever or corporate enterpriseare now on permanent adaptation and __ (restructure?), it's finished, you cannot say anymore we just feel secure in that we finish our change project in '99 the 8th of December. It doesn t finish. We just adapt and the 118

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structure has to adapt. And we have to adapt with a lot of change, especially also due to inside factors but also outside factors. So then to measure the global impact is very difficult, because in fact if you look at, we have a change which as been initiated and still going on outcome, afterwards in this, and then you have Kosovo ... Kosovo, it's a major change. Kosovo has a major impact on our work, on our daily work, but will have also on our strategy, obviously. It's the first time, first of all, that you have NATO intervening. NATO in their plan they have from the start, thinking very carefully about what do we do with the military organization. In their strategy there is humanitarian organization, so it means, Oh suddenly we have to think about it ... ok what do we do, how do we organize ourselves, do we have really good connections with NATO? Yes we have .. .in Communication division one of my units is charged with relations with military forces, security forces, that is one of the strengths ofiCRC. So since now 10 years we have people, military people, working with my unit now on extremely close contact with most of the military people, not just to have a relation but also of course to have an impact on their behavior in the field, right? So it's integration of law of armed conflict in the operation passages. So we need to think about it, how do we do it with our NATO (contacts) . we have a good network with the German the English the French army to say an example, but how does it match when suddenly they are in war. . that makes a lot of things, you know ... So the plan of Avenir, there's a lot of things going on its own, you need to change things, but of course also that's always the problem is what's going on outside, the way things move has a lot of impact. I: Has the Communication department always been so integrated with everything (the ICRC) because it appears to be very progressive, in comparison to many US companieswhere you may have one communications person but it isn t given a lot of attention ... a problem arises when they 119

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don't have direct access to top management ... so how did this openness, this greater integration come about, when did it come about? How long have you been here, and did you come in and just say this is the way it has to be? D: That was certainly a very good point to me, because one of the facts that one of the things that most of our colleagues realize is that communications, as you mention, is a key element, and they realize at least when you are a head of a delegation, which was my case in a country like Chechnya, working in Chechnya or Russia, you need more and more make your decisions, you take a lot of risk, you need also more and more explanation to the people, the government, but also the simple people in the street to explain what are you doing, who you are ... So I would say there is a clear understanding from the top management due to the fact that you do it, or you die. It's very easy, you know, it's extremely simple to understand ... I: You mean from the outside delegations? There was desperate need? D: Yes yes, there was desperate need. Now the reflex was not good at headquarters, at headquarters, until the end of last year, there were 7 different divisions dealing with communication. There was one communication unit that was mainly dealing with information and there was a lot of production, audio-visual materials, right? But they didn't really play a strategical role. And there was another side which we call Dissemination which was promotion oflnternational Humanitarian Law, because lCRC, as you know, we have a mandate-and there was the division with the military and security forces So all were split, so what we have decided was the challenge is so big, and as you mentioned we want to have an impact on the top leadership, on the decision-making strategy, 120

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we wanted to gather I would say, all of these people Ok? But the idea of a merge we have to be very careful, not to merge and suddenly not perform anymore .. (pauses to get copy of"Unite Communication 99") ... That's the report not seen as a strategy, but is a report that allows us to coach the merge. So what I did was I was appointed, and wrote down the report, I was the guy but not the only one, part of the group. I was asked in January '98, because people were not very happy with the outcome of December '97, it was too vague, so I was asked to do it, and I was appointed last year in December '98 as Head of Communication and my task was to merge in fact all of this, and to find a new strategy and a new way of organizing. Ok? So very briefly, the way we are organized . that is the different competencies, or expertise, we want to put into the Communication Division .. .. so you have Education and Behaviors, because we are working on behavior, and you have Relations with Armed Security Forces, we have Research and Development, and we have a Campaign and Marketing unit running our public campaign, we have a Public Information Center, and a Production Unit, and we have what we call Operational Support which is in fact the one who controls and deals with the field. And we have a small cell outside of Communication dealing with media which works very close with us, and we have a unit dealing with external fundraising ... ok you will have time to read this ... But that's the baby, very concrete of "Avenir". I: How and where do you see leadership as a function of Communications? D: You mean the aspect where Communication needs to be ... uh well a lot ofthings ... one of the things if you look at the Mission Statement the Communication Unit has it will explain to you how we are organized. 121

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(Points out mission statement in "Unite Communication '99") That is the mission statement of the Communication Unit. It is to provide the ICRC with the leadership expertise and means needed for internal and external communication ; to make an impact on the behavior of those who determine the fate of war victims; to influence those who can obstruct or facilitate the action of the ICRC; and to reinforce the identity of the Institution and to project a clear image. So, if we talk about leadership, I would say our leadership, top leadership, need us for two good reasons : One, as I mentioned, i s to have access to the victims, that's very well understood. I mean, today you cannot have access to the victims without a clear image first of all without a strong corporate identity Very important. And of course, with a clear explanation of what we are doing, how we are doing itthat's absolutely key for us, no discussion That's need to havethen you have, what I would say is nice to have, a campaign about rules in war. Trying to have an impact on peoplethen they start to behave, during wartime, according to the rules, right? Which is very difficult for the people to understand, that even in war you have limits ... which is not very easy to understand And inside, one of the key issues is internal communication. Absolutely key issue. And that was something we never really tackled seriously at ICRC That was newso what I am bringing in we are bringing in what we want as the Communication departmentbring the top leadership ofiCRC the means and expertise about internal communications, so a strategy of internal communications I : Yes I have a section (in questions) entirely on Internal communications . D: We can go through it now if you want. 122

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I: Yes-How does the communication department work with the medical and legal departments? D : That's a good question Urn ... we re working quite closelybut a bit wary we're very close in the field. To give you one example, in Columbia in the delegation, they are running a campaign on the protection of the medical services. Because we have seen in Columbia a lot of people are attacking the ambulances. And so to do this, you need to gather data, you need to have the protection people of the division involved, you need to have the legal division involved, you have to of course see what's the law what's the rules; and you need to have the medical division in, and of course you need to have the communication in. So, we are used to working very closely in the field. Here, at headquarters, big difference because in fact we focus more or less on our subjects What communications is trying to play now is a different role which is (in cooperation with) our friends in the medical division to look at what's their objective and to try to find a way to promote their objective. To see how do we organize ourselves. And of course on internal communication also to be sure that's the message the medical division wants to pass through the channels. I : So it's pretty open, there s not a lot of protocol or "red tape"? D : No no. It's easy The problem is we are a Swiss company, a French-Swiss company, you should not forget this. And the French people have a strange way to deal with accountability, and with--is a bit sophisticated (lost word) A north Ameri can person would be a bit lost so it' s easy .. but we have problems to take decisions, we're not good at that. It's difficult to see where, who takes the dec i sion at one time We re not really accountable right? The accountability is les s strict than in your country 1 23

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I : I see. And you mentioned French-Swiss .. but you have a lot of German-Swiss too .. ? D : Yes we have a lot of Swiss and even foreigners ... the guy you saw earlier was my deputy is a Canadian, my other deputy is a Jamaican lady so we have a lot of people But, still, in Geneva our environment and our history is still very much Swiss-French. And the way we behave is very much Swiss French. Classical way to take decision .. .it's a surprise sometimes, we're not very good at following procedures. You know this kind of thing we're not very good at. I: Do you find that sometimes that is a benefit? D : It might be a benefit in the field in the headquarters a bit different. In the headquarters you need to be little bit more strict. You don t deal with people especially the same ... in the field you have a lot of tension, a lot of problems, and you're in permanent crisis. Not always, but it's very difficult to operate crisis management.. but here in Geneva, no There s a lot oftension but it's not the same I m going home afterwards I have my kids, you know it's really different. You have to stay long you have to behave differently you have to follow procedures and you have a lot of people involved. You have to be quite careful that the information flows well and people are well informed and that's not very easy. I : As far as internal communication what are the tools you use? 124

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D : There's different tools ... there's one interesting tool which is om computer system, where we have what we call-(French word)-uh, it's a databank available for the people, which is where we have most of the important information coming in. Ok, they can go in and have information on a daily basis, what's going on. I can show you-(walking over to desk, computer ) Ok let's just have a look at what's going on. (Lotus notes for intranet) Now I have private email-and -french word for their intranet/databank system "avacas"?And I have for today, for headquarters ... (speaking/reading French notice on system). And ok I want to know what's going on in the field . ok, that's the last one from yesterday, I have information what's going on. Here I know ok somebody wants to open a new position . .. I have generally speaking 250 (messages), 250 which is too much. This is very classical and easy channel to keep everyone well informed. Everybody can look at it and it's valid for headquarters and field. I: So they can just log on from wherever they are? D: Exactly.(Aiso,) We have much more classical way to distribute information We have one newspaper called "Ave. de la Paix" which is the name of the street here, which is a very, let's say, funny newspaper. It is done by people inside, my unit, and it's open and quite critical to the ICRC. Discussion and openness the idea is that we want this to be read by people so we don't want to have a classical (French word) which is, you know nobody will read it. Here it's information, a lot of discussions, sometimes heavy ones where people are not happy (with something) 125

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So that's two tools. Otherwise we have directorate and we train a lot with them, we have 4 directors so my role is to advise them So in June we have 3 major meetings with the top leadership and the medium (middle) leadership too. Field and headquarters bring some of them together to discuss about the main issues That they can also talk to the directorate and say "That doesn't work. It's not happening. We are worried .. I: That's great, so they have a direct line? D: Yes. I: That s great, that doesn't happen a whole lot in most other places. D: Yes it has a lot of good advantages. The problem is, the difficult thing to deal with is the people &s I mentioned have easy access to top leadership. It's difficult then for the top leadership to deal with that. You (realize) very quickly that the door is not open very easily 10 hours a day with people discussing (overwhelming ... ) I: So how do you deal with that? D: Not very easily! Not very easily One of the problems we have, I would say is we have to (teach) our management to be a little more strategic We are used to work in emergency, in fact we love it, we are extremely good at reaction and we are used to it. We are not very good at the long term or mid-term strategy Not very good. So we have to leam ... to say no to (clarify or planify? Plan?), to say "sorry from 11 to 1 o'clock my office is closed I have to work on some things." And to have a staff around me to work on certain issues .. we are not very good at delegating we need to delegate better. And we are very male, still. We need also to have more females. 126

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I: But if they understand that there is a time where you must close your door-D: The problem is we have to realize it is not anymore a "family", our organization is 10,000 people working, so it's time to be serious. I: As far as collaboration and coalitions ... do you form such with other humanitarian players or just function within your own segments? D: Are you talking about communication or generally speaking? I: Mostly communication but generally speaking as well. D : Generally speaking, it depends very much. ICRC is well known not to be very very open and to have a very very specific mandate. Of course, in communication one of our problems is to be quite clear that we are not the same as the others. So we clearly distinguish ourselves from the other ones. Our strategy is to say we are not the same. We are not the UN, we are not the NATO. We are ICRC which is very different. Now our problem is, when you mention the other you have the other agencies, true. We work with them so from time to time we have some project together. I had a project for example with UNICEF for children You know using expertise on specific projects no problem. In the field we are much more careful. It depends very much on the area and it depends v ery much on the image of the players. Depends where you are .. Afganistan for example we don't work with the UN very clearly. For good reason because the UN they have a very clear political 127

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stance, in Afganistan, so we don t want to have the same stance, so we have to be careful. On the other side, in Bosnia, we work very closely with the UN for a lot of reasons. It depends very much where we are. That's one thing. The other thing is ... that's the larger circlethen you have an inner circle which is the Red Cross family, which is very complex You have the International Committee of the Red Cross, here we are ... you have the what we call the National Societies, so the National Red Cross the American Red Cross ... and the American Red Cross and the ICRC, we don't share the same view. We have problems together. .. we're not always ... we don't always agree on everything. They have their own .. they don't want us to be too much focused on America. But we still have a lot of things, a lot to do with the US Government, we are not very happy with them. So it doesn't make things very easy. Of course they are worried they don't see things going on. But, on the communication side, I perfectly understood that's for a classical, normal American citiZen or Swiss citizens, it doesn't make any difference, you know, the Red Cross, it's the same. Is that American Red Cross, International Committee of Red Cross ... ok I understand one is National one is International. .I understand this it's quite classical. So it means . .I can do what I want as a communicator, I just need to realize and to accept the fact that for the general public, it's almost the same. So my communication strategy is to try to position ICRC from time to time, what is "pre needed" (plan ahead) to have a clear communication strategy about ICRC (distinguishing ICRC). And generally speaking I'm looking more as events that needed to work on Red Cross as such, ok. ... There are countries where we obviously need to play ICRC in order to distinguish ourselves from the National Societies Let's take Belgrade You have the Yugoslavian Red Cross, right, interesting one, but of course, run by Serbs So in Kosovo, when we go to Kosovo, we only go with us, we don't go with the Yugoslav Red Cross. 128

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I: How do you detennine the public's attitude, as far as your image, and bow do you work on "image" .. .! mean I don't like to use the word image ... but how do you extract what people really feel, not just ... D: Not just what we feel they feel... I: Right. D: We're not very good at that, I have tci be honest. Generally speaking what we're doing is, we don't make a lot of research. What we are doing is work with our relays or local people, and make a task or focus group and say, ok, obviously we have problems We compare this to what the govenunent says-for example all the problems we are facing at the checkpoints, and generally it's very much our operation problems we're facing, which says ok "Jesus Christ, ok, we're having problems. We're not able anymore to go to prisons, to go to the places they told us ... blah blah blah." Then afterwards we start to try to correct if possible the things. So generally speaking what's going on is mostly done at the level of a delegation in a country. It's rarely done in Geneva. We just provide advice, we say hey, before doing this, please make that research, don't just go on like that and make exceptions. We do this kind of things, we give also the tools, the methods, and so. But in fact it's mainly the delegation, the head of the delegation, and the communication in the field which will do this job. With the people their team, sometimes it's wrong, sometimes it's correct. We have a lot of, to compare with other agencies, we have a lot of autonomy in the field. As head of delegation you have a lot of power. And we want this. 129

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I: Yes in the Dec. '97 document, states that "the ICRC must give more weight to its delegations and allow them greater autonomy." Is this a new policy and what led to that decision ... what were the signs that this was needed? D: It's a result of a lot of different things and I would say it's a multiplication of a lot of different factors. I would say there is already a lot of autonomy, if you want it, and you are a good head of delegation and you push it, you can have a lot autonomy Especially in a conflict time. I tell you in a conflict time things are moving so quickly, and in Geneva nobody can, you know "I don't know" .... I have a team now in Kosovo, in Pristina, what can I tell them? I just don't know. We can discuss . .I can work with them on the criteria I can work with them on strategical framework ok this is generally speaking what I want .. but I have to trust them otherwise, I cannot. I cannot think that they can just call me and say "what do you think we should do?" So I have to trust them. So autonomywe wanted to underline. That's very very important. It's even more and more important because the conflicts are more and more difficult. They are more and more quick, with less and less ... knowing the control the chain of command ... we see that the chains of command are falling apart. There is a lot of conflict where you just do not understand who does what why this country ... we talk to the head of this country ... So it's much more difficult. So it means the autonomy of the person in the field is more and more important. Which is true also in communication. Today I send you to the field to make your research right? Susan, you go to the field, you arrive in Rwanda I've asked the delegation be very careful, she s an American which is a citizen base sometimes a problem .. Ok you arrive, you would wear badge ofiCRC because you are under protection ofiCRC, and some journalists come in and ask you questions you know? You would be on the air 2 minute s later, even if it is one word 130

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whatsoever. So autonomy means I need to train you, I cannot send you to the field without a good training. I need to know perfectly that you will represent the Institution And that's also what it means, we realize more and more that each individual working for us needs to be well trained, e x tremely well coached We need to have a strong corporate identity in order to pass a good message We cannot afford having a delegate saying stupid things on CNN seen by everybody 2 minutes later. And have a serious impact . maybe not, but maybe yes, so cannot afford this So that is one of the problems Now the other thing which is also very clear, that was also signaled from the field-and at that time I was in the field-to say to the headquarters, please take care of the administrative matters and don t bother us w ith administrative matters. Autonomy is good, we want to work on our project we want to clarify this ... but don't start to ask us with l i ttle things about computers or that sort of things. 1: And they listened? D : They listened but we have to work on itbecause Geneva is still taking care of a lot of things headquarters has to. It depends very much on the people you talk to So what we need to do is be a bit more (lost word) and Geneva needs focus more on strategy need to focus more on being very careful that there is concurrence between the 54 delegations that we don't have one with this and one with something else Butagreed that some of the issues we won t deal-I don't want to deal about the tire of a car or if this car should be changed. That s not my business That's there business, I don't want to have to take care of it. But it raises again the question of accountability and those such questions w e re not very good at. 131

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I: How do you train delegates as far as media relations, because that's difficult pretty much anywhere for any company . what type of training do you have? D: We have 3 weeks of training for each people going into the field, and this is complete training for persons. So there are 3 things about media and communications in general .. We have one very (theoretical?) course (in beginning) and afterwards end ofthe 3 weeks you have a lot of exercises. That's one thing. We of course explain to them communication in general, what does it mean, the way they have to behave ... that's wearing dark glasses at a checkpoint, it's not a good idea You know these little things, very very concrete. And of course there is one week, a field week, during their 3 weeks they are spending one week in the field. And they have to live in one week exactly like they live in the delegation, with security incident problems. And during this week, we also work on media, on dissemination, on the way they explain themselves. So they have to cross checkpoints, they have to discuss with journalists, they have to deal with .. so in order to train to start. But I agree with you it's still you can do a lot of thingsbut we cannot invest much more of our own people all the time. Then afterwards in the field, according to the delegation where the people come in, there is a training also on their arguments. Their areas which are very difficult to deal with The two most famous ones are Israel occupied territory, and Rwanda In Israel, there is historyThe Red Cross has not a very good reputation, a lot of problems So when you arrive there, you represent the Red Cross. You cannot just say, no no, I don't know what's going on. You have to know what's going on, you have to know the history. You have to know the problems. And you need to be able to answer questions, and to open a debate if necessary, right? 132

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Rwanda is the same, there was a genocide in '94, what happened? What was the role of the ICRC? What did we play? What are the real problems? What are the questions? Some delegations, when people come in, there is work done by the communication departments which train people, give them arguments. But some other delegations don't do it ... That's the choice of the delegation ... some say no. But we're never enough trained, that's for sure. But people will say, no problem, we learn by doing .. well ok (laugh .. ) it depends. I: Ok ... so you're using tools and tacticsas far as persuasion and promotion of the humanitarian actionyou do campaigns with posters, etc ... do you disseminate those just to your delegates? D; Depends Depends very much. We have a kind of sandwich campaign, you have the global campaign we are running obviously from Geneva, through global media. The most famous one we have you've heard about the landrnines, it was a major campaign about banning landrnines. We were working with---, but we were in fact running the show, mainly, at least on the data, but also on the tv spot and these kinds of things. Through CNN, BBC, etc, a global network. Then there is afterwards, what we are doing is working with the country, with the delegation. They try on their own to work with the local media. That's very important to have these 2 things. Then of course we work through the National Red Cross where we are not always there to work in their county. So that's the global campaign. What we have also is, what you can see here, is the results of a delegation then dealing with their own problem. (pointing to posters in office). That is the Colombian delegation for example. Their problem was we don't reach young combatants. And obviously they don't behave very well. We wanted to make them understand, "you need to respect the rules." And we don't want to start to explain in detail, but they know what 133

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the rules are generally speaking. Do not kill civilians, do not kill people unarmed You know, little things like this. So, what was the best way to pass the message? So Colombia is a country which they are crazy about football (soccer) completely crazy So it's a very classical campaign, advertisement with posters all around, campaign in the press campa i gn in the television, with a link with football, which was a very successful campaign. We are repeating now, or with th e same slogans, on the medical issue. But that's done on the base of the delegation Or you have very classical promotions : calendars books, brochure, publications, the webwe are using the web more and more, our web is still very old and heavy. But we have more and more information, and we opening more and more .... we have one web(page) on war which is quite interesting. More and more trying to be a bit more interesting And the last thing is we are working also on a supervisory level, we are working on Africa. We have worked on Africa, on a project where we wanted to Africans speaking to Africans In Africa it s more and more clear to be a white person is not anymore a good way to go to pass a message It's difficult, and African leaders are very very strong leaders. So what we did was make a campaign with six major singers so we have a CD and it was promoted all over Africa. With a very strong message about respect the rules, respect the civilians in war And then they made a tour and we had a movie about it, and we have a book also, which is Music goes to War" And that's only focus on Africa, it's not worldwide, it's just a focus on Africa Using our network and also the commercial channel. I: And the creation and production is that all in house? 134

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D: Depends ... the Colombian one is with a company, it was designed with a company. That's good because what we realized is that we are not able to have in house all those people. One of the problems is, and one of the things of the Avenir project is to be able to understand that we don't have all the expertise. That we need to be able to share it, to discuss and to agree to pay sometimes the price to have good people making good things in communications that's very true. I'm not a good communicator as such, my job is to be a good manager, and to train the people, and to have a good network, that's my job. I: This is kind of a long question .. D: Please ... I: In the Dec. 12 '97 doc . mentions there would be a message disseminated that is systematically propagated and constantly adapted to the cultural environment. How do you determine key audiences, and how do you know when it is not working? D: That is maybe one of the central point of a place where we need to improve. What we're doing for the time being is, with the delegations at the level of the country where it's decided. So what we do is agree on some message that we need to be passing in the area, then the country they adapt the message. Let's take a good example which is Cairo, which is dealing with some area of the Arabic world Ok let's say now we wanted to say we have this year the 501h Anniversary of the Geneva Convention, we want to say even war has limits-that's our slogan-so that's what we want to pass. So we can discuss it ... we decide that our key target audience are the decision maker and the opinion leader, we don't want to have (lost word), it was these two so please do it .. and I don't want to know if it's military peoplethat's your problem, at your level, to decide, who they are. 135

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Who are the good channels, who are to good people to deal with. So Cairo guys, he knows the area, he will make research -and we're not very good at research, we do it quickly and sometimes based on assumptions on our previous projects, that s one thing we need absolutely to improveand then he adapt and test the materials, he adapt the message, with of course a very strong local network then he start to launch a campaign or product like or close to the message. What we are looking of course, is that the message doesn't start to go far away from the original that there is no bad connections between the culture and the message. Because that happens sometimes, because you want to integrate the color into the message, and it's nice, but we have to be careful (referring to cultural differences and perceptions, symbolic meanings of color, etc). In Geneva, we have a close look to all these things, to be sure that things are well done. Where we are not very good is evaluation afterwards. At what time do we stop, what s the criteria. When do we say stop, yes, move, change? We don't know. In general what we are doing we go to the field, we discuss with the delegate, but it's mainly based on reaction, sometimes focus group, we don't have really serious data One of the problems is the way we run the project for the time being, we don't integrate the evaluation part in the objective. So, let's take the Africa campaign I mentioned to you. We run this campaign I would say it was successful the way we saw it it was a very clear sign of success, but we did make a strong research project on the behavior of the people for example, on the awareness of the subject. Very difficult to come back afterwards to see, you know ... how it worked. Did it make a difference ... yes, no, I don't know. So we're very new for this kind of thing. So that's why we have integrate last year, and in communication we want to be the leader about this, we have integrated a new way to approach the objective of the ICRC. Once again we are making all the objectives for the delegations, it's called "Planning for Results", so we really try now to have our 136

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delegation thinking about results. Not activity oriented we have been very much activity oriented and we are trying to move now from activity oriented to results oriented. Very classical, nothing new, we are a bit late, right? 1: Well in the corporate world, it s "what's this going to do for me ? so in the initial campaign proposal here is what's going to happenbut that's capitalism! So i s that part of the Avenir plan of change? D : Yes absolutely Yes, that was what was very clear for us and y ou can see that some of the people around us and around me especially are coming from this kind of background North American or from the North of Europe, which means the culturey ou can find Swiss people good at management but not so much right. We' re not very good at that. That s not our strength I would say, we're not good at discovering results. So as you mention we are not a corporate enterprise we have to be careful of private enterprise but still we need to go much more on the other side .... I: Very similar to nonprofits in America D : Yes absolutely. I : Not many nonprofits in America focus on communications . mainly be c ause a lot of them don't have the mone y, but communications isn t usually considered as importantusually it s reactive. 137

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Sounds like how you used to be but now you are moving into being more proactive, more strategic communications? D : Uh-huh absolutely I: There is increasing competition between for-profits and nonprofits, and nonprofits are going to have to incorporate strategic communications in order to survive, be competitive-D: I believe so too. I: In the Avenir document of December, it says "the ICRC will anticipate the thinking of different players" . how can the ICRC do that? I guess that's a hard question, a hard thing to doas far as formulating your messages .... Knowing when the environment is at the right pressure level, you don't want there to be too little pressure because then nothing happens, but you don't want there to be too much because then it explodes. How do you tell how do you regulate that? D: That's quite a good question. I would say that's more of a vision than an objective, because as you can imagine it's very very difficult. What we want, there is a very clear conunitrnent on our side which is, we want to know these people. Face by face One of the strengths of the ICRC is that we want absolutely to have all the channels open. I: That s key? 138

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D: Absolutely So it means when I talk about communication strategy, it's always of course from Geneva, but I'm always thinking as my contact people in the field. People who are on a daily basis discussing with everybody. And ICRC for the time being, also due to the history of the ICRC, we don't have the problems that most of the agencies or nonprofit organizations have in some governments, which is "We don't talk to Milosevic because he is a devil." Boomfmish, over Fine, but how do you anticipate the thinking ofMilosevic? How do you do it? How do you work with these people? If your NATO you can do it, but. ... So we want absolutely to keep all of these channels open, which is risky, which is sometimes dangerous, but we want to. And it means first of all that you have contact with them, you know them. You have a real knowledge from their family, of the way they work, of their history. And as we are an old organization, we also work on our own history with them. Fidel Castro is one good example we all know40 years of power, that's 40 years of history with the ICRC too. We look at our history, we look at how our people worked with them, and you can start to say" ok, this guy will behave like this, that" and that's the way, more or less, we can expect (future behavior). Our problem, to be honest, is mainly ... again, Yugoslavia is a very easy problem to deal with for us I hope you don't quote me on this because my colleagues will kill me! (laughing)-No no noI am joking-No what I mean it why is it easy? It's not EASY of course, but it's easy because you know who are the boss, you know the chain of command. It's clear. I mean you don't have access, and that's another problem, and that's very bad. Things are not very easy when you are in Kosovo, because you have paramilitary troops, you don't know really if Belgrade controls them, but more or less it's ok. But in (lost word)where my colleagues are working ... Youjust don't know. You have them in front of you, you don't know. Kids, 12 years old, guns ... what do you tell them? How do you anticipate what they will think? What's their strategy? What do you do? That's the problem. 139

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This is the problem, so I think what our commitment is to try to understand what we call the new actors of violence. Which is mainly, in Africa you can see this a lot which are-you have 2 kinds, you have the structured ones which are the mercenaries. New private companies, you have more and more again of new private companies. So to understand what's their objective, for whom are they working? In a way, it's no problem for us, we just want to know what they are really to do, and we want them to respect the rules of war too. That makes things difficult. And you have what I mentioned the-when you have ethnic war, which is more and more the case, it's very difficult because you have a lot of people. Let's take Rwanda again-very difficult to anticipate the thinking. I mean, we didn't anticipate the genocide. But we stayed, contrary to the others, we stayed during all the time. Then afterwards, then that's mainly a difference for ICRC because then you really start to know the people. Now, we are able to anticipate what's going on in Rwanda. We really know ... we're not surprised. I: So it's almost touch and go for a while until you have a history? D: Yes exactly. Which makes things difficult, I have to be honest. Because we don't have a better. .. otherwise, if we don't have our own channel, we don't have a better channel than the CIA or anybody working on intelligence, and they have I'm sure an even better channel than we do. So, how do you do it, you know? I: So it's developing of the relationships? Present and future .... 140

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D: Yes, and it's keeping memory, very important, keeping a memory. And being able to have visions say "ok that's what." And also to have a kind of reporting, having also a rnindset of the people-the head of delegations, so that they have to think in advance. We make prospectiveit's part of our objective, autonomy, very focused, there is always a very important part where we have to make an prospective for years. Our objectives are done in September, based on the prospectives of people who will do(?). So it's very risky .. you say, ok, what's going on, what's going to happen in one year? Sonot more than this and not less than this. I: (pause)Section 3.3.6 (of Avenir Dec '97) says the ICRC plans to move towards greater openness in all it's relations. How is that different, first of all from what was before and how is it going to be implemented, and what communication policies will be affected. How is this a change? D: It's a major change. Major. Depends on what we call "openness"but the change being, what ICRC has to realize, and still I'm not sure we have realized always, that we are not the only ones in the world, right? --lost wordchange, there are a lot of other actors, there is competition, and there are other expertise. So we need to call the other expertise, we need to greetwe need them too. We need the UN, for example. We need to work that out-that means you need to exchange information, you're open, you're also open---about your own problems, you don't just say "No comment"you start to say, "yes it was difficult.. .sorry." (end of tape) (break) 1: Okyou were talking about greater openness-141

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D: Yes it's a major challenge. Now I think we acknowledge we are not the only experts, we have to work with different people. We acknowledge also that the humanitarian world starts to be very sophisticated, there are different ways to protect people. And then we need to work closer with people ... that's one aspect. The other thing we understand also, especially in communication, it's not possible anymore to say "no comment", or very difficult. We are very careful about the way we deal with information, but the more careful you are, the more closed you are, the more you have to explain why you can 't. Now we start to understand this, so in communication we are more and more able to explain this, and be more and more open to the people. And in Communication, what we do is we don't really have a spokesperson, contrary to a lot of different organizations. We won'tthat is also a way we want to be open. We want the journalists being directly connected with the people in charge. Why? Because we realize most of the journalists-of course in a way it s good to have a spokesperson .. we have a Head ofMedia who could deal with that. But still what we don't want is to have a kind of officiallanguage ... we're already terribly official anyway, we have some problems to be a bit more open. So the journalists are not looking for a head of press, they are looking for the guy or lady who just is in charge. Who is (lost word) at that moment, or in headquarters dealing with that. That's one of the things we have opened up much more-we connect those people together. Sometimes of course it has a little problem, but generally speaking it's much better. The relation is much better with the press, much more open. I: So that's a new policy or approach to the media? 142

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D: Well new is exaggerated because it's been going on now for quite a while, but it has been on line and has been accepted by the --lost word. I : So that "openness translates well internally? D : Yes we all understand that it's very important that information flow, that people have access to information. The problem is that it's not so much more openness but about selection of information. Being able to focus the -(lost word) at the right time. That's been the problem. But generally speaking people have access to a lot of mformation a lot of the time. Openness, maybe there is also a third aspect which is a link between the expatriate or international staff and the local staff That's not always easy For a long time we were a bit colonialistI won't say like this, but sometimes we were a bit, you know .... The expatriate, the Swiss people, mainly together and the local staff-it's not being really much involved. And we see it as also very much communication. We think it's about communication what you need is a local network, need people who know very well the area, and so you don t have a choice other than to work with local people To have more local involvement, be more informed about what's going on, what s the problem, what's the main issueand to disclose information Now there is still some information we don t want to disclose which is all the protection informationall the things linked to protection of people, prisoners, all of this is still very confidential. I: And how do you deal with internal conflicts? D : Depends. 143

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I: Do you have a set protocol? D: No, not at all. Now there are some procedures which is good. If you need to fire somebody for example, or if somebody is not happy with our operation if they are not happy, there is a way to go to the top hierarchy, there are some procedures. Otherwise, solving problems are quite flexible. It depends-depends on management style and the people ... that's quite flexible. I: Sounds like you collaborate to determine problems and solutions as well? D: That's what we're trying to do, I have to be honest it's not always perfect. We have a lot of interference ... 1: I guess it's idealistic-D: Yes there is a lot to improve, but that is mainly the way we are working. I: And when you are met with opposition or a closed environment or public, how does the communication dept. approach this? D: Inside or outside? 1: Outside ... or inside? 144

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D: It's more people inside than outside. I: Really? D: Of course because you see people who do not understand or disagree or are extremely worried because their personal. .. experience is very bad with media, and everything about conununications is media to them so they are very worried. They don t understand that we are much more large than just media. So oftentimes you have to overcome very strong resistance. A lot of problems. The best way for us in this sense is to work on comprehensive strategies and to be very strong on lobbying. Of course we have to be strong on lobbying, so we try to be good. Talking about inside of course. To organize-we have very good access to top people. Daily access-have a meeting or so with them, meeting the president, meeting the director general, meeting the director of the operation -on a weekly base, knowing what's going on. Really having a channel open, in order to avoid any problem. -lost sentence. Outside again it depends very much on the country, on the delegation, what the objectives are. So it's very rare, as such, that as a conununication department we deal from Geneva with strategy. It's much more based on the contacts and the delegation, with our support. -To say ok we have a real problem in that part of the country, with these kind of people, or this decision maker, or this army, we don't have access to them, so how can we do it? We discuss, try to fmd out their operatives, with other networks, other country, or other partners to try to find a solution. Where we are involved very much is when we have security incidents. We have quite a lot of them, so for example we just had one of our colleagues who has been taken hostage in Northern -lost word-last week, so we have to deal then, which is lost word-strategy. 145

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I: How do you approach that? D: We have specialized people, security people here,-which know how to deal with-we have a task force we organize a task force lost words one of my guys then, really focus on this, discuss, how do we do it. Of course we have to think about the family, about all the things, but we have a relationship with the people, but that's the things where we are in progress. (A venir has not affected this policy). -almost end of interview ... chat D: If you want to continue to communicate about our Avenir plan, we have a large meeting with all of our leadership in 10 days, to discuss the Avenir. To discuss the Avenir the original plan, where do we see problems, where do we see the challenge ... I: So, it's constant reassessment? D: Yes, what we are still missing is a change manager ... I think the methods we could have best would be to have a real good change management team ... we don't really have this. I mean if you have a clever flexible man or lady that wants to move on that's fine, but if you have somebody who !s happy, who has worked 20 years like this ... that is the problem (change). 146

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Let's see how we work, and if we are able to change our culture, it's not very easy Especially when you are successful which is the case with the ICRC. Money is flowing in we don't have a major problem, we don t want to push people but we do need to change. It's good, we're happy, things are going well .. I: But you saw that something did need to be done .. moving into the next millennium D: It was a important to make a comprehensive 5 years plan, it could have been 4, 3 or 2 ... we wanted was in 2001, that this plan of Avenir has been achieved, most of it, at least the priorities It doesn't mean that Avenir stops in 2001, we hope not. To be honest now if! make an assessment, what I would say, it's more the first step towards Avenir. Which makes ... we have the ICRCit's an adaptation .. .I would say it in French -french wordwhich is a way to have the ICRC at a level where it's again able to think in the future, have the resources, have the thinktank have the power to be able to address problems decentralize, ask questions, be flexible enoughbe better that today the resources we have I : So being more proactive as to reactive? D: Yes yeswhich is difficult. I: Especially since you are focused on reacting to crises, you still have to do that. D : Yes that's our job But you still have to make an early warning system. That's very complex 147

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I : Terrific ... ok! D : Ok, thank you. I: Thank you. END of personal interview 148

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APPENDIXG ICRC HEADQUARTERS: ICRC APPROVES PLAN OF ACTION At its meeting on 29 and 30 April, the ICRC Assembly endorsed a plan of action designed to enable the organization to give effect to the policy decisions adopted in December I997 in the framework of the major study on the future of the ICRC (see communication to the press No.97/36 of 16Decemberl997) The ICRC's work for conflict victims will continue along four lines: bringing humanitarian action close to the victims and redefming such action with a view to the long term; strengthening dialogue with all the players on the scene of a conflict; reassessing the nature of independent humanitarian action and promoting international humanitarian law ; and improving the organization's efficiency. Some 130 specific measures have been adopted to enable the ICRC to reach its objectives in the short, medium and long terms The plan of action provides for structural changes to the internal organization of the ICRC It aims to increase the autonomy ofiCRC delegations, to make savings in the headquarters budget in the medium term, and to establish a highly developed self-evaluation procedure. These measures will gradually be introduced from I May I998 up to the end of the first quarter of the year 200 I. Over a year ago the ICRC initiated a wide-ranging discussion and consultation process prompted by changes in the nature of current conflicts and developments anticipated in the future. This involved the entire organization both at headquarters and in the field The plan of action sets out the practical measures stemming from this reflection process. A document (in English and French) summarizing the main features of the plan will be available on request from Monday 4 May. (ICRC press release April 30, I998) 149

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APPENDIXH ORGANIZATION OF COMMUNICATION DIVISION ICRC -:.,. :f Centre of Expertise Regional support centre 150

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APPENDIX I RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMUNICATION DIVISION, ICRC A. To provide the ICRC with the leadership, expertise, and means needed for internal and external communication. 1. It acts as a reference center, providing the ICRC with the advice, expertise, tools, and communication programs needed for the Institution to achieve its objectives and improve internal communication. 2. It has the resources and organization to enable it to seize opportunities and to respond to operational emergencies. 3. It networks on the international level to achieve a more profound analysis, to fme-tune priorities, and to adapt strategies 4. It supplies the unit with a modern and efficient management which favors the development of skills an,d increased efficiency. 5. It facilitates and maintains institutional contacts with the armed forces, the security services, and the media. 6. It develops lines of communication products, planning and ensuring their production and distribution. 7. It masters the methods and tools of communication. To this end, it establishes and applies policies and standards. 8. It monitors the development of information technologies and exploits new tools. 9. It possesses effective information tools, including a public information center to publicize IHL and the action of the ICRC. 151

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10 It helps to ensure that the language used by the Institution is accessible and consistent. B. To make an impact on the behavior of those who determine the fate of the victims of war and to influence those who can obstruct or facilitate the action of the ICRC. I It draws up and implements strategies and programs designed to increase awareness of and respect for IHL and the Fundamental Principles, and to facilitate the action of the ICRC especially by influencing the behavior of individuals, groups and institutions. 2 It promote s the professional expertise of the ICRC its humanitarian practice and the wealth of information at its disposal. 3 It extend its network of contacts with decision-makers and those who form public opinion in civil society and the media in order to raise awareness of the plight of victims and the challenges facing humanitarian action. 4 It permits the ICRC to put across a consistent message, especially in the event of serious and blatant violations ofiHL. C. To reinforce the identity of the Institution and to project a clear image. I. It ensures that the internal communication policy reinforces the identity of the Institution. 2. It positions the ICRC as a reference in the local and global debate on humanitarian concerns and enhances its reputation. 3 It conducts a professional evaluation of the image of the ICRC and takes the necessary action to reduce any discrepancy with the identity of the ICRC. 4 It ensures the v isual consistency of the ICRC and its products (from "Unite Communication 99 : Report adopted by the Directorate ," Daccord eta!., 1999 pp. 1112). 152

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APPENDIX J THE ICRC AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS Since no human activity is possible without effective exchange of infonnation, a reliable telecommunications system is vital for the ICRC. Over the last 30 years, therefore, the organization has gradually built up an unparalleled worldwide network. In addition to countless telephone calls, more than a million written messages are sent every year by a broad range of means: paper mail, radio, fax, satellite and e-mail. Often the first humanitarian organization to reach the scene, the ICRC must rapidly establish communications with the outside world to ensure the safety of its staff, premises and vehicles, organize logistics and forward operational information. Physically, the ICRC's network consists of two distinct yet complementary layers. A system of modem technical means provides the basic infrastructure. Using e-mail, the telephone and international data carriers, it has been designed to carry the bulk of the traffic. Owing to the difficult conditions and remote areas in which the ICRC frequently operates, however, it is not always possible to use this type of equipment. For this reason, the ICRC maintains a second layer of telecommunications based on radio and satellite links, so as to be able to maintain communications and ensure the safety of its staff under all circumstances. These two communications layers are gradually being integrated into computer and office automation systems both at the Geneva headquarters and in field delegations. Computer-assisted management of data on individuals, which is essential to the ICRC's detention-related activities and the work it carries out to reunite separated relatives, also relies greatly on telecommunications. During the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, for example, the 153

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ICRC delegation in Zagreb compiled a data base containing the identities of over 100,000 detainees and missing persons. So that the 20 or so ICRC offices set up in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia could have decentralized access to this vital information, updates were periodically transmitted to them by telephone or satellite. Information is produced and processed at over 3,500 computer work stations located in Geneva and in the delegations and is forwarded to its destination via a Lotus Notes e-mail network and a split-site radio station based in Geneva In addition, oral and written communication between individuals involved in ICRC work is transmitted by means of more than 7,500 fixed, mobile or portable radio transceivers and over 215 satellite stations. The ICRC coordinates its telecommunications with its partners. First and foremost, it <;ooperates with the other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, working on a regular basis with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to standardize the two organizations' equipment and procedures. A number of projects to develop and support the National Societies' telecommunication systems have also been launched both by the ICRC and the Federation FAD/DIR ABS, October 1995 (updated May 1998) Ref. LG 1998-048-ENG (source www.icrc.org) 154

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APPENDIXK "PEOPLE ON WAR" -PROJECT Excerpt from "People on War" website http:/ / www.onwar.org the project taq s f!cws People on War is a worldwide project that intends to increase awareness around the world of the rules that exist for people's protection in wartime and to encourage discussion of humanitarian law in the context of modem-day conflict. It is designed to involve those who have experience of war. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the modem Geneva Conventions, the project has captured voices that stayed silent for many years. In a worldwide consultation of common people, mainly in post-conflict settings, civilians and combatants alike were asked how they viewed their experience in war, what basic rules they expected to apply in war, why these rules break down and what their expectations for the future are. With a view to improve the humanitarian situation in the world this unprecendented project underlines the right of the people to be heard and wants to turn their opinion into a force for change rationale Find all you need to know about the project, its rationale, objectives and methodology in the in depth descriotion news and Get the latest information about the people on 'Aiar project updates survey reports Since October 12, the first results of the consultation are available. This first batch of reports will be followed by another early in November. 155

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APPENDIXL "PEOPLE ON WAR" -VOICE Excerpt from "People on War" website http://www.onwar.org the project rationale ] faq s i new 5 Listening to the people 04-Sep-99 Every day on TV, real-time war reporting portrays massacres and killings with no reference to the complexity of the context or the intricacy of its determinants. Men and \'IOmen in faraway conflicts become mute symbols of suffering or faceless objects of barbarity .6. simplistic "that's Vlar' mindset is promoted, leading the public to vieN violence as a fatality, atrocities as inevitable, and one part of humankind as bam eithe1 to kill or to suffer, while the rest l i ves in safety. The People on war project has listened to those previously without a voice, and reminds the public at large that people in war-torn areas, trapped as they are in comple x and cruel situations, are the primary partners of humanitarian agencies. In seeking their opinions the campaign treats people as individuals, their own hopes and dignity their vast and valuable experience, and the potential to shape their O 'Nn future. Making the voices of thousands of civ i l i ans and combatants heard Vifill permit a much more subtle appreciati o n of what really happens and matters in a society devastated by war Some of the central aims of the campaign are to determine whether or not there are shared moral standards thar formal iaw and milita r y practice can b1;ild on; to establish whether the idea of placing limits on war has a basis in human nature; and to gai n .3n insight into the comple x dilemmas facing people in the midst of conflict. Finally, the project asks what suggestions ordinary people, caught up in somebodv else s war, can make in order to achieve a greater degree of humanity. This endeavo,Jr is more than a w ay 1Jf dramatizing the human tragedy caused by war. People's e>:perience and their opinions on w.3r and the rules governing warfare will be respected Carefully designed quan titati ve and qua l itative research has produced a record that is new accurate and reliable. This record will be useful not only for historians, legal e>:perts, humanitarian professionals and all individuals groups .3nd organizations w ho have a stake in humanitarian affairs, but also for the societies frorn which it origina tes. 156

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