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Defining ‘Business Acumen’: A Delphi Study of Corporate Communications Leaders


Author: Matthew Ragas, Ph.D., DePaul University


Abstract: "The evolution of public relations into more of a strategic management function has resulted in additional expected competencies for PR and communications professionals. Business acumen is often now seen as an important contributor to the success of PR professionals and teams, but a formal definition of this key term has been lacking. Based on the evaluations of an expert panel of senior corporate communications leaders, the current study defines the term business acumen in a public relations and communications context; articulates what specific knowledge areas fall under business acumen; and identifies important perceived professional, organizational and societal benefits of this competency. The implications of these findings for future research, public relations education, and leadership training and talent development are discussed."


Keywords: business acumen, business literacy, public relations leadership, chief communications officer, C-suite advisor/counselor, Delphi panel method


Read the research paper here.


SourcePublic Relations Journal, Vol. 13 Issue 1 (November 2019)
© 2019 Institute for Public Relations

Capture d’écran, le 2019-04-03 à 17.31.5
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