Ethical challenges in an evolving digital communication era: Coping resources and ethical trainings in corporate communications

Juan Meng, Solyee Kim, and Bryan H. Reber. “Ethical challenges in an evolving digital communication era: Coping resources and ethical trainings in corporate communications,” Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2022, 27(3), 581-594.

Abstract: This study investigated the ethical challenges facing public relations professionals in today’s digital communication environment. Specifically, the authors focused the research on the new ethical challenges in digital practice, the resources relied on when encountering ethical challenges, and public relations professionals’ efforts in seeking trainings on communication ethics. The research found nearly 60% of surveyed professionals reported that they faced ethical challenges in their day-to-day work, and there is a wide range of ethical challenges in digital practices. Results also revealed that professionals use various resources to deal with ethical issues. Those resources include ethical codes of practice of professional associations, ethical guidelines of their organizations and their personal values and beliefs. As common as experiencing ethical challenges, over 85% of surveyed professionals reported that they have participated in communication ethics training. However, only 30% of participants indicated that their ethics training took place in the past year.