Title: Representing shipowners: explaining strategic interactions with the media

Authors: Ilias G. Bissias; Athanasios A. Pallis

Addresses: Research in Shipping and Ports (RESHIP) Laboratory, Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece ' Research in Shipping and Ports (RESHIP) Laboratory, Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece

Abstract: This study examines the strategies of the association representing Greek shipowners interests towards the media. As key activities of effective business interests' representation, public relations, image restoration and media response strategies of business associations have attracted widespread scholarly attention in recent years. This paper contributes to this discussion by posing the question of how communication strategies were shaped when the members of a leading shipping community collectively advocated their interests. It does so by exploring the analytical power of historical institutionalist perspectives in addressing fundamental questions regarding the shaping of the practices that business associations develop in specific periods of crisis. This is a search for the causal factors of interests mobilisation and for an understanding of the content, the technique, and the format that interactions with media develop and maintain. Challenging axioms of 'excellence' in media relations, the empirical research suggests that although a changing institutional setting (i.e., a socio-economic crisis) prompted the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) to consider reforming existing strategies, path dependency prevailed over the examined period (2013-2015). The absence of a major strategy change reflects the initial origins and idiosyncrasies of the creators of the business associations.

Keywords: shipping associations; media relations; institutionalism; Greece; shipowners; shipping industry; business interests; public relations; image restoration; media response strategies; communication strategies; path dependency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDSRM.2016.079798

International Journal of Decision Sciences, Risk and Management, 2016 Vol.6 No.3, pp.225 - 239

Received: 30 Mar 2016
Accepted: 27 Apr 2016

Published online: 13 Oct 2016 *

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