Steven Pike, assistant professor of public relations, and Dennis Kinsey, professor of public relations and director of public diplomacy and global communications, published the paper “Diplomatic identity and communication: using Q methodology to assess subjective perceptions of diplomatic practitioners.” The paper was published in the journal Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.
This paper initiates exploration of how self-perceptions of role and identity held by public diplomats may impact the practice of public diplomacy. It validates Q Methodology, a scientific method for the study of subjective perception, as a means of identifying, categorizing, and analyzing self-perceptions. Researchers surveyed American public diplomats regarding attributes that they ascribe to the role of diplomatic communicator, successfully identified and categorized such attributes, identified clusters of difference within the subject group, and correlated those differences to demographic factors. This paper focused on the results of one survey group. Future cross-sectional and longitudinal research will compare these perceptions to those of other groups, including across cultural and national boundaries.