Harnessing the power of chatbot social conversation for organizational listening: The impact on perceived transparency and organization-public relationships

Linjuan Rita Men, Alvin Zhou, Wan Hsiu Sunny Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study presents one of the earliest empirical investigations on how to harness the power of chatbots for improving key public relations outcomes. Specifically, this study integrates the construct of social presence that has been widely studied in the computer-mediated communication literature with the concept of conversational human voice in public relations to conceptualize chatbots’ social conversation. We evaluate chatbots’ social conversation as an important antecedent driving user perception, not only of chatbots’ listening capability, but also of the organizations’ listening efforts, which, in turn, enhance the essential perceptual outcomes of organizational transparency and organization-public relationships. Our theoretical model was tested through an online survey of 778 adult Facebook users in the US, who were directed to have a 5-minute conversation with a real chatbot. The study results advance the organizational listening literature and contribute to the growing body of knowledge on artificial intelligence in public relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-44
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Relations Research
Volume34
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • Chatbots
  • organization-public relationships
  • organizational listening
  • organizational transparency
  • social media

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