Putting stakeholders’ engagement in the equation: Proposing the integrated network engagement model

Jordan Morehouse, Adam J. Saffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Research on engagement and relationships in the public relations literature tends to focus on individual stakeholders’ psychological states or traits. Researchers have not fully considered how stakeholders’ social environments impact their engagement with organizations. To advance theorizing on engagement and relationships, this study considers stakeholders’ social environments by examining the social ties they activate when engaging with an organization. Thus, we propose and examine the Integrated Network Model of Engagement to understand the stakeholder side of engagement. Through an egocentric network survey, we identify multiple sources of influence on indicators and outcomes of engagement, and assess the relationship between engagement indicators and outcomes. Results suggest that stakeholders’ network structures positively associated with indicators of relational engagement and outcomes of engagement, specifically OPR. On the other hand, the composition of stakeholders’ networks consistently had mixed associations with engagement indicators and outcomes. We argue it is critical for public relations scholars to account for these complexities and for practitioners to understand stakeholders’ social environments when attempting to engage them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102291
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Daniel Riffe for his generous research support for the survey, as well as Curtis and Clayton from the study site for their willingness to help us survey congregants. ☆ This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Engagement
  • Relationship management
  • Relationships
  • Religious organization
  • Social network analysis


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