Paradigms, perspectives and practice of public relations and communication: implication for 'disciplined imagination' in South African scholarship
Increasing technological complexity and globalisation have resulted in fundamental societal and business changes that require scholars and practitioners to challenge their own assumptions, and come to grips with the implications of paradigm shifts in various fields. The tensions that arise as a result of these changes dictate a need for the communication professional to transcend the boundaries of their own values and thought frameworks in order to create direction, alignment, and commitment across boundaries in service of a higher vision or goal. This article explores the nature of these paradigm shifts, and considers what implications tensions in the field hold for public relations and communication scholarship in general, but also specifically for the South African field of scholarship and practice. South African scholars are urged to rediscover the “disciplined imagination” proposed by Weick (1989) if they are to transcend disciplinary boundaries and move towards a more meaningful contribution in the cooperative search for solutions to complex problems.