From public diplomacy to corporate diplomacy: Increasing corporation's legitimacy and influence

Enric Ordeix-Rigo, João Duarte

    Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    Public diplomacy is an increasing popular preoccupation of governments worldwide, especially aimed at achieving acceptance of their foreign policies abroad, in which corporations have traditionally played a secondary role. However, as it happens with governments, corporations have understood long ago the challenges of being accepted abroad. In this paper the authors suggest that 'corporate diplomacy' is also a process by which corporations intend to be recognized as representatives of something that might be a concept or a country or its related values. In this case, it is essential to create a sincere adaptation of the corporate values to the societal values if a corporation wishes to have a symbiotic relationship with key stakeholders. 'Corporate diplomacy' thus becomes a complex process of commitment towards society, and in particular with its public institutions, whose main added value to the corporation is a greater degree of legitimacy or "license-to-operate," which in turn improves its power within a given social system. By proposing a certain notion of 'corporate diplomacy' the authors intend to evocate an important role that modern corporations are increasingly playing through their public relations practice and which might be shaping the definition of corporations as institutions within society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-564
    Number of pages16
    JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


    • Corporate diplomacy
    • Legitimacy
    • Public agenda
    • Public diplomacy
    • Public interest
    • Public relations
    • Social responsibility


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