Future directions for issues management
Issues management as a corporate activity lies at the heart of reputation management, public affairs, and corporate communication. Yet its dual position as a professional field and a topic of scientific study is highly fragile. From the practitioner side, the legitimacy of issues management is under constant attack by both stakeholder groups and skeptic public affairs officials. From the academic side, the community of researchers with an interest in issues management is frighteningly small and widely dispersed over business and journalism schools on several continents. To make the case for the preservation of issues management as a significant managerial task, this paper proposes three future directions for research and practice: (1) infusing orthodox issues life cycle research with theories from other social sciences; (2) seeking cross-fertilization with research in the stakeholder management tradition; and (3) integrating issues management research more strongly with the burgeoning literature on the management of corporate reputation.