Understanding public sentiments and behaviors: The roles of ethical performance, democracy and authoritarian leadership for government-public relations in South Korea

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



This study identifies factors predicting public’scynicism, trust, and anti-corruption behavioral and communicative intention. AWeb survey was conducted in South Korea, December 2014 (N=1112). Threehierarchical multiple regression models were tested. First, the results showthat when citizens evaluate their government’s democracy system, ethicalperformance and leadership negatively they are more likely to have high levelof cynicism and low level of trust. Second, along with their evaluation ofdemocracy system, ethical performance and leadership, public cynicism ispositively associated with anti-corruption behavior while public trust isnegatively associated with it. Third, there was a strong interaction effect ofpublic trust and public empowerment on anti-corruption behavioral andcommunicative intention. Ethical performance of government was the strongestpredictor for public cynicism and trust. Finally, empowered citizens wereexpected to engage in anti-corruption behavior despite of their high level ofdistrust. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed (147 words).


anti-corruption behavior, authoritarian leadership, democracy, ethical performance, government-public relations, public cynicism, public empowerment, trust


Public Relations and Advertising

Research Areas

Corporate Communication


CCI Conference on Corporate Communication 2016

City or Country

New York

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