AuthorIucu, Oana
  1. The state of the arts--protocol and diplomacy and new modern paradigm of social / institutional protocol

    The present research deems it fit to pioneer in the mutual univocal relationship between the diplomatic / administrative protocol and IC&T (information and communications technology / technologies), representing a real and modern approach to streamline public institutions and social processes: 'Today, more than ever, good manners mean good business. [...] It also offers up-to-date guidance on important professional skills, including ethics, harassment in the work place, privacy, networking, email, social media dos and don'ts, and knowing how and when to take responsibility for mistakes' (Post et al., 2014, p. 1).

    The quest for whether the traditional and conservative protocol may undergo reform and reconsideration (through exploiting the assets of the IC&T paradigm), as provided by this particular discipline, yet insufficiently recognized academically, remains an epistemological problem. The rationale elaborated by means of a reflexive and interpretative set of tools raises a series of questions with an anticipatory and forecasting value. One of the questions posed is whether the institutional / social (diplomatic) digital protocol can answer some current challenges or rather remain a possible collection of norms and procedures likely to guarantee the success of a certain event?

    Ambassador Emilian Manciur, an expert in the field of Protocol and diplomacy, has shown that there are many forms of protocol such as 'the business protocol, developed due to the need of big national and multinational companies, operating beyond national borders, for knowledge and use of specific protocol techniques, for a better promotion of their image and interests among business partners, otherwise more diverse and less known' (Manciur, 2008, p. 8). Hence, a modern and upgraded protocol opened up to the dynamics of the social life has ensured an extremely powerful perception of IC&T in terms of specific competences and initial and continuous training programs (as a series of action strategies and techniques). Public institutions undergoing continuous development and evolution need various approaches open to a new paradigm of protocol shift to creative developments in the specific approached fields of social and administration areas.

    Another important idea related to the paradox of globalization in the field of protocol and international manners has been recognized by Mary Murray Bosrock: 'The world isn't globalizing, it's already global. To many, globalization has meant that old systems and ways of thinking no longer work' (Bosrock, 2007, p. X).

  2. IT&ICT--information and communications technology / technologies

    2.1. Characteristics of IC&T in correspondence with institutional protocol

    IC&T (information and communications technology / technologies) can be roughly defined as

    'an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as video-conferencing and distance learning. ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICTs in education, health care, or libraries. The term is somewhat more common outside of the United States' (Janssen, 2012).

    In contrast with the above definition, the European rather utilitarist approach of IT&C seems more comprehensive: 'according to the European Commission, the importance of ICTs lies less in the technology itself than in its ability to create greater access to information and communication in underserved populations' (Janssen, 2012). The extensive dimension of the IC&T concept, regardless of the cultural and geographical area it covers, must embrace openness towards communication technologies, including those rather conservative and traditionalist domains belonging to the socio-human and behavioral sciences. The current approach subscribes to this perspective concerning the Institutional protocol within the public space.

    Another definition takes into account the extensive and challenging technological aspects of interdisciplinarity:

    'Information and communications technology (ICT) refers to all the technology used to handle telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent building management systems, audiovisual processing and transmission systems, and network-based control and monitoring functions. IC&T has more recently been used to describe the convergence of several technologies and the use of common transmission lines carrying very diverse data and communication types and formats' (Janssen, 2012).

    This second definition fosters various technological extensions in a cross-disciplinary manner, addressing protocol in general and public or private institutional protocol in particular. The initial hypothesis was to test resilience to the use and integration of the new technologies into current activity carried out by personnel specialized in protocol functions and etiquette as well as event management. The points of convergence between social life and IC&T are concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receipt of digital data. We highly appreciate this perspective and we subject it to an even more in-depth analysis when associating the integrated concept of IC&T to the rather more specialized Protocol in order to define procedures and monitor processes.

  3. Institutional and social protocol--a vast interdisciplinary domain

    3.1. Conceptualization

    The attempt to conceptualize the term Protocol, often correlated with the traditional interpretation of diplomacy, nevertheless coined in a communicative and social way, becomes the prerequisite of contemporary approaches in the field of public administration.

    According to Louis Dussault (1996, pp. 29-30), the Protocol has various meanings such as:

    --set of rules and ceremonial practices typical of official events within diplomatic relationships;

    --institutional department responsible for the official organization of the protocol, ceremonies, and celebrations, as well as other similar events;

    --diplomatic document including agreements and decisions reached upon in an international meeting.

    In business, the term refers to a convention or deal agreed upon by business partners after a negotiation. Other authors limit the concept of protocol to the 'prerequisites that determine the appropriate conduct and approach to officials' (Dussault, 1996, pp. 29-30).

    In accordance with all the hands-on requirements, the Protocol, from the perspective of social approach, can break down into:

    --institutional (state protocol): set of norms and legal dispositions in force which, along with the customs, traditions and conventions of peoples, manage official visits and events;

    --social protocol: rules and customs to be observed in social life when organizing private events, typical of interpersonal relationships.

    The Protocol can display high impact functions: representation, communication, social harmonization and constraint. Institutions within central or local public administration are in a continuous pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness and address the applications of this discipline to their professional and organizational life: delegate welcome, event / ceremony management, awards and honors, patterns of behavior and institutional conduct, correspondence etiquette and participation order. In this respect, as Dresser has said, 'my goal is still to demystify the behaviors of people of different cultural backgrounds. [...] Instead, I'd like to increase appreciation for all peoples, that showing respect for differences usually creates respect in return' (Dresser, 2005, p. 2).

    3.2. Cross-disciplinary/Integrated IC&T approach--Institutional and social protocol

    In light of the literature in the field, it deems fit to emphasize Margaret Rouse's first attempt (see also WhatIs.com--TechTarget, 2014) to draw a comparison...

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