As social psychologists become more aware of the ways in which relationships undernpin almost everything in the social sciences, the need for an introductory book for students and scholars has increased. The author addresses the essential use of relationship issues within applied areas such as policing, health care, and the corporate world. He also emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary studies and the integration of different frameworks and methods, by focusing less on static factors in relationships and more on the matter of process. Finally, he examines the need to contextualize relationship processes and take account of the daily issues of management by relational partners.
Steve Duck (Steven W. Duck) a British social psychologist turned communication scholar, is the Daniel & Amy Starch Distinguished Research Professor and Chair, Department of Rhetoric, at the University of Iowa.
He has made contributions to the scientific field of social and personal relationships.
He attended Bristol Grammar School and Pembroke College, Oxford before gaining a Ph.D. from Sheffield University in 1971. He studied social and personal relationships and published several books and articles on the subject. He taught at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the University of Lancaster in England, being one of four founding members of the Department of Psychology there in 1973. In 1986 he moved to the University of Iowa as the Daniel and Amy Starch Distinguished Research Professor, the first fully endowed professorship in the College of Liberal Arts (later the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – CLAS). He served as Chair Department Executive Officer for the Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa 1994–1998 and subsequently as Chair of the Department of Rhetoric, University of Iowa (2010–present).
Duck conducted research into social relationships at Lancaster University. He founded the International Conference on Personal Relationships, the first four of which he organized with Robin Gilmour from Lancaster University, but situating the conference in Madison, Wisconsin in 1982 and 1984. These international conferences have since occurred every two years. Between these first two conferences he founded an interdisciplinary Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and was its first Editor for the fifteen volumes from 1984-1998. He also founded the International Network on Personal Relationships, and, then at the University of Iowa, founded and ran several conferences there both for general scholarly groups and also specifically for graduate students.
He served as President of INPR (International Network on Personal Relationships) which was subsequently merged into IARR (International Association for Relationship Research).
He has published several books and monographs on the general themes of relationships, becoming most closely associated with models of Interpersonal communication relationship dissolution and in particular with Duck's topographical model of relationship dissolution and a more formalized stages of dissolution model. This latter was later modified by Rollie & Duck (2006).
He has presented over 200 conference papers, written over 100 articles and chapters and written or edited 60 books, the most recent being Duck & McMahan (2017) Communication in Everyday Life: The Basic Course Edition With Public Speaking, and Duck & McMahan (2017) Communication in Everyday Life: A Survey of Communication, Third Edition, . In 1982 he became the founding Editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and held the position of Editor in Chief until 1998.