With the excellence theory, the criticisms regarding this theory emerged. However, in comparison to excellence theory, these critiques were often carried out by an incoherent body of scholars and were based on different outflows of the theory. However, significant interconnection was largely lacked by these criticisms regarding the ethicality, efficacy, reliability, and validity of excellence theory. A major challenge was indeed posed by these critiques to the dominance of excellence theory and therefore these critiques are required to be expounded and integrated in a conceptual manner. Moreover, the claims regarding the two-way symmetry as the most ethical and effective kind of public relations practice as well as the applicability, reliability, and validity of the excellence model was doubted seriously, therefore these critiques must be understood and viewed collectively.
The excellence theory was first criticized by Murphy in the year 1991. According to him, the theory lacked various practical applications. The interest of the organization in favor of the public was abandoned by the symmetry model. Later, the reliability of the theory was questioned and critiqued by Leichty and Springston in the year 1993. They suggested the four models of PR under the excellence and symmetry approach cannot address issues related to conceptualization and measurement. Also, Leichty proposed that in terms of application, there are several limitations within the two-way symmetrical tactics like collaboration and dialogue.
Similarly, in 1996 the accuracy of excellence theory was criticized by L’Etang and Pieczka. According to Pieczzka, there is over-idealization of the two-way symmetrical perspective of the excellence model. Also, in 1996 the symmetry approach was challenged and criticized to be the dominant paradigm of PR by Karlberg. Only a few types of organizations were considered while studying the symmetry approach. These organizations were mostly government agencies or large organizations. In this manner, various other social structures were neglected and the broader implications of the relation between the markets and the organizations were failed to be explored.