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Crisis history tellers matter

Crisis history tellers matter PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore crisis history further. The paper also examines the possible impact of information source on publics’ perceptions. The study seeks to expound on the tenets of the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), particularly the underutilized crisis history component.Design/methodology/approachThe study used a 3 × 3 between-subjects experiment design to examine the effects of crisis history and information source on publics’ crisis emotions, perception of crisis responsibility, control, and organizational reputation. Participants were 174 undergraduate students from a large Southeastern university.FindingsThe study’s findings suggest that an organization’s crisis history by the media can increase publics’ perceived organizational control (referred to as personal control) in a crisis situation. However, negative crisis history told by the media can evoke more severe public anger in a crisis. A positive crisis history still could lead to negative perceptions.Research limitations/implicationsThe study uses a fictional crisis scenario that may not evoke the same emotions or perceptions as an actual crisis.Practical implicationsCrisis communicators concerned with angry publics should focus less on traditional media relations and more on new media to reach other gatekeepers; or focus more heavily on media strategy since the media is more likely to elicit more anger among publics. Furthermore, a positive crisis history does not give organizations a pass in current crises.Originality/valueAlthough the SCCT identifies crisis history as an intensifier of attribution of responsibility, few studies have examined crisis history. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corporate Communications An International Journal Emerald Publishing

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References (43)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1356-3289
DOI
10.1108/CCIJ-04-2017-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore crisis history further. The paper also examines the possible impact of information source on publics’ perceptions. The study seeks to expound on the tenets of the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), particularly the underutilized crisis history component.Design/methodology/approachThe study used a 3 × 3 between-subjects experiment design to examine the effects of crisis history and information source on publics’ crisis emotions, perception of crisis responsibility, control, and organizational reputation. Participants were 174 undergraduate students from a large Southeastern university.FindingsThe study’s findings suggest that an organization’s crisis history by the media can increase publics’ perceived organizational control (referred to as personal control) in a crisis situation. However, negative crisis history told by the media can evoke more severe public anger in a crisis. A positive crisis history still could lead to negative perceptions.Research limitations/implicationsThe study uses a fictional crisis scenario that may not evoke the same emotions or perceptions as an actual crisis.Practical implicationsCrisis communicators concerned with angry publics should focus less on traditional media relations and more on new media to reach other gatekeepers; or focus more heavily on media strategy since the media is more likely to elicit more anger among publics. Furthermore, a positive crisis history does not give organizations a pass in current crises.Originality/valueAlthough the SCCT identifies crisis history as an intensifier of attribution of responsibility, few studies have examined crisis history.

Journal

Corporate Communications An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 3, 2018

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