Corporate Reputation and Collective Crises: A Theoretical Development Using the Case of Rana Plaza

Corporate Reputation and Collective Crises: A Theoretical Development Using the Case of Rana Plaza Banking scandals, accounting fraud, product recalls, and environmental disasters, their associated reputational effects as well as company response strategies have been well reported in the literature. Reported crises and scandals typically involve one focal company for example BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. As business practices change and company supply chains become more complex and interlinked, there is a greater risk of collective crises where multiple companies are associated with the same scandal. We argue that companies are likely to behave differently in a group setting compared to when faced with a crisis individually. Using an inductive approach, we examine the case of the Rana Plaza building collapse. We find that organizations with a history of similar crises adopt defensive strategies and communicate much later compared to organizations which adopt accommodative strategies. Contrary to the individual case, in a collective crisis accommodative strategies result in more negative reputational damage and a higher burden of responsibility. We propose that the relationship between crisis response strategy and organization reputation is moderated by the crisis setting. We extend the logic of crisis management and corporate reputation to incorporate the case of a collective crisis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Corporate Reputation and Collective Crises: A Theoretical Development Using the Case of Rana Plaza

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-016-3160-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Banking scandals, accounting fraud, product recalls, and environmental disasters, their associated reputational effects as well as company response strategies have been well reported in the literature. Reported crises and scandals typically involve one focal company for example BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. As business practices change and company supply chains become more complex and interlinked, there is a greater risk of collective crises where multiple companies are associated with the same scandal. We argue that companies are likely to behave differently in a group setting compared to when faced with a crisis individually. Using an inductive approach, we examine the case of the Rana Plaza building collapse. We find that organizations with a history of similar crises adopt defensive strategies and communicate much later compared to organizations which adopt accommodative strategies. Contrary to the individual case, in a collective crisis accommodative strategies result in more negative reputational damage and a higher burden of responsibility. We propose that the relationship between crisis response strategy and organization reputation is moderated by the crisis setting. We extend the logic of crisis management and corporate reputation to incorporate the case of a collective crisis.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 18, 2016

References

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