Purpose The purpose of this paper, a set of two studies, is to elaborate on the concept of scansis and its effects upon crisis communication theory and practice. A scansis represents the intersection of a scandal and crisis, essentially when a crisis becomes a scandal. A new term was created due to the varied ways in which the term scandal is used and misused. The effects of scansis on crisis communication are examined through two studies. A scansis is unique because it creates moral outrage and is a function of a perception of injustice coupled with greed. Design/methodology/approach Experimental design is used in both studies to test for the effects of specific crisis response strategies used during a scansis. The crisis response strategies were manipulated to determine whether or not corrective action with moral recognition is more effective at helping organizations during a crisis than those crisis response strategies that do not contain a moral component. Findings The two studies found no short-term effect for crisis responses during scansis. This included no difference between corrective action with moral recognition and the other three response conditions for the short-term factors of organizational reputation, negative word-of-mouth intentions, purchase intentions and anger. However, Study 2 found that corrective action with moral recognition was perceived as the most empathetic response and created the lowest levels of moral outrage. The authors postulate that corrective action with moral recognition has a long-term effect after a scansis by creating a positive response that moves organizations away from being stigmatized. Research limitations/implications - The results raise questions about the current configuration of the intentional crisis cluster articulated in situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). When just consider assessments crisis responsibility, a scansis would be part of the preventable crisis cluster. However, the evaluation of justice and greed suggest a scansis may be a unique crisis type that does not fit within the intentional crisis cluster and the prescribed short-term effects of crisis response strategies recommend by SCCT. The scansis establishes a boundary condition for the limits of crisis response strategies on short-term effects such as reputation and purchase intention. These findings require us to rethink elements of current crisis communication theory. Practical implications - The lack of short-term benefits should not be an argument for abandoning accommodative crisis response strategies. Practitioners need to realize the limits of crisis response strategies for creating short-term benefits and think about the potential long-term benefits offered by crisis response strategies. Originality/value - Scansis is a new concept for crisis communication and provides a link between the crisis communication and organizational stigma literatures. The two studies are the first attempts to empirically examine scansis and opens new avenues of thinking and research for crisis communication and organizational stigma researchers.
Examples of crises involving multinationals can be found in the media around the world on a regular basis. Despite the importance of this topic, the state of the literature in the area of global crisis management has yet to be explored. Incorporating a commonly used three-stage approach describing crisis management as involving three phases-the pre-crisis phase (prevention and preparation), the crisis phase (response), and the post-crisis phase (learning and revision)-we briefly review the literature in global crisis management. We then introduce three special issue articles. Finally, we suggest future areas for research on the topic of global crisis management.
This article provides my reflections and comments on the meta-analysis of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) presented in this issue. The meta-analysis helps to crystallize strengths and weaknesses of SCCT and the research generated by the theory. No theory is perfect and every theory has limitations/boundaries. The meta-analysis helps to identify the boundaries for SCCT helping to understand when the theory works and when there are better options for informing crisis communication. By reflecting on the extant research, we can plot the direction for future research utilizing SCCT.
Pfarrer, Michael D.
Short, Cole E.
Coombs, W. Timothy
Organizational research has long been interested in crises and crisis management. Whether focused on crisis antecedents, outcomes, or managing a crisis, research has revealed a number of important findings. However, research in this space remains fragmented, making it difficult for scholars to understand the literature's core conclusions, recognize unsolved problems, and navigate paths forward. To address these issues, we propose an integrative framework of crises and crisis management that draws from research in strategy, organizational theory, and organizational behavior as well as from research in public relations and corporate communication. We identify two primary perspectives in the literature, one focused on the internal dynamics of a crisis and one focused on managing external stakeholders. We review core concepts from each perspective and highlight the commonalities that exist between them. Finally, we use our integrative framework to propose future research directions for scholars interested in crises and crisis management.
Vercic, Ana Tkalac
Coombs, W. Timothy
The purpose of this study was to explore how communicative responses and different sources of communication affect stakeholders' perception of corporate reputation. The main goal was to explore the effects of crisis response strategy and source of crisis communication on organizational and speaker reputations. In a 2 x 2 scenario experiment, respondents judge corporate and speaker reputation of an imaginary organization. Apology as a strategy results in higher postcrisis reputation of both organization and speaker. However, the selection of the source has little effect on how people react to crisis response strategies. This means that a spokesperson can be as useful as a CEO which can be important if the CEO does not convey a positive presence on a screen.
Social media is emerging as critical element of scanning for many crisis risks. When these crisis risks emerge online, people often confuse them with crises and that is why we have developed the term paracrisis. Para can mean "like" something. A paracrisis is like a crisis. It can "look like" a crisis and does require action from the organization. However, a paracrisis does not warrant convening the crisis team and operating in a crisis mode. This paper details the value of paracrises, how to evaluate their threat potential, and ways to respond to them and how to evaluate those responses. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The dominance of Excellence Theory in public relations theory and research may be eroding as contemporary issues in corporations, including the concern with activist challenges to reputation management and corporate social responsibility, increase in visibility and demand explanation. We argue that Excellence Theory‘s seemingly reluctant evolution has provided unsatisfactory treatments of concepts like power and activism, even though it has attempted to address some limitations of the symmetrical model's efficacy in responding to activist challenges. Excellence Theory‘s acknowledgment of once-vilified concepts like persuasion and power sets the stage for critical public relations theory and research to emerge as significantly more capable of addressing activist advocacy and concomitant issues. The paper argues that critical theory, buoyed by acceptance of its key concepts, its increasing access to presentation venues and journals sympathetic to once-marginalized, alternative perspectives, is poised to infiltrate the public relations orthodoxy. This possibility offers hope that once marginalized pluralistic approaches, especially critical public relations, may disrupt the colonization of the orthodoxy and infiltrate mainstream public relations.
The dominance of Excellence Theory in public relations theory and research may be eroding as contemporary issues in corporations, including the concern with activist challenges to reputation management and corporate social responsibility, increase in visibility and demand explanation. We argue that Excellence Theory's seemingly reluctant evolution has provided unsatisfactory treatments of concepts like power and activism, even though it has attempted to address some limitations of the symmetrical model's efficacy in responding to activist challenges. Excellence Theory's acknowledgment of once-vilified concepts like persuasion and power sets the stage for critical public relations theory and research to emerge as significantly more capable of addressing activist advocacy and concomitant issues. The paper argues that critical theory, buoyed by acceptance of its key concepts, its increasing access to presentation venues and journals sympathetic to once-marginalized, alternative perspectives, is poised to infiltrate the public relations orthodoxy. This possibility offers hope that once marginalized pluralistic approaches, especially critical public relations, may disrupt the colonization of the orthodoxy and infiltrate mainstream public relations. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
External organizational discourse can have effects on society through the policies it helps to create or the policies it helps to defeat. One type of external discourse that shapes policies is corporate efforts to create self-regulation and to prevent governmental regulation.. This article explores the use of self-regulatory discourse designed to end public interest in an issue, thereby creating quiescence. The key question resulting from this discussion is whether self-regulatory claims benefit business and society, or merely business.