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Do different cultural values play a role in the relationship between stealing thunder and the type of incident on brand perception in the Netherlands and the United States?

Eslami, A.R. (2015) Do different cultural values play a role in the relationship between stealing thunder and the type of incident on brand perception in the Netherlands and the United States?

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Abstract:Background While companies worldwide are trying to avoid situations which can be harmful for them, it is almost impossible for them to avoid these kind of incidents. While shareholders are demanding in being updated about the inner workings of their company, it is still the company's tactical approach that determines how shareholders will respond to certain situation. One important question for companies to answer is when an incident has happened is whether or not to report the incident itself or to wait for a third party to intervene. Several studies conducted in this area suggest that stealing thunder can reduce the damage that can be taken from different type of negative incidents (e.g. Arpan & Pompper, 2013). But what about positive incidents? Should they also be communicated by the company? Considering the fact that these days most companies are not limited to simply one country, it is important to understand the differences between different cultures worldwide. Several studies argue that certain messages can vary depending on different cultures and countries (e.g. Kim & Reber, 2008). This research wants to contribute to this knowledge by focusing on how relationships between stealing thunder and the type of incident on brand perception can be influenced by different culture aspects such as masculinity and power distance between two different countries (US and The Netherlands). Method An experiment is established for this quantitative study based on 2x2x2 factorial design. This design concerned the independent variables different types of disclosure (Company vs. third party), different types of incident (Good vs. bad) and country of residence (NL vs. US). An online questionnaire with four possible scenarios was utilized. A total number of 229 participants participated in this study (The Netherlands being the most represented with 129 respondents equating to 56.3% of total respondents with the average age of 31,31, SD=13,65). The US was second with 91 respondents (39.7%). The average age is 23,91, SD=7,16). Results Results show that both countries found the company more credible during a positive incident than a negative one. The results also show that the Dutch find the company more credible than Americans in both positive and negative situations. Conclusion This study contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between stealing thunder and the types of incident on brand perception and how it is influenced by different culture aspects such as masculinity between two different countries (US and NL). It can be concluded that during an incident, it is important that the company discloses the incident themselves. This gives the company the opportunity to guide the news, making sure that the damage done to company reputation remains limited. It doesn't matter if the incident is positive or negative, as long as the company discloses the incident itself, because both credibility and attitude towards the brand will be higher. Culture has a significant influence on stealing thunder and the type of incident. It appears that Dutch in general are more positive towards the company, when the incident disclosed by the company is positive and are less negative towards the company, when the disclosed incident is negative than the American participants. These results will serve as a basis for discussing the theoretical implications of this study and finally give some direction for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/67042
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