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Exploring the role of news framing in crisis communication. A study into the effect of news framing on emotions, reputation and behavioral intentions of stakeholders

Kip, Evelien (2016) Exploring the role of news framing in crisis communication. A study into the effect of news framing on emotions, reputation and behavioral intentions of stakeholders.

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Abstract:When organizations are confronted with a preventable crisis, appropriate crisis communication is crucial. Crisis communication managers try to affect stakeholders’ emotional responses through corporate communication messages in order to prevent reputational damage and negative behavioral intentions. As most people find out about a crisis via news media, it is suggested that news framing influences emotional responses. However, emotions from stakeholders involved in a preventable crisis are not addressed extensively in previous crisis communication research. Therefore, this study focusses on the effects of news framing on emotions and what the subsequent effects of emotions on reputation, purchase intentions and negative word-of-mouth are. This study made use of a quantitative experimental design based on a fictional crisis situation of preventable mismanagement at a fictional bank in the Netherlands. Participants were assigned to one of five possible news frame conditions (human interest, conflict, economic, morality and responsibility). Effects of the assigned news frame condition were tested on the perception of severity and responsibility, emotions (anger, anxiety, fright and sadness), depth of processing, reputation, purchase intentions and negative word-of-mouth (N-WOM). Findings of this study revealed that news frames have no effect on the perception of severity, attribution of responsibility and emotions that publics felt after a preventable crisis occurred. Furthermore, in line with expectations, findings demonstrate that the feeling of anger has a strong negative relationship with reputation, purchase intentions and social N-WOM. Finally, reputation was shown to have a mediating effect on purchase intentions and social N-WOM. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
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/70823
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