Product-harm crisis communication : examining the combination of message framing, crisis severity, and prior-reputation

Ammar, K.E.M. (2017) Product-harm crisis communication : examining the combination of message framing, crisis severity, and prior-reputation.

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Abstract:Aim: The current study gives insight on the interplay of message, crisis severity and prior- reputation during a product-harm crisis on consumers’ trust, forgiveness, and purchase intentions. Method: The results of this study were gathered by using a 2 (Framing: rational vs. emotional) x 2 (Severity: low vs. high) x 2 (Pre-crisis reputation: positive vs. negative) between- subjects experimental design. The three dependent variables were the stakeholders' trust, forgiveness, and purchase intentions. Additionally, the product involvement was chosen as a covariate. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight fictitious crisis articles and then took part in an online survey. Results: The results revealed that the message framing does not influence the dependent measures. However, it was found that a positive pre-crisis reputation positively influences all the dependent variables. Furthermore, the current study found a significant effect of crisis severity on forgiveness, but not on trust and purchase intentions. Finally, this study also found an interaction effect between message framing and prior-reputation on forgiveness. Practical implications: Practitioners are advised to build a strong reputation before the crisis happens in order to protect the organization from negative crisis outcomes. Furthermore, this study stresses the importance of using an emotional framing in case of negative prior-reputation as it leads to higher forgiveness. Conclusion: The current study contributes to the field of research by presenting a valid basis of knowledge on crisis communication strategies and more specifically on the effects of message framing, crisis severity, and prior reputation.
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/73329
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