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Does it matter how close you are? A scenario-based experimental study about the effects of crisis proximity, crisis source and crisis framing on purchase intention, the willingness to forgive, trust and emotion.

Wonink, V.E. (2017) Does it matter how close you are? A scenario-based experimental study about the effects of crisis proximity, crisis source and crisis framing on purchase intention, the willingness to forgive, trust and emotion.

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Abstract:AIM. The primary goal of this study was to experimentally investigate to what extent the proximity, framing and source type of a crisis message influence emotions, trust, willingness to forgive and purchase intentions of consumers towards an organization. In addition, it was studied if and to what extent emotions, trust and the willingness to forgive mediate the effects of the manipulations on purchase intention. The proximity consumers have to a crisis is a fixed factor that can’t be influenced. Until now it has not been addressed what effects the difference in proximity to a crisis situation has. This study focuses on the importance of taking proximity into account during crisis communication. METHOD. This study was conducted by using a 2 (CEO as source versus the company as a whole as source) x 2 (emotional crisis framing versus rational crisis framing) x 2 (high versus low crisis proximity) between-respondents, scenario-based experimental design. Results were gathered by presenting participants one out of eight fictional articles and a survey afterwards. In the survey the level of trust, forgiveness and purchase intention of the participants was measured. A total of 288 participants from The Netherlands participated in this research. RESULTS. The findings of this study show a significant effect of framing (emotional vs. rational) on the amount of sympathy of participants. Additionally, the results revealed anger among the participants, which could not be reduced by certain strategies used in crisis communication. The source type of the message and proximity to the crisis showed no significant effects on the dependent variables measured in this study. CONCLUSION. The emotionally framed crisis response message resulted in more sympathy towards the organization among participants than the rationally framed message. Furthermore it was found that difference in proximity to the crisis and source type did not influence trust in the organization, the emotions that were felt and the purchase intentions participants have in this study.
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/73191
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