Narratives as viable crisis response strategies: Attribution of crisis responsibility, organizational attitudes, reputation, and storytelling

Communication Studies

Abstract: This article expands situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) to narrative persuasion. In a randomized experiment featuring a news interview of a scandalized company, an organization’s spokesperson responds to a journalist’s questions through (a) on-topic narratives, (b) off-topic (spinning) narratives, or (c) nonnarrative information. Consistent with SCCT, on-topic narratives and nonnarrative information reduce the public’s blame toward the organization, enhancing attitudes toward the organization, and ultimately bolstering the company’s image. However, the public ascribes more responsibility to the organization for causing the crisis when the spokesperson subverts questions through narrative spinning.

https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2020.1807378

open access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10510974.2020.1807378?casa_token=gaQf2_fd4-EAAAAA:ImQu-hu5pbS9T281JNOHnSOuAricfR7850ZN4Brk14CLmgeKNx0PUX4PDNsvoIm2MHpe9KR4AIxWow

David Clementson 

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