Abstract: This paper combines theories of identification and image repair to explain why an organization in crisis should avoid designing messages that engage in “spin.” An experiment is reported (N = 262 nationwide U.S. Qualtrics Panel) in which a company spokesperson replies to questions from a journalist in a news interview. Results indicate that people (a) identify more with the spokesperson, and (b) have more favorable attitudes toward the business, when the spokesperson directly answers rather than spins. Serial multiple mediator modeling reveals the theoretical process of consumer behavioral intentions bolstered by an organization “coming clean” instead of spinning in a scandal.
Sungsu Kim (Grady PhD Alum) and Yan Jin (Forthcoming). “Organizational Threat Appraisal by Publics: The Effects of Perceived Temporal Distance on Health Crisis Outcomes.” International Journal of Communication.
Abstract: The current study advances our understanding of how organizational threat affects the way publics respond to a health crisis. To this end, we investigated the influence of perceived temporal distance from organizational threat on crisis outcomes (i.e., organizational reputation, crisis emotions, and supportive behavioral intention) and the role of perceived health threat in this relationship. The findings of an experimental study (N = 239) indicate that perceived temporal distance from organizational threat was negatively associated with crisis emotions and positively related to supportive behavioral intention. In addition, mediation analysis revealed indirect effects of perceived temporal distance on supportive behavioral intention via crisis emotions. The indirect effects through crisis emotions and the direct effect of temporal distance on supportive behavioral intention were also contingent on perceived health threat. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Abstract: Through a 2×3 between-subjects experiment, this study examined effects of health warning labels (presence or absence) and advertising message claims (“Quit smoking using e-cigarettes,” “Healthier than regular cigarettes” or none) in celebrity-endorsed Instagram e-cigarette brand advertisements. Results indicated health warning labels exerted significant main effects on attitude towards e-cigarettes, intention to use e-cigarettes, and brand attitude, and interacted with message claim type to affect these dependent measures. Health consciousness, perceived information value and social media usage also significantly moderated between health warning labels and attitude towards e-cigarettes, intention to use e-cigarettes and brand attitude. Research and practical implications are discussed.