How publics in the United States and China respond to crisis communication strategies via social media
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A two by four factorial experiment was conducted to test the effects of crisis response strategy (apology, compensation, excuse, and excuse plus ingratiation) and social cultural context (the United States and China) via social media on the publics’ evaluation of organizational reputation, negative word-of-mouth intention, and negative online crisis reaction intention in a corporate accident crisis event. Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) provided the theoretical framework for this study. Results indicated that mortification strategies were more effective than non-mortification strategies on the evaluation of organizational reputation, and apology generated less negative word-of-mouth intention than excuse, but different strategies had no effect on negative online crisis reaction intention. Moreover, the public in China had significantly higher negative online crisis reaction intention than the public in the United States across all strategies.