When crises such as the recent Toyota recalls occur, public relations practitioners develop strategies to minimize damage to company images.
University of Missouri researchers have found that consumers blame an organization for crises more when customers are injured, as opposed to when members or employees of the organizations are injured. In the study, MU researchers also concluded that the identity of the injured in a crisis is more important to consumers when determining blame than the actual seriousness of the crisis.
“These results provide important practical insights to public relations practitioners who manage crises,” said Sun-A Park, doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “Specifically, the results show that people hold an organization responsible in cases where customers are injured rather than when company employees are injured, regardless of the degree of crisis severity. Thus, organizations should perform appropriate crisis response strategies immediately when consumers have been injured from a crisis.”
Park, along with Maria Len-Rios, assistant professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism, gave 123 study participants various news stories about plane crashes that differed in severity, whether the injuries were to consumers, such as passengers, or members of the company, such as the pilots or flight attendants. After reading the articles, participants overwhelmingly blamed on the airline for the crises when passengers were injured, regardless of the severity or the number of people injured.
Apart from the identity of the injured party and the severity of the crisis, the size of a company and its control of the market are also significant factors concerning how consumers place blame, Park said.
“The bigger the company, the more blame the public puts on it,” Park said. “There was a case in which people blamed Apple because they thought the iPod caused hearing problems, even though research shows that iPod audio levels aren’t any louder than other MP3 players. Apple is the number one company in the MP3 player market, and there is no evidence that the iPod actually caused a hearing loss problem, but since it is such a large company, people chose to blame Apple instead of taking responsibility themselves to control the volume.”
Park hopes to expand her research to look at the psychological factors involved in why people often blame corporations for causing problems they could have prevent themselves. Park wants to study how these factors affect negative impressions toward organizations.
Park and Len-Rios’ research was published in The Handbook of Crisis Communication.
Nathan Hurst | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy