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!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy