Despite the prevalence of the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT; Coombs, 2007) in crisis communication research, few SCCT-based studies have examined how different crisis types affect post-crisis reputation. This study, therefore, attempts to uncover the underlying processes of SCCT. Specifically, this study examined preventability, blame, and trust as potential mediators of crisis type and organizational post-crisis reputation. A between-subjects experimental study (crisis type: victim vs. accidental vs. preventable) was conducted with 329 college students. The results revealed that crisis type had no direct effects on reputation, but it did affect preventability, blame, and trust. More significantly, the results showed that crisis type indirectly affected reputation in two distinct ways: (1) via a sequence of preventability and blame and (2) via trust. The study includes a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management