Consumer-preferred company responses following a crisis: the importance of taking responsibility

2017-06-07T06:05:09Z (GMT) by McDonald, Lyn Hartel, Charmine E. J.
Despite the capacity for a company crisis to cause damage to sales, there are currently few guidelines and little research to indicate optimum company response choice. In fact, there are surprisingly few empirical examinations investigating consumer response to communicated corporate responses following crises. Public relations literature has focused on identifying corporate communication strategies following a crisis, rather than on examining impact on consumers. In order to help practitioners gain a better understanding of response options and likely consumer outcomes, this article reviews the literature on responses and research conducted to date. A review of empirical studies provides evidence that company responses impact on consumer purchase intentions. Based on this evidence, it is argued that a consumer-preferred company response hierarchy may exist. Further, it is argued that this hierarchy is based on the extent to which the response reflects acceptance of corporate responsibility. Gaps in the literature on company responses and future research directions are identified.

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