Crisis Management for Sustainable Corporate Value: Finding a Construal Fit between Social Distance, Crisis Response, and Crisis Severity

Hyun Jee Oh, Jeesun Kim, Chang Dae Ham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite growing research on public attributions of crisis responsibility, little is known about the role of perceived social distance to organizations in conjunction with crisis severity and crisis response strategies. Applying construal level theory (CLT) to the crisis communication context, we examined the role of the construal fit between social distance, crisis severity, and crisis response strategy in determining crisis responsibility, negative word-of-mouth (WOM) intentions, and anger. A two (social distance to a crisis: close vs. distant) × two (crisis response strategy: defensive vs. accommodating) × two (crisis severity: low vs. high) between-subjects experiment revealed two interaction effects: (1) the interaction effect of social distance and crisis response strategy on anger and negative WOM and (2) the interaction effect of social distance and crisis severity on negative WOM. No interaction effects emerged with respect to crisis responsibility. We discuss the theoretical contribution of this study’s results—namely, how social distance to a crisis impacts public reactions to crisis response strategies. We also outline the practical implications for achieving a better construal fit between social distance and crisis response strategy for effective crisis communication, which may serve as an opportunity for sustainable corporate management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10244
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT)
  • construal level theory (CLT)
  • crisis response strategy
  • crisis severity
  • social distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Crisis Management for Sustainable Corporate Value: Finding a Construal Fit between Social Distance, Crisis Response, and Crisis Severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this