- Communication in times of crisis: The interplay between the organization, news media, and the public
- Award date
- 20 May 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Societies are frequently confronted with disruptive organizational crisis situations, which can have drastic societal consequences. As communication increasingly plays a role in the escalation and impact of these crises, it is important to explore the communication between several key actors. Therefore, this dissertation explores the communicative interplay among the organization, news media, and the public in times of organizational crisis.
The dissertation comprises four self-containing studies of empirical research, using different research methods - i.e., automated-content analyses, survey among communication professionals and journalists, and experimental research. The studies provide insights into (1) how the crisis frames of the three actors align over time, (2) how organizations’ relationships with stakeholders are affected by a crisis, (3) how news media and journalists determine who gets a voice in the news during a crisis, and (4) the selection of news sources by the public during a crisis and the consequences of selection for public framing.
Despite differences in size and shape, this dissertation exposed certain fundamental characteristics in the communicative interplay that seem to hold across different crisis situations. In general, the findings show how crisis accelerate and scale up communication processes. Nevertheless, in the crucial initial phase of a crisis, it appears that the communication between the central actors is absent or limited.
However, over time, the actors approach each other, possibly to collectively define the crisis and ultimately to solve it. Furthermore, during crises, news media appear to be the central actor in the interaction with the organization and the public.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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