You are here

Crisis Preparation

Title: Crisis Preparation: How Exposure to a Pre-Crisis Plan Affects Stakeholder Trust and Forgiveness.
Name(s): Peirce, Kalani, author
Merle, Patrick F., professor directing thesis
Cortese, Juliann, committee member
Lee, Jaejin, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Communication and Information, degree granting college
School of Communication, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (75 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: To limit the reputational damage inflicted on an organization during crises, crisis communication scholars have spent considerable effort analyzing the appropriate crisis response strategies that coincide with certain crisis situations (Benoit, 1997; Coombs 1995, 2006, 2007; Coombs & Holladay, 2014; Seeger & Ulmer, 2002). Although it is valuable and essential to gain understanding of the implications of post-crisis communication, scholars have also alluded to the importance of pre-crisis preparation and the devising of a pre-crisis plan (Coombs, 2007; Coombs & Holladay, 2001, 2002, 2006; Heath 1997). However, a majority of crisis communication research has focused on post-crisis reactive strategies rather than pre-crisis preparation and prevention (Avery, Lariscy, Kim, & Hocke, 2010). In addition, crisis communication scholars have studied the influence of the organization-public relationship (OPR), a dominant public relations paradigm, on organizations post-crisis reputational assessments (Brown & White, 2011; Coombs, 2000). Nevertheless, no known research has examined the effects of pre-crisis plan exposure on post-crisis evaluations of organizations, specifically the attitudinal measures trust and forgiveness. As a result, the current study sought to empirically test the effects of transparently communicating a pre-crisis plan to stakeholders on their levels of organizational trustworthiness and forgiveness. To test this effect, a 2 X 1 between-subject experiment was conducted, in which participants were either exposed to a pre-crisis plan or an alternative plan (i.e. control group). Following a two-day delay, participants were then exposed to a crisis scenario description and corresponding crisis response, as suggested by SCCT. Lastly, dependent measures and demographics were reported. Participants who completed the experiment were rewarded extra credit. Statistical analysis revealed that while stakeholders who are exposed to a pre-crisis plan do report slightly higher levels of organizational trustworthiness and forgiveness in comparison to those not exposed to a pre-crisis plan, the mean difference between the groups is not significant. However, it is important to report that analysis of scale items did reveal a significant difference between groups on their evaluations of organizational dependability. Thus, several implications and future research opportunities are suggested. Most importantly, this study expanded the OPR research in crisis communication scholarship by alluding to the need for further analysis on pre-crisis communication and its effect on organizational dependability. In addition, by empirically testing the effects of pre-crisis plan exposure, the current study attends to the call for further research in crisis preparation (Avery et al., 2010).
Identifier: FSU_FA2016_Peirce_fsu_0071N_13580 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the College of Communication and Information in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: November 2, 2016.
Keywords: Communication, Crisis, Forgiveness, Pre-Crisis, Preparation, Trust
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Patrick F. Merle, Professor Directing Thesis; Juliann Cortese, Committee Member; Jaejin Lee, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Peirce, K. (2016). Crisis Preparation: How Exposure to a Pre-Crisis Plan Affects Stakeholder Trust and Forgiveness. Retrieved from