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Crisis communication through the years: A preliminary analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

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Crisis communication through the years: A preliminary analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005). Mark Chong, Singapore Management University. Introduction. Emerging importance of crisis communication

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slide1

Crisis communication through the years: A preliminary analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

Mark Chong, Singapore Management University

introduction
Introduction
  • Emerging importance of crisis communication
  • Risk and crisis communication researchers can learn from each other’s literature
  • Prevalence of crisis communication function in leading PR agencies and college programs
objective of study
Objective of Study
  • To offer a preliminary/timely temperature reading of crisis communication literature
  • RQ: What do keywords reveal about the nature of crisis communication literature?
method
Method
  • Business Source Premier: database with over 1,100 scholarly publications
  • “Crisis communication” as search phrase
  • Scholarly (including peer-reviewed) journals
  • Book reviews, editorials & bibliographies excluded
  • 124 articles returned
method1
Method
  • Data collected Feb-Mar 2006
  • Five periods: 1981-1985, 1986-1990, 1991-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005
  • No. of articles
  • Top subject terms
  • Most productive authors
  • Most common research methods
  • Most cited articles
  • 5 most published journals
results no of articles by period
Results: No. of articles by period
  • 1981-1985: 2 articles
  • 1986-1990: 2
  • 1991-1995: 22
  • 1996-2000: 25
  • 2001-2005: 73
results top subject terms
Results: Top subject terms
  • ‘Crisis management’: in all 5 periods
  • ‘Public relations’: in all but 1981-1985
  • ‘Crisis communication’
results most productive authors
Results: Most productive authors
  • 7 articles: Timothy Coombs (also most cited author)
  • 3 articles: Laura Arpan, Alfonso Gonzalez-Herrero, Sherry Holladay, James Kauffman, Cornelius Pratt, Timothy Sellnow, Robert Ulmer, Kurt Wise
  • Predominance of the U.S.
results most common research methods
Results: Most common research methods
  • Case study: 54
  • ‘Expert opinion’: 32
  • Experiment: 9
  • Survey: 7
  • Theory: 6
results most cited articles
Results: Most cited articles
  • 1. ‘Communication and attribution in a crisis: An experiment study in crisis communication’. Journal of Public Relations Research (by T. Coombs & S. Holladay)
results most cited articles1
Results: Most cited articles
  • 2a. ‘Information and compassion in a crisis response: A test of their effects’. Journal of Public Relations Research (by T. Coombs)
  • 2b. ‘Consistent questions of ambiguity in crisis communication: Jack in the Box as a case study’. Journal of Business Ethics (by R.R. Ulmer & T. Sellnow)
results most cited articles2
Results: Most cited articles
  • 3a. ‘Helping crisis managers protect reputational assets’. Management Communication Quarterly (by T. Coombs & S. Holladay)
  • 3b. ‘Reining in rumors’. Organizational Dynamics (by N. Difonzo, P. Bordia & R. Rosnow)
results most cited articles3
Results: Most cited articles
  • 4a. ‘Effective crisis management through established stakeholder relationships’. Management Communication Quarterly(by R.R. Ulmer)
  • 4b. ‘An extended examination of the crisis situations: A fusion of the relational management and symbolic approaches’. Journal of Public Relations Research (by T. Coombs & S. Holladay)
results most cited articles4
Results: Most cited articles
  • 5. ‘Crisis communication plans: Poor predictors of excellent public relations’. Public Relations Review (by F. Marra)
results most published journals
Results: Most published journals
  • Public Relations Review: 27 articles
  • Public Relations Quarterly: 21
  • Public Relations Tactics: 15
  • Risk Management: 8
  • Jnl of Public Relations Research: 8
  • Jnl of Business Communication: 7
results most published journals1
Results: Most published journals
  • Neither Journal of Risk Research or Risk Analysis had any articles
limitations recommendations
Limitations & Recommendations
  • No database is complete, including this
  • Potential inconsistencies in database classification
  • Does not identify how crisis communication has evolved through the years
  • Future research: meta-analysis
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Crisis communication dominated by just a few writers and journals
  • Case studies and ‘expert opinion’ are the preferred methods
  • Rapid increase in scholarly interest in last 10 years
  • Likely internationalization of research in the field
  • Potential for applying crisis communication theories to risk communication
contact
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