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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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Crisis communication through the years a preliminary analysis of articles in the business source premier database 1981

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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 1981-1985: 2 articles

  • 1986-1990: 2

  • 1991-1995: 22

  • 1996-2000: 25

  • 2001-2005: 73


Results top subject terms
Results: Top subject terms analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • ‘Crisis management’: in all 5 periods

  • ‘Public relations’: in all but 1981-1985

  • ‘Crisis communication’


Results most productive authors
Results: Most productive authors analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • Case study: 54

  • ‘Expert opinion’: 32

  • Experiment: 9

  • Survey: 7

  • Theory: 6


Results most cited articles
Results: Most cited articles analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 5. ‘Crisis communication plans: Poor predictors of excellent public relations’. Public Relations Review (by F. Marra)


Results most published journals
Results: Most published journals analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • Neither Journal of Risk Research or Risk Analysis had any articles


Limitations recommendations
Limitations & Recommendations analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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 analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • 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
Contact analysis of articles in the Business Source Premier database (1981-2005)

  • To request this paper, please contact Mark Chong at markchong@smu.edu.sg