The study of internal crisis communication: towards an integrative framework

Finn Frandsen (Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)
Winni Johansen (Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Previous crisis communication research has primarily examined the external dimension of crisis communication, i.e. the crisis response strategies applied by organizations to protect and/or restore their image or reputation among external stakeholders in a crisis situation. The purpose of this paper is to set up an integrative framework for the study of internal crisis communication in private and public organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a theoretical approach reviewing the literature on crisis management and crisis communication and discussing the concept of internal stakeholder and the implications of a staged approach.

Findings

An integrative framework for the study of internal crisis communication is developed based on two assumptions: first, that internal crisis communication research must start with a detailed study of the relationship between an organization and its internal stakeholders (in this case: the employees) to clarify to what extent internal crisis communication differs from external crisis communication; and second, that internal crisis communication research can best be systematized applying a staged approach (precrisis stage, crisis event, postcrisis stage) as an heuristic method.

Originality/value

Apart from a few exceptions, the internal dimension of crises, crisis management, and crisis communication has, by and large, been unexplored.

Keywords

Citation

Frandsen, F. and Johansen, W. (2011), "The study of internal crisis communication: towards an integrative framework", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 347-361. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281111186977

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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