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The negative communication dynamic: Exploring the impact of stakeholder affect on behavioral intentions

W. Timothy Coombs (Communication Studies, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, USA)
Sherry J. Holladay (Communication Studies, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 20 November 2007

7703

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to present a study designed to test if anger is a mediator in the relationship between crisis responsibility and negative word‐of‐mouth and crisis responsibility and purchase intention. Emphasizes the relationship between anger, crisis responsibility, and intended negative word‐of‐mouth, what we call the negative communication dynamic. Researchers have just begun to explore the role of affect in crisis communication by linking it to behavioral intentions and proving that crisis affect is largely a function of crisis responsibility (perceived organizational responsibility for the crisis).

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design is used to test for the mediator relationship. The design reflects the study's theoretical link to Attribution Theory.

Findings

The results support that anger is a moderator in the relationship between crisis responsibility and intended negative word‐of‐mouth and between crisis responsibility and purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should examine how crisis response strategies can be used to lessen anger and to reduce the likelihood of the negative communication dynamic.

Practical implications

Crisis managers can use the cues for estimating crisis responsibility to determine anger because of the strong correlation between the two variables. Crisis managers should engage in words and actions designed to reduce the anger and reduce the likelihood of the negative communication dynamic.

Originality/value

This paper provides novel insight into the role and value of anger in crisis communication.

Keywords

Citation

Timothy Coombs, W. and Holladay, S.J. (2007), "The negative communication dynamic: Exploring the impact of stakeholder affect on behavioral intentions", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 300-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540710843913

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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