Stories about plane crashes, explosions of chemical plants, product recalls, bankruptcy of large organizations, or oil spills have become part of today’s news agenda. These so-called organizational crises do not only have far-reaching consequences for the organization experiencing the crisis, but they can also drastically affect and disrupt all segments of society. Communication is known to play a crucial role in times of crisis. Although crises have real origins (e.g., explosions or mismanagement), they are constituted in the communicative interplay between several actors/stakeholders. When actors perceive a series of events as a crisis, it will produce real consequences. Therefore, it is essential to understand the communicative dynamics between key actors at times of organizational crises.
- What are the communicative variation and congruency among actors over time?
- What are the outcomes of the dynamic communicative interplay among actors in times of crisis?
- How can we use research triangulation (e.g., large-scale automated content analyses, survey data, and experimental research) to gain substantial and detailed insight into the crisis interactions?