Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility-Crisis Relevance and Effective Post-Crisis Response Strategies

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Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility-Crisis Relevance and Effective Post-Crisis Response Strategies
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1 online resource (124 p.)
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english
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Park, Hanna
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University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Mass Communication, Journalism and Communications
Committee Chair:
Hon, Linda L
Committee Members:
Kim, Sora
Ferguson, Mary Ann
Kiousis, Spiro K
Janiszewski, Chris A

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Subjects / Keywords:
blame -- communication -- crisis -- csr
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
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Abstract:
In the complex and constantly changing business environments, companies are increasingly facing various crises. Companies should establish a crisis management team to handle crises given that crises can result in negative outcomes and threaten a corporate reputation. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine factors that influence consumers’ attribution of crisis responsibility and to investigate effective post-crisis response strategies. Also, this study investigated CSR-crisis relevance: the situation where a crisis is relevant to a company’s previous corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. This study based on experiments showed that if a crisis is something severe or preventable, consumers tend to blame the company. Also, this study demonstrated that CSR-crisis relevance influenced consumers’ trust, attitudes, and perceptions of corporate reputation while it did not influence their level of blame. Specifically, consumers were more likely to distrust the company, show negative attitudes, and lose respect for the company’s reputation if a crisis that is related to the company’s previous CSR campaign occurs. Study 2 demonstrated the significant effect of base response strategies on consumers’ trust, attitudes, corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions in times of crisis. If a preventable and severe crisis occurs, the company should distribute either base messages to meet its consumers’ need for information or reminding messages in addition to base messages, rather than only reminding consumers of its past good works or simply saying nothing. This study is meaningful in that it advances the literature on crisis and attribution by exploring the main effects and interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR-crisis relevance on consumers’ blame level and their trust in the company, attitudes toward the company, perceptions of positive corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company. Also, this study gives crisis managers some insight into developing effective crisis response messages in times of crisis. A company’s top priority should be addressing its consumers’ physical and psychological needs not only because it satisfies consumers’ need for information but also because it protects corporate reputation during a crisis.
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Hanna Park.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local:
Adviser: Hon, Linda L.
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RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-08-31

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1 EXPLORING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CRISIS RELEVANCE AND EFFECTIVE POST CRISIS RESPONSE STRATEGIES By HANNA PARK A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Hanna Park

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3 To my family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My most sincere thanks go to the chair of my dissertation committee, Dr. Linda Hon. I have been very fortunate to have her a s my advisor and mentor during my She was very supportive throughout the entire process that led to my dissertation She always attempted to provide me with funding opportunities. Her warmth, support, and belief in me made th e dissertation process more manageable and enjoyable. It was a great honor for me to work with her and complete my dissertation under her guidance. I also thank members of my dissertation committee for all of their guidance and s upport. Dr. Spiro Kiousis, my dep artment chair, has provided me with critical insights and suggestions on my dissertation. In addition, h e always encouraged and supported me by providing t eaching and funding opportunities. I am very grateful to Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson Her knowledge a nd insight were helpful in developing my dissertation topic. I also thank Dr. Sora Kim who helped me build theoretical framework and gave me advice on experiment design and statistical analysis. I was lucky to have Dr. Christopher Janiszewski as an outsid e member on my committee. He pro vided knowledge and guidance on experiment design and data analysis. I also owe my thanks to Dr. Moon Lee, who attended my defense for Dr. Ferguson. Although she was not a member of my dissertation committee, she read my dis sertation thoroughly and provided detailed comments that improved the quality of my dissertation. I could not have completed my dissertation without their encouragement and support. Also, I deeply appreciate their assistance with my job search during my la st year in the Ph.D. program.

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5 I would like to acknowledge the support offered by many professors staff members, and colleagues from the College of Journalism and Communications. I give my thanks to Dr. John Sutherland, Dr. Hyojin Kim Dr. Sora Kim, Profes sor Deanna Pelfrey Professor Kelli Munn, Dae Hee Kim, Dennis DiPasquale, Doori song, Jaejin Lee, Jinhyon Kwon, Ji Young Kim, June Yung Kim, Jung Min Park, Kang Hoon Sung, Moon Hee Cho Qinwei Xie, Rajul Jain, Yunmi Choi for their help in data collection. I also thank all of my friends in Korea and Korean gators in Gainesville My special thanks go to my family for their love and support, which motivated me to complete my research. Above all, I deeply t hank my husband, Hokeun Lee I had my first child whil e writing my dissertation His understanding, encouragement and support with the household enabled me to finish my dissertation and get a job while pregnant. I am grateful to my parents brother and sister, for the ir constant encouragement and belief in my ability to succeed I also thank my for their support of my decision to continue my education. I could not have completed my dissertation without their love and suppo rt. Last but not least, I want to thank my adorable son K unyung Samuel Lee He was born two weeks after I defended my dissertation. I feel that being a mom is the most wonderful and valuable experience of my life Kunyung, I love you.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABST RACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 16 Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Reputation, and Crises ....................... 16 Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) and Blame Attributions ............. 19 Attributions of Blame ................................ ................................ ........................ 19 Type of Crisis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 21 Severity of Crisis ................................ ................................ .............................. 22 CSR Crisis Relevance and Consumer Skepticism ................................ ................. 22 Crisis Response Strategies ................................ ................................ ..................... 25 Trust, Attitudes and Supportive Be havioral Intentions ................................ ............ 29 Trust ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 29 Attitudes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 30 Supportive Behavior al Intentions ................................ ................................ ...... 31 Hypotheses and Research Questions ................................ ................................ .... 32 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 39 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 39 Study 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 39 Study 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 40 Experimental Design and Procedure ................................ ................................ ...... 40 Study 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 40 Study 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 42 Stimuli and Independent V ariables ................................ ................................ ......... 43 Study 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 43 Study 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 45 Dependent Variables and Measur es ................................ ................................ ....... 46 Study 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 46 Study 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 48 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 50

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7 Pretests ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 50 Pretest 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 50 Pretest 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 51 Pretest 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 52 Profiles of Participants ................................ ................................ ............................ 53 Manipulation Check ................................ ................................ ................................ 54 Tests for Hypotheses and Research Questions in Study 1 ................................ ..... 57 Blame Attributions ................................ ................................ ............................ 57 Trust ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 59 Attitudes toward the Company ................................ ................................ ......... 60 Positive Corporate Reputation ................................ ................................ .......... 61 Supportive Behaviora l Intentions ................................ ................................ ...... 62 Tests for Hypotheses and Research Questions in Study 2 ................................ ..... 62 Credibility of Post crisis Response ................................ ................................ ... 62 Trust ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 63 Attitudes toward the Company ................................ ................................ ......... 64 Positive Corporate Reputation ................................ ................................ .......... 65 Supportive Behavioral Intentions ................................ ................................ ...... 65 Follow up Analyses ................................ ................................ ................................ 66 5 DISCU SSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ........ 78 Summary of Results ................................ ................................ ................................ 78 Implications for Public Relations Research and Practice ................................ ........ 81 Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research ................................ .................. 85 APPENDIX A EXPERIMENT 1: STIMULI AND QUESTIONS ................................ ...................... 90 B EXPERIMENT 2: STIMULI AND QUESTIONS ................................ .................... 102 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 116 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 124

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Types of crisis (Coombs, 2006, p.244; 2007a, p.65; 2007b, p.168) ................... 36 2 2 Crisis response strategies outlined by SCCT (2007a; 2007b) ............................ 37 3 1 Experiment participants ................................ ................................ ...................... 49 3 2 Experimenta l design for study 1 ................................ ................................ ......... 49 3 3 Experimental design for study 2 ................................ ................................ ......... 49 3 4 Reliability (internal consistency) of measures used in the main study ................ 49 4 1 Descriptions of samples of study 1 ................................ ................................ ..... 70 4 2 Descriptions of samples of study 2 ................................ ................................ ..... 70 4 3 Means and standard deviations of blame attributions (study 1) ......................... 71 4 4 Means and standard deviations of trust (study 1) ................................ ............... 71 4 5 Means and standard deviations of attitudes (study 1) ................................ ........ 71 4 6 Means and standard deviations of corporate reputation (stud y 1) ..................... 71 4 7 Means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions (study 1) ... 71 4 8 Means and standard devi ations of the credibility of post crisis response (study 2) ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 72 4 9 Means and standard deviations of trust (study 2) ................................ ............... 72 4 10 Means and standard deviations of attitudes (study 2) ................................ ........ 72 4 11 Means and standard deviations of corporate reputation (study 2) ..................... 72 4 12 Means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions (study 2) ... 72 4 13 Results of stepwise multiple regression analyses in study 1 .............................. 73 4 14 Results of stepwise multiple regression analyses in study 2 .............................. 73 5 1 Study 1: summary of results ................................ ................................ ............... 89 5 2 Study 2: summary of results ................................ ................................ ............... 89

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Conceptual model for study 1 ................................ ................................ ............. 38 2 2 Conceptual model for study 2 ................................ ................................ ............. 38 4 1 Blame attributions (study 1) ................................ ................................ ................ 74 4 2 Interaction effect of the type of crisis and CSR crisis relevance on blame attributions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 74 4 3 Trust (study 1) ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 74 4 4 Attitudes (study 1) ................................ ................................ .............................. 75 4 5 Corporate reputation (study 1) ................................ ................................ ........... 75 4 6 Supportive behavioral intentions (study 1) ................................ ......................... 75 4 7 Crisis message credibility (study 2) ................................ ................................ .... 76 4 8 Trust (study 2) ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 76 4 9 Attitudes (study 2) ................................ ................................ .............................. 76 4 10 Corporate reputation (study 2) ................................ ................................ ........... 77 4 11 Supportive behavioral intentions ( study 2) ................................ ......................... 77

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10 Abstract of D issertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EXPLORING CORPORATE SOC IAL RESPONSIBILITY CRISIS RELEVANCE AND EFFECTIVE POST CRISIS RESPONSE STRA TEGIES By Hanna Park August 2012 Chair: Linda Hon Major: Mass Communication In the complex and constantly changing business environments, companies are increasingly facing vari ous crises. Companies should establish a crisis management team to handle crises given that crises can result in negative outcomes and threaten a corporate reputation. The purp ose of this dissertation was to examine factors that attrib ution of crisis responsibility and to investigate effective post crisis response strategies. Also, this study investigated CSR crisis relevance: the situation responsibility (CSR) activiti es. This study based on experiments showed that if a crisis is something severe or preventable, consumers tend to blame the company. Also, this study demonstrated that CSR perceptions of corpor ate reputation while it did not influence their level of blame. Specifically, consumers were more likely to distrust the company, show negative attitudes and lose C SR campaign occurs. Study 2 demonstrated the significant effect of base response

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11 attitudes corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions in times of crisis. I f a preventable and severe crisis occurs, the compan for information or reminding messages in addition to base messages, rather than only reminding consumers of its past good works or simply saying nothing. This study is meaningful in that it advances the literature on crisis and attribution by exploring the effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance in the company attitudes toward the company perceptions of posit ive corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company. Also, this study gives crisis managers some insight into developing effective crisis response messages in times of crisis. priority should be addressing its for information but also because it protects corporate reputation during a crisis.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION A crisis is generally defined as a sudden and unexpected e vent that negatively affects and even threatens a company (Coombs, 2007a, 2007b; Fearn Banks, 2007; Pearson & Mitroff, 1993). Both non profit organizations and companies are always at risk for a variety of crises in a complex and constantly changing world. Coombs (2007c) argued that companies should prepare to handle crises because no company is immune from a crisis. The increasing speed and accessibility of the media have brought many additional challenges for crisis management. Corporate reputation can be threatened by anyone, anywhere, with any personal medium such as a personal computer or a mobile device (Dawkins & Lewis, 2003). Given that crises can threaten company (Fearn Banks, 2007), they should be managed properly: thus, crisis management is a significant area to study. In addition, regarding the current economic and political climate and recent events such as the BP oil spill and the Occupy Wall Street movement, studies on crisis management are timely and necessary. In an effort to reduce the negative impact of crises, a significant change in recent years has been that many companies engage in socially responsible activities to fulfill their social obligation and increas e their competitiveness in the market. A growing number of companies have begun spending a great deal of resources to communicate with stakeholders not only about their products or services, but also about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) effor ts (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2004; Klein & Dawar, 2004). For example, Wal Mart Stores, Inc. has released a global responsibility report to show its progress with sustainability. IBM has a Web site focused on its CSR philosophy

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13 and programs used to communicate w ith consumers. One of the reasons why companies put money and effort into their CSR operations is that they believe these efforts may enhance corporate reputation and hence offset detrime ntal damage created by a crisis. Coombs and Holladay (2006) argued t hat a favorable reputation can generate a halo effect that protects a company when a crisis occurs. It seems that companies utilize CSR programs as a proactive crisis management tool. mpaign decline in reputation after a crisis happens. Rather, CSR programs that are closely related to core activities of the company can backfire and produce more criticis m. Taking BP as an example, many people were skeptical of g re en marketing campaign, Beyond p etroleum when a crisis the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 happened. If a crisis is closely relevant to ar e faced with a dilemma of the expectation that the company is socially responsible, ism and blame related to the crisis for the company. However, as Ferguson (2010) argued, if CSR efforts cannot serve as a buffer to significant resources into their CSR eff orts? Previous studies have found that CSR operations have several advantages in time s of crisis. According to Klein and Dawar (2004), influenced their attribution s of crisis responsibility for a product ha rm crisis. CSR during a crisis also benefits a

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14 company by contributing to a good reputation, which in turn insulate s it from negative financial performance and allows it to withstand crises (Schnietz & Eptstein, 2005) In addition, it is assumed that CSR e fforts contribute to generating a favorable relationship between a company and its stakeholders According to Coombs and Holladay (2001), an unfavorable relationship with a company leads consumers to perceive that the company is more responsible when a cri sis occurs. T hus, t hese two conflicting To answer the question, the following points need to be known: (1) how the c risis is related to prior CSR activities, (2) what types of crisis it is, and (3) how severe the crisis is. Specifically, as Coombs and Holladay (2001) have argued, if consumers believe that a company has acted in a socially responsible way, they might att ribute less responsibility from a minor crisis to the company than when a minor crisis occurs that is crisis that is closely related to its previous CSR programs, this negati ve information will CSR crisis relevance in a severe crisis setting may generate more skepticism than in a other words, prior CSR actions that are not related to the crisis may be less harmful to the company than positive expectations for a company regarding a certain area are not violated. Although several studies have focused more on the severity of crisis (Coombs & Holladay, 1996) and the relationship between a crisis and corporate reputation

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15 (Schnietz & Epstein, 2005), l ess research has examined CSR crisis relevance Thus, o ne of the purposes of this research is to examine the impact of three variables: types of the crisis, se verity of the crisis, and CSR crisis relevance This research also seeks to find a possible interaction effect among these three variables. In what cris is situations can prior CSR activities mitigate reputational decline for a company? In what crisis situations will prior CSR actions generate more criticism? In the first phase of this study, an experiment was designed to answer those questions by focusing attribution of crisis responsibility. the company needs to handle and communicate about the crisis with consumers. ld BP have defended itself by reminding consumers about its past good works that have contributed to a sustainable environment? Or, would it have been better to not mention its previous CSR activities, which are closely relevant to the crisis, thus remind ing consumers of prior CSR activities and producing more skepticism? To answer these questions, the second phase of the study examine d effective crisis response strategies by adapting the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) outlined by Coombs (2 007a)

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16 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, literature related to corporate social responsibility, situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), attribution of crisis responsibility, and crisis response strategies is reviewed. The relationship s among dependent variables, such as blame attribution, trust, attitudes corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions also are examined. Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Reputation, and Crises More and more companies are engaged in socially responsibl e activities in According to Lin et al. (2011), c orporate social responsibility (CSR) is a moral obligations to make a positive influence in society. CSR activities are considered an inevitable business strat and its long term relationships with its stakeholders. Specifically, it has bee n found that CSR activities could not only generate profits but also cre ate a positive corporate image, a favorable relationship with stakeholders and a good corporate reputation (Du et al., 2010; Klein & Dawar, 2004 Turban & Greening, 1997 ). C orporate reputation has been one of the major concepts in academic research since the 1950s (Berens & van Riel, 2004). Fombrun (1996) defined co rporate to other eputation perception that stakeholders have of the company and the way in which t his is

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17 In s hort corporate reputation is generally considered to be the and future activities. Corporate reputation plays an important role in crisis man agement, which means about a crisis. Coombs and Holladay (2006) argued that a favorable reputation can generate a halo effect that inst reputation responsibility for the crisis based on their prior view of the company. In addition Dawar and Pillutla (2000) argue that maintaining brand equity after a product harm crisis is quite difficult if consumers have negative prior expectations about the company. Specifically, consumers with favorable expectations about a company were more likely to discount negative information about the company than consumer s without favorable pre existing opinions of the company. Jones et al. (2000) analyzed data from the stock market crashes in 1987 and 1989 and demonstrate d that a good reputation also serves as a buffer against economic loss in times of corporate crisis in 1989 when the market took a less severe downturn while the effect of reputation is not significant in 1987, when there was a sudden economic decline. Laczniak et al. (2001) conducted an experiment and also found that consumers perceived a product harm crisis differently depending on the reputation of the company. Consumers tended to attribute less responsibility to the company for a product harm crisis if the company has a favorable reputation. Similarly, Siomkos (1999) conducted an experiment and obse rved that companies were less likely to be held responsible for a product harm crisis if they were

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18 high in reputation and well known. In these studies, corporate reputation was viewed as one of the variable s that affect ponsibility. perceptions of corporate reputation but also on their perceptions of the crisis itself. According to Klein and Dawar (2004), CSR activities do not only influence co judgment about product harm crises. In addition, Vanhamme and Grobben (2009) found produ cts during a crisis. A long CSR history might reduce the negative impact of a crisis positive evaluation. However, a short term CSR involvement might trigger skepticism about the focusing on long term CSR efforts can benefit a company when the company has a crisis In short previous studies have found that CSR activities influence how people perceive a compan ive perceptions of corporate reputation in turn generate less attribution of crisis responsibility when a crisis occurs. However, attributions o f crisis responsibility influence their perceptions of corporate reputation in

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19 and their perceptions of corporate reputation are investigated. Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) and Blame Attributions Attributions of Blame Attribution theory has been used widely in many academic disciplines such as psychology, pedagogy, marketing, and communication. Attribution theory focuses on or state, or outcome has come about and the consequences of stability, causal locus, and causal controllability. Causal stability means whether the cause is stable or sub ject to change. Causal locus refers to the place where the cause controllable or uncontrollable. Weiner argued that people are likely to attribute the cause (stability, locus, and controllability), progress to feeling, and then take an action if their feelings have a positive or negative outcome. Bettman (1979) also argued that context of failure determines what they do. According to Jorgensen (1994), the controllability and locus of cri sis have a significant effect on consu higher levels of blame attributed after a controllable and internal cris i s. Based on attribution theory, Coombs (2007b) conceptualized situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) which has been widely examined and tested for strategies.

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20 unpredictable event that threatens important expec tancies of stakeholders and can (Coombs, 2007a, p.2 3). Attribution of crisis responsibility or blame attributions, refers to the degree that people assign responsibility for a crisis to an organization (Coombs, 2007b; Coombs & Holladay, 1996; Weiner, 2000). In other words, because a crisis is something based on in crisis situations is important Some past studies had f ound that consumers from different segments tend ed to attribute different levels of blame for a given crisis. According to Laufer and Gillespie (2004), women are more likely to blame a company than men for a product harm crisis because women are more conce rned with the possibility that a similar crisis could occur. Laufer et al. (2005) also attempted to explore differences between older and younger consumers in attributions of blame by reviewing previous literature They suggested that older consumers might be less likely to blame a company than younger consumers because elderly consume rs were (1) less prone to bias due to their accumulated experi ence with the world and (2) less likely to infer that the company had control over the crisis Several variable been identified in previous research. Coombs (200 4 ) suggested that relationship history the stakeholders (p.271) i nfluence s how its stakeholders attribute responsibility for a crisis. If stakeholders perceive negative relationships with an organization, they are more likely to criticize the organization when a crisis happens. In addition to relationship

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21 history, the t ype of crisis an d severity of crisis, which will be discussed in the next paragraphs, are important responsibility (Coombs, 2007b). Type of Crisis When a crisis happens, identifying the crisis situati on is the first job that crisis managers should undertake. What types of crisis is this? How severe is it? These are questions that the organization should think of in the first phase of crisis management because the crisis type and severity influence stak responsibility (Coombs, 2006). Based on the amount of crisis responsibility, SCCT has outlined three types of crises victim, accidental, and preventable crisis as described in Table 2 1 Natural disasters, rumors, workplac e violence, product tampering, and malevolence are considered victim crises, meaning that an organization is not to blame for crisis. The second cluster is accidental crises and refers to crises that are unintentionally caused by an organization. Challenge s, technical error accidents, and product harm generally fall under the accidental cluster. The last cluster is p reventable crises. In this type of crisis, an organization intentionally does something wrong or unethical such as human error accidents and or ganizational misdeeds. Coombs (2006; 2007a) argued that a preventable crisis generates very strong attributions of organizational crisis responsibility while the victim or accidental cluster produces very little or low crisis responsibility for the organiz ation. This study also considers the types of crisis to be a significant independent variable which affects CSR crisis relevance. Among the three crisis clusters, nat ural disaster in the victim cluster and organizational misconduct in the preventable cluster were chosen and used

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22 for the experiment. In natural disasters, acts of nature damage a company such as earthquake, floods, and tornados In the organizational misc onduct crisis, the organization intentionally violates laws or regulations. It is expected that these two Severity of Crisis Crisis severity, or the amount of damage caused by a crisis, is ano ther factor that severity of a crisis represents the amount of financial, physical, environmental, or emotional damage a crisis involves. When the consequence of a crisi s is direct and serious, the crisis is generally viewed as more severe than when the consequence is indirect or insignificant. A crisis that is severe leads to more attribution of responsibility to the organization. Thus, managers should identify the damag e caused by a crisis in addition to the types of crisis. CSR Crisis Relevance and Consumer Skepticism There has been some previous research investigating the link between crisis and CSR. However, researchers did not examine how the relevance between a corp orate crisis. To fill this gap, this study explore s a new independent variable, CSR crisis n addition to the types of cr isis and the severity of crisis that have been proposed by Coombs (2006). CSR crisis relevance is defined as the perceived connections or relevance between CSR campaigns and a crisis in terms of their core concepts. In other words, how a company relevant to its previous CSR campaigns is considered CSR crisis

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23 relevance For example, if a coffee company that has sponsored children in developing countries violates the child labor laws, consumers would perceive that as high CSR crisis rel evance activities. CSR crisis relevance is different from CSR fit in that CSR fit refers to the some studies (Bloom e t al., 2006; Kim, 2011) found that low fit CSR might be effective because consumers infer more sincere motives, most studies found that high fit CSR is more effective. Sen and Bhattacharya (2001) argued that CSR activities that are the company. Similarly, Becker Olsen et al. (2006) found that low fit CSR initiates a negative influence on consumer beliefs attitudes and purchase intentions b ecause a discrepancy between consu objectives motives for engaging in CSR. As such, CSR fit is a matter that a company should take into account when choosing an effective CSR program. CSR crisis relevance however, is a matter that a company should think of for crisis response strategy when a crisis happens. Would previous CSR programs which are re levant to a crisis benefit the company or backfire and have more negative effects CSR crisis relevance generate more consumer criticism or less criticism? Given that most companies are now engaged in CSR activities, this is an important question for companies.

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24 Based on attribution theory and SCCT, it is expected that CSR efforts will contribute to maintaining favorable relationships with consumers; thus, consumers are less likely to criticize a company which has done CS R when a crisis happens because consumers perceive favorable relationships with the company. Consumers might In this situation, previous CSR efforts will act as a buff er against reputation withdraws as Coombs and Holladay (2006) suggested. However, if the crisis is severe and closely perceptions. The public would have a dilemma between the expe ctation that the company is socially responsible and the evidence that the company did something CSR efforts and criticize the company for the crisis. In several studies, co nsumer skepticism has been considered one of the key challenges of CSR communication for companies. H. Kim (2011) argued that the degree of suspicion toward CSR motives plays a critical role in consumer evaluations of a to Yoon et al. (2006), CSR activities benefit some companies by changing their image in a favorable fashion while CSR sometimes backfires on companies. They argued that the perceived sincerity of CSR activities yields the difference in consumer response. I f consumers are skeptical about a profits, consumers are l ess likely to indicate having favorable attitudes or behavior intentions toward the company. Then, how does CSR crisis relevance affect consumer

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25 sincerity of the CSR activities? It would be interesting to compare how relevant and irrelevant CSR differently influence consumer skepticism when a crisis happens. However, less research has examined CSR crisis relevance For example, BP and positioning the company as an eco friendly gas station. However, BP expe rienced a relevant to the d evaluate the company? Do they forgive the company? Or, do they criticize the company more? To answer these questions, this study attempts to investigate the impact of CSR crisis relevance on consumer previous CSR activities an d on consumer attribution of crisis responsibility. Crisis Response Strategies (Coombs, 2007c, p. 6). Inappropriate crisis response will bring negative consequences while a quick and proper response manages a crisis effectively and minimizes damage. Improper crisis response could have serious ramifications for the success of the crisis management (Coombs, 2007a). As an example, Australian airline Qantas Airways Limited response not only generated criticism but also hurt its own reputation. Qantas Airways Limited experienced engine problems and was forced to return to Singapore soon after taking off from Changi airport o n November 4, 201 0 photos of aircraft debris and disseminated inaccurate information through social media such as Twitter and Facebook in real time that the plan e exploded (May, 2010).

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26 However, Qantas Airways Limited did not quickly respond to these doubts and only Then, how should a crisis be communicated and managed? SCCT provides a framework for u nderstanding and choosing an appropriate crisis response strategy (Coombs, 2007b). According to Coombs (2007a; 2007c), crisis management professionals should think of the initial crisis response and reputation repair as described in Table 2 2 The initial after the crisis occurs. First, the company should let people know what happened, how the crisis might affect them, and what they should do to protect themselves from the crisis can result in serious harm to consumers, such as injuries or deaths, the company should instruct consumers quickly and consistently on how they can protect themselves from harm. The next ste reassure and let people know what the company is doing to prevent a repeat of the Coombs (2007a) and Kim and Liu ( 2012 ), instructing and adjusting information are base responses required for all crises and are combined with reputation repair strategies. In addition to the base responses such as instructing and adjusting information, the company should protect it self from reputational decline. To repair or avoid any reputational damage, the company can adopt appropriate crisis responses in a crisis situation. Coombs (2006, 2007c) outlined 10 reputation repair strategies attacking the accuser, denial, scapegoatin g, excusing, justification, compensation, apology,

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27 reminding, ingratiation, and victimage These reputation repair strategies have been grouped into four clusters by postures as shown in Table 2 2 : Denial (att acking the accuser, denial, and scapegoating), diminishment (excusing and justification), rebuilding (compensation and apology), and bolstering (reminding, ingratiation, and victimage). Denial strategies refer to the posture taken by an organization that d enies or shifts the blame of a crisis. Diminishment by a crisis. Rebuilding posture means that an organization tries to offset the negative effects of crisis through com pensation or apology. Bolstering or reinforcing strategies attempt to build a favorable relationship between the organization and the stakeholders by reminding stakeholders of past good works or praising stakeholders. Among reputation management strategies this study will focus on the reminding stra tegy, classified as bolstering because the strategy is closely related to the variable, CSR. In fact, Coombs (2007a) mentioned that bolstering strategies are supplemental to the other three reputation repair st rategies because they give an impression that the organization is self interested if the bolstering is used solely. However, Kim and and Liu ( 2012 ) implied the possibility of bolstering strategies in isolation by arguing that bolstering strategies may be u sed alone if the public attributes little responsibility to the organization. Also, Brown and White (2011) argued that the bolstering strategy does not have to be supplemental because in their study its sole use led to the lowest attribution of crisis resp onsibility for the organization. Thus, it is necessary to examine the separate f

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28 the crisis responsibility to the company. It is possible that reminding the public about the decline in reputation. However, it can be totally different in a severe crisis situation that is relevant with past activities of the company. Previous research about crisis response strategies has examined the effectiveness of reputation repair strategies but did not investigate how post crisis response strategies could interact wi th CSR crisis relevance. To fill this gap, this study will empirically investigate the relationship between the CSR crisis relevance and the reminding strategy in a crisis situation. strategy that the company may consider in times of crisis. Bradford and Garrett (1995) proposed the corporate communicative response model and explained the effec tiveness of responses to allegations of unethical organizational behavior. Possible crisis responses outlined by Bradford and Garrett (1995) are no response, denial, excuse, justification and concession. Interesti ngly, no response or no comment meaning th at an organization does not offer any response to accusations of unethical behavior, was conceptualized as an option that the organization may choose. They found that no response, of the five possible crisis responses, would negatively influence a corporat e image, while concession accepting responsibility effectively when the organization was accused of unethical behavior. However, Ferguson et al. (2008) argued that silence no comment or ignoring accusations is a st rategy that can be used in a crisis situation. Actually, a study on

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29 comment strategy is viewed as less negative than the minimization strategy, which refers to a claim that the damage of a crisis is not as bad as has been reported (Lee, 2004). Given the inconsistent research results, the no response strategy as a crisis response option needs to be investigated further. Thus, a control group, which will receive no communicative re sponse from a company about a crisis, will be included to attitudes Trust, Attitudes and Supportive Behavioral Intentions Trust Trust has been widely discussed in previous research. It is perceived as a single variable sometimes ( Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002 ) but other times it is seen as a component of the relationship (Hon & J. Grunig, 1999) or reputation (Newburry, 2010). Specifically, Hon and J. Grunig (1999) ide ntified trust as one of the essential dimensions of organization public relationships and conceptualized it Morgan and Hunt (1994) defined trust as one pa reliability and integrity. In much of the relevant research, trust has been viewed as a results from the par t ty, or intentionality (Moorman et al. 1993, p. 82). s overall perception and trustworthiness. In previous res earch, t rust has been shown to have a direct effect on behavioral intent. Mattila (2009) found that trust was positively linked to behavioral intention in times of crisis. Vlachos et al. (2011 ) also found that consumer trust mediates the effect

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30 of consumer supportive behavioral intentions such as repeated patronage or recommendation. This study examines other dependent va riables such as attitudes perceptions of positive corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions during a crisis situation. Attitudes Attitudes are one of the most widely studied construct s in social science. Numerous definitions of attitudes have been proposed. Eagly and Chaiken (1993) defined attitudes as a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with so (p. 1) According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), attitude is redisposition to respond in a consistently favorable Based on several definitions of attitudes ( Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Lutz, 1985; MacKenzie & Lutz, 1989) attitudes toward the company is defin ed as a predisposition to respond in a favorable [positive] or unfavorable [negative] manner toward a company. They are viewed as affective responses, not as cognitive responses. lity affect their attitudes toward the company. Specifically, experiment participants indicated poorer attitudes toward the company when the crisis was something internal and controllable than when the attribution was external and uncontrollable. This stud y also attitudes toward the company during a crisis. Also, p rior research has found that credibility is one of the determinants of attitudes For example, MacKenzie and Lutz (1989) found that adve rtising credibility

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31 51) influenced attitudes toward advertising and brand. This study also assumes that which refers to the degree to which a crisis message is perceived as trustworthy and believable, will affect attitudes toward the company in times of crisis. Supportive Behavioral Intentions Behavioral intentions toward a company have been widel y studied in previous research. Supportive behavioral intentions behavior intentions toward a company, which might take the form of intended action, such as purchasing a product, positive word of mouth, and investing. corporate crisis influence their supportive behavioral intentions toward a company For example, by conducting a field study, dela ys had a negative effect on their intentions to fly the same airline. Similarly, an experiment conducted by Jorgensen (1994) showed that the re was a negative effect of blame attribution s on purchase intention grea ter blame attributions to the company for dissatisfaction result in negative word of mouth. As previous studies have found, this research also assumes influence their supportive behavioral inte ntions during a crisis. In addition to the effect of blame attributions on supportive behavioral intentions it has been found that attitudes also lead to behavior intentions. According to the theory attitude toward the behavior is one of the determinants of behavioral intention (Ajzen, 1991). People decide to take actions

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32 depending on the degree to which they have favorable or unfavorable evaluation of the behavior. Ki and Hon (2007) also showed that favora ble attitudes were positively linked to supportive behavioral intentions with regard to the organization. This study also views attitudes as an antecedent to supportive behavioral intentions Hypotheses and Research Questions This study tests a series of hypotheses and research questions to explore the main effects and interaction effects of the type of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis (study 1) Also, the influences of post crisis response st attitudes perceptions of corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions are examined (study 2) Based on the literature review, this study proposes a conceptual model to display the relationships among variables i n diagram form as shown in Figure 2 1 and Figure 2 2 First, hypothesis 1 was formulated concerning the main effects and interaction effects among the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance on risis. In a victim crisis, the company is not the one that caused the crisis. In other words, someone outside of the company caused the crisis, and thus the company could not prevent the crisis. In this situation, relevant CSR may create the halo effect. F marketing campaign would benefit BP by generating less or no attribution of crisis responsibility (H1a). However, if the damage of the crisis is serious, the public attributes some responsibility to the company even though the company has been engaged in CSR initiatives. Actually, relevant CSR might generate more criticism because the

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3 3 public may suspect the sincerity of CSR motives (H1b). What if a preventable crisis occurs? Regardless of the severity of crisis damage, consumers attribute more responsibility to the when the crisis is not related (H1c). Although implementing CSR programs may not benefit a company during a severe or preventable crisis situation, it might have some value during a minor and victim crisi s situation as previous research has found (Klein & Dawar, 2004; Vanhamme & Grobben, 2009) T hus, H 1 d wa s formulated. Research Question 1 also was created to examine the effects of three independent variables in attitudes toward the company trust in the company perceptions of corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentio ns toward the company after a crisis happens. H1a: When a victim and minor crisis occurs, consumers are less likely to blame the campaign than if the crisis is not relevant to t H1b: When a victim and severe crisis occurs, consumers are more likely to blame campaign than if the crisis is not relevant to the compa H1c: When a preventable crisis occurs, consumers are more likely to blame the CSR campaign regardless of the severity of crisis damage H1d: In a victim crisis setting, consumers who receive information about the efforts are less likely to blame the company for the crisis than those who do not receive any CSR informa tion, if the damage of the crisis is minor. RQ1a: What are the main effects and interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR during a crisis? RQ1b: What are the main effects a nd interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR company during a crisis?

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34 RQ1c: What are the main effects and interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR RQ1d: What are the main effects and interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR i ntentions toward the company during a crisis? Hypothesis 2 and Research Question 2 were created to examine the effects of crisis response strategies after a crisis. As stated above, this study only focuse d on the reminding strategy out of the 10 reputatio n repair strategies outlined by Coombs (2007a) because the reminding strategy is relevant to the CSR situation. However, given that reputation repair strategies are considered effective when they are combined with base responses, such as instructing and ad justing information (Coombs, 2007a; Kim & Liu, 2012 ), base response messages also were included in this study. It is supposed that a company would rather not tell consumers about its past good work if the company is highly responsible for a crisis. This i s because the i ncongruity engaged in CSR and the fact that the company did something critically wrong generates more consumer skeptici sm and distrust of that company and thus could eventu ally backfire on the company. T hus, under a severe and preventable crisis condition, the base response strategy would be However, in a situation where the company is less r esponsible for a crisis, such as victim crisis or minor crisis, reminding and time constraints, only one crisis situation a severe preventable crisis was examined in t his study.

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35 H2a: When a severe and preventable crisis occurs, consumers perceive the base response as more credible or H2b: When a severe and preventable crisis occurs, consumers perceive base as more credible than strategy or strategy campaign. H2c: When a severe and preventable crisis occurs, consumers perceive the crisis relevance. RQ2a: What are the main effects and interactio n effects of CSR crisis relevance and post RQ2b: What are the main effects and interaction effects of CSR crisis relevance and post att itudes toward the company during a crisis? RQ2c: What are the main effects and interaction effects of CSR crisis relevance and post reputation during a crisis? RQ2d: What are the main effects and interaction effects of CSR crisis relevance and post toward the company during a crisis?

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36 Table 2 1. Types of crisis Crisis clusters Crisis types Victim cluster : A co mpany is viewed as a victim of the crisis. Natural disaster : Acts of nature damage a company such as earthquake, floods, and tornados Rumor : False and damaging information about a company is being circulated Workplace violence : Current or former em ployee commits violence against other employees on organizational grounds Malevolence : Some outside actor causes damage to a company, such as product tampering, terrorism, or computer hacking Accidental cluster : leading to the crisis were unintentional. Challenges : A company is confronted by discontented stakeholders with claims that it is operating in an inappropriate manner Technical error accidents : The technology utilized or supplied by a company fails and causes an industri al accident Technical error product harm : The technology utilized or supplied by a company fails and results in a defect or potentially harmful product Preventable cluster : A company intentionally did something wrong or unethical Human error accident s : Human error causes an industrial accident Human error product harm : Human error results in a defect or potentially harmful product Organizational misdeeds : Management takes actions it knows may place stakeholders at risk or knowingly violates the law N ote: adapted from Coombs, Timothy. 2006. The protective powers of crisis response strategies: Managing reputational assets d uring a crisis (Page 244, Table 1 ). Journal of Promotion Management, 12(3/4); Coombs, Timothy. 2007. Ongoing Crisis C ommunication: P la nning, Managing, and R esponding (Page 65) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Coombs, Timothy. 2007. Protecting company reputations during a crisis: The development and application of situational crisis communication theory (Page 168, Table 1 ) Corporate Reputatio n Review, 10 (3)

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37 Table 2 2. Crisis response strategies outlined by SCCT Crisis response Specific strategies Base response strategies : reaction to a crisis right after the crisis occurs Instructing information : Let people know w hat happened, how the crisis might affect them, and what they should do to protect themselves from the crisis Adjusting information : o o Corrective action to prevent a repeat of crisis Reputation Repair st rategies : communication efforts to protect itself from reputational decline Denial posture : Denies or shifts the blame of a crisis o Attacking the accuser o Denial o Scapegoating Diminishment posture : nsibility or the damages caused by a crisis o Excusing o Justification Rebuilding posture : Offset the negative effects of crisis through compensation or apology o Compensation o Apology Bolstering posture : Reinforce a positive connection between the company and its stakeholders o Reminding o Ingratiation o Victimage Note: adapted from Coombs, Timothy. 2007. Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding (Page 140, Table 8.1 ). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Coombs, Timothy. 2007. Protecting company repu tations during a crisis: The development and application of situational crisis communication theory (Page 170, Table 2 ). Corporate Reputation Review, 10(3).

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38 Figure 2 1. Conceptual model for study 1 Figure 2 2. Conceptual model for study 2

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39 CHAPTER 3 METHOD This section will describe the experimental design, selection of participants data collection procedures, selection of scenario, and manipulation checks. To test hypotheses and answer research questions experiments using a fictitious company bra nd were conducted. The protocol and the initial questionnaire were reviewed by University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) and approved in July, 2011 (Protocol # 2011 U 0245). Participants Study 1 Study 1 employed an experiment using a fictitiou s company brand to test hypothese s. The participants for pretest were drawn from a pool of undergraduate students enrolled in the communication college of a large southeastern university in the United States ( Table 3 1) A total of 354 students participate d in a pretest in exchange for extra credit and were randomly assigned to one of 12 experimental groups: eight treatment groups and four control groups. After the pretest a sample of 360 general consumers who purchase casual wear on a regu lar basis was r ecruited for s tudy 1 through SocialSci SocialSci is a research company which provides an online survey platform and panels based on age, sex, region, and other criteria. P articipants from various age groups, regions, and education levels were recruited T hey were given online points, which can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards in return for their participation.

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40 Study 2 To examine the effects of CSR crisis relevance and crisis response on crisis communication and their perceptions of attitudes trust, reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions study 2 was designed using an experimental method. For multiple pretests, 249 undergraduate students from communication classes attending a large southeastern univers ity in the United States were additionally recruited in exchange for extra credit ( Table 3 1) They participated in a pretest to assess the effectiveness of the manipulation of independent variables: CSR crisis relevance and the crisis response messages. T hen, as the study 1, a s ample of 30 1 participants was drawn from a pool of SocialSci They were randomly assigned to one of the 10 conditions : 7 treatment groups and 3 control groups. After participants signed a consent form, they were asked to read several articles and answer a series of questions related to each article. The entire experiment took approximately 15 20 minutes to complete. All participants also were given online points, which can be redeemed for A mazon gift cards. Experimental Design and Procedure Study 1 An online experiment to test the influence of the types of crisis, severity of crisis and CSR crisis relevance on attribution of crisis responsibility was performed. All scenarios wer e created by using a fictitious company to control attitudes toward existing brands. Through multiple pretests, the effectiveness of the manipulation of independent variables was assessed.

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41 As described in Table 3 2 t he e with 30 participants per cell. Participants in eight treatment conditions were assigned to one of the eight conditions in a 2 ( types of crisis : victim or pre ventable crisis) 2 ( severity of the crisis : minor or severe damage) 2 ( CSR crisis relevance : relevant or irrelevant ) factorial design experiment Specifically, four crisis scenarios were developed as follows: (1) minor victim crisis, (2) severe victim crisis, (3) minor preventable crisis, and (4) severe preventable which might have caused contamination of nearby water sources. In terms of CSR, two scenarios were cr eated based on CSR crisis relevance: (1) relevant CSR environment protection programs and (2) unrelated CSR children sponsorship programs. All participants in the 12 experimental groups were first asked to read information on a fictitious company. The company used in this experiment was described as a U.S. clothing brand specializing in high end casual wear for men and women as well as information about its owner and a brief his tory, the headquarters location, the number of stores in the United States and its e commerce Web site in addition to its brand logo. Participants were asked to answer several questions about the company to ensure that they read the company description ca refully. Then, participants in treatment groups were exposed to either a relevant or an irrelevant CSR campaign message. Control groups did not receive any information on

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42 at titudes toward the company trust in the company positive reputation and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company before they were exposed to one of four news stories about the company. Study 2 The purpose of stud y 2 was to inves tigate the impact of crisis response strategies and CSR evaluation s of crisis communication and their perceptions of trust, attitudes corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions The same ficti tious company and its CSR campaigns which w ere developed for study 1 w ere used for this study. As with study 1, participants in study 2 were first asked to read an article about the fictitious company and answer some questions to see if they read the compa ny description carefully. After reading the com pany description, participants received either a relevant CSR campaign message (environmental protection program) or an irrelevant CSR campaign message (children sponsorship program) distributed by the company However, r egarding crisis news stories, a severe, preventable crisis was chosen and u sed for all experimental conditions of study 2. This allowed for the control of variables, such as types of crisis and severity of crisis, which could influence consume The crisis involved careless waste storage by the company. Some of the waste material from storage at the a nearby stream, contaminating water sources in that area The contami nation caused death of livestock and threatened the safety of drinking water for citizens in the area. In study 2, post crisis response messages were additionally included. Based on a 2 (CSR crisis relevance: relevant or irrelevant) 3 ( p ost crisis respon se: base only,

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43 reminding only, or both base and reminding) between subjects factorial design experiment, participants in treatment groups were asked to read one of the six crisis response message s One additional treatment group was included as shown in Ta ble 3 3 P articipants in campaign but a base response message about the crisis. Three control groups that did not receive any crisis response message were designed to compare the effect of the Stimuli and Independent Variables Study 1 To manipulate CSR crisis relevance, relevant and irrelevant CSR campaign messages were created. For relevant CSR crisis conditions, it was described that the company had launched environmental r esponsibility program s reduced industrial waste, and sponsored environmental research project s Given that the crisis was leaks from relevant to its crisis. For irrelevant CSR condition program to improve the lives of children in developing countries was provided. However, the main goal a nd focus of this CSR campaign are not closely relevant to the crisis of the possible contamination. The le ngth of the two message stimuli was almost the same. Participants were asked to indicate their attitudes toward the company and perceptions messages to assure that two CSR camp aigns do not have different impacts on their attitudes trust, and supportive behavioral intentions Independent t tests showed that there was no significant difference in their previous attitudes ( t (228) = 1.958, p = .051 ) trust ( t (228) = .959, p = .33 8 ), reputation ( t (228) = 1.031, p = .304), and supportive

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44 behavioral intentions ( t (228) = .241, p = .810) between participants who were exposed to environmental campaign messages ( M attitude = 5.06 M trust = 4.58, M reputation = 4.59 M supportive behav ioral intentions = 4.34) and those who received child sponsorship campaign messages ( M attitude = 5.32, M trust = 4.72, M reputation = 4.73, M supportive behavioral intentions = 4.37). Then, participants were asked to read a news article about a recent cri sis affecting the company. Four different stories victim minor, victim severe, preventable minor, and preventable severe were written in news style and had headlines. The length of the four stories was almost the same. Regarding the types of crisis, tw o types were chosen: a natural disaster in a victim cluster and a situation of organizational First, a victim crisis is something caused by someone outside of the company, and thus the company could not control the crisis. Specifically, the victim crisis concerned record some of the waste material from storage to leak into nearby bodies of water However, in the preventable crisis setting, the crisis was portrayed as something caused by the company and controllable. The company violated industrial waste law and was indicted on charges of careless storage of industrial waste. In terms of severity the damage of the crisis was manipulated differently. Minor and severe crisis scenarios included the same amount of information on what happened as well as when and where the crisis happened. However, the impact of the crisis was manipulated differently in the following ways: (1) the number of people affected by the crisis and (2) the level of water contamination. First, in minor crisis conditions, it was

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45 described that there have been no victims of the crisis, but investigators are continuously inspectin g and updating whether the water in the area is polluted by the leaks from waste storage. However, in severe crisis settings, the leaks contaminated nearby water sources, caused the deaths of livestock, and threatened the safety of drinking water for citiz ens in the area. Additionally, almost 100 citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contaminated water. Study 2 The two independent variables of study 2 were CSR c risis relevance and crisis response. First, CSR crisis relevance was manipulated in the sam e way as it was manipulated in study 1. In study 2, a series of t tests also showed that there was no signi ficant difference attitudes ( t ( 237) = .16 6 p = 868 ), trust ( t ( 237) = .654 p = .514 ), corporate reputation ( t (237) = 1.500 p = 135 ) and supportive behavioral intentions ( t (237) = 1.674, p = .096) between participants who read two different CSR campaign messages. Another independent variable crisis response. Participants in treatment groups were exposed to a crisis response message. Computer on its fictitious corporate Web site were captured and provided. Three cri sis response messages were created as follows: (1) base response message (2) reminder and (3) both base and reminding message Participants in control groups (no response strategy) were asked to respond to questions regarding their perceptions of trust, attitudes reputation and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company without receiving any information about the

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46 a message that included both instructing informa tion such as what happened, why it happened, and what the consequences are and adjusting information such as how concern was expressed and what is being done to protect people from similar crises (Coombs, 2007). Participants in reminding conditions r eceived a message containing the information about the either an environmental responsibility campaign or sponsorship campaign for childre n. These messages were efforts. Participants in both the base and reminding strategy condition response message which included specific information about the crisis (both instructing and adjusting information) in addition to the c revious CSR efforts Dependent Variables and Measures Study 1 Measures of the dependent variables such as blame attribution s trust in the company attitudes toward the company, perceptions of positive corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intent ions toward the company were included in the last section of the experiment. All items were measured on a seven point scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Because multiple items were employed to measure each dependent variable i assess reliability, specifically internal consistency of multi items instruments. scales (Peterson, 1994). G enerally, alpha leve ls of .7 or above have been recommended (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). First of all, participants were asked to indicate their agreement on several statements concerning attribution of crisis responsibility. It is assumed that the more

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47 consumers attribute crisis responsibility to the company, the more they blame the company for the crisis. Blame was measured by using th ree items adapted from Griffin et al. (1992), S. Kim (2011), Klein and Dawar (2004) and McAuley et al. (1992) P articipant s were asked to = .958). A lso Participants were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed with the statements such = .961 ). attitudes toward the company after reading the crisis news stories were measured by using three statements adapted from Dean (2004) and attitude tow ard the company is impression about the company is still fav = .962). perceptions of corporate reputation were measured by using four statements adapted from Coombs and Holladay (2002) and The RepTrak System which was created by Reputation Institute (Newburry, 2010). They were the following: being of its tems were r 8 ).

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48 supportive behavioral intention s to sup port the were asked to rate, on a seven point scale, how likely it would be that after acknowledging the crisis they would (1) purchase products from the company, (2) say products to others, (4) invest in the company, and (5) work at the company All measures were reli Study 2 In study 2, tion s of crisis response whether the message was credible, w ere added. Credibility of crisis response was defined as the extent to which consumers perceive crisis response message s to be truthful and believable. (1989) items to measure the credibility of crisis response messages. Specifically, p articipants were asked to answer whether the crisis response message created by the company was credible on a seven point scale anchored at 1 (unbelievable, unconvincing, biased) and 7 (believable, convincing, unbiased). Also, two additional items were included s response was trustworthy. The five items measuring crisis response = .901 ). crisis attitudes reputation, and sup portive behavioral intentions several items used in study 1 also were included.

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49 Table 3 1. Experiment participants Participants Number of participants Pretests Pretest 1 Undergraduate students 354 Pretest 2 Undergraduate students 249 Pretest 3 Undergraduate students 162 Main tests Study 1 Online consumer panel 360 Study 2 Online consumer panel 301 Table 3 2. Experimental design for study 1 ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR Victim Min or Condition 1 Condition 5 Condition 9 Severe Condition 2 Condition 6 Condition 10 Preventable Minor Condition 3 Condition 7 Condition 11 Severe Condition 4 Condition 8 Condition 12 Table 3 3. Experimental design for study 2 ( CSR crisis relevanc e ) ( Crisis Response ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) Condition 1 Condition 5 Condition 9 Base only Condition 2 Condition 6 Condition 10 Reminding only Condition 3 Condition 7 N/A Base & reminding Condition 4 Condition 8 N/A Table 3 4. Reliability (internal consistency) of measures used in the main study Number of items Blame attributions 3 .958 Trust 3 .961 Attitudes 3 .962 Corporate reputation 3 .868 Supportive behavioral intentions 5 .922 Crisis respons e credibility 5 .901

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50 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS In this chapter, results of the experiment are presented. This chapter begins with a discussion of several pretest results, followed by description of participant profile s Second, the effectiveness of manipulati on of the independent variables is reviewed. Then results of tests for hypothese s and research questions are discussed Pretests Pretests were conducted to make sure the instructions of the experiment were clear. A lthough a student sample is often percei ved as an inappropriate sample because perspectives and responses are quite different from adult consumers (Burnett & Dunne, 1986; James & Sonner, 2001) students were recruited for pretests of this study because the major purpose of the pretests was not to generalize the findings but to assess the manipulation of the independent variables and the reliability of multiple items of measurement. Pretest 1 The first pretest was performed to assess the manipulation of the independent variables such as the type of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance and check the reliability of multiple items of dependent measures of study 1 A total of 354 students participated in pretest 1. The severity of crisis was effectively manipulated as int ended. Also, most participants correctly recalled the CSR campaigns, either the environmental campaign or the children sponsorship program that they were exposed to For the manipulation check of the types of crisis, four statements were included: two stat ements about victim crisis and other two statements about preventable crisis.

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51 incident because the t residents in the area. Also, t he wording of crisis scenarios was revised after pretest 1. As an example, a natural disaster, specifically flooding, was utilized for victim crisis ne ws stories. However, some participants attributed some levels of responsibility for the crisis to the company and indicated that the crisis was still preventable. Therefore, flood was revised to the highest flood ever recorded in the area to make the s tory be more in line with the notion of a victim crisis and give an impression that the disaster was too difficult to prevent. Pretest 2 In the second pretest, the manipulation of post crisis response messages, which was added for study 2, was assessed. A total of 249 students participated in pretest 2. The manipulation of crisis response messages the base response message, reminding message, and both base and reminding messages worked as intended. Also, in the second pretest, three items of the incident is related to nature of the incident is relevant to the main theme were created and added for the manipulation check of CSR crisis relevance. After pretest 2, t he wording of a question was revised. For example, one of the questions about CSR crisis relevance was originally he nature of incident is congruent However, some

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52 participants understood the question to mean that the environmental crisis was the goal hus t he question was changed to Pretest 3 The purpose of pretest 3 was to check whether there was a priming effect of asking questions concerning CSR crisis relev ance during the experiment. Priming (Tulving et al., 1982, p. 336). Priming is b ased on the assumption that a particular concept or issue can be primed and made more accessible than other concepts in an (Scheufele, 2000). In the second pretest, as stated above, several questions were added for the manipulation chec k of CSR crisis relevance. There might be a possibility that participants are primed with these questions during the experiment and hence influenced by these questions regarding their perceptions and responses of other questions. Thus, t o ensure that there was no significant priming effect of including these manipulation check questions pretest 3 was performed. First, a sample of 162 students was recruited and divided into two groups Half of the participants were asked to answer questions regarding CSR crisis relevance before responding to the measures of dependent variable s, such as blame attributions, trust, attitudes corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions The other half w as given CSR crisis relevance ques tions on the last page of the experiment before answering demographic questions. As predicted, pretest 3 confirmed that there was no

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53 significant difference in their perceptions o f CSR crisis relevance ( t (160) = .533, p = .595 ). Also, participants in two g roups were not significantly different in terms of their responses regarding their blame attributions ( t (160) = .748, p = .456) trust ( t (160) = 1.187, p = .237) attitudes ( t (160) = .516, p = .606) perceptions of corporate reputation ( t (160) = .781, p = .436) and supportive behavioral intentions ( t (160) = .874, p = .383). Thus, for the main study, questions for the manipulation check of CSR crisis relevance were included after a crisis news story was provided Profiles of Participants Demographic pro file s of the participants are provided in Table 4 1 and Table 4 2 A total of 360 people participated in study 1. Of the 360 r esponses 352 were used for data analyses after excluding eight responses which arous ed doubt s as to whether the participants rea d stimulus material and questions carefully because they spent less than three minutes to complete the experiment. P articipants we re recruited from all over the United States There were 194 male participants (55 percent) and 158 female (45 percent) partic ipants. Participant s ranged in age from 20 58 The mean age for participants across all experimental conditions was 26. A total of 301 participants were newly recruited for study 2 as described in Table 4 2 The mean age of parti cipants for study 2 was 27 with the youngest participants at 20 and the oldest at 58 There were 169 male participants (56 percent) and 132 female (44 percent) participants. For both study 1 and study 2, the influences of possible extraneous variables on dependent measures, such as blame attributions, trust, attitudes perceptions of corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions were assessed before testing hypotheses. A series of t tests and ANOVA tests was conducted to examine whether there were differences in partic

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54 such as sex, age, and education responses among different demographic groups. Manipulation Check Because this study employed an experimental design, descript ive statistics, t tests, and analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to check whether manipulation of the independent variables, the types of crisis, the severity of a crisis, and CSR crisis relevance, was effective before testing hypotheses. P articipa nts were asked to respond to questions about the name and the main focus of the CSR campaign after reading the campaign message to confirm if participants carefully read the experiment stimuli and remember ed the information about the CSR campaign. All part icipants in two CSR conditions relevant CSR (environmental responsibility) and irrelevant CSR (children sponsorship) correctly recalled the name of the CSR campaign and understand the main goal of the campaign launched by the company. To determine if the CSR crisis relevance manipulation work as intended, three items were developed based on the items that Becker Olsen et al. (2006) and H. Kim business. Specific items w the incident is releva Participants were asked to answer to what extent they agreed with the statements on a seven point scale anchored at 1 (totally irrelevant) and 7 (totally relevant). There was a significant diffe rence in their responses concerning CSR crisis relevance ( t (215) = 24.155, p < .01), with participants in a relevant group ( M = 5.58, SD = 1.25) responding

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55 higher scores than those in an irrelevant group ( M = 2.03, SD = 0.97). Moreover, a three way ANOVA i nvolved the types of crisis, severity of crisis and types of CSR campaign as the independent variables and the CSR crisis relevance as the dependent variable. Results showed that there was a significant main effect of the types of CSR on CSR crisis releva nce ( F (1, 223) = 599.691, p < .01), and thus the manipulation worked as intended. For the manipulation check of the types of crisis, participants were asked to read either a victim or preventable crisis news story followed by a series of questions. All pa rticipants recognized that the crisis, which was discussed in the news, was due to leaks from a waste storage facility. In addition, there were significant differences in agreement on several statements concerning attribution of crisis respon sibility: locus ( t (209) = 16.684, p < .01) control ( t (167) = 13.523, p < .01) and stability of the crisis ( t (229) = 5.574, p < .01). Participants in preventable crisis i ( M = 5.44, SD = 1.09), e company could have controlled ( M = 6.13, SD = 0.86), likely to occur again in the future with the company M = 4.53, SD = 1.20) than partic ipants in victim crisis conditions. Also, participants were asked to indicate their agreement on two statements relevant to the victim crisis and another two statements relevant to the preventable crisis. T tests showed their perceptions of the four statem ents were significantly different between participants in victim crisis groups and those in preventable groups. Participants who were exposed to a victim crisis news

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56 ( t (295 ) = 9.102, p < .01) and (2) that the company was affected by a natural disaster ( t (293) = 29.038, p < .01). However, participants who were exposed to a preventable crisis news story indicated higher scores on two other statements such as (1) the crisis occ t (297) = 14.237, p < .01) and (2) the crisis could have prevented ( t (291) = 11.130, p < .01). A three way ANOVA confirmed that there was a significant main effect of the types of crisis on a victim crisis ( F (1, 340 ) = 512.260, p < .01) and a preventable crisis ( F (1, 340) = 194.553, p < .01). Regarding the severity of crisis, all participants recalled the number of people who were affected by the crisis, confirming that they read the news stories carefully. To asse ss the effectiveness of the severity manipulation, participants were asked to were harmed by the was context. The result showed that there was a significant difference in terms of their pe rceptions of the severity ( t (329) = 26.719, p < .01) between participants in the minor crisis group ( M = 2.20, SD = 1.29) and those in severe crisis group ( M = 5.50, SD = 1.01). In addition, three way ANOVA also confirmed that the severity manipulation wa s effective ( F (1, 340) = 729.025, p < .01). In study 2, the manipulation of crisis response strategies was additionally reviewed. T message partici pants were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed with the following

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57 information on what happened and how the crisis affected reside information); expresses its concern for vict ims and provides information ; and Then, t test s were conducted. First, p articipants who were exposed to base response message, indicated a higher score for the instructing information ( M = 4.43, SD = 1.62) than ( M = 1.80, SD = 1.16) The mean difference was statistically significant ( t (154) = 13.258, p < .01). Similarly, there was a significant difference in their responses regarding adjusting information ( t (98) = 11.680, p < .01), between participants who received a base response messag e ( M = 5.03, SD = 1.40) and those who did not receive a base response message ( M = 2.25, SD = 1.63). Participants M = 4.82, SD = 1.64), were m ore likely to agree with the statement concerning reminding strategy than those in no reminding conditions ( M = 2. 97 SD = 1. 5 3 t (209) = 8.367, p < .01 ). Thus, the manipulation proved useful in post crisis response strategies. Tests for Hypotheses and Re search Questions in Study 1 Blame Attributions Hypothesis 1 predicted that there were significant levels of blame for a crisis based on the types of crisis, severity of crisis and CSR crisis relevance. To examine main effects and interaction effects of types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance, three way ANOVA was conducted using the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance as independent variables and blame

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58 as the dependent variable (Fi gure 4 1) The means and standard deviations of blame for each condition are provided in Table 4 3. There was a significant main effect of the types of crisis ( F (1, 340 ) = 282.082 p < .05, p 2 = .4 53 ), indicating that the mean change score was significan tly higher in preventable crisis conditions ( M = 5.7 6 SD = 1.0 3 ) than in victim crisis conditions ( M = 3.20 SD = 1.59 ). T he main effect of the s everity of crisis on blame was also significant ( F (1, 340 ) = 5.274 p < .0 5 p 2 = 01 5 ) Participants were l ess likely to blame the company when the crisis was minor ( M = 4.37, SD = 1.80) than when the crisis was severe ( M = 4.72, SD = 1.79). The main effect of CSR crisis relevance on blame was not significant ( F ( 2 340) = .855 p = .426 ). T hree way ANOVA resul ts also showed that there was a significant interaction of the types of crisis and CSR crisis relevance ( F ( 2 340 ) = 3. 3 09 p < .05, p 2 = .01 9 ) as shown in Figure 4 2 However, t he results using SPSS syntax for the two way interaction showed that the interaction of the types of crisis and CSR minor ( F (2, 343) = 2.12, p = .12) and severe ( F (2, 343) = 2.50, p = .08) crisis situation Thus, H1a H1b, and H1c were not supported. H 1d predicted that CSR campaigns could benefit a company in a victim, minor crisis situation by lessening the blame for the crisis on t he company regardless of C SR crisis relevance In other words, H1 d was based on the assumption that implementing CSR programs might be preferable to not making any CSR efforts at all if a crisis is something minor and not preventable However, participants level of blame for a crisis was not significantly higher ( F (2, 341) = 1.43, p = .24) for participants in control groups

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59 ( M = 3. 27 SD = 1. 44 ) than for participants in relevant CSR group ( M = 2.83 SD = 1.2 8 ) or irrelevant CSR group ( M = 3. 39 SD = 1. 81 ) Thus, H1 d was not supported. Trust RQ1a was designed to examine the main and interaction effects of three independent variables types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance on (Figure 4 3) The mean s and standard deviations of 4 4 A three way ANOVA showed a main effect of the type s of F (1, 340 ) = 78.506 p < .01, p 2 = 188 Trust in the compa ny was significantly lower for participants in preventable crisis conditions ( M = 3.1 4 SD = 1.2 0 ) than for participants in victim crisis conditions ( M = 4. 21 SD = 1.1 2 ). The main effect of the severity of crisis yielded an F ratio of F (1, 340 ) = 13. 259 p < .01, p 2 = .0 38 indicating that trust in the company was significantly greater for minor crisis conditions ( M = 3.89 SD = 1.2 1 ) than for severe crisis conditions ( M = 3.4 4 SD = 1.3 1 ). Also, there was a significant effect for CSR crisis relevance, F ( 2 340 ) = 4.403 p < .01, p 2 = .02 5 Post hoc analyses using Scheff indicated that t rust in the company was significantly lower for participants in relevant CSR crisis conditions ( M = 3.55, SD = 1.42 p = .05 ) and for participants in control groups ( M = 3.53, SD = 1.12 p = .03 ) than for participants in irrelevant CSR crisis conditions ( M = 3.92, SD = 1.26), but trust in the company did not differ signif icantly between participants in relevant CSR crisis conditions and participants in control groups ( p = .99) In other words, consumers were less likely to distrust the company However, no significant

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60 interaction effect between the t ypes of crisis, severity of crisis, and C SR crisis relevance was found. Attitudes toward the Company To explore the main and interaction effects of the types of crisis severity of crisis, and CSR crisis relevance on post crisis attitudes among participan ts ( RQ1b ), a three way ANOVA was performed (Figure 4 4) The means and standard deviations of attitudes toward the company are provided in Table 4 5 There was a significant main effect of the types of attitudes toward the company, F (1, 340 ) = 83.541 p < .01, p 2 = 197 indicating positive attitudes toward the company w ere significantly lower for participants in preventable crisis conditions ( M = 3.0 2 SD = 1.2 1 ) than for participants in victim crisis conditions ( M = 4. 18 SD = 1. 2 2 ). The results also showed a main effect of the severity of crisis ( F (1, 340 ) = 14.544 p < .01, p 2 = .0 41 ), meaning that participants who were exposed to a minor crisis news story ( M = 3.84 SD = 1.3 1 ) indicated more favorable attitudes toward the com pany than those who were exposed to a severe crisis news story ( M = 3.3 5 SD = 1.37 ). The main effect of CSR crisis relevance yielded an F ratio of F ( 2 340 ) = 5. 133 p < .01, p 2 = .02 9 Post hoc analyses using Scheff indicated that attitudes toward th e company were significantly lower for participants in relevant CSR crisis conditions ( M = 3.50, SD = 1.46, p = .05) and control groups ( M = 3.42, SD = 1.22, p = .01) than for participants in irrelevant CSR crisis conditions ( M = 3.88, SD = 1.32). There wa s no significant difference in attitudes toward the company between participants in relevant CSR crisis conditions and participants in control groups ( p = 87 ). There was no significant interaction effect among the types of crisis, severity of cr isis, and CSR crisis relevance.

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61 Positive Corporate Reputation A three way ANOVA involving the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and types of perceptions of corporate reputation as the dependent variable resulted in similar findings: significant main effects of independent variables but no significant interaction effect among the independent variables (Figure 4 5) Table 4 6 shows the means and standard deviations of perceptions of corporate reputation. First of all, a significant main effect of the types of perceptions of corporate reputation was found ( F (1, 340 ) = 7 2 133 p < .01, p 2 = 175 ). Participants who were exposed to a preventable crisis news story ( M = 2.9 6 SD = 1.1 6 ) indicated a less positive perception of the news story ( M = 3.9 6 SD = 1. 11 ). Also, there was a significant main effect of the severity of crisis on positive corporate reputation ( F (1, 340 ) = 12.388 p < .01, p 2 = 03 5 ), indicating that the mean score was significantly greater for a minor crisis ( M = 3. 6 6 SD = 1. 21 ) than a severe crisis ( M = 3. 2 4 SD = 1. 2 4 ). A three way ANOVA showed another significant main effect of CSR crisis relevance on corporate reputat ion ( F ( 2 340 ) = 7. 322 p < .01, p 2 = .0 34 ). Post hoc analyses using Scheff showed that favorable c orporate reputation was significantly lower ( p = .01) for participants who were ( M = 3.3 6 SD = 1.35) than those who were exposed to a children sponsorship campaign message ( M = 3.7 4 SD = 1. 20 ) Thus, CSR programs may not benefit the company at all if they are closely Post hoc analyses also showed that participa nts who did not receive any CSR information ( M = 3. 27 SD = 1. 13 ) indicated lower positive corporate reputation scores than participant s in irrelevant CSR conditions ( p = .01 )

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62 Supportive Behavioral Intentions According to the results of a three way ANOVA (Figure 4 6) participants who were asked to read a preventable crisis news story ( M = 3.0 0 SD = 1.1 9 ) indicated lower supportive behavioral intentions than participants who read a victim crisis news story ( M = 3. 7 6 SD = 1. 15 ). Thus, a significant main e ffect of the types of crisis on supportive behavioral intentions was found ( F (1, 340 ) = 36.546 p < .01, p 2 = .0 9 7). The results also showed a main effect of the severity of crisis ( F (1, 340 ) = 7.613 p < .01, p 2 = .02 2 ), indicating that participants in severe crisis conditions ( M = 3.2 0 SD = 1.2 5 ) showed a lower supportive behavioral intentions toward th e company than participants in minor crisis conditions ( M = 3.5 5 SD = 1. 19 ). The main effect of CSR crisis relevance was not significant ( F ( 2 340 ) = 2.284 p = .103 p 2 = .01 3 ). Table 4 7 shows the means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions for each condition. Tests for Hypotheses and Research Questions in Study 2 Experiment 1 showed the interaction effect of the type of crisis and CSR crisis how CSR crisis relevance interacts with crisis response strategies outlined by Coombs dependent variables. Credibility of Post crisis Response H2 was formulated to exami crisis response was perceived differently by participants in terms of credibility (Figure 4 7) First of all, the means and standard deviations of perceived message credibility for each condition are provided in Table 4 8. A two w ay ANOVA showed that there was a significant main

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63 effect of the post F (2, 204) = 26.109, p < .01, p 2 = .204). Post hoc analyses using Scheff indicated that perceived credibility was significantly lower for participants who received a reminding message only ( M = 2.91 SD = 1.13 ) than for participants who received a base response message ( M = 4.26 SD = 1.07 p = .01 ) or a both base and reminding message ( M = 4.16 SD = 1.30 p = .01 ). There was no significant difference between a base response message and a both base and reminding message in participants perceptions of message credibility ( p = .88) I n other words, participants perceived a base response message or a reminding message in addition to the response message as more credible (believable, convincing, unbiased, accurate, and trustworthy) than a reminding message Thus, H2c was supported while H2a and H2 b w ere not supported. The main effect of CSR crisis relevance and its i nteraction post crisis response on the perceived credibility were not significant. Thus, regardless of CSR crisis relevance, participants tend to believe th e message that includes detailed information about the crisis is more reliable. Trust Participants w as measured and analyzed in study 2 ( Table 4 9 Figure 4 8 ) As with the credibility of the post crisis response, the main effect of the post F (3, 291) = 11.764 p < .01, p 2 = .108). According to post hoc analyses using Scheff ( M = 2.74 SD = 1.29 ) or those who did not receive any message ( M = 2.83, SD = 1.16) indicated a similar level of trust ( p = .97) The mean score of the no response strategy say nothing is slightly higher than the mean score of the ompany

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64 in base response conditions ( M = 3.64, SD in both base and reminding conditions ( M = 3.67, SD = 1.30 p = 1.00 ). Participants in base response conditions indicated higher scores of trust than those in remin ding conditions ( p = .01) or in control groups ( p = .01). Similarly, participants in both base and reminding conditions were more likely to trust the company than participants in reminding conditions ( p = .01) or in control groups ( p = .0 1 ). In other words as Coombs (2007a) argued, the reminding strategy in isolation, which is a type of bolstering strategy can be perceived by participants as suggesting that the company cares only for itself rather than its stakeholders. This negative impression might make the company lose trust from its stakeholders. Attitudes toward the Company P articipants also indicated significantly different attitudes toward the company crisis response ( F (3, 291) = 8.666, p < .01, p 2 = .082). Similar to t he results of trust, the inclusion of base response was preferable to the sole use of the reminding strategy (Figure 4 9) Specifically, post hoc analyses using Scheff indicated that the base strategy ( M = 3.39, SD = 1.34) was significantly different from the reminding strategy ( M = 2.61, SD = 1.18 p = .01 ) or no response strategy ( M = 2.76, SD = 1.15 p = .01 ). Also, both base and reminding strategy ( M = 3.48, SD = 1.34) were significantly different from the reminding strategy ( M = 2.61, SD = 1.18, p = 01) or no response strategy ( M = 2.76, SD = 1.15, p = .01). P articipants in reminding conditions and those in control groups indicated similar attitudes toward the company ( p = .92 ) while participants in base response conditions and those in both base and reminding conditions indicated similar attitudes ( p = .98) T here was no significant main effect of CSR attitudes toward the company The means and

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65 standard deviations of attitudes toward the company for each condition are provided in Table 4 10. Positive Corporate Reputation Participants also indicated significantly different scores of corporate reputation crisis response ( F (3, 291) = 14.404 p < .01, p 2 = 129 ). I n both rele vant and irrelevant CSR crisis conditions, participants were less likely to lose reminding strategies (Table 4 11, Figure 4 10) According to the results of post hoc analyses part icipants in the reminding strategy ( M = 2.73, SD = 1.11) indicated lower scores of positive corporate reputation than participants in the base response strategy ( M = 3.54, SD = 1.19 p = .01 ) or those in the strategy combining base and reminding approaches ( M = 3.75, SD = 1.18 p = .01 ). Also, participants who did not receive any crisis response message ( M = 2.75, SD = 1.15) were less likely to perceive positive corporate reputation than participants in the base response strategy ( p = .01) or those in both base and reminding strategy ( p = .01). This result implies that the company should distribute either base message s or reminding messages in conjunction with base messages to minimize reputational losses. Supportive Behavioral Intentions Results of a two wa y ANOVA also showed that there was a significant main supportive behavioral intentions ( F (3, 291) = 4.999, p < .01, p 2 = .049). Participants in both base and reminding conditions indicated the highest scores of supportive behavioral intentions ( M = 3.41, SD = 1.14) while participants in reminding conditions indicated the lowest scores of supportive behavioral intentions ( M = 2.70, SD = 1.22) Specifically, post hoc

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66 analyses using Scheff indic ated that both base and reminding strategy was significantly different from the reminding strategy ( M = 2.70, SD = 1.22 p = .02 ) or no response strategy ( M = 2.82, SD = 1.18 p = .04 ). Thus, when a crisis occurs, a company should give the specific informa tion about the crisis itself and also use a repair strategy supportive behavioral intentions toward the company (Figure 4 11) The means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions for each condition are provided in Table 4 1 2 Follow up Analyses A series of simple regression and stepwise multiple regression analyses w as conducted t o explore the relationships among dependent variables attributions, trust, attitudes perceptions of corpo rate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company The composite indexes of all variables were employed for regression analyses. The sample size for the regression analyses was 352. ively influence d their trust in the company ( = .548 t (350) = 12.270, p < .001). Blame attributions explained a significant proportion of variance in trust ( R 2 = 301 F ( 1 3 50 ) = 150.565 p < .001). Blame attributions also had negative effects on attitudes ( = 593 t (350) = 13.769, R 2 = .35 1, F (1, 350) = 189.586, p < .001), corporate reputation ( = 544 t (350) = 12.127, R 2 = 296 F (1, 350) = 147.076 p < .001), and supportive behavioral intentions ( = .488 t (350) = 10.460, R 2 = 238 F (1, 350) = 109.412 p < .001). In addition, a series of simple regression analyses with trust predicting other dependent variables showed that trust predicts (1) attitudes ( = .886 t (350) = 35.804, R 2 = 786 F ( 1, 350 ) = 1281.907 p < .001), (2) corporate reputation ( = .825 t (350) = 27.299, R 2 = 680 F ( 1, 350 ) =

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67 745.249 p < .001), and (3) supportive behavioral intentions ( = .734 t (350) = 20.199, R 2 = 538 F ( 1, 350 ) = 407.990 p < .001). Next a stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed with four factors blame attributions, t rust, attitudes and positive corporate reputation as independent variable s and supportive behavioral intentions as a dependent variable. Tests for multicollinearity showed that the level of multicollinearity was low ( VIF = 4.074 and tolerance = .245) i ndicating that factors predicting supportive behavioral intentions were not highly correlated. A VIF value greater than 10 or tolerance value less than .10 are The re sults of regression analysis indicated that two predictors, attitudes ( = .431, t (349) = 7.231, p < .001) and perceptions of positive corporate reputation ( = .431, t (349) = 7.232, p < .001) explained 69.5% of the variance ( R 2 = .695, F (2, 349) = 398.0 83, p < .001) as described in Table 4 13 Blame attributions and trust were excluded in the model, indicating they were no longer significant when attitudes and corporate reputation were included in the model. This finding supported full mediation: the eff ect of blame attributions and the effect of trust on supportive behavioral intentions were fully mediated by attitudes and corporate reputation To confirm the relationships among dependent variables, a series of simple regression and stepwise multiple re gression analyses was conducted again based on the responses collected for study 2. The sample size for the regression analyses was 301. Similar to the results of prev ious regression analyses there were n egative influences of blame attributions on other i ndependent variables. Participants who blamed the company more tended to indicate less trust ( = .372, t (299) = 6.926, R 2

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68 = .138, F (1, 299) = 47.969, p < .001), less favorable attitudes ( = .426, t (299) = 8.138, R 2 = .1 81 F (1, 299) = 66.221 p < .001), less positive corporate reputation ( = .416, t (299) = 7.909, R 2 = .173, F (1, 299) = 62.546, p < .001) and fewer supportive behavioral intentions ( = .383, t (299) = 7.166, R 2 = .147, F (1, 299) = 51.356, p < .001) Also, trust positively influenced attitudes ( = 895 t ( 299 ) = 34.673 R 2 = 801 F (1, 299 ) = 1202.217 p < .001), posit ive corporate reputation ( = .846, t (299) = 27.489, R 2 = 716 F (1, 299 ) = 755.665 p < .001) and supportive behavioral intentions ( = .776, t (299) = 21.306, R 2 = 603 F (1, 299 ) = 453.945 p < .001). crisis response messages were measured. Thus, how the credibility of post crisis response messages influenced other dependent variables also were examined through simple regression and stepwise multiple regression analyses. Post crisis response cre dibility positively influenced trust ( = .769, t (209) = 17.419, R 2 = .592, F (1, 209) = 303.410, p < .001), attitudes ( = .709, t (209) = 14.534, R 2 = .503, F (1, 209) = 211.235, p < .001), positive corporate reputation ( = .730, t (209) = 15.433, R 2 = .533, F (1, 209) = 238.176, p < .001), a nd supportive behavioral intentions ( = .601, t (209) = 10.879, R 2 = .362, F (1, 209) = 118.362, p < .001). Then, stepwise multiple regression involving crisis response credibility, trust, attitudes and corporate reputation as the independent variables a nd supportive behavioral intentions as the dependent variable was performed. The results showed that attitudes ( = .472, t (208) = 5.996, p < .001) and perceptions of positive corporate reputation ( = .402, t (208) = 5.101, p < .001) explained 7 1.9 percent of the variance ( R 2 = .719, F (2, 208) = 266.426, p < .001) as described in Table 4 1 4 Crisis response

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69 credibility and trust were eliminated from the model, indicating that they were no longer significant when attitudes and corporate reputation were incl uded in the model. It implies that the effect of post crisis response credibility and the effect of trust on supportive behavioral intentions were fully mediated by attitudes and corporate reputation. T ests for multicollinearity showed that the level of mu lticollinearity was low ( VIF = 4. 591 and tolerance = .2 18 ), indicating that two factors predicting supportive behavioral intentions attitudes and corporate reputation were not highly correlated.

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70 Table 4 1. Descriptions of samples of study 1 Variabl e N Frequency Percentage Sex 352 Male Female 194 158 55.1 % 44.9 % Age 352 18 24 25 34 35 44 45 54 55 64 175 147 19 9 2 49.7% 41.8% 5.4% 2.5% 0.6% Education 352 Less than high school High school graduate Associate degree degree Ph.D. degree 55 6 83 154 31 23 15.6% 1.7% 23.6% 43.8% 8.8% 6.5% Table 4 2. Descriptions of samples of study 2 Variable N Frequency Percentage Sex 301 Male Female 169 132 56.1 % 43.9 % Age 301 18 24 25 34 35 44 45 54 55 64 149 117 24 7 4 49.5% 38.9% 8.0% 2.3% 1.3% Education 301 Less than high school High school graduate Associate degree Ph.D. degree 40 9 71 128 26 27 13.3% 3.0% 23.6% 42.5% 8.6% 9.0%

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71 Table 4 3. Means a nd standard deviations of blame attributions (study 1) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR (control) Victim Minor 2.83 (1.28) 3.39 (1.81) 3.27 (1.44) Severe 3.39 (1.69) 3.21 (1.54) 3.93 (1.70) Preventa ble Minor 5.79 (1.03) 5.33 (1.09) 5.60 (1.22) Severe 6.23 (0.63) 5.69 (1.14) 5.71 (0.97) Table 4 4. Means and standard deviations of trust (study 1) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR (control) Victi m Minor 4.52 (1.13) 4.63 (1.05) 3.88 (0.92) Severe 3.94 (1.20) 4.29 (1.17) 4.00 (1.09) Preventable Minor 3.30 (1.38) 3.66 (1.10) 3.39 (1.02) Severe 2.50 (1.14) 3.14 (1.20) 2.87 (1.10) Table 4 5. Means and standard deviations of attitudes (study 1) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR (control) Victim Minor 4.5 6 (1.1 9 ) 4.6 5 (1. 27 ) 3. 96 (0.9 4 ) Severe 3. 75 (1. 35 ) 4.2 6 (1.1 8 ) 3.89 (1. 18 ) Preventable Minor 3. 15 (1.3 7 ) 3.6 7 (1. 05 ) 3. 07 (1. 20 ) Se vere 2.5 4 (1.1 5 ) 2.95 (1. 17 ) 2. 7 7 (1.1 2 ) Table 4 6. Means and standard deviations of corporate reputation (study 1) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR (control) Victim Minor 4.31 (1.14) 4.49 (1.08) 3.7 2 (0.89) Severe 3.65 (1.27) 4.07 (1.04) 3.53 (1.00) Preventable Minor 2.92 (1.25) 3.47 (1.02) 3.11 (1.10) Severe 2.59 (1.08) 2.95 (1.12) 2.72 (1.26) Table 4 7. Means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions (study 1) ( CSR crisi s relevance ) ( Crisis type ) ( Severity ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR (control) Victim Minor 3.94 (1.07) 4.02 (1.35) 3.80 (0.78) Severe 3.34 (1.36) 3.81 (1.23) 3.62 (1.02) Preventable Minor 3.02 (1.19) 3.35 (1.18) 3.17 (1.22) Severe 2.75 (1.1 0) 3.08 (1.13) 2.65 (1.29)

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72 Table 4 8. Means and standard deviations of the credibility of post crisis response (study 2) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis Response ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) N/A N/A N/A Base only 4.26 (1. 19) 4.31 (1.05) 4.2 (0.99) Reminding only 3.15 (1.14) 2.68 (1.09) N/A Base & reminding 4.27 (1.35) 4.04 (1.26) N/A Table 4 9. Means and standard deviations of trust (study 2) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis Response ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) 2.50 (1.14) 3.14 (1.20) 2.87 (1.10) Base only 3.78 (1.36) 3.48 (1.28) 3.67 (1.19) Reminding only 2.89 (1.58) 2.59 (0.95) N/A Base & reminding 3.70 (1.41) 3.63 (1.19) N/A Table 4 10. Means and standard deviations of attitudes (s tudy 2) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis Response ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) 2.54 (1.15) 2.95 (1.17) 2.77 (1.12) Base only 3.66 (1.39) 3.22 (1.44) 3.30 (1.17) Reminding only 2.68 (1.40) 2.54 (0.94) N/A Base & reminding 3. 53 (1.52) 3.42 (1.13) N/A Table 4 11. Means and standard deviations of corporate reputation (study 2) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis Response ) Relevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) 2.5 9 (1.0 8 ) 2.95 (1.1 2 ) 2.7 2 (1. 26 ) Base only 3.71 (1. 19 ) 3.46 (1.2 2 ) 3. 46 (1.1 9 ) Reminding only 2.9 4 (1. 26 ) 2.5 3 (0.9 3 ) N/A Base & reminding 3.7 3 (1.3 5 ) 3.7 6 (1.0 0 ) N/A Table 4 12. Means and standard deviations of supportive behavioral intentions (study 2) ( CSR crisis relevance ) ( Crisis Response ) R elevant CSR Irrelevant CSR No CSR No response (control) 2.75 (1.10) 3.08 (1.13) 2.65 (1.29) Base only 3.34 (1.34) 3.05 (1.18) 3.34 (1.36) Reminding only 2.73 (1.41) 2.68 (1.03) N/A Base & reminding 3.53 (1.25) 3.28 (1.01) N/A

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73 Table 4 13. Results of stepwise multiple regression analyses in study 1 Dependent variable Factors B S.E. Beta t Sig. R 2 Supportive behavior intentions Corporate reputation .429 .059 .431 7.232 p < .001 .695 Attitudes .396 .055 .431 7.231 p < .001 Stepwise: Blame attributio ns ( p = .924) and trust ( p = .741) were eliminated. Table 4 14. Results of stepwise multiple regression analyses in study 2 Dependent variable Factors B S.E. Beta t Sig. R 2 Supportive behavior intentions Attitudes .441 .074 .472 5.996 p < .001 .719 Cor porate reputation .409 .080 .402 5.101 p < .001 Stepwise: Crisis response credibility ( p = .285) and trust ( p = .090) were eliminated.

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74 Figure 4 1. Blame attributions (study 1) Figu re 4 2. Interaction effect of the type of crisis and CSR crisis relevance on blame attributions Figure 4 3. Trust (study 1)

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75 Figure 4 4. Attitudes (study 1) Figure 4 5. Corporate reputation (study 1) Figure 4 6. Supportive behavioral intentions (study 1)

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76 Figure 4 7. Crisis message credibi lity (study 2) Figure 4 8. Trust (study 2) Figure 4 9. Attitudes (study 2)

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77 Figure 4 10. Corporate reputation (study 2) Figure 4 11. Supportive behavioral inten tions (study 2)

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78 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION In this c hapter, summary of the findings, implications and limitations of this study are discussed. Then recommendations for future research are addressed. Summary of Results Although previous studie s have found that the types of crisis and severity of the examined the effect of the relationship between CSR and corporate crises on hat numerous companies are involved in CSR initiatives, it is important to examine how a affect 1 aimed to examine how CSR crisis for a crisis and interacted with the types e behavioral intentions toward the company. In stud y 2, the impact of crisis response strategies and CSR perceptions of trust, attitudes, positive corporate reputation, and supportive behavior intentions was investigated. For stud y 1, a n online experiment based on a 2 (types of crisis: victim crisis or preventable crisis) 2 (severity of crisis: minor crisis or severe crisis) 2 (CSR crisis relevance: relevant CSR or irrelevant CSR) factorial design was conducted to investigate m ain effects and interaction effects of three independent variables. In total, 360 participants were recruited for this study and randomly assigned to one of the 12 experimental groups (8 treatment groups and 4 control groups) All participants were

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79 asked t o read a story about a fictitious casual wear company. Then, they were exposed to either a relevant CSR (environmental responsibility campaign) or an irrelevant CSR (children sponsorship program) campaign message. Finally, they received one of the four dif ferent crisis news stories: a victim and minor, victim and severe, preventable and minor, or preventable and severe crisis. A total of 352 responses were used for data analyses. In study 2, post crisis response strategies no strategy, base response stra tegy, reminding strategy, or both base and reminding strategies were additionally included. Only the preventable and severe crisis type was used for study 2. An online experiment based on a 2 ( CSR crisis relevance: relevant CSR or irrelevant CSR ) 3 ( po st crisis response: base response strategy, reminding strategy, or both base and reminding strategies) factorial design was conducted. Participants in control groups did not receive any post crisis response message. In total, 301 consumers participated in study 2. Results of study 1 showed that if a crisis is something severe or preventable, consumers are more likely to blame the company However, CSR crisis relevance does not influence level of blame. In other words, consumers blame the company not based o n CSR crisis relevance but based on the types of crisis and severity of crisis CSR attitudes toward the company, and perceptions of positive corporate reputation. Partici pants who were exposed to a relevant CSR campaign message indicated lower values of trust, attitudes, and positive corporate reputation than participants who were exposed to an irrelevant CSR campaign message. In other words, if a crisis that is related to

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80 For example, if a company had been involved in environmental responsibility programs and then violates environmental laws, the company would be more likely to lose trust from its consumers and lose its reputation than if it had been involved with an unrelated CSR program, such as children sponsorship or healthcare service. Thus, a crisis that is st the company. The expectancy disconfirmation model might provide possible reasons for the findings. This model has been used to explain consumer satisfaction and purchase intention in marketing research (Ofir & Simonson, 2007; Oliver, 1980; 1993). According to this model, consumers are either satisfied or dissatisfied depending on the discrepancy between pre experience expectations and post experience evaluations about a product. In other words, consumers generally judge and rate product performance based on their prior expectations. If there is a difference between their expectations and outcomes, disconfirm ation occurs, which in turn leads to consumer dissatisfaction. As the expectancy disconfirmation model suggests participants who expectations that the company is environmentally r esponsible. The environmental crisis, might generate more skepticism about the motives of CSR programs and lead to distrust of the company, negative attitudes toward the co mpany and negative corporate reputation.

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81 In study 2, however, the main effects of CSR perceptions of dependent variables, such as post crisis response credibility, trust, attitudes, positive corporate reputation, and supporti ve behavioral intentions, were not significant. There was no significant interaction effect between CSR crisis relevance crisis response. Generally, including detailed information about the crisis (instructing information) and the co victims and action to prevent a repeat of crisis (adjusting information) was preferable to the sole use of the reminding strategy. When the reminding strategy was used in isolation, consumers were more likely to indic ate negative scores of message credibility, trust, attitudes, corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions. Thus, if a preventable and severe crisis occurs, the company should distribute either base formation or reminding messages in addition to base messages, rather than only reminding consumers of its past good works or simply saying nothing. Implications for Public Relations Research and Practice Although the single crisis context of this study li mits generalizability, results of this study give important theoretical implications for public relations research ers and managerial implications for practitioners. First, this study advances the literature on crisis and blame attribution by exploring the main effects and interaction effects of the types of crisis, severity of crisis, and CSR trust in the company, attitudes toward the company, perceptions of positive corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company. Therefore, this research contributes to future research on how to design and implement pre crisis and post crisis CSR activities in order to build a positive corporate reputation and maintain

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82 favorable relationships with sta keholders. Because the results of this study are neither based on small samples obtained from a single geographic location nor based on samples within a particular age range, the results can be applied to consumers at large, though the results should not b e understood as representative of all U.S. consumers. Second this study contributes to the post crisis communication literature by demonstrating how post crisis response strategies are perceived by consumers during a crisis. In previous research, the imp ortance of base response strategies has been relatively neglected compared to reputation repair strategies (Kim & Liu, 2012). However, this study empirically showed that disseminating base response messages instructing information and adjusting informati on could mitigate reputational decline for a company during a severe and preventable crisis situation. In addition, p revious research has found that the bolstering strategy is one of the most frequently employed crisis response strategies (Kim et al., 20 09). Brown and White (2011) also found that the bolstering strategy led to lower attribution of crisis responsibility. Study 2, however, empirically showed that the company should adopt the base response strategy or both base and bolstering strategies rath er than the bolstering strategy or no comment strategy when a preventable and severe crisis occurs. In both relevant CSR crisis and irrelevant CSR crisis situations, the sole use of the reminding strategy was ineffective because it did not minimize reputat ional losses. In other words, this study confirmed that bolstering strategies, specifically the reminding strategy, are supplemental to the base response strategies (Coombs, 2007a). This study also gives practical implications for CSR managers by showing the negative effect of CSR

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83 poss ible reason for this negative influence of CSR in t he company. Vlachos et al. (20 11 ) found that stakeholder driven or egoistic driven attributions of CSR motives either pressure from stakeholders or actions to increas e profit diminish trust, while value driven attributions benevolence positively influence consumer trust. CSR crisis relevance would make consumers attribute previous CSR activities to stakeholder driven or egoistic dr iven motives because consumers believe the company has been involved in CSR activities with profiteering intentions, rather than with sincere and benevolent intentions. This d iminishes their trust in the company after the crisis. Thus, companies should be better prepared for crises that could be relevant to their CSR campaigns. For instance, The Body Shop International plc which has positioned itself as an environmentally res ponsible company, should be more cautious in preventing environmental crises because these crises could cause serious damage to the company. The concept of CSR crisis relevance can be applied not only to business context but also to social and political c ontext. Specifically the congruence between a nonprofit organization mission and its crisis might trigger more suspicion among its stakeholders contribution to society The suspicion in turn, would lead to distrust of the organization, negative attitudes toward the organization and negative organizational reputation. For example, accounting fraud might be a more fatal crisis for charitable organizations than

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84 for educational organizat ions. Also, a sex scandal could be a more serious problem for a politician who has worked with a variety of human rights organizations for than for a politician who has set policies concerning environmental protection. Therefor e, by monitoring issues, organizations (or individuals) should be better prepared to prevent a crisis that could be relevant to their mission and previous efforts. Finally, t his study gives crisis managers some insight into understanding crisis situations and developing effective crisis response messages in times of crisis. In the complex and ever changing contemporary business environments, companies are increasingly facing a variety of crises such as product tampering, lawsuit, boycott, negative media co verage, defect, and rumor. Many companies have established a crisis management team to deal effectively with these potential issues and crises which could negatively affect their companies. When an unexpected incident occurs, the crisis management team sho uld identify and analyze the situation first. Assessing the types of crisis and the severity of damage is important in this phase because they influence solutions and crea te appropriate response messages to send to their stakeholders based on attribution s of crisis responsibility. Given that disseminating base response messages could mitigate reputational decline for a company during a severe and preventable crisis situatio as Coombs (2007a; 2007b) recommends The use of the base response is important not only becaus

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85 need f or information but also because it gives impressions that the company prioritizes Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research Even though there are relevant theoretical and practical implications of the study, it also has sever al limitations. First, the experiments for study 1 and study 2 were based on a fictitious casualwear brand in terms of stimulus materials. It is possible that other the comp Future studies could replicate the experiment by considering a variety of industries, including but not limited to consumer discretionary, financial, health care, utilities and telecommunication services. Also in future studies, various types of crisis or other issues such as a product harm crisis accounting fraud, and corruption, should be created and tested to investigate more thoroughly the effect of CSR attributions a crisis communication. As stated above, this study could not find the significant effect of CSR crisis relevance on crisis response. However consumers might be more sensitive to particular issues, such as crisis relevance may have significant influence not only on their blame attributions but also on their perceptions of the post crisis respons e concerning these issues. If a cosmetics company that cares for abandoned animals as a part of its CSR efforts had been found to conduct animal testing, cons umers would attribute the high crisis responsibility to the company not only because of CSR crisis relevance but also because of unethical behavior, specifically deception. In that situation, CSR crisis relevance may also have a negative influence on

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86 crisis response: reminding consumers of its previous CSR programs may bac kfire on the company. In addition because study 2 was only based on the preventable and severe crisis type, it could not demonstrate how CSR crisis relevance interacts with other variables, such as the types of crisis and severity of crisis. The results of study 2 showed that regardless of CSR crisis relevance, using either the base response strategy or both base and reminding strateg ies contributes to lessen ing the negative influence of a crisis on consumers trust, attitudes and perceptions of positiv e corporate reputation compared to the reminding strategy However, severity of crisis. For instance, the reminding strategy might be effect ive under a minor and victim crisis situation while it was not regarded as an effective strategy under a preventable and severe crisis situation By considering different types of crisis, future research could demonstrate how various crisis response strat egies are perceived differently by consumers. This study also has a limitation owing to its method. The data used in this study were collected over a period of a week by using a web based experiment. Thus, as Reips (2002) argues, the researcher has limit ed control of the experimental setting unlike a laboratory experiment. It was quite difficult to guarantee that participant s spent enough time to understand given messages during the experiment, although several reading comprehension questions about the me ssages were included to check whether or not they carefully read the messages and understand them as intended This is

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87 because s ome people might participate in web based experiments frivolously (Kraut et al., 2004). Also, generalizing the results from the participants to the larger population might be problematic given that Internet users are different from nonusers in terms of demographics (Kraut et al., 2004). Internet users are generally younger and more educated than nonusers. Although people from vari ous geographic locations participated in the study, it is quite difficult to argue that their responses directly represent the perceptions of all consumers in the United States. Finally, the lack of ecological validity might be one of the limitation s of th is study Ecological validity is a matter of whether people behave in real life as they behave in laboratories (Bem & Lord, 1979) As stated above, a fictitious brand was created in this study t attitudes toward a particula r company. T hen, t hey were asked to read several stimulus materials simultaneously, such as the company description its CSR activities and crisis and its crisis response messages However, in a real life setting people might not receive information in the same way as they receive it in a laboratory experimental setting. Some people might be exposed to a news story about a corporate crisis without any previous information about the company. Others might have strong pre existing attitudes or beliefs towar d a brand attitudes or beliefs ( Folkes, 1988 ) Ahluwalia et al. (2000) also found that consumers with low levels of commitment tended to give more weight to negative information than positive informati on, whereas consumers with high levels of commitment were more likely to counterargue negative information about the company. Thus, the method, experimental procedure, stimuli, and

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88 setting of the study might not capture real life situations. Future studies can further enhance ecological validity by conducting a field experiment when a real crisis happens For example, in times of crisis, a company can disseminate various types of crisis respon se messages to its stakeholders and then measure their blame attr ibutions, trust, attitudes perceptions of corporate reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions toward the company.

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89 Table 5 1. Study 1: summary of results Dependent variables Main effect Interaction effect ( Type ) ( Severity ) ( Relevance ) Blame attributions Significant (victim < preventable) S ignificant (minor < severe) Not significant Type X relevance Trust Significant (victim > preventable) Significant (minor > severe) Significant (irrelevant > relevant, no CSR) No interaction Attitude Significant (victim > preventable) Significant (minor > severe) Significant (irrelevant > relevant, no CSR) No interaction Corporate reputation Significant (victim > preventable) Significant (minor > severe) Significant (irrelev ant > relevant, no CSR) No interaction Behavioral intentions Significant (victim > preventable) Significant (minor > severe) Not significant No interaction Table 5 2 Study 2: summary of results Dependent variables Main effect Interaction effec t ( Response strategy ) ( Relevance ) Message credibility Significant (reminding < base, both) Not significant No interaction Trust Significant (no response, reminding < base, both) Not significant No interaction Attitude Significant (no response, r eminding < base, both) Not significant No interaction Corporate reputation Significant (no response, reminding < base, both) Not significant No interaction Behavioral intentions Significant (no response, reminding < both) Not significant No interact ion

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90 APPENDIX A EXPERIMENT 1: STIMUL I AND QUESTIONS Instruction: Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study. This study is being conducted by a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida. The data from this study will be used for examining the perceptions of corporate crisis. This online experiment will take about 15 minutes. During this experiment, you will be asked to read articles about a company and respond some questions regarding your perceptions Your responses are very important to the success of this study. Thus, please read articles carefully before answering questions. All responses will be used for academic research only and will be kept confidential. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the principal investigator, Hanna Park ( hannapark1982@gmail.com ). Please contact the investigator if you want to receive a copy of this description Informed Consent: o I have read the instruction described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the study. o I do not agree to participate in the study. I want to withdraw from the study. I. Company Information: 1. Please read the article about a company and then answer the following questions. Luisant is the tenth largest clothing brand located in the United States. Luisant

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91 specializes in high end casual wear for men and women, as well as shoes, accessories and fragrances. The brand was launch ed in 1979 by Paul L. Jacques and has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA. Since its launching, Luisant has offered a high quality collection and promoted a modern look and sense of style. In September 2005, Luisant expanded their business by introducin Luisant celebrated its 30 th anniversary and introduced a new premium menswear and womenswear line, Luisant Collection Today, Luisant has grown from a regional brand to a national brand with 25 stores in 10 s tates including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Utah. This year, Luisant began to operate its e commerce Web site www.luisant.com [COMPANY 1] Q1 1. What is the name of the company which is discussed in the article? a. Luisant b. Nollent c. Elle d. ElleLui [COMPANY 2] Q1 2. Which of the following statements about the company is correct? a. The company is a European style footwear brand in Canada. b. The company is the tenth la rgest clothing brand located in the U.S. c. The company services over 100,000 customers, with over 500 stores in Canada. d. The company is a regional casual wear brand for kids in the southeastern U.S. II. CSR Campaign Information:

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92 2. Please read the article ab out a company's communication campaign and then answer the following questions. 1. Relevant CSR Campaign Conditions Environmental responsibility is part of how we do business, and we are constantly looki ng for new opportunities to protect our environment. Eco Friendly Luisant launched in 2008, is a comprehensive and multi year environmental campaign for sustainable management. We are advancing toward our goals of reducing industrial waste and exploring more sustainable materials. Since we first offered an organic cotton clothing line in 2008, we have been expanding the use of organic fabrics for our products. We also partner and work with environmental research institutions to develop recyclable and eco friendly materials. This year, we have instituted new policies and encouraged stores to reuse plastic hangers shipped with products. In addition, we have donated $3 million every year to sponsor California River Protection project Through Eco Friendly Luisant our commitment in sustainability makes meaningful differences in our environment. For more information about Eco Friendly Luisant campaign, please visit www.ecofriendlyluisant.com 2. Irrelevant CSR Campaign Conditions Luisant launched a campaig Luisant believes in the power of human potential to change and advance our society. We apply our beliefs to children in the developing world and launched our Love, Hope & Children campaign in 2008. Disabled, poor, and orphaned ch ildren in developing countries are in desperate need of love and attention.

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93 Through our Love, Hope & Children campaign, we wish to give hope and love to those children and to improve the quality of their lives. We have now sponsored more than 5000 childr en to receive education in their countries and to raise the standard of living for themselves and their families. Also, we partner and work with nonprofit organizations to reach and aid children in need of medical treatment. We hope to improve healthcare c onditions in poverty stricken areas by donating $3 million every year for those children. Through this comprehensive and multi year campaign, we have seen the meaningful difference sponsorship makes in the life of a child. For more information about our L ove, Hope & Children campaign, please visit www.LoveHopeChildren.com 3. No CSR conditions [CSR 1] Q2 1. What is the name of the campaign launched by this company? a. Ethical Luisant b. Eco friendly Luisant c. Love, Hope & Children d. Engaging Luisant [CSR 2] Q2 2. A key idea of this communication campaign is a. Increasing employee value b. Protecting the environment c. esteem and health d. Improving workplace ethics III. Crisi s News Stories:

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94 3. Please read the news article about a company and then answer the following questions. 1. Victim & Minor Crisis NCO is inspecting whether Nilce Stream is contaminated by industrial waste after experiencing record flooding The clothing c ompany factory was overwhelmed by the highest flood ever recorded in Allen County. On March 9, 2012, the heavy rains cracked part of the Nilce Stream embankment, flooding Luisant past 10 months, Luisant has stored waste materials from textile manufacturing in its factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. addition, some of the waste material from st orage at the facility was found to be leaking into nearby bodies of water. The Nature Conservation Organization (NCO) is inspecting whether the polluted water has flowed into Nilce stream. A recent test of the water in the area shows that the contaminant l evel is acceptable for drinking water. The NCO is continuously checking and updating the water quality. There have been no victims of this reported incident so far. NCO also reported that Eland Construction irresponsibly built the embankment on soft grou nd, reflecting incompetent construction practices of a stream embankment which led to the disaster. Investigators are determining if Eland Construction properly built and maintained the stream embankment. Eland Construction is also facing public scrutiny w hether it sufficiently prepared for and reacted to this flooding. The case is under public trial, and the second hearing is scheduled for April 5, 2012. 2. Victim & Severe Crisis Nilce Stream is contaminated by industrial waste after experiencing record flooding

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95 The clothing company factory was overwhelmed by the highest flood ever recorded in Allen County. On March 9, 2012, the heavy rains cracked part of the Nilce Stream embankment, flooding Luisant For the past 10 months, Luisant has stored waste materials from textile manufacturing in its factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. In addition, some of the hazardous waste material from storage at the facility leaked into the stream, contaminating nearby bodies of water. This contamination caused the deaths of livestock and threatened the safety of drinking water for citizens in the area. Almost 100 citiz ens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contaminated water. The Nature Conservation Organization (NCO) reported that Eland Construction irresponsibly built the emban kment on soft ground, reflecting incompetent construction practices of a stream embankment which led to the disaster. Investigators are determining if Eland Construction properly built and maintained the stream embankment. Eland Construction is also facing public scrutiny whether it sufficiently prepared for and reacted to this flooding. The case is under public trial, and the second hearing is scheduled for April 5, 2012. 3. Preventable & Minor Crisis Luisant is on trial for charges of careless storage of industrial waste The clothing company Luisant has violated industrial waste law and was indicted yesterday on charges of careless storage of industrial waste. For the past 10 months, Luisant has stored $3 million worth of waste materials from textile m anufacturing in its factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County.

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96 Some of the waste material from storage at the facility was found to be leaking into nearby bodies of water. The Nature Conservation Organization (NCO) is inspecting whether the pol luted water has flowed into Nilce stream. A recent test of the water in the area shows that the contaminant level is acceptable for drinking water. The NCO is continuously checking and updating the water quality. There have been no victims of this reported incident so far. Investigators are examining if Luisant has properly managed its industrial waste, or if Luisant overlooked any proof of leaks. Luisant is facing public scrutiny because the Department of Waste Management raised a question about the saf ety of Luisant waste storage facility, and warned them to monitor the storage in its factory several months ago. The case is under public trial, and the second hearing is scheduled for April 5, 2012. 4. Preventable & Severe Crisis Luisant is on tr ial for charges of careless storage of industrial waste The clothing company Luisant has violated industrial waste law and was indicted yesterday on charges of careless storage of industrial waste. For the past 10 months, Luisant has stored $3 million wor th of waste materials from textile manufacturing in its factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. Some of the hazardous waste material from storage at the facility leaked into the stream, contaminating nearby bodies of water. This contaminatio n caused the deaths of livestock and threatened the safety of drinking water for citizens in the area. Almost 100 citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contamin ated water. Investigators are examining if Luisant has properly managed its industrial waste, or if Luisant overlooked any proof of leaks. Luisant is facing public scrutiny because the

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97 Department of Waste Management raised a question about the safety of Luisant waste storage facility, and warned them to monitor the storage in its factory several months ago. The case is under public trial, and the second hearing is scheduled for April 5, 2012. [CRISIS 1] Q3 1. What is the incident which is discusse d in this news article? a. Unfair trade b. Leaks from waste storage c. Sexual harassment d. Defective products [CRISIS 2] Q3 2. How many people were affected by the incident? a. None b. 1 c. 100 d. 5000 [CSR CRISIS RELEVANCE] Q3 3. Please indicate where your opinion would be m ost accurately reflected on the following continuum after acknowledging Luisant's previous communication campaign and recent incident. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree The nature of t he incident is related to the activities 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 There is a connection between the nature of the campaign 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The nature of the incident is relevant to th e main 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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98 [TYPE] Q3 4. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disag ree agree outside the company 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Victm) Luisant was affected by a natural disaster 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 negligence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Pr eventable) The incident could have prevented 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Locus) The cause of the incident was something internal to Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Control) The incident was something that Luisant could have controlled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Stability) Similar incide nts will be likely to occur again in the future with Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [SEVERITY] Q3 5. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Citizens in Allen County were harmed by the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Nilce Stream was damaged by the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The damage from the incident was severe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IV. Dependent Measures [BLAME] Q4 1 Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree

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99 Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Luisant was responsible for th e incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The incident was the fault of Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Luisant should be blamed for the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [TRUST] Q 4 2 Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree incident. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I still think Luisant is honest. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I still think Luisant is trustworthy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I still trust Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [ ATTITUDES ] Q4 3. Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I still feel go od about Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My attitudes toward Luisant is still pleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My overall impression about Luisant is still favorable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [CORPORATE REPUTATION] Q4 4 Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Luisant has a good overall reputation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Luisant is concerned with the well being of its consumers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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100 I admire and respect Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [ SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS ] Q4 5 Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neithe r agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I would purchase products from Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I would speak favorably about Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I woul d invest in Luisant if I have the opportunity in the future 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I would work at Luisant if I have the opportunity in the future 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 VI. Demographics [ISSUE INVOLVEMENT] Q6 1. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accuratel y reflected on the following continuum. To me, environmental issues are a. Unimportant ------Important b. Boring ------Interesting c. Irrelevant ------Relevant d. Unexciting ------Exciting e. Means nothing ------Means a lot f. Worthless ------Valuable g. Of no con cern ------Of concern h. Insignificant ------Significant [SEX] Q6 2. What is your sex? a. Male

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101 b. Female [AGE] Q6 3. How old are you? [EDUCATION] Q6 4. What is the highest degree or level of education you have completed? a. Less than high school b. High school g raduate c. Associate degree d. e. f. Ph.D. degree

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102 APPENDIX B EXPERIMENT 2: STIMUL I AND QUESTIONS Instruction: Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study. This study is being conducted by a doctoral candidate in the Depart ment of Public Relations at the University of Florida. The data from this study will be used for examining the perceptions of corporate crisis. This online experiment will take about 20 minutes. During this experiment, you will be asked to read articles a bout a company and respond some questions regarding your perceptions. Your responses are very important to the success of this study. Thus, please read articles carefully before answering questions. All responses will be used for academic research only and will be kept confidential. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the principal investigator, Hanna Park ( hannapark1982@gmail.com ). Please contac t the investigator if you want to receive a copy of this description. Informed Consent: o I have read the instruction described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the study. o I do not agree to participate in the study. I want to withdraw from the study. I. Company Information: 1. Please read the article about a company and then answer the following questions. Luisant is the tenth largest clothing brand located in the United States. Luisant

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103 specializes in high end casual wear for men and women as well as shoes, accessories and fragrances. The brand was launched in 1979 by Paul L. Jacques and has its headquarters in San Francisco, CA. Since its launching, Luisant has offered a high quality collection and promoted a modern look and sense of st yle. In September 2005, Luisant expanded their business Luisant celebrated its 30 th anniversary and introduced a new premium menswear and womenswear line, Luisant Collection Today, Luisant has grown from a regional brand to a national brand with 25 stores in 10 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Utah. This year, Luisant began to operate its e commerce Web site www.luisant.com [COMPANY 1] Q1 1. What is the name of the company which is discussed in the article? a. Luisant b. Nollent c. Elle d. ElleLui [COMPANY 2] Q1 2. Which of the following statements about the company is correct? a. The company is a European style footwear brand in Canada. b. The company is the tenth largest clothing brand located in the U.S. c. The company services over 100,000 customers, with over 500 stores in Canada. d. The company is a regional casual wear brand for kids in the southeas tern U.S. II. CSR Campaign Information:

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104 2. Please read the article about a company's communication campaign and then answer the following questions. 1. Relevant CSR Campaign Conditions Environmental res ponsibility is part of how we do business, and we are constantly looking for new opportunities to protect our environment. Eco Friendly Luisant launched in 2008, is a comprehensive and multi year environmental campaign for sustainable management. We are advancing toward our goals of reducing industrial waste and exploring more sustainable materials. Since we first offered an organic cotton clothing line in 2008, we have been expanding the use of organic fabrics for our products. We also partner and work with environmental research institutions to develop recyclable and eco friendly materials. This year, we have instituted new policies and encouraged stores to reuse plastic hangers shipped with products. In addition, we have donated $3 million every year t o sponsor California River Protection project Through Eco Friendly Luisant our commitment in sustainability makes meaningful differences in our environment. For more information about Eco Friendly Luisant campaign, please visit www.ecofriendlyluisant.c om 2. Irrelevant CSR Campaign Conditions Luisant believes in the power of human potential to change and advance our society. We apply our beliefs to children in the developing world and launched our L ove, Hope & Children campaign in 2008. Disabled, poor, and orphaned children in developing countries are in desperate need of love and attention.

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105 Through our Love, Hope & Children campaign, we wish to give hope and love to those children and to improve t he quality of their lives. We have now sponsored more than 5000 children to receive education in their countries and to raise the standard of living for themselves and their families. Also, we partner and work with nonprofit organizations to reach and aid children in need of medical treatment. We hope to improve healthcare conditions in poverty stricken areas by donating $3 million every year for those children. Through this comprehensive and multi year campaign, we have seen the meaningful difference spon sorship makes in the life of a child. For more information about our Love, Hope & Children campaign, please visit www.LoveHopeChildren.com 3. No CSR conditions [CSR 1] Q2 1. What i s the name of the campaign launched by this company? a. Ethical Luisant b. Eco friendly Luisant c. Love, Hope & Children d. Engaging Luisant [CSR 2] Q2 2. A key idea of this communication campaign is a. Increasing employee value b. Protecting the environment c. Improving chil esteem and health d. Improving workplace ethics III. Crisis News Stories

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106 3. Please read the news article about a company and then answer the following questions. Luisant is on trial for charges of careless storage of industrial waste The clothi ng company Luisant has violated industrial waste law and was indicted yesterday on charges of careless storage of industrial waste. For the past 10 months, Luisant has stored $3 million worth of waste materials from textile manufacturing in its factory, wh ich is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. Some of the hazardous waste material from storage at the facility leaked into the stream, contaminating nearby bodies of water. This contamination caused the deaths of livestock and threatened the safety of drink ing water for citizens in the area. Almost 100 citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contaminated water. Investigators are examining if Luisant has properly m anaged its industrial waste, or if Luisant overlooked any proof of leaks. Luisant is facing public scrutiny because the Department of Waste Management raised a question about the safety of Luisant waste storage facility, and warned them to monitor th e storage in its factory several months ago. The case is under public trial, and the second hearing is scheduled for April 5, 2012. [CRISIS 1] Q3 1. What is the incident which is discussed in this news article? a. Unfair trade b. Leaks from waste storage c. Sexua l harassment d. Defective products [CRISIS 2] Q3 2. How many people were affected by the incident?

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107 a. None b. 1 c. 100 d. 5000 [CSR CRISIS RELEVANCE] Q3 3. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum after acknowled ging Luisant's previous communication campaign and recent incident. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree The nature of the incident is related to the activities campaign 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 There is a connection between the nature of the campaign 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The nature of the incident is relevant to the main 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [TY PE] Q3 4. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree thers outside the company 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Victm) Luisant was affected by a natural disaster 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 negligence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Preventable) The incident could have prevented 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Locus) The cause of the incident was something internal to Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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108 (Control) The incident was something that Luisant could have controlled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Stability) Similar incidents will be likely to occur again in the future with Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [SEVERITY] Q3 5. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Citizens in Allen County were harmed by the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Nilce Stream was damaged by the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The damage from the incident was severe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IV. Post crisis Response Messages 4 Please read the article which was posted on Luisant's corporate Web site and then answer the following questions 1. Base response only Luisant sincerely regrets that we have violated the state standards for industrial waste handling and disposal. In the past, we have stored our waste materials from textile manufact uring in our factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. Our new waste management facility has had problems with the waste storage tanks and some of waste materials from our factory have leaked. Unfortunately, water in this area has been contami nated because of this incident, and about 100 heads of cattle have died. We are deeply saddened to hear that some citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contamin ated water. Please do not drink the water in this area until it is completely tested. We are examining whether there

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109 are any additional patients and doing our best to identify water contamination and to clean polluted sites. To prevent the reoccurrence o f accidents in the future, we are thoroughly inspecting our waste management facility and replacing waste storage tanks. Also, we have instituted a new policy that requires regular reviews of the facility by the advisory council. Please note that our top p riority is protecting the public safety and the environment, especially regarding this incident. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions or concerns by emailing support@luisant.com or via telephone at (916) 321 7128. 2. Reminding (relev ant condition) Luisant sincerely regrets that we have violated the state standards for industrial waste handling and disposal. Please note that our top priority is protecting the public safety and the environment, especially regarding this incident. As yo u may know, Luisant has increased its commitment to environmental responsibility since we first launched our Eco Friendly Luisant campaign in 2008. We have been using fewer toxic materials during production and expanding the use of sustainable materials, i ncluding organic fabrics. Also, we have invested in environment related research to develop recyclable materials. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions or concerns by emailing support@luisant.com or via telephone at (916) 321 7128. 3. Reminding (irrelevant condition) Luisant sincerely regrets that we have violated the state standards for industrial waste handling and disposal. Please note that our top priority is protecting the public safety and the environment, especially regarding this incident. As you may know, Luisant has increased its commitment to social responsibility since we first launched our Love, Hope & Children campaign in 2008.We have sponsored children in the developing world and provided them with education. Also, we w ork with nonprofit organizations to reach and aid children in need of medical treatment. Please feel free to contact us directly with any

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110 questions or concerns by emailing support@luisant.com or via telephone at (916) 321 7128. 4. Base & Reminding (releva nt condition) Luisant sincerely regrets that we have violated the state standards for industrial waste handling and disposal. In the past, we have stored our waste materials from textile manufacturing in our factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen Co unty. Our new waste management facility has had problems with the waste storage tanks and some of waste materials from our factory have leaked. Unfortunately, water in this area has been contaminated because of this incident, and about 100 heads of cattl e have died. We are deeply saddened to hear that some citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking the contaminated water. Please do not drink the water in this area until it is completely tested. We are examining whether there are any additional patients and doing our best to identify water contamination and to clean polluted sites. As you may know, Luisant has increased its commitment to environmental responsibility sin ce we first launched our Eco Friendly Luisant campaign in 2008. We have been using fewer toxic materials during production and expanding the use of sustainable materials, including organic fabrics. Also, we have invested in environment related research to develop recyclable materials. To prevent the reoccurrence of accidents in the future, we are thoroughly inspecting our waste management facility and replacing waste storage tanks. Also, we have instituted a new policy that requires regular reviews of the facility by the advisory council. Please note that our top priority is protecting the public safety and the environment, especially regarding this incident. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions or concerns by emailing support@luisant .com or via telephone at (916) 321 7128.

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111 5. Base & Reminding (irrelevant condition) Luisant sincerely regrets that we have violated the state standards for industrial waste handling and disposal. In the past, we have stored our waste materials from texti le manufacturing in our factory, which is near Nilce Stream in Allen County. Our new waste management facility has had problems with the waste storage tanks and some of waste materials from our factory have leaked. Unfortunately, water in this area has b een contaminated because of this incident, and about 100 heads of cattle have died. We are deeply saddened to hear that some citizens in the area have been suffering from symptoms including nausea, rashes, fainting, diarrhea, and headaches after drinking t he contaminated water. Please do not drink the water in this area until it is completely tested. We are examining whether there are any additional patients and doing our best to identify water contamination and to clean polluted sites. As you may know, L uisant has increased its commitment to social responsibility since we first launched our Love, Hope & Children campaign in 2008.We have sponsored children in the developing world and provided them with education. Also, we work with nonprofit organizations to reach and aid children in need of medical treatment. To prevent the reoccurrence of accidents in the future, we are thoroughly inspecting our waste management facility and replacing waste storage tanks. Also, we have instituted a new policy that requir es regular reviews of the facility by the advisory council. Please note that our top priority is protecting the public safety and the environment, especially regarding this incident. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions or concerns by emailing support@luisant.com or via telephone at (916) 321 7128. 6. No Response crisis response messages

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112 [CRISIS RESPNSE MANIPULATION] Q4 1. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree (Instructing) Luisant provides detailed information on what happened and how the crisis affected residents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Adjusting) Luisant expresses its concern for victims and provides information on what the company is doing to prevent a similar crisis 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Reminding) Luisant provides information on its previous CSR campaign 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [CRISIS RESPNSE CREDIBILITY] Q4 2. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree e is believable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 V. Dependent Measures [BLAME] Q5 1. Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Luisant was responsible for the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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113 The incident was the fault of Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Luisant should be blamed for the incident 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [TRUST] Q5 2. Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I still think Luisant is honest. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I still think Luisant is trustworthy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I still trust Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [ ATTITUDES ] Q5 3. Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I still feel good about Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My attitudes toward Luisant is still pleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My overall impression about Luisant is still favorable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [CORPORATE REPUTATION] Q5 4. Please read following sentences a nd indicate how much you agree or disagree Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree Luisant has a good overall reputation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Luisant is con cerned with the well being of its consumers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I admire and respect Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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114 [ SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS ] Q5 5. Please read following sentences and indicate how much you agree or disagree ent. Strongly Neither agree Strongly disagree nor disagree agree I would purchase products from Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I would speak favorably about Luisant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 o others 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I would invest in Luisant if I have the opportunity in the future 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I would work at Luisant if I have the opportunity in the future 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 VII. Demographics [ISSUE INVOLVEMENT] Q7 1. Please indicate where your opinion would be most accurately reflected on the following continuum. To me, environmental issues are a. Unimportant ------Important b. Boring ------Interesting c. Irrelevant ------Relevant d. Unexciting ------Exciting e. Means nothing ------Means a lot f. Worth less ------Valuable g. Of no concern ------Of concern h. Insignificant ------Significant [SEX] Q7 2. What is your sex? a. Male b. Female

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115 [AGE] Q7 3. How old are you? [EDUCATION] Q7 4. What is the highest degree or level of education you have completed? a. Less t han high school b. High school graduate c. Associate degree d. e. f. Ph.D. degree

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124 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH m ass c ommunication in 2008 from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, South Korea). She received another ma degree with distinction in public relations from the University of Florida in 2009. She pursued her doctoral degree in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida and received her Ph.D. in the summer of 2012. During her assistantships and worked as an instructor, a research assistant, a teaching assistant, and a program assistant. She taught Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Research, and Publi c Relations Campaigns for the University of Florida. She also taught Brand Communication, Consumer Behavior, and New Media in South Korea. Her research work has appeared in the Korean Journal of Advertising, PRism, and Korea also presented her research papers in national conferences in the U.S. and South Korea. Her research interests are in public relations, issue/crisis management, relationship management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) health communication, and bran d management. She will join the School of Journalism at Middle Tennessee State University in the fall of 201 2