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Why it matters, what you post.: A Study on how Organizations can enhance Trust on Social Media during a Crisis
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Stakeholder trust represents a valuable asset for organizations which needs to be protected in salient events such as organizational crises. Traditionally, companies use verbal statements on television and newspapers to inform stakeholders about a crisis, mitigate reputational harm and convey a sense of trust. During the last decade, the emergence of social media, allowing a two-sided interaction between companies and its stakeholders, have added another channel for crisis communication. The medium not only changed prerequisites of organizational crisis communication but also altered the environment for trust restoration.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of different verbal response strategies aiming to enhance stakeholder trust on social media during an organizational crisis. Thereby, the focus lies on the comparison of an apology, a denial, and an explanation. Moreover, the direct and moderating effect of transparency is investigated, representing a substantial influence factor in online communication.

 

Method: A deductive research approach has been applied to investigate the topic. Thereby, a scenario-based experiment has been conducted to test the hypotheses. We used a 3 (verbal strategy: apology vs. denial vs. explanation) X 2 (social media factor: transparent vs. non-transparent) between-group design. A total of 305 participants were randomly assigned to one of the six scenarios.

 

Conclusion: The study found that an apology is the most effective strategy to enhance stakeholder trust on social media, followed by an explanation and lastly by a denial. These results are in line with most of the trust repair literature conducted in an offline environment. Furthermore, the study explored that transparency has a positive impact on the effectiveness of each trust repair strategy, while it also has the power to offset the effect of the strategy itself.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 115
Keywords [en]
Crisis Communication, Trust Repair Strategies, Verbal Responses, Social Media
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39663ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20180745OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-39663DiVA, id: diva2:1211981
Subject / course
JIBS, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-11 Created: 2018-05-31 Last updated: 2018-07-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf