Responding to Crisis: A Rehetorical Approach to Crisis Communication

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Overview

In recent years, researchers and practitioners have explored the nature, theory, and best practices that are required for effective and ethical crisis preparation and response. The consequences of being unprepared to respond quickly, appropriately, and ethically to a crisis are dramatic and well documented. For this reason, crisis consulting and the development of crisis response plans and protocols have become more than a cottage industry.

Taking a rhetorical view of crisis events and utterances, this book is devoted to adding new insights to the discussion, and to describing a rhetorical approach to crisis communication. To help set the tone for that description, the opening chapter reviews a rhetorical perspective on organizational crisis. As such it raises questions and provokes issues more than it addresses and answers them definitively. The other chapters can be viewed as a series of experts participating in a panel discussion. The challenge to each of the authors is to add depth and breadth of understanding to the analysis of the rhetorical implications of a crisis, as well as to the strategies that can be used ethically and responsibly. Central to this analysis is the theoretic perspective that crisis response requires rhetorically tailored statements that satisfactorily address the narratives surrounding the crisis which are used by interested parties to define and judge it.

This volume will be of value to scholars and students interested in crisis communication, and is certain to influence future work and research on responding to crises.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 A Rhetorical Approach to Crisis Communication: Management, Communication Processes, and Strategic Responses 1
2 Exposing the Errors: An Examination of the Nature of Organizational Crises 19
Pt. I Crisis Preparation: Planning for the Inevitable 33
3 Crisis Management: Toward a Multidimensional Model of Public Relations 37
4 Constructing Response During Uncertainty: Organizing for Crisis 51
5 Reframing the Organizational Exigency: Taking a New Approach in Crisis Research 63
6 Burkian Counternature and the Vigilant Response: An Anticipatory Model of Crisis Management and Technology 75
7 Reasoned Action in Crisis Communication: An Attribution Theory - Based Approach to Crisis Management 95
8 A Model for Crisis Management 117
9 Patterns of Conflict Preceding a Crisis: A Case Study Analysis 139
Pt. II Crisis Response: The Time to Speak 149
10 Metaphors of Crisis 153
11 Telling a Story: A Narrative Approach to Communication During Crisis 167
12 Informed Organizational Improvisation: A Metaphor and Method for Understanding, Anticipating, and Performatively Constructing the Organization s Precrisis Environment 189
13 A Symbolic Approach to Crisis Management: Sears Defense of Its Auto Repair Policies 201
14 Telling the Story of Organizational Change 213
15 Managing Organizational Images: Crisis Response and Legitimacy Restoration 233
Pt. III After the Dance is Over: Postcrisis Response 247
16 Ambiguity as an Inherent Factor in Organizational Crisis Communication 251
17 Image Restoration Discourse and Crisis Communication 263
18 Exigencies, Explanations, and Executions: Toward a Dynamic Theory of the Crisis Communication Genre 281
19 Downsizing of Reduction-in-Force: A Crisis Residual 299
20 Excellent Crisis Communication: Beyond Crisis Plans 311
21 Issue Management During Sudden Executive Departures: Sensemaking, Enactment and Communication 327
References 347
Author Index 369
Subject Index 377
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