Risk and Crisis Communication: Navigating the Tensions between Organizations and the Public

Risk and Crisis Communication: Navigating the Tensions between Organizations and the Public


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Risk and Crisis Communication: Navigating the Tensions between Organizations and the Public by Robert Littlefield

Risk and Crisis Communication addresses how the interaction between organizations and their stakeholders manifests during a risk or crisis situation. Littlefield and Sellnow contend that when best practices are considered, there are certain tensions to which an organization responds. These tensions are similar to those experienced among individuals when managing their relationships. As such, Littlefield and Sellnow apply an interpersonal theory, known as relational dialectics (RDT), to risk and crisis communication and examine the outcome from the vantage point of the officials and the public. Previous research has focused on top-down, sender-oriented communication to evaluate the effectiveness of particular strategies used by spokespeople to repair public image or relay an apology. In contrast, Littlefield and Sellnow’s approach relies on culture-centeredness and suggests how cultural elements may have influenced the kinds of tensions each organization faced. Risk and Crisis Communication exemplifies the use of RDT through seven case studies, each focusing on one of the tensions, making it of interest to both scholars and organizational leaders.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498517911
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Pages: 156
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Robert S. Littlefield is professor in the Department of Communication at North Dakota State University.

Timothy L. Sellnow is professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Adding the Focus on Culture as a Best Practice
Robert S. Littlefield
Chapter 2 Tension of Timeliness: How Timing Proved Costly for Peanut Corporation of America
Shalindra Rathnasinghe & Robert S. Littlefield
Chapter 3 Tension of Openness: An Examination of Menu Foods Organizational Disclosure
During the 2007 Pet-Food Recall
Laura C. Farrell
Chapter 4 Tension of Certainty: The Mistakes of the E coli Outbreak in Europe
Nigel D. Haarstad & Robert S. Littlefield
Chapter 5 The Tension of Organizational Interest: China’s 2008 Melamine Milk Crisis
Tara B. Freed & Robert S. Littlefield
Chapter 6 Tension of Taking Responsibility: The Failings of Del Bueno in the Queso Fresco
Jessica Rick & Robert S. Littlefield
Chapter 7 The Tension of Controlling the Narrative: Construing and Mis-construing Risk Messages
Elizabeth L. Petrun
Chapter 8 The Tension of Emotional Connection: Health Literacy and the 2010 Salmonella Egg Recall
Holly A. Roberts and Shari R. Veil
Chapter 9 Reflecting on the Dialectal Tensions in Crisis Communication: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities
Timothy L. Sellnow

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