Exploring the relationship between corporate reputation and the public's crisis communication on social media

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Journal / PublicationPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
Online published27 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


Among traditional crisis communication research, the public is often treated as passive receivers of firm-dominated crisis communication. Social media has changed the situation since the public have now become senders and engage in secondary crisis communication (SCC) that affects corporate crisis management. However, our understanding of the mechanism of SCC on social media is still limited. This study aims to reveal how the public engages in the decision-making process related to SCC from a social control perspective by critically considering the broadcasting and social network functions of social media. Our research hypotheses were supported by a survey conducted after a real crisis in China. The results indicate that cognitive reputation results in SCC by causing the public to feel morally violated, and that such feelings of violation lead to individuals being more likely to engage in SCC given the perception of support for their opinions on social media. Thus, this research provides a better understanding of SCC from the public's perspective in the context of social media.

Research Area(s)

  • Secondary crisis communication, Social media, Social broadcasting, Opinion climate