Catalytic defiance as a crisis communication strategy: The risk of pursuing long-term objectives Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University In 2014, Dairy Khoury, a medium-sized family dairy located in Lebanon, was accused of using a health-threatening carcinogenic substance as a preservative in its products. The news created an immediate food safety concern and a product harm crisis, resulting in dramatic reputation loss and operational risks to Dairy Khoury. In this article, we analyze Dairy Khoury's response to the product harm crisis through an examination of the communication strategies used to address internal and external stakeholders. We then introduce traditional corrective action response strategies from the crisis communication literature. In the Dairy Khoury case study, the company opted to defend its reputation and clarify the misunderstanding using catalytic defiance, a long-term crisis response strategy. Our analysis provides insight regarding the risks and benefits of pursuing long-term versus short-term strategies during crisis recovery. This article contributes to crisis communication theory and practice and sheds light on the dynamics of crisis management in family businesses.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Yehya, N. A., & Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Yehya, Nadine A||Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • January 2017