Helping Crisis Managers Protect Reputational Assets Academic Article uri icon


  • A situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), which articulates the variables, assumptions, and relationships that should be considered in selecting crisis response strategies to protect an organizations reputation, is advanced. Although various studies taking a situational approach have touched on certain of the theorys variables and relationships, this study represents the first attempt to articulate and begin to test a situational theory of crisis communication. SCCT is premised on matching the crisis response to the level of crisis responsibility attributed to a crisis. The study explores one of the basic assumptions of SCCT by assessing whether the predicted correlational relationship between crisis responsibility and organizational reputation occurs across a range of crisis types. Results support the theorys predictions and suggest ways to refine the theory.

published proceedings

  • Management Communication Quarterly

altmetric score

  • 8.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J.

citation count

  • 650

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy||Holladay, Sherry J

publication date

  • November 2002