West Pharmaceutical's explosion: structuring crisis discourse knowledge Academic Article uri icon


  • A crisis can place an organization and its stakeholders at risk for significant losses. Crisis management has emerged as a means to reduce those losses. Crisis response strategies, what the organization says and does after a crisis, are critical resources in crisis management. It is not surprising that crisis response has emerged as a vibrant research area. The focus of crisis response research is on protecting and repairing the organizational reputational-how stakeholders perceive the organization [Benoit, W. L. (1995). Accounts, excuses, and apologies: A theory of image restoration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press; Hearit, K. M. (2001). Corporate apologia: When an organization speaks in defense of itself. In R. L. Heath (Ed.), Handbook of public relations (pp. 501-511). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage). This article synthesizes information from various writings on crisis response to create the Crisis Communication Standards, a set of guidelines for crisis managers looking to protect their reputational assets. The first section briefly outlines the Crisis Communication standards and the second section illustrates its application using the West Pharmaceuticals explosion. 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Public Relations Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • November 2004