The negative communication dynamic Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeThe purpose of this research is to present a study designed to test if anger is a mediator in the relationship between crisis responsibility and negative wordofmouth and crisis responsibility and purchase intention. Emphasizes the relationship between anger, crisis responsibility, and intended negative wordofmouth, what we call the negative communication dynamic. Researchers have just begun to explore the role of affect in crisis communication by linking it to behavioral intentions and proving that crisis affect is largely a function of crisis responsibility (perceived organizational responsibility for the crisis).Design/methodology/approachAn experimental design is used to test for the mediator relationship. The design reflects the study's theoretical link to Attribution Theory.FindingsThe results support that anger is a moderator in the relationship between crisis responsibility and intended negative wordofmouth and between crisis responsibility and purchase intention.Research limitations/implicationsFuture research should examine how crisis response strategies can be used to lessen anger and to reduce the likelihood of the negative communication dynamic.Practical implicationsCrisis managers can use the cues for estimating crisis responsibility to determine anger because of the strong correlation between the two variables. Crisis managers should engage in words and actions designed to reduce the anger and reduce the likelihood of the negative communication dynamic.Originality/valueThis paper provides novel insight into the role and value of anger in crisis communication.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Communication Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J.

citation count

  • 239

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy||Holladay, Sherry J

publication date

  • January 2007