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Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Impact of Message Convergence on Organizational Reputation: An Examination of Organizational Crisis Communication on Facebook

  • Lan Ye
  • Eyun-Jung Ki
Original Article
  • 134 Downloads

Abstract

Studies on organizational crisis communication via social media have mainly focused on the effects of messages from one source, organizations. Little is known about the interaction effects of multiple messages from multiple sources through social media on audiences’ perceptions of organizational reputation. Guided by the Message Convergence Framework, this study used a 2 × 2, between-subjects experiment (N = 165) to explore the impact of crisis communication strategies and message convergence on Facebook on audiences’ perceived organizational reputation in a preventable crisis. The results suggest that organizational reputation was affected by the consistency between the organization’s Facebook posts and followers’ comments, and the effects were moderated by the perceived credibility of the comments by Facebook followers. The results also revealed that unlike pre-existing positive attitudes toward an organization, which were negatively affected by inconsistent information on Facebook, pre-existing negative attitudes did not change significantly because of the information on Facebook. The theoretical and practical implications of this study are then discussed.

Keywords

Crisis communication Organizational reputation Social media User-generated comments Message convergence framework 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd & Reputation Institute 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication Studies DepartmentState University of New York at CortlandCortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Advertising and Public Relations, College of Communication and Information SciencesThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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