Placing Crisis Management Research in Context
An Analysis and a Call for the State of Crisis Management
Research in Public Relations
Chang Dae Ham *
Assistant professor, Department of Advertising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sungwook Hwang **
Assistant professor, Department of Communication, Pusan National University
Glen Cameron ***
Professor and the Maxine Wilson Gregory Chair in Journalism Research, School of Journalism, University of Missouri
Based on a content analysis and thematic review of eleven years of research published in Public Relations Review and Journal of Public
Relations Research, trends and lacunae in the study of crisis
communi-cation in public relations are documented and analyzed. Prominent scholars and programs are identified through a bibliometric analysis to account for many of the research trends. A call is made to broaden the public relations research program related to crisis management, using a life cycle of proactive, strategic, reactive, and recovery phase. Suggestions are made for shifting from qualitative, a-theoretical case studies to more theory-driven research, including more theory testing through quantitative analysis of testable hypotheses that build theory for the academy and the profession.
Keywords: comprehensive trend study, crisis management, international PR journals
* firstname.lastname@example.org, First author ** email@example.com, Corresponding author *** firstname.lastname@example.org
During the last decades, the theme of crisis management has pro-duced a significant amount of theoretical and practical research (Gilpin & Murphy, 2006). Researchers from a variety of disciplines have studied the origin of crises, how organizations manage crisis, and the most effec-tive ways to avoid crisis (Gilpin & Murphy, 2006). Crisis management has been studied in the various fields such as public relations, manage-ment, rhetoric, and organizational psychology (Coombs, 2001).
Although scholars have studied crisis management for a long time, the topic did not become an established area of study in the public relations field until late 1990s. As Coombs (2001) pointed out, crisis management was not an explicit public relations area in the 1999 Commission Report on Public Relations. However, crisis management takes on an important role in the contemporary public relations (PR) field. Notably, many PR textbooks published after 2000 categorize crisis management as an im-portant functional PR area (see Wilcox & Cameron, 2008; Hansen-Horn & Neff, 2008; Kim, 2003; Yoon & Shin, 2000). Also, crisis management research in public relations has been dramatically grown in theoretical and managerial ways (Coombs, 2001). Crisis management significantly in-fluenced the role of public relations, encouraging improvement in mana-gerial functions and developing practical skills (Coombs, 2001). Coombs (2001) suggested that crisis management study was the best way to teach public relations theory, concepts, information as well as practical skills including problem solving and communication management. Crisis man-agement influenced the stakeholders’ perception of the organization’s value and scholars found that the extent to which crisis management works was closely related to the value of investment for the organization (Mitroff & Anagnos, 2001; Report on risk and crisis, 2001).
In spite of the rapid growth of crisis management research and its importance in public relations, Coombs (2006) criticized that most of crisis management research involved the descriptive stage. The descriptive case study offers little theoretical insight into the crisis management studies
(Dawar & Pillutra, 2000; Dean, 2004). Thus crisis management study should broaden its scope of research, which would provide advanced and diversified fundamentals of crisis management studies in the future. In spite of the growing amount of research, and the scholarly and pro-fessional needs for broadening the scope of the studies, there have been few studies describing the current status of crisis management research, particularly in public relations perspective. Although some studies ana-lyzed a part of the current crisis management research, representing a specific theory usage and application, it is imperative to look at the overall aspects of the latest crisis management research. Looking at the primary changes and flows in the given research area would also encourage PR scholars to develop and continue consistent and in-depth studies about crisis management, and to figure out a minor research topic which needs to be studied more. PR practitioners are also able to develop appropriate crisis management plan by referring to main theories and topics of a series of research done in this given area.
The present study aims to offer a summary of the current status quo on the decade-long trend of crisis management research in the public relations domain. Basically, this study explores the research productivity of the authors and institutions as well as methodological diversity. As an analytical frame, this study employes the life cycle of proactive, strate-gic, reactive, and recovery phases (Cameron, et al., 2008). We consider that the life cycle is one of the most appropriate frameworks for this comprehensive study because it provides a wide scope of the crisis man-agement field from the proactive to the recovery phase.
2. Literature Review
1) Previous Trend Studies in Mass Communication
Trend study has been done in various disciplines such as mass com-munication (Cooper, et al., 1994; Dupagne, 1993; Schweitzer, 1988),
Internet (Tomasello, 2001), Internet advertising (Cho & Khang, 2006; Kim & McMillan, 2008), advertising (Barry, 1990; Solely & Reid, 1983, 1988), marketing (Clark, 1985, 1986, 1987), and public relations (Cho, 2005; Palenchar & Heath, 2007; Pasadeos, et al., 1999; Sallot, et al., 2003). Studies in various disciplines have investigated the content of aca-demic journals in terms of research methods, (Cooper, Poter, & Dupagne, 1994), topical issues (Riffe & Freitag, 1997), and development of theory (Sallot, Lyon, Acosta-Alzuru, & Jones, 2003). Referred studies in academic journals are great sources for the scholars in terms of guiding their direc-tion for future study (Frost & Taylor, 1985). Cho and Khang (2006) catego-rized those trend research studies into three paths. First, the analysis of productive authors and institutions provided basic information of the trend research (e.g., Barry, 1990; Greenberg & Schweitzer, 1989). This type of trend research analyzed the origins of research articles such as in-dividual authors, academic connections, department affiliations, and au-thors’ institutions. Second, researchers analyzed trends of general research topics, which included the comprehensive reviews for establishing general rules (e.g., Arndt, 1986; Lammers, 1990). Finally, researchers examined the specific theme of the studies and the detailed content of past research: the purpose of the research, the theoretical applications, the research methods, the sampling methods, the units of analysis, and the statistical methods (e.g., Kolbe & Burnett, 1991).
Trend studies have been conducted in public relations domain includ-ing crisis communication. Pasadeos and his colleagues (1992, 1999) ana-lyzed influential authors and works in their bibliometric citation analysis study. Pasadeos et al. (1999) examined published articles in prominent public relations journals during the 6-year period based on previous 15-year bibliographic study of public relations (Pasadeos & Renfro, 1992). Recently, based on the same analysis framework, Pasadeos, Berger, and Renfro (2010) executed following study that represented maturation and development of public relations as an independent discipline. Cho (2005) investigated the more focused area of public relations research pro-ductivity in terms of authors and programs. Cho (2005) argued that it
was important to investigate the productivity analysis in public relations in accordance to the progress of the research. The author also mentioned that the productivity study provided prospective students and scholars an overall understanding of the discipline (Cho, 2005). In terms of crisis management, Palenchar and Heath (2007) executed a meta-analysis of a development of risk communication research and explained how risk communication provides value to the society. A specific theory was also spotlighted by the trend study. Pang, Jin, and Cameron (2007) executed a meta-theoretical analysis of contingency theory of conflict management. In this study, they analyzed and evaluated ten years academic achieve-ments of the theory. Avery and colleagues analyzed 18 years communica-tion research articles in public relacommunica-tions in terms of the situacommunica-tional crisis communication theory (Coombs, 1995) and image restoration theory (Benoit, 1995, 1997). Through analyzing 66 published articles, they found that crisis communication had been richer in terms of using, supporting, and applying both Benoit and Coombs theories (i.e., situational crisis communication theory and image restoration theory).
2) Analysis Frameworks for Crisis Management Research
There have been efforts to investigate the overall trend of public relations research and some studies were only narrowly focused on a specific theme of crisis management. For example, Pang and colleagues (2007) executed an analysis of contingency theory of conflict manage-ment, by which they identified theory usage and application. Palenchar and Heath (2007) investigated development of risk communication. Avery and colleagues (2010) examined theory usage and application about situa-tional crisis communication theory (Coombs, 1995) and image restoration theory (Benoit, 1995). However, few studies have analyzed the overall trend of crisis communication research in the public relations domain. Compared to those existing trend researches in public relations, trend research for the crisis management needs to focus on the crisis based
nature of management: crisis is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. For the purpose of analyzing phenomena and the research of the crisis management, thus researchers have developed various frame-works and categorized them into four groups (Kim, et al., 2008).
Kim, Cha, and Kim (2008) argued that these four groups of categories focus on crisis stages, social and organizational factors’ influence, effective preparedness, and strategy for responding crisis. The first group is the Crisis Management Model by crisis stage (Kim, et al., 2008). Depending on the crisis characteristics, this framework divided the crisis into several stages and attempted to match appropriate proactive and reactive strategies. Coombs (1999) separated a crisis situation into three stages; pre-crisis stages, the crisis stages, and post crisis stages. Fink (1986) div-ided crisis development stages into four stages; prodromal, acute, chronic, and crisis resolution stages.
The second is the Synthetic Crisis Management Model (Kim, et al., 2008). This model concentrates on synthesizing various social and organ-izational factors in crisis management. Pearson and Clair (1998) explained crisis stages and strategies by using Shrivastava’s 4C frames (1993) method of cause, consequences, caution, and coping. These crisis stages and strat-egies utilize psychological, sociopolitical and techno-structural approaches. A crisis management model, which was suggested by Pearson and Mitroff (1993), distinguished organizations into crisis-prone and cri-sis-prepared, based on the organization’s stakeholders, types, mecha-nisms, and systems.
The third framework is the Systematic Crisis Model. This model fo-cused on the factors related to the organization and developed an ex-ecution plan based on the factors (Kim, et al., 2008). Pauchant and Mitroff (1992) suggested in the Onion Model of Crisis Management. Using this model, the researchers explained the five key dimensions of crisis manage-ment; technology, structure of the organization, human factors, culture of organization, and psychology of top management. In this model, five dimensions worked together like peeling the layers of an onion.
Management Model. This model mainly described the reactive phase of crisis communication strategy. Sturges (1994) argued in his crisis commu-nication strategy that crisis commucommu-nication should be differentiated de-pending on the crisis situation. Coombs (2004, 2006) developed the situa-tional crisis communication theory in which effective crisis responses should be differentiated according to the crisis types. Based on the attribu-tion theory, he also argued that a different crisis response strategy reduced the negative effect of the crisis on the reputation. In fact, defensive com-munication strategy such as denial, excuse, or justification is more useful in the situation of lower responsibility crisis, while the accommodative strategy, such as full apology or collective action, is more effective when the responsibility is high.
3) Issue Management, Risk Communication, Crisis Communication, & Reputation Management
(1) The Life Cycle
Coombs (1999, p.4) defined that crisis management represents a set of factors designed to combat crises and lessen the actual damage inflicted by the crisis. He argued that the purpose of crisis management is to pre-vent or reduce the negative influence of a crisis, so the organization, people, stakeholder, or industry is protected from the damage by the crisis. He argued that crisis management should include four basic factors: prevention, preparation, performance and learning (Coombs, 1999). Prevention refers to the steps for avoiding crisis. Preparation step involves crisis management plan that includes diagnosing vulnerability from crisis, organizing crisis management team, and refining crisis coping system. Performance step is the process of application of crisis management prepa-ration and learning is the step for evaluation of the crisis management performance. The four step process make a complete circle, representing each step influence the next step and the final step (i.e., learning), again, provides a basis for the first step of prevention (Coombs, 1999).
<Figure 1> Conflict Management Life Cycle
Following the Coombs’ proposition of nature of crisis management (i.e., the four step process), this study employs Cameron and colleague’s proposition of life cycle as a framework of the trend analysis in crisis management. As Coombs defined, Cameron’s life cycle consisted of four crisis phases: 1) proactive phase, 2) strategic phase, 3) reactive phase, and 4) recovery phase (see Cameron, et al., 2008). As a comprehensive analytical frame, Cameron’s life cycle provides techniques that public rela-tions practitioners can apply in each stage of a crisis. In the four phases, practitioners are required to cope with each crisis phase by conducting appropriate management and skills: 1) issue management, 2) risk commu-nication, 3) crisis reactive commucommu-nication, and 4) reputation management, respectively (see Figure 1).
First, in the proactive phase, issue management is required. Within the issue management, current issue or trend, which is related to the organization, is identified. The basic duty of practitioners in this phase is proactive planning. Public relations practitioners execute environmental scanning and issue tracking, which prevent a crisis from emerging. Practitioners should continue to watch the environment by checking cur-rent issues from an organization’s view point. If an issue occurs, practi-tioners should start executing issue management, develop a general crisis plan, and prepare for the worst situation. Public relations counselors, Chase and Barrie identified the five basic steps of issue management;
1) issue identification, 2) issue analysis, 3) strategy options, 4) an action plan, and 5) the evaluation of results (Cameron, et al., 2008).
Second, risk communication and strategic planning are required in a strategic phase. In this phase, public relations practitioners identify an issue that is the result of concrete crisis. Specifically, practitioners should position the organization in a favorable way, which is called strategic positioning. As the issue becomes a threat, practitioners should conduct risk communication in order to prevent people or organizations from pos-sible injury or damage. Risk communication needs to be continued until a risk becomes a crisis or the risk is exhausted (Cameron, et al., 2008). Third, crisis reactive communication is included in the reactive phase of the crisis communication (Cameron, et al., 2008). Crisis reactive com-munication takes over when the crisis situation emerges with a high level of uncertainty. In this phase, the issue or the risk become critical enough to be an apparent crisis to the organization. Practitioners should react to the crisis by performing crisis reactive communication as well as an active execution of the crisis management plan. When the crisis becomes serious, it can often lead to litigation, which can often mean extensive legal actions and time consuming trials. Public relations practitioners need to hire strategists for an arbitration or negotiation in this phase (Cameron, et al., 2008).
Finally, reputation management is performed in the recovery phase. The reputation refers to the entire representation of the organization’s past and present performance. In this phase, practitioners will bolster or recover the damaged reputation due to the crisis. A good reputation is formed or eliminated depending on how the organization manages the conflict (Cameron, et al., 2008).
Cameron et al. (2008) developed the life cycle, which described the process from issue tracking to reputation management. In this process, reputation management does not mean a completion of the process of conflict management, but it does require that the process begins again. Reputation management is connected to issue management. If a crisis does not occur, issue management and/or risk communication need to
be constantly working in a successful way.
(2) Research Questions
The present study addressed the idea of requiring a comprehensive analysis of crisis communication studies in order to provide scholars with more elaborated knowledge of the crisis management. This study pro-poses the two groups of research questions. Considering research ques-tions in previous trend research studies (see Barry, 1990; Greenberg & Schweitzer, 1989), the authors propose the first group of research ques-tions regarding the most productive scholars, the most productive in-stitutions, and the frequency and the pattern of published crisis manage-ment PR studies:
RQ1. What are the publication trends of research in that area?
RQ2. Who are the most productive scholars and institutions in that area?
Then, this study investigates the expanded scope of basic information including the purpose of the research, topics of each study, the theoretical applications for the research, and the methodological applications by re-ferring to questions examined in previous trend research studies (see Arndt, 1986; Kolbe & Burnett, 1991; Lammers, 1990). Based on the frame-work of the four step life cycle (Cameron, et al., 2008), this study also examines what kind of studies have been done in each phase:
RQ3. What research purposes and topics are popular in that area? RQ4. What is the frequency of theoretical application in that area? RQ5. What crisis management phases are mainly studied? RQ6. What research methods are often utilized in that area?
This study content-analyzed Public Relations Review (PRR) and Journal of Public Relations Research (JPRR). The two PR journals were selected for the analysis of the present study because many public rela-tions scholars published their scholarly accomplishments in the two inter-national journals. Moreover, some comprehensive reviews, which sum-marized the flow of PR literature in depth, commonly noted the two jour-nals (see Cho, 2005; Palenchar & Heath, 2007; Pasadeos, et al., 1999). Thus, the present study analyzed academic articles of crisis management research issued in the selected journals. Following the Pasadeos et al. (1999) that analyzed PR trend by 1998, in specific, the present study ana-lyzed all the crisis management research articles issued in the selected journals from 1999 to 2009.
The authors searched articles in the electronic archives of the two journals by using the key words such as crisis, conflict, issue management, risk communication, reputation management, and corporate social respon-sibility (CSR). Since many articles used more than one key word listed above in the overall content, doubly searched articles were analyzed only once. Also, some articles, which only mentioned the key words but did not really examine the area at all, were excluded in the selection process. Through this process, as a result, this study content analyzed a total of 212 articles from the two journals (PRR: 152; JPRR: 60). All the articles published between 1999 and 2008 were coded at September 2008 and then 2009 articles were additionally coded at November 2009.
1) Unit of Analysis
The authors noted the following items as units of analysis: the type and frequency of journal, the publication year; the type and frequency of author(s) and institution(s); the type and frequency of research purpose; the use of theory; the type and frequency of theory; the type and
fre-quency of specific topic; the type and frefre-quency of crisis management phase; the type and frequency of method used in each study; the type and frequency of quantitative and qualitative method; the type and fre-quency of sampling method (in quantitative research); and the type and frequency of statistical analysis.
2) Coding Category
Many coding schemes used in this study refer to those in the compre-hensive study by Cho and Khang (2006). Based on the coding schemes, the authors added and trimmed some details such as topics, crisis manage-ment phases, and the type of methods.
Journal was coded as 1) PRR and 2) JPRR. Publication year was from 1999 to 2009. Then, the names of author(s) and affiliation(s) were coded. The purpose of each research was categorized as three items: 1) exploratory research, which explores and defines the essence of a problem which researchers do not know clearly; 2) descriptive research, which simply reports and summarizes characteristics of phenomena; and 3) explanatory research, which examines and predicts a causal relation-ship among variables (Babbie, 2001).
When a study used at least one theory or theoretical model, the study was coded as 1) theoretical study. Otherwise, the authors coded as 2) a non-theoretical study. Specific theories will be listed in the Table 3 in the result section.
While coding the data, the authors inductively classified the pattern of topics. This study coded the following topics: 1) crisis preparedness; 2) the role and use of new media in crisis management; 3) analysis of crisis response messages; 4) principles of crisis response messages; 5) evaluation of crisis responses; 6) factors influencing crisis communication; 7) theoretical models in crisis communication; 8) negotiation strategies; 9) factors in an organizational reputation management; 10) relationship between public relations practitioners and main stakeholders such as jour-nalists and lawyers; and 11) others.
The first category, crisis preparedness, often deals with what organ-izations (should) do before a crisis. The second category refers to how practitioners utilize new media for the purpose of effective crisis management. The third category refers to describing crisis responses in a certain case without in-depth evaluations. When a study suggests and explains guidelines for effective crisis response messages, the authors cod-ed the studies as the fourth category. Studies in the fifth category empha-size clear crisis communication evaluations by the author(s) and/or publics. Studies examining certain factors in crisis communication belong to the sixth category. If the factors influenced overall reputation manage-ment rather than crisis communication after the occurrence of a crisis, the authors regarded the studies as the ninth category. The seventh cat-egory refers to examining or suggesting a theoretical model, which ex-plains crisis communication rather than one or more factors. Explaining how organizations (can or should) negotiate with opposing publics was coded as the eighth category. The tenth category spotlights the specific relationship between practitioners and stakeholders. Unless a study be-longs to any category in the list above, the authors categorized it as the eleventh category of others.
Crisis communication phases were specified as 1) proactive phase that conducts issue identification, issue tracking, issue analysis, crisis plan-ning, 2) strategic phase that deals with risk communication, 3) reactive phase showing crisis communication after a crisis occurs, and 4) recovery phase that aims to manage organizational reputation or conducts corpo-rate social responsibility activities. This classification was referred to the typology by Wilcox and Cameron (2008). Some studies that dealt with more than one phase were coded as 5) comprehensive phase. Studies that do not offer any clue for crisis management phase belonged to 6) others.
Methods were categorized as 1) quantitative research, 2) qualitative research, 3) triangulation, and 4) others. When a study did not employ any method, it was classified as the fourth category. Quantitative research was specified as content analysis, survey, experiment, secondary data
99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 PRR (%) * 5 3.3 35 5 3.3 76 4 2.6 36 7 4.6 38 6 3.9 38 13 8.6 52 20 13.2 74 16 10.5 75 23 15.1 72 27 17.8 73 26 17.1 89 JPRR (%) * 5 8.3 14 4 6.7 16 3 5 12 4 6.7 12 3 5 11 7 11.7 15 3 5 18 3 5 20 14 23.3 16 6 10 20 8 13.3 27 Total (%) * 10 4.7 49 9 4.2 92 7 3.3 48 11 5.2 50 9 4.2 49 20 9.4 67 23 10.8 92 19 9.0 95 37 17.5 88 33 15.6 93 34 16.0 116
* means the number of total articles published in each year
<Table 1> Publication Trends
analysis, and mixed, whereas qualitative research was segmented as narra-tive analysis, interview, focus group, field observation, case study, cri-tique/essay, mixed, and others.
Sampling methods consisted of the two items: 1) probability sampling when a generalization in a population is possible and 2) non-probability sampling which does not enable a generalization due to convenience sampling rather than random sampling. Specific list of statistical analysis category will be explained in the Table 6.
3) Analysis and Inter-coder Reliability
This study mainly used descriptive analysis such as frequency and χ2test, which diagnoses a statistical difference of data frequency. Using Cohen’s (1960) kappa, two of the authors analyzed 10% of the totally coded articles in common. Reliability for each item ranged from .71 and 1.00: research purpose (.754), theory (.762), topic (.710), conflict manage-ment phase (.811), methods (.90), sampling method (.737), statistics (.794), journal type (1.00), publication year (1.00), author (1.00), and
<Figure 2> Publication Trends
institution (1.00). These results indicated substantial agreement (0.61-0.80) or in part almost perfect agreement (larger than 0.80) (see Landis and Koch, 1977).
RQ1. aksed publication trends for the last decade (see Table 1 and Figure 2). Overall publications examining crisis management in the PR journals are increasing (also see Figure 2). From 1999 to 2009, the number of publications each year gradually increased. This gradual growth seems to indicate that academic interests regarding crisis management in PR field are getting larger.
RQ2. questioned the most productive PR scholars in examining the crisis management area and what institutions have actively done studies in the field. A total of 23 scholars and 25 universities often have published crisis management related articles in the two journals. The most
pro-PR Scholar Organization 1. Glen Cameron (15) 1. University of Missouri (37) 2. Timothy Coombs (10) 2. University of Florida (14) 3. Robert L. Heath (6) 3. De Paul University (12) 4. Jae-Hwa Shin (5) 3. University of Houston (12) 4. William L. Benoit (5)
4. Maureen Taylor (5) 4. Sherry J. Holladay (5) 8. Brooke Fisher Liu (4) 8. Brian Reber (4)
5. Texas Tech University (10) 5. University of Georgia (10) 7. Eastern Illinois University (9) 7. University of Waikato (9) 9. University of Alabama (8) 8. Jaesub Lee (4) 8. Yan Jin (4) 8. Yi-Hui Huang (4) 8. SungUn Yang (4) 8. Ying-Hsuan Lin (4) 8. Yoonhyeung Choi (4)
10. Louisiana State University (7) 11. Michigan State University (6) 11. Western Michigan University (6) 11. University of Tennessee (6) 11. Syracuse University (6) 11. Virginia Commonwealth Univ (6) 8. Lynne M. Sallot (4) 16. University of SouthernMississippi(5) 17. James Kauffman (3) 16. University of Maryland (5) 17. Fritz Cropp (3) 16. Colorado State University (5) 17. Keith Michael Hearit (3)
17. Kurt Wise (3) 17. Øyvind Ihlen (3) 17. Shari R.Veil (3) 17. Sungwook Hwang (3)
16. Fairleigh Dickenson University (5) 16. Illinois State University (5) 16. National Chenchi University (5) 16. North Dakota State University (5) 16. Rutgers University (5)
16. University of Oklahoma (5) 16. Wayne State University (5)
Note: This study counted how many each author or each university appears in the crisis management articles published in the journals.
<Table 2> Productive PR Scholars and Organizations for Crisis Management Studies
Crisis preparedness 12 (5.7%)
The role and use of new media in crisis management 13 (6.1%) Analysis of crisis response messages (in media coverage) 32 (15.1%) Principles of crisis response messages 11 (5.2%) Evaluation of crisis responses 31 (14.6%) Factors influencing crisis communication 29 (13.7%) Theoretical model(s) in crisis communication 27 (12.7%) Negotiation strategies 2 (.9%) Factors in an organizational reputation management 31 (14.6%) Relationship of practitioners with stakeholders (e.g., journalists, lawyers) 9 (4.2%)
Others 15 (7.1%)
Total 212 (100%)
<Table 3> Topics
ductive scholar was Glen T. Cameron, followed by Timothy Coombs, Robert L. Heath, Jae-Hwa Shin, William Benoit, Maureen Taylor, and Sherry Holladay. University of Missouri was the most productive institution in studying crisis management using a public relations approach, followed by University of Florida, DePaul University, University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and University of Georgia (see Table 2).
Regarding research purpose in RQ3, descriptive studies (112) took part in 52.8% of total articles. Exploratory (45) and explanatory (55) stud-ies made up 21.2% and 25.9% of the total, respectively. Research describ-ing characteristics of a phenomenon in crisis management was the most frequent. According to one-way Chi-square test, each frequency was stat-istically different (Chi-square = 36.9, df = 2, p＜.001). This pattern (de-scriptive research, exploratory or explanatory research) was almost the same over years. That is, the result of a two-way Chi-square test in the cross-tabulation of research purpose and publication trends (year) was
not significant (Chi-square = 25.08, df = 20, p = ns).
Table 4 demonstrates the frequency and subsequent percentage of topics studied in the analyzed journals (RQ3). First, the topic of “Analyzed Crisis Response Messages in the Media Coverage” was most frequently examined in the given analyzed journal articles (i.e., 15.1%). The second most often examined topic were “Evaluation of Crisis Responses (14.6%)” and “Factors in an Organizational Reputation Management (14.6%)”. Then, researchers explored and studied “Factors Influencing Crisis Communication (13.7%),” followed by “Factors Associated with An Organizational Reputation Management (14.6%).” Then, 12.7% of the total articles suggested or tested theoretical models in crisis communication rather than examining a one or more factors. These five topics were the major research topics related to crisis management in terms of the PR perspective. Second-tier topics were crisis preparedness, the role and use of new media in crisis management, strategically desirable principles of crisis response messages, the relationship between practitioners and stake-holders, and others. The differences between the frequencies were sig-nificant at p＜.001 (Chi-square = 40.29, df = 9) (see Table 3).
This study also analyzed whether crisis management articles in the PR field employ a theory (RQ4.) A total of 119 articles used more than a theory, whereas a total of 93 articles did not utilize a theory (56.1% to 43.9%). The 12 percent gap was not statistically significant (Chi-square = 3.19, df = 1, p = ns). The 44% of the total theoretical articles examined in this study employed one of the four major theories (contingency, image restoration strategies, excellence, and OPR), whereas the remaining theo-retical articles used theories from various fields (see Table 4).
Regarding the crisis management phases (RQ5), more than half of the articles dealt with post-crisis phases: the reactive phase (41.5%) and the recovery phase (13.7%). That is, researchers frequently spotlighted organizational crisis communication and reputation management. Also, 28.8% of the total articles covered more than one crisis management phase. Relatively speaking, studies regarding pre-crisis phases were not active: the proactive phase (5.7%) and strategic phase (4.2%). 6.1% of
Theory Frequency 1. Contingency theory 17 (13.6%) 1. Image restoration theory 17 (13.6%) 3. Excellence theory 11 (8.8%) 4. OPR (Organization-Public Relationship) 10 (8.0%)
5. Framing 6 (4.8%)
6. CRS (Crisis Response Strategies) 5 (4.0%) 6. SCCT (Situational Crisis Communication Theory) 5 (4.0%) 8. Stakeholder theory 4 (3.2%)
8. Legitimacy 4 (3.2%)
10. Rhetorical theory 3 (2.4%) 10. Situational theory of publics 3 (2.4%) 12. Agenda building theory 2 (1.6%) 12. Attribution theory 2 (1.6%) 12. Stealing thunder 2 (1.6%) 12. Communication response strategy 2 (1.6%) 12. Agenda setting theory 2 (1.6%)
17. Others 30 (24%)
Total 125 (100%)
Note: Each theory in the category of others was utilized only once in the examined articles. That is, thirty different theories belong to the category.
<Table 4> Crisis Management Theory
the articles did not offer any clue for determining crisis management phases. According to the one-way Chi-square test, the frequency was statistically different (Chi-square = 147.43, df = 5, p＜.001).
RQ6, finally, asked about the methods used in the studies. In the operationalizaion of the research question and hypothesis, first, the articles used quantitative methods (46.2%) and qualitative methods (49.1%) at
Quantitative Frequency Qualitative Frequency Content Analysis 29 (29.6%) Narrative Analysis 17 (16.3%) Survey 39 (39.8%) Interview 14 (13.5%) Experiment 27 (27.6%) Focus Group Interview 2 (1.9%)
Mixed 3 (3%) Field Observation 1 (1.0%) Case Study 50 (48.1%) Critique/Essay 12 (11.5%) Mixed 3 (2.9%) Others 5 (4.8%) Total 98 (100%) Total 104 (100%) <Table 5> Method
almost equal proportions (Chi-square = .18, df = 1, p = ns). 2.4% of the articles methodologically pursued triangulation and the remaining 2.4% of the articles did not use any research methods.
As shown in Table 5, in specific, survey (39.8%) was the most fre-quently used quantitative method, followed by content analysis (29.6%), experiment (27.6%), and mixed quantitative methods (3%). However, the result of the one-way Chi-square test indicated that the differences in the frequency excluding the items of mixed method were not statistically significant (Chi-square = 2.61, df = 2, p = ns). That is, PR researchers used the three typical quantitative methods almost equally in studying crisis management. On the other hand, qualitative crisis management ar-ticles in the PR journals chose to use case studies (48.1%) most often, followed by narrative analyses (16.3%), in-depth interviews (13.5%), cri-tique/essays (11.5%), others (4.8%), mixed qualitative methods (2.9%), FGI (1.9%), and field observations (1.0%). When running the one-way Chi-square test excluding the four items lower than or the same as the frequency of five, the dominant use of case studies in qualitative studies was significant at p＜.001 (Chi-square = 41.58, df = 3).
Type Frequency Descriptive frequency analysis (e.g., mean, median, variance..) 15 (15.8%) One-way or two-way test 8 (8.4%) T-test 2 (2.1%) ANOVA 26 (27.4%) Correlation analysis 5 (5.3%) Multiple regression 6 (6.3%) MANOVA 3 (3.2%) MANCOVA 2 (2.1%)
EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis) 8 (8.4%) CFA (Confirmatory Factor Analysis / structural equation modeling) 8 (8.4%)
Others 12 (12.6%)
Total 95 (100%)
Note: When an article used two or more main statistical analysis, this study included the multiple statistics into the list of analysis.
<Table 6> Statistics
Regarding the sampling method, in addition, this study examined the frequency of probability sampling vs. non-probability by sampling 98 articles using quantitative methods. 36 articles (36.7%) used probability sampling such as random sampling, whereas 62 articles (63.3%) utilized non-probability sampling such as convenience sampling dealing with stu-dent samples. The gap of 26.6% between the two types of sampling meth-ods was statistically significant (Chi-square = 6.89, df = 1, p＜.01). That is, researchers were likely to use non-probability sampling often, which makes it impossible to generalize the results into a certain population. When limiting the scope of analysis into only survey methods, the fre-quency of probability sampling was almost the same as that of non-proba-bility sampling (25 to 14, Chi-square = 3.10, df = 1, p = ns).
frequently used. The most popular statistical method was ANOVA (27.4%), followed by descriptive frequency analysis (15.8%), others (12.6%), Chi-square test (8.4%), multiple regression (6.3%), exploratory factor anal-ysis (8.4%), confirmatory factor analanal-ysis (SEM) (8.4%), correlation (5.3%), t-test (2.1%), MANOVA (3.2%), and MANCOVA (2.1%). The frequency difference among the statistics excluding the two items with the frequency lower than five was statistically significant at p＜.001 (Chi-square = 30.0, df = 7). In crisis management research in PR, researchers often used the mid-level statistics ANOVA/regression, basic statistics (descriptive analysis and Chi-square test), high-level factor analysis statistics, and other unique statistics, respectively.
Proposed as the purpose of a study, the present study showed the latest status quo of crisis management research as an important domain in public relations. Compared to those existing trend studies, this study systematically examined the area of the crisis management PR based on the four phases of crisis management life cycle.
First of all, the present study found that the publication frequency had been gradually increased from 1999 to 2009. This growth seems to indicate that academic interests regarding crisis management are getting larger in the public relations field. Since crisis management is a relatively new and unique area in public relations, it is reasonable that a large amount of scholarly effort have been devoted to crisis management re-search for the past ten years. The results indicate that crisis management research is becoming a distinctive and important area in public relations research, also representing that growing number of scholars would con-tinue working on this hot area of research.
During the last decade, in particular, there have been significant cri-ses such as the terrorist attack on September 11 in 2001, economic crisis in 2008, and the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. Presumably these
crises since 2001 could stimulate to produce crisis management research and related studies. Interestingly, the number of studies in crisis manage-ment in PR began increasing from 2004 (see <Table 1>). A series of crisis management research dealing with a crisis since 2001 might have been published around or after 2004 when considering general time required for a publication.
Second, this study identifies scholars who actively studied crisis com-munication as well as found those institutions that contributed to crisis management research. In terms of the number of publications, Glen T. Cameron (15 publications) is the most productive scholar in crisis manage-ment research; followed by Timothy Coombs (10), Robert L. Heath (6), Jae-Hwa Shin (5), William Benoit (5), Maureen Taylor (5), and Sherry Holladay (5). This is an interesting result when compared to the study of Pasadeos, Renfro, and Hanily (1999). Spotlighting PR studies before 2000’s, the most published public relations authors were Robert L. Heath (12 publications), Martha M. Lauzen (11), Larissa A. Gruinig (10), Glen T. Cameron (8), and Linda P. Morton (6). Another public relations trend study (Cho, 2005) demonstrated that Glen T. Cameron (13 publications) and Maureen Taylor (13) were the most productive scholars followed by Lynne M. Sallot (11), Kirk Hallahan (10), W. Timothy Coombs (10), and Robert L. Heath (9). Some scholars are very productive in both gen-eral public relations studies and crisis management research. This indicates that PR scholars studying crisis management need to note studies of the productive authors as basic literature such as Glen T. Cameron, Robert L. Heath, Timothy Coombs, William Benoit, and Maureen Taylor.
On the other hand, University of Missouri is the most productive school in crisis management PR research followed by University of Florida, De Paul University, University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and University of Georgia. Productive scholars and their colleagues may con-tribute to the schools to be listed on the high ranking. For example, Glen Cameron and his colleagues have developed a line of studies focus-ing on the contfocus-ingency theory of conflict management, which in turn influenced the productivity of University of Missouri. Here, the most
im-portant lesson we need to learn is that PR scholars should monitor how the productive scholars and schools are developing their line of studies because doing so is a shortcut to get the most updated core knowledge in this field.
Fourth, the most common purpose of crisis management in public relations research was descriptive purpose (52.8%), followed by ex-ploratory (21.2%) and explanatory purpose (25.9%). Furthermore, this result was identical regardless of different times (i.e., year). According to Coombs (2006), many crisis communication studies had involved in the beginning stages of descriptive purpose and descriptive case studies provide minimal insight into how stakeholders really react to the crisis communication strategy (Coombs, 2008). Specifically, he argued that ex-perimental research would contribute to the creation of evidence-based information in terms of crisis management (Coombs, 2008). The present study insist that scholars, in order to know the dynamics of variables in crisis management PR, need to conduct more exploratory and ex-planatory studies than simple descriptive studies.
Fifth, crisis management researchers in PR were likely to conduct theoretical studies and non-theoretical studies almost equally. In detail, crisis management studies in the prestigious PR journals employed the contingency theory of conflict management most often as a theoretical frame, followed by image restoration theory, excellence theory, and OPR (organization-pubic relationship). That is, many scholars were interested in studying the contingent factors influencing an organization’s stance in diverse conflict management domains. Also, Benoit’s image restoration strategy typologies were often utilized in analyzing the discourse in crisis management cases. Excellence scholars explained conflict management phenomena based on the theoretical perspective, emphasizing the mixture of two-way symmetrical communication and two-way asymmetrical communication. Also, scholars have actively studied how such factors as trust influence OPR in a conflict. Crisis management research also em-ploys several theories that originated from various fields, even though they were used less frequently. This result indicates that crisis
manage-ment PR researchers need to apply more theories and concepts from other scholarly disciplines to their studies in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of crisis phenomena.
Regarding the topics, 70.7% of the research examined the top five topics: analysis of crisis response messages, evaluation of crisis response, factors influencing crisis communication, theoretical models in crisis com-munication, and factors in an organizational reputation management. The analysis of crisis response messages was the most common topic in the academic area. As mentioned before, descriptive researches were very prevalent. Analysis of crisis response messages was the most typical topic of descriptive researches. Overall, scholars actively invested their efforts in studying those five hot topics. For being a balanced research area, however, more scholarly efforts would be required to study related topics, in addition to the top five, such as crisis preparedness, relationship of practitioners with various stakeholders, and negotiation strategies. Especially, scholars need to be concerned about examining and suggesting applicable and persuasive negotiation strategies for practical conflict resolution.
Seventh, researchers focused more on post-crisis phase; reactive phase (41.5%) and recovery phase (13.7%). 28.8% of the research covered two or more phases in the same study, so only a small portion of the studies dealt with the pre-crisis phase (i.e., proactive phase 5.7%, and strategic phase 4.2%). This pattern is understandable because crisis itself is the most important and highly visible of the various management phases. Also, it would be quite difficult for scholars to gather confidential data for the pre-crisis phase from practitioners (e.g., a corporation’s crisis management manual). However, more efforts spotlighting the pre-crisis phases are necessary because prevention is as equally important as react-ing to a crisis situation.
Methodologically, qualitative methods were more frequently used than quantitative ones. Specifically, survey, experiment, and content anal-ysis were almost equally used among the quantitative methods, while case study was the most dominant method among various qualitative
methods. In other words, quantitative researchers used the three major quantitative methods in a balanced way, while qualitative researchers de-pended heavily on using case studies. In spite of this overly using one qualitative method, case studies have largely contributed on researching various topics and issues in the area of crisis management research, which shows the broadened view of the given area of study. in spite of some critics that argues too much efforts
Regarding the sampling method, quantitative researchers used proba-bility sampling and non-probaproba-bility sampling almost equally. In other words, the possibility of generalization seemed to be considered quite often in sampling. Furthermore, researchers using surveys relied heavily on probability sampling which is very desirable for generalization of the survey results. When it comes to the statistical analysis method, ANOVA was the most common tool followed by descriptive frequency analysis, multiple regressions, and exploratory factor analysis. As Cho & Khang (2006) reported in their Internet advertising trend research, ANOVA was again popular in this different academic domain, crisis management in PR. Presumably crisis management PR scholars seemed to often compare group differences in crisis management subjects by using the statistical method.
Although this study summarized the decade’s trend thoroughly, it has some limitations. First, this study analyzed only two PR journals. Although those two are prestigious journals in public relations, it would be better to analyze the research articles of crisis management in other PR journals in order to offer a more comprehensive and applicable knowledge. Second, crisis management research is not limited to the pub-lic relations domain, thus a future study can highlight the interdisciplinary area of crisis management such as crisis in marketing, advertising, and management. Third, productivity of authors and institutions could be measured and analyzed by employing a more systemized way. This study counted first, second, or third authors equally, but the first author could get a more weighted evaluation than the other co-authors. Likewise, the institution of the first author could be given more importance than that
of the co-authors. Fourth, this study did not directly compare the trend of crisis management research in the major international PR journals. Comparing the journals will be an interesting task to tell the publication strategy of the different journals. By acknowledging and suggesting the limitations and desirable future direction, the authors hope that this study can contribute to understanding the current state of crisis management research and help lead the research the one step further.
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논문 투고일 2011. 6. 7. 심사 완료일 2011. 7. 18. 논문 게재일 2011. 8. 31.
위기관리 PR 연구의 현황에 대한 분석과 고찰함창대 일리노이대학교 광고학과 조교수 황성욱 부산대학교 신문방송학과 조교수 글렌 카메론 미주리대학교 저널리즘학과 교수
본 연구는 PR분야 국제학술지인 Public Relations Review와 Journal of Public Relations Research에 지난 11년간(1999-2009) 게재된 노출도 높은 PR학술논문들을 중심으로 위기관리 PR연구의 최근 경향을 내용분석하였다. 특 히, PR분야 위기관리연구에 있어서 주로 공헌한 학자와 대학, 자주 사용된 연구 방법론, 주로 연구된 주제 및 이론적 배경 등에 대해 분석하였다. 분석의 틀로 주목한 위기관리의 4단계를 바탕으로 본 연구는 향후 위기관리PR연구들이 사 전 이슈관리 단계, 전략적 리스크 커뮤니케이션 단계, 반응적 위기커뮤니케이션 단계, 회복의 평판관리 단계에서의 연구의제들을 균형적으로 조사하고 심화, 확 장시켜 나가야 한다고 제언하였다. 또한, 다수의 PR분야 위기관리연구가 이론 을 적용하지 않았던 경향을 관찰하면서 본 연구는 향후 연구자들이 유관 연구들 을 기획하고 수행하는데 있어 이론적 배경을 바탕으로 한 가설 검증과 이론의 개발을 위해 보다 노력해야 한다고 주장하였다. 주제어 : 연구 동향 분석, 위기관리, PR 국제학술지
홍보학연구 제18권 1호(2014년) 367
정황적 수용 이론
과거, 현재, 그리고 미래에 대한 전망*6)7) 황성욱** 부산대학교 신문방송학과 부교수 본 연구는 1997년 학계에 처음 소개된 정황적 수용 이론을 중심으로 해당 이론이 어떠한 배경에서 나타났는지, 주요 개념들은 무엇인지 그것을 왜 이론이 라고 명할 수 있는지를 설명하고 어떤 주제와 영역의 연구들이 그동안 수행되어 왔는지를 체계적으로 분류하였다. 그 결과 ‘이론의 태동’, ‘정황 변인의 영향력’, ‘다양한 영역별 사례연구’, ‘언론 및 법조인과의 관계’, ‘새로운 정황 변인의 탐 색’, ‘변인과 이론의 정교화’, ‘종속변인의 전환’의 일곱 개 유형으로 기존 연구들 을 분류하였다. 이러한 결과들을 바탕으로 본 연구는 앞으로 비영리조직을 비롯 한 다양한 영역, 사전대응적 PR, 조직 내적 사원관계 커뮤니케이션에 대한 연 구, 새로운 정황변인에 탐색, 학제 간 연구를 바탕으로 한 정황적 수용 이론의 지속적인 정교화, 새로운 종속변인들을 중심으로 한 후속 연구의 필요성을 토론 하였다. 주제어: 조직－공중 갈등, 정황적 수용 이론, 정황 변인, 조직의 입장 * 이 논문은 2013년도 부산대학교 인문사회연구기금의 지원을 받아 연구되었습니다. 연구의 질 적 향상을 위해 소중한 조언을 주신 세 분 심사위원님 그리고 자료의 도식화에 도움을 준 석사과정 김지예 학생에게 지면을 빌어 감사를 표합니다.
368 정황적 수용 이론
“It depends”라는 제목의 1997년 한 논문(Cancel, Cameron, Sallot, & Mitrook, 1997)으로부터 시작된 정황적 수용 이론(the contingency theory of accommodation)은 PR 분야의 중요 이론의 하나로 지난 17년 동안 많은 국내 외 학술논문들의 이론적 분석의 틀로서 주목받아 왔다. 1980년대부터 PR의 주류이론으로 확고하게 자리매김한 그루닉의 PR의 4모델, 그 중에서도 이상 적인 모델이라 불렸던 쌍방향 균형모델의 규범적 이론으로서의 현실 설명력 의 한계를 지적하면서 등장한 정황적 수용 이론은 주로 서구 특히 미국 지역에 서 많은 연구들(Cameron, Cropp, & Reber, 2001; Cancel, Mitrook, & Cameron, 1999; Cho & Cameron, 2006; Choi & Cameron, 2005; Jin & Cameron, 2006; Reber & Cameron, 2003; Shin, Cameron, & Cropp, 2006)이 수행되어 왔으나 국내에서도 이 이론을 접목하여 PR의 현상을 분석하고 그 배 경에 깔린 요인들의 영향력을 살펴보려는 활발한 시도(이종혁, 2003; 최애 정·조수영, 2011; 황성욱, 2009; 황성욱·김지예, 2013)가 관찰되고 있다. 국내의 PR입문서, 개론서 등에서 설명되고 있는 이 이론은 원래 미국의 학 자들에 의해 제기된 이론이기에 그 영어식 표기를 번역하는 과정에서 또한 다 양한 해석이 나타났다. 김영욱(2003)은 그의 저서 ≪PR커뮤니케이션: 체계, 수사, 비판 이론의 통합≫에서 이를 상황이론 혹은 우연성이론이라고 명명하 였다. 이를 바탕으로 박종민 등의 학자들은 조화의 우연성이론이라고 표기한 바 있다. 2008년 광고홍보학회 추계 학술대회 PR이론 분과에서는 그루닉의 공중상황이론(situational theory of publics)과 혼동될 우려가 있으므로 이를 통일성 있게 정황이론이라 명하자는 제안(최윤형)이 있었으며, 최근에 김영 욱(2013)은 그의 저서에서 이를 상황결정이론이라 구분하기도 하였다. 즉, ‘조 직의 PR결정은 상황적 변인에 따라 달라질 수 있다. 조직이 직면한 정황에 따 라 공중의 의견을 수용하는 정도는 달라질 수 있다’라는 같은 의미를 다른 표현 으로 표기한 차이라고 볼 수 있다. 2013년 11월 2일 한국PR학회의 PR개론 교
홍보학연구 제18권 1호(2014년) 369 라 표기하였으며 본 연구에서는 이러한 그 간의 명칭 논의와 한국PR학회의 표 기 방식을 참고하여 이를 ‘정황적 수용 이론’이라고 표기하고자 한다. 학자들은 이 이론이 너무 많은 변인을 포함하여 이론으로서 갖추어야 할 간 명성(simplicity)에 약점을 드러낸다고 지적을 하지만 반대로 많은 변인들을 통해 조직의 PR결정을 설명할 수 있는 현상적 설명력(explanatory power)에 높은 평가를 하기도 한다. 이 같은 장단점을 갖고 있는 정황적 수용 이론은 조 직이 공중과의 갈등적 상황에 직면했을 때 어떤 결정을 내리고 어떠한 요인들 이 영향을 미치는지 분석하는 데 유용한 틀이라고 볼 수 있다. 이 점을 인지하 면서 김영욱(2013)은 해당 이론이 점차 갈등해소 이론으로 특화되는 경향이 있다고 평가하기도 하였다. 본 연구의 목적은 이러한 정황적 수용 이론을 중심으로 어떠한 배경에서 그 이론이 나타났는지, 주요 개념들은 무엇이고 그것을 왜 이론이라고 명할 수 있 는지를 설명하고 무엇보다도 어떤 주제와 영역의 연구들이 그동안 수행되어 왔는지를 체계적으로 분류 및 고찰하여 이들 연구들이 갖는 함의를 요약하고 제시하는 데 그 목적을 둔다. 또한, 문헌의 체계적인 리뷰를 바탕으로 앞으로 어떠한 연구들이 필요하고 예상되는지 논의해 보고자 한다. 정황적 수용 이론에 대한 본 연구의 요약과 함의 그리고 향후 연구에 대한 전망의 제시는 학술적으로 그 이론을 주목하는 여러 학자들 및 후속연구자들 에게 연구 방향을 설정하는 데 있어서 효율적인 나침반 역할을 할 수 있을 것이 다. 아울러 현업의 많은 실무자들에게도 나타난 PR현상의 배경 요인을 이해하 고 실무를 발전시켜 나가는데 소중한 자료가 될 수 있을 것이라 기대한다.
2. 본론그동안의 정황적 수용 이론 연구들을 주제와 영역별로 크게 나누어 보면 먼 저 이론의 태동, 정황 변인의 실무적 영향력, 사례분석연구, PR 대 언론 및 법조
370 정황적 수용 이론
종속변인의 변화로 구분할 수 있다. 본 장에서는 이러한 일곱 가지 유형을 중 심으로 그 주요 연구결과와 함의를 정리한다.
1) 이론의 태동: 초창기
주지하다시피 그루닉과 헌트(Grunig & Hunt, 1984)는 PR을 크게 네 가지 모델로 구분해 설명하였다. 일방향 불균형의 언론대행모형, 정보의 진실성을 고려하는 일방향 균형의 공공정보모형, 과학적 조사를 통해 공중의 여론을 살 펴보지만 조직PR에 반영하지는 않는 쌍방향 불균형모형, 그리고 조직과 공중 이 상호이해를 통해 서로 균형적 영향을 미치는 쌍방향 균형모형이 바로 그것 이다. 도지어와 동료들(Dozier, Grunig, & Grunig, 1995)은 이러한 네 가지 모 델 중 쌍방향 불균형모형과 쌍방향 균형모형의 적절한 혼합과 활용을 우수한 PR이라고 평가하여 이를 우수이론이라고 명하였다. 이러한 우수이론은 PR학의 주요 이론으로서 그 가치를 높이 평가받지만 1990년대 말 캔슬과 동료들(Cancel, et al., 1997)은 해당 이론이 복잡한 PR현 상을 지나치게 단순화시키는 규범적 모델이라고 비평하였다. 그들은 조직이 공중과의 주어진 갈등 상황에서 어떻게 PR의 입장(stance)을 선택하고, 어떻 게 그 입장이 변화하며, 어떤 요인들이 조직과 공중 사이 관계에 영향을 미치 는지에 대해 규범적인 우수이론으로 설명하기 어렵다고 지적하였다. 즉, 그 루닉은 실무자들이 따라야 할 필요가 있는 윤리적 모델을 제안하였고 캔슬 외(Cancel, et al., 1997)는 조직의 필요와 상황에 부합하는 실제 PR 입장을 보다 중요시하여 그 관점을 달리하였다. 또한, 캔슬 외(Cancel, et al., 1997) 는 때때로 한 조직이 도덕적으로 비윤리적인 공중에 직면할 수도 있기에 쌍방 향 균형모형이 비윤리적일 수도 있다고 논박하였다. 기존 이론의 규범성을 지적하면서 그들은 정황적 수용 이론을 제기하였다. 해당 이론은 크게 정황 독립변인(contingent variables)과 조직의 공중에 대한 입장(stance)이라는 종속변인으로 나뉜다. 캔슬 외(Cancel, et al., 1997)는 조 직 옹호적인 절대적 옹호(pure advocacy)와 공중에 대해 수용지향적인 절대
홍보학연구 제18권 1호(2014년) 371 외 적 변 수 위협 법률 소송 정부 규제 위협이 되는 퍼블리시티(publicity) 조직 평판의 손상 행동주의자 주장의 정당성 업계 현황 역동성 혹은 정체성 경쟁자의 수 혹은 경쟁의 정도 자원의 풍부함 혹은 빈곤 정도 일반적인 정치 /사회환경/외부문화 업계에 대한 정치적인 지원의 정도 업계에 대한 사회 지지의 정도 외부 공중 (그룹, 개인 등) 공중 구성원의 크기 공중 구성원의 신용 정도 변화를 이루어낸 과거 경력 옹호의 정도 구성원의 충성도 혹은 관련성 정도 공중 자체 PR커뮤니케이션의 작동 여부 모든 사람들의 특정한 공중에 대한 인식 공중이 이끌어낸 미디어의 관심 정도 공중의 대표들이 조직의 대표들에 느끼는 호감의 정도 조직의 대표들이 공중의 대표들에 느끼는 호감의 정도 공중의 양보할 수 있는 수준 협상과정의 유동성 정도 조직의 상대적인 힘 공중의 상대적인 힘 <표 1> 정황 요인 직의 PR 입장을 설명하였다. 다시 말해 옹호는 조직이 공중보다 조직에 더 우 호적인 입장을 유지하는 정도를 의미하고 수용은 조직이 공중의 주장이나 입 장에 우호적인 입장을 유지하는 정도를 뜻한다. 1997년의 초기 논문에서 그들 은 조직 내적인 변인과 외적인 변인으로 분류되는 총 86개의 변인들(<표 1> 참고)이 조직의 PR 입장의 결정과 움직임에 영향을 미칠 수 있다고 주장하였 다. 아울러, 실무자들이 주어진 시간과 정황을 고려하여 특정 공중에 대해 PR 의 입장을 선택하고 그 입장은 정황의 변화에 따라 빠르게 또는 천천히 달라질 수 있다고 주장하였다.