A Discursive Analysis of Crisis Response Strategies in CEO Apologies—Drawing on Linguistic Insights from the Appraisal Framework

Qian Wang, Cindy Sing Bik Ngai*, Rita Gill Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

When corporations are confronted with a crisis, well-crafted CEO apologies can serve to repair, restore, and rebuild a damaged corporate image. In prior research, the use of linguistic resources exhibited in CEO corporate apology discourse for different crisis response strategies has not been sufficiently examined. Drawing on the appraisal framework and subsumed linguistic resources, this study analyzed the discursive construction of crisis response strategies in the corporate apology discourse of leading companies listed in the Fortune Global 2000. The findings revealed an integrated use of crisis response strategies in which attitude appraisal resources predominated, while different types of appraisal resources were deployed in various crisis response strategies to achieve rhetorical persuasion in corporate communication. The proposed framework integrating crisis response strategies in CEO apology discourse with appraisal resources could guide CEOs and crisis communicators to use the right words when composing corporate apologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-622
Number of pages21
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • appraisal framework
  • corporate apology
  • crisis response strategy
  • discursive analysis

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