Integrating Moral Outrage in Situational Crisis Communication Theory: A Triadic Appraisal Model for Crises

W. Timothy Coombs, Elina R. Tachkova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study uses moral outrage to create a triadic appraisal of crises for situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). The addition of moral outrage improves the theory with an eye toward enhancing its application to the practice of crisis communication. The authors argue that adding moral outrage resulted in a needed reconceptualization of the preventable crisis cluster in SCCT identified by earlier researchers. Moral outrage becomes a third factor stakeholders utilize to assess crisis threats along with (1) determining if the situation is negative and (2) evaluations of crisis responsibility. The results of the study indicate that the preventable crisis cluster should be treated as three distinct sub-clusters. We argue that this triadic appraisal of crisis threat improves SCCT theoretically and has implications for the practice of crisis communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-820
Number of pages23
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • crisis communication
  • crisis management
  • moral outrage
  • scansis

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