The impact of crisis response strategy, crisis type, and corporate social responsibility on post-crisis consumer trust and purchase intention

Sabrina M. Hegner, Ardion D. Beldad, Anne Lotte Kraesgenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organisational crises can have deleterious consequences for organisational reputation and sales. Hence, one exigent question pertains to the effects of a company's action prior to the crisis and its crisis response on customers' post-crisis attitude and behavioural intention. To address that question, a scenario-based 2 (rebuild versus diminish response strategy) × 2 (product-harm versus moral-harm crisis) × 2 (institutional versus promotional CSR program) experiment was conducted with 304 Dutch respondents. Main effects were found for all independent variables. Our research shows that a rebuilding strategy has a more positive effect on benevolence- and integrity-based trust. A product-harm crisis leads to a significant larger drop in ability-based trust and in purchase intention, while a moral-harm crisis damages more strongly integrity-based trust in the organisation. Furthermore, an institutional CSR program is advantageous for all outcome variables. Additionally, an interaction effect between crisis type and crisis response strategy is found. Results of the study have important practical implications, especially that companies must employ the most appropriate crisis communication strategy according to the type of crisis that confronts them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-370
Number of pages14
JournalCorporate Reputation Review
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • consumer trust, purchase intention
  • corporate social responsibility
  • crisis response strategies
  • crisis type

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