The influence of accountability for the crisis and type of crisis communication on people's behavior, feelings and relationship with the government

Marije H. Bakker* (Corresponding Author), Marco van Bommel, José H. Kerstholt, Ellen Giebels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In this paper we investigated to what extent the willingness of people to take advice from the local government, people's feelings of collective efficacy and empowerment, and their relationship with the local government, is dependent on whether the local government was accountable for the crisis or not. In addition, we were interested in the influence of empathic versus neutral crisis information on people's behavior, feelings and their relationship with the local government. The results indicate that people's intention to follow the advice of the local government is generally high, even when the local government is held accountable for the crisis. However, accountability negatively influenced people's relationship with the local government, as well as collective efficacy. Our research shows that this negative outcome for people's relationship with the local government cannot be countered by empathic crisis information. However, conveying empathic concern in the crisis information did enhance level of collective efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalPublic relations review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018



  • Accountability
  • Collective efficacy
  • Crisis communication
  • Empathic information
  • Self-reliant behavior

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