Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Who is injured determines who gets the blame

Date:
April 18, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers conducted a study to determine how much public blame is placed on organizations that undergo crises. The researchers determined that the public places more blame on organizations when customers are injured in a crisis, while less blame is placed if employees or members of the organization are injured.

When crises such as the recent Toyota recalls occur, public relations practitioners develop strategies to minimize damage to company images. University of Missouri researchers have found that consumers blame an organization for crises more when customers are injured, as opposed to when members or employees of the organizations are injured. In the study, MU researchers also concluded that the identity of the injured in a crisis is more important to consumers when determining blame than the actual seriousness of the crisis.

"These results provide important practical insights to public relations practitioners who manage crises," said Sun-A Park, doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. "Specifically, the results show that people hold an organization responsible in cases where customers are injured rather than when company employees are injured, regardless of the degree of crisis severity. Thus, organizations should perform appropriate crisis response strategies immediately when consumers have been injured from a crisis."

Park, along with Maria Len-Rios, assistant professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism, gave 123 study participants various news stories about plane crashes that differed in severity, whether the injuries were to consumers, such as passengers, or members of the company, such as the pilots or flight attendants. After reading the articles, participants overwhelmingly blamed on the airline for the crises when passengers were injured, regardless of the severity or the number of people injured.

Apart from the identity of the injured party and the severity of the crisis, the size of a company and its control of the market are also significant factors concerning how consumers place blame, Park said.

"The bigger the company, the more blame the public puts on it," Park said. "There was a case in which people blamed Apple because they thought the iPod caused hearing problems, even though research shows that iPod audio levels aren't any louder than other MP3 players. Apple is the number one company in the MP3 player market, and there is no evidence that the iPod actually caused a hearing loss problem, but since it is such a large company, people chose to blame Apple instead of taking responsibility themselves to control the volume."

Park hopes to expand her research to look at the psychological factors involved in why people often blame corporations for causing problems they could have prevent themselves. Park wants to study how these factors affect negative impressions toward organizations.

Park and Len-Rios' research was published in The Handbook of Crisis Communication.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Who is injured determines who gets the blame." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416144636.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, April 18). Who is injured determines who gets the blame. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416144636.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Who is injured determines who gets the blame." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416144636.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins