Organizations in control

Organizations exposed to a crisis situation have to decide whether or not to disclose the crisis to minimize harm to the organization’s reputation and to shape the public’s affective reactions. While a company in a crisis might benefit more from being proactive in its communication than opting to be reactive, it is highly likely that the impact of proactive (and reactive) crisis communication on customers’ trusting beliefs and purchase intention depend on the type of crisis and the company’s pre-crisis reputation. The current study, hence, has a two-fold objective: first, to compare the main effects of communication timing, pre-crisis reputation, and crisis type on trusting beliefs and purchase intention; and second, to test the moderating effects of crisis type and pre-crisis reputation on the relationship between crisis timing and the dependent variables mentioned. To test the research hypotheses, a 2x2x2 between-respondents experiment was implemented with Dutch participants.