John Wiley & Sons Theorizing Crisis Communication Cover Explore the major theories within crisis communication, fully revised and updated Theorizing Crisis.. Product #: 978-1-119-61591-0 Regular price: $42.90 $42.90 In Stock

Theorizing Crisis Communication

Sellnow, Timothy L. / Seeger, Matthew W.

Blackwell Foundations of Communication Theory Series


2. Edition February 2021
368 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-61591-0
John Wiley & Sons

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Explore the major theories within crisis communication, fully revised and updated

Theorizing Crisis Communication provides a comprehensive and state-of-the-art review of both current and emerging theoretical frameworks designed to explain the development, management, and consequences of natural and human-caused crises. A critique of the many theoretical approaches of crisis communication, this volume provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the management, response, resolution, and significance of failures in corporate responsibility, as well as destructive global events such as pandemics, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, chemical spills, and terrorist attacks.

This second edition contains new theories from related subfields and updated examples, references, and case examples. New chapters discuss metatheoretical considerations and theoretical advancements in the study of social media. Throughout the text, the authors highlight similarities, patterns, and relationships across different crisis types and offer insight into the application of theory in the real world. Integrating work from organizational studies, social sciences, public relations, and public health, this book:
* Covers a broad range of crisis communication theories, including those relevant to emergency response, risk management, ethics, resilience and crisis warning, development, and outcomes
* Presents theoretical frameworks based on research disciplines including sociology, psychology, applied anthropology, and criminal justice
* Provides clear and compelling examples of application of theory in contexts such as rhetoric, mass communication, social media, and warning systems
* Offers a systematic and accessible presentation of topics by explaining each theory, describing its applications, and discussing its advantages and drawbacks

Theorizing Crisis Communication, Second Edition, is the perfect textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of crisis and risk communication, and an importance reference for scholars, researchers, and practitioners in fields including crisis communication, emergency management, disaster studies, sociology, psychology, and anthropology.

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xi

1 Introduction to Crisis Communication 1

Defining Crisis 4

Defining Communication 12

Plan for This Book 19

Conclusion 20

2 Theorizing about Crisis and Crisis Communication 21

Critiquing Theory 31

Conclusion 32

3 Theories of Communication and Warning 33

Detection of Risks 34

Warnings 36

Hear-Confirm-Understand-Decide-Respond Model 44

Applications of the Hear-Confirm-Understand-Decide-Response Model 46

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Hear-Confirm-Understand-Decide-Response Model 47

Protective Action Decision Model 48

Applications of the PADM 52

Strengths and Weaknesses of the PADM 54

Integrated Model of Food Recall 55

Applications of the Integrated Model of Food Recall 58

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Integrated Model of Food Recall 58

Emerging Warning Systems 59

Conclusion 61

4 Theories of Communication and Crisis Development 63

Assumptions of Stage Models 66

Three-Stage Model 69

Applications of the Three-Stage Model 71

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Three-Stage Model 72

Fink's Four-Stage Cycle 72

Applications of Fink's Four-Stage Cycle 74

Strengths and Weaknesses of Fink's Four-Stage Cycle 75

Turner's Six-Stage Sequence of Failure in Foresight 76

Applications of Turner's Six-Stage Sequence of Failure in Foresight 78

Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication 79

Applications of CERC 80

Strengths and Weaknesses of CERC 84

Conclusion 85

5 Theories of Communication and Crisis Outcomes 87

Organizational Learning 88

Sensemaking 94

Organizational Legitimacy 98

Balance Theory 102

Stealing Thunder 105

Situational Crisis Communication Theory 108

Discourse of Renewal 113

Conclusion 117

6 Theories of Communication and Emergency Coping and Response 119

Assumptions of Communication and Emergency Response 121

Chaos Theory and Emergent Self-Organization 122

Theories of Communication and Crisis Coordination 128

Communication and Community Resilience 137

Four-Channel Model of Communication 148

Integrated Crisis Mapping Model 153

Conclusion 155

7 Theories of Crisis Communication and Legacy Media 157

The Legacy Mass Media 159

News Framing Theory 160

Focusing Events and Agenda Setting 163

Exemplification Theory 168

Uses and Gratifications Theory 171

Cultivation Theory 175

Media System Dependency Theory 178

Crisis News Diffusion 182

Diffusion of Innovations 185

Conclusion 189

8 Theories about Social Media and Crisis Communication 192

Social Information Processing Theory 196

Warranting Theory 198

The MAIN Model 201

Dialogic Theory of Public Relations 204

Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model 208

Emerging Theories of Social Media in Crisis Communication 211

Conclusion 212

9 Theories of Influence and Crisis Communication 213

Apologia 215

Image Repair 218

Kategoria 223

Dramatism 227

Narrative Theory 231

Message Convergence Framework 234

Conclusion 237

10 Theories of Communication and Risk Management 239

Social Amplification of Risk Framework 242

Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model 245

Mindfulness 248

High Reliability Organizations 252

The Precautionary Principle 258

Cultural Theory 262

The IDEA Model 266

Conclusion 270

11 Theories of Crisis Communication and Ethics 271

Ethics 272

Crisis Communication as an Ethical Domain 275

Responsible Communication 278

Significant Choice 280

The Ethic of Care 282

Virtue Ethics 284

Justice 286

Applications of Moral Theory to Crisis 287

Conclusion 292

12 Applying Theories of Crisis Communication 293

Choosing a Theory 294

The Rationale for Asking Question 295

Questions Focusing of Ontology 295

Questions Focusing on Axiology 297

Questions Focusing on Epistemology 298

Selecting a Data Set and Method 300

Selecting Literature for Review 302

Forming Conclusions and Implications of Research 303

The Practicality of Theory in Understanding Crisis

Communication 304

Persistent Challenges 305

Invisible Success 305

Global Causation 306

Insufficient Instruction for Self-Protection 306

Persistent Opportunities 307

New Perspectives for Study 308

A Final Word 310

References 311

Index 348
TIMOTHY L. SELLNOW is a professor of strategic communication at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sellnow's research focuses on risk and crisis communication. In addition to serving frequently as a corporate consultant, he has conducted funded research for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

MATTHEW W. SEEGER is Dean of the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts and a Professor of Communication at Wayne State University, Michigan. His work on crisis, risk, and communication appears in over 200 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Dr. Seeger is the author or co-author of eight books on crisis and risk communication. He has advised both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on crisis communication. His work has been cited by the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone.

T. L. Sellnow, University of Kentucky; M. W. Seeger, Wayne State University