Abstract and Figures

In time of crisis, the organisation’s tactic in responding to the crisis according to its type/s may significantly affect the organisation’s effort to survive its reputational damages. The study of crisis response strategy (CRS) requires further exploration within the Malaysian context, moreso with the greater and apparent use of social media as a platform for the organisation in crisis to reach out to its stakeholders. This preliminary paper studies the MH370 crisis in light of Coombs [1] Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT). It aims to discuss the suitability of the CRS applied by Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) with the crisis type/s that was/were experienced by the organisation. Hence, the need for this paper to investigate the crisis type/s of MH370 and examines the CRS applied by MAS by content analysing media statements that were disseminated directly to the organisation’s stakeholders on Facebook during the first day of the crisis. Results ultimately show an interesting analysis to the crisis type of MH370, and the suitability of the CRS applied by MAS for that matter.
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Crisis Response Strategy and Crisis Types
Suitability: A Preliminary Study on MH370
Noratikah Mohamad Ashari 1,* , Dayang Aizza Maisha Abang Ahmad 1, and Mus Chairil
Samani 1
1Department of Communication, Faculty of Language and Communication Studies, Universiti
Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Malaysia
Abstract. In time of crisis, the organisation’s tactic in responding to the
crisis according to its type/s may significantly affect the organisation’s
effort to survive its reputational damages. The study of crisis response
strategy (CRS) requires further exploration within the Malaysian context,
moreso with the greater and apparent use of social media as a platform for
the organisation in crisis to reach out to its stakeholders. This preliminary
paper studies the MH370 crisis in light of Coombs [1] Situational Crisis
Communication Theory (SCCT). It aims to discuss the suitability of the
CRS applied by Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) with the crisis type/s
that was/were experienced by the organisation. Hence, the need for this
paper to investigate the crisis type/s of MH370 and examines the CRS
applied by MAS by content analysing media statements that were
disseminated directly to the organisation’s stakeholders on Facebook
during the first day of the crisis. Results ultimately show an interesting
analysis to the crisis type of MH370, and the suitability of the CRS applied
by MAS for that matter.
1 Introduction
Crises implicate an organisation’s reputation in ways that can lead to both economic and
reputational challenges to the organisation. A sudden, unexpected crisis can damage or to
great extent, lose the organisation’s reputation if not managed carefully by the organisation
in crisis. Regardless of the size, reputation or industry, there is always a possibility for
every organisation to face any type of crisis situations.
This paper positions Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) [1] as the
foundation of this study, particularly in regards to linking the crisis type and the application
of crisis response strategies (CRS). At a glance, SCCT suggests that an organisation’s
reputation is a valued resource that is threatened by crises [2]. Moreover, SCCT functions
to predict the reputational threat presented by a crisis and to prescribe CRS designed to
protect reputational assets [1]. One can predict reputational threat with two steps [1]: (1) by
assessing the initial crisis responsibility attached to a crisis (that is the crisis type) and then
(2) assessing the other two intensifying factors of reputational threat crisis history and
prior relationship reputation. These crisis types, increased by factors of crisis history and

* Corresponding author: monaratikah@unimas.my
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© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative
Commons Attribution
License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
prior relationship reputation, allow the organisation in crisis to indicate the crisis
responsibility that is posed upon it and thus anticipate its stakeholders’ perception and
reaction towards the crisis and the organisation itself.
Responsibility requires accountability and therefore the organisation must answer for its
action [3]. After a crisis strikes, it is crucial that the organisation in crisis responds to its
stakeholders immediately. This is where crisis responsibility connects with CRS. CRS are
what the organisation in crisis says and does after a crisis. They affect how stakeholders
perceive the organisation as well as the crisis itself. Based on the stakeholders’ perception,
the organisation in crisis can determine which CRS is or are more suitable to protect its
reputation. Hence, in order to repair the reputation, reduce negative affect, and prevent
negative behavioural intentions [1], useful CRS are designed in SCCT relative to the crisis
types. Past studies confirms that as CRS becomes more accommodative and show greater
concern for victims, stakeholders perceive the organisation as taking greater responsibility
for the crisis [4, 5]. Therefore it is logical that organisations should initiate in preparing and
establishing a successful CRS depending on the crisis type [1] to minimise the damage and
scope of crises that are or will be faced upon.
The online environment through social media, websites, and even emails is one of the
vital platforms used by many organisations to provide fast response to audiences in ways
that is most appropriate to minimize damage and restore organisational reputation [1, 6]
Plus, research indicates that a crisis website is deemed the best practice of internet usage
during a crisis because it is another means for the organisation in crisis present its side of
the story [7]. Apart from websites, the benefits of social media should not be ignored. CRS
that are implemented through social media in disseminating information about the crisis to
its key stakeholders is strategically important due to its efficiency, timely, and feedback-
oriented nature. Social media present opportunities for organisations to tell its own account
of a crisis without being subjected to journalistic gatekeepers and one-sided view of the
crises as practiced in the press media [8]. In addition, social media are mostly used in
sending cautions, to conduct situational wakefulness, and even to initiate actions [9]. Its
networking abilities and the promise of a user-generated content therefore have made social
media like Facebook an appropriate tool for resolving crisis communication. Despite its
benefits, crisis communication in social media however provides organisations with little
control of the audience response towards the response messages disseminated.
Nevertheless, this points to the greater need for the organisation in crisis to strategise its
response so that the CRS tallies with the crisis type that is faced upon.
2 MH370: Malaysian Airline System (MAS) as an Organisation in
Crisis
There is still shortage of theoretical studies on orgnisational crises in the context of
Malaysian organisations, despite the few notable organisational crises that can be reviewed
for the study of crisis type and CRS suitability. Among Malaysia’s most high profiled ones
is the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The tragic disappearance of Flight
MH370 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China with a total of 239 passengers and
crewmembers had implicated the organisation with the utmost reputational threat in the
history of its establishment. Conversely, the MH370 crisis had affected MAS stakeholders
at such large scale, which includes the Malaysian government itself.
Coming from that, it is understandable that MH370 is fitting to the study of crisis types
and CRS, given MH370 crisis is also well known and well speculated amongst various
audiences at an international setting. Furthermore, as to the researchers’ knowledge, there
are no known empirical studies pertaining to the application of SCCT in a real organisation,
especially in Malaysia. Although MAS is currently known as Malaysian Airline Berhad
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(MAB), the organisation in crisis is to be addressed as MAS rather than MAB, relevant to
the timeline of the study particularly when MH370 crisis is concerned.
This study considers selecting the social media that is prominent in facilitating
organisation’s CRS. That is to determine the official social media page of the MAS. Only
main pages directly established by the organisation will be used for the purpose of this
study. As this study intends to examine how the organisation employs social media for
CRS, pages established by stakeholders or third party users or unknown sources (eg.
PrayForMH370) are not considered relevant for this study. During the crisis, MAS had
responded to its stakeholders through various platforms from the start, Facebook namely
one of them. On the first day of MH370, seven media statements were disseminated in
MAS’s official Facebook page. Due to the preliminary nature of this study, the scope is
limited to the first day when the crisis occurred to eliminate the possibility of the crisis be
influenced by other external factors such as news media reports, blogs, hearsay, and other
opinions made by other parties. Thus, the scope of this study is strictly revolved within the
contents of official media statements from MAS within 8th March 2014. The researchers
justifies that the first day in which the crisis occurred is relevant in looking for the
authenticity of how the organisation responds to the crisis to its stakeholders, as well as the
organisation’s initial control over information.
In that respect, the main aim of this study is to discuss the suitability between the crisis
types and the CRS applied during a crisis as suggested in SCCT. This research analyses a
total of seven media statements that were released on MAS official Facebook page on the
day of the crisis, 8th March 2014 hence the population of the study. Using thematic content
analysis [10] as a method of study by adapting Bales [11] in his analysis of conversation,
this study refers that a single unit of analysis is considered as a single unit of attribute that
will form a frame. The way these frames are formed help the researchers determine the
type/s of crisis and CRS applied by MAS in its media statements. The researchers considers
all forms of word/s and sentence/s as attributes to the framing that are consistent and
relevant to the categories (the 12 crisis types and eight CRS) and the propositions of SCCT.
The interpretation of the coding is based on the collective frequency count of each category
(ie, for crisis types: victim cluster – rumours; for CRS: Primary – diminish – excuse) for all
seven media statements.
This study is significant as it analyses an actual CRS that was disseminated by MAS to
the public upon the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 on the 8th March 2014.
Moreover, this study somewhat brings light out of the mystery crisis by looking at which
crisis cluster it falls into and as to whether or not SCCT potentially needs revisiting to suit
the current crisis conditions in the age of new media.
3 Identifying Crisis Types and Determining Suitable CRS
SCCT suggests that the initial crisis assessment is based upon the crisis type. The crisis
type is how the crisis is being framed. Frames include the way (words, phrases, images, etc)
that information is presented in a message [12]. How stakeholders define problems, causes
of problems, attributions of responsibility and solutions to problems are shaped by the way
a message is framed [13]. The framing effect happens when the organisation chooses
certain elements to focus on, which for the purpose of this study, are texts and attributes
contained in the seven media statements. The stakeholders who receive the message will
center their perception on those attributes while forming their opinions and making
judgments towards the crisis [12]. Crisis types are a form of framing, in which each type
highlights certain aspects of the crisis. These cues show how stakeholders ought to translate
a crisis [2]. The organisation tries to develop or shape the crisis frame by focusing on
certain cues or attributes to provide information as to what the causes of the crisis –
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whether the crisis is an accident, a force of nature, or intentional. It does make a difference
if stakeholders see the crisis as a mishap, sabotage or criminal negligence because it
determines the responsibility attributed to the organisation associated to the crisis by its
stakeholders. There are 12 crisis types [2] identifed in which three crisis clusters are
formulated based upon attributions of crisis responsibility [1] as shown and explained in
Table 1.
Table 1. SCCT Crisis Types by Crisis Clusters (adopted from [1])
Victim cluster: In these crisis types, the organisation is also a victim of the crisis.
(Weak attributions of crisis responsibility = Mild reputational threat)
Types: Natural disaster, Rumor, Workplace violence, Product Tampering/Malevolence
Accidental cluster: In these crisis types, the organisational actions leading to the crisis were
unintentional.
(Minimal attributions of crisis responsibility = Moderate reputational threat)
Types: Challenges, Technical-error accidents, Technical-error product harm
Preventable cluster: In these crisis types, the organisation knowingly placed people at risk, took
inappropriate actions or violated a law/regulation.
(Strong attributions of crisis responsibility = Severe reputational threat)
Types: Human-error accidents, Human-error product harm, Organisational misdeed with no
injuries, Organisational misdeed management misconduct, Organisational misdeed with
injuries
In this study, the crisis type is determined by analysing the attributes (word/s and
sentence/s) that are relevant with the crisis types description, under the umbrella of the
above three clusters.
Once the type of crisis or cluster is determined, the organisation in crisis can predict
how much attribution will be placed on the organisation and how much reputational threat
it is facing, and therefore, SCCT provides the organisation with a theoretical base to their
CRS. Similar to the case of MH370, SCCT’s list for responding to crises assumes that the
organisation has accepted some level of responsibility for the crisis. The first type of CRS
(primary) consists of three groups (denial, diminish, and rebuild) based upon perceptions of
accepting responsibility for a crisis [1]. The secondary type of CRS (bolstering) functions
as a supplemental strategy in too boost the organisation’s existing reputation. The list is
shown and defined in Table 2.
Table 2. SCCT Crisis Response Strategies (adopted from [1])
Primary CRS
Deny CRS Attack the accuser, Denial, Scapegoat
Diminish CRS Excuse, Justification
Rebuild CRS Compensation, Apology
Secondary CRS
Bolstering CRS Reminder, Ingratiation, Victimage
There are three objectives of CRS [1]: (1) to shape attributions of the crisis, (2) to
change perceptions of the organisation in crisis, and (3) to reduce the negative effect
generated by the crisis. In order to achieve such, the CRS must be at par with the attributed
responsibility for the crisis – the crisis type or cluster. Each of the CRS assists the
organisation in getting its side of the story into the media. Ultimately, the media’s frames
become the stakeholders’ frames. For the purpose of this study, the media is MAS official
Facebook page. A general guideline of suitable CRS is suggested [1] in order to suit each
crisis cluster. The suitability can be adopted according to Table 3.
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Table 3. SSCT Crisis Response Strategy Guidelines (adopted from [1])
1. Informing and adjusting information alone can be enough when crises have minimal attributions
of crisis responsibility (victim crises), no history of similar crises and a neutral or positive prior
relationship reputation.
2. Victimage can be used as part of the response for workplace violence, product tampering, natural
disasters and rumors.
3. Diminish crisis response strategies should be used for crises with minimal attributions of crisis
responsibility (victim crises) coupled with a history of similar crises and/or negative prior
relationship reputation.
4. Diminish crisis response strategies should be used for crises with low attributions of crisis
responsibility (accident crises), which have no history of similar crises, and a neutral or positive
prior relationship reputation.
5. Rebuild crisis response strategies should be used for crises with low attributions of crisis
responsibility (accident crises), coupled with a history of similar crises and/or negative prior
relationship reputation.
6. Rebuild crisis response strategies should be used for crises with strong attributions of crisis
responsibility (preventable crises) regardless of crisis history or prior relationship reputation.
7. The deny posture crisis response strategies should be used for rumor and challenge crises, when
possible.
8. Maintain consistency in crisis response strategies. Mixing deny crisis response strategies with
either the diminish or rebuild strategies will erode the effectiveness of the overall response.
4 Results, Analysis and Discussion
4.1 Crisis Clusters and Types Experienced
Based on timeline of this study, there were no mentions in the media statements as to the
actual cause of the crisis. Therefore, the researchers interpret the contents of the media
statements by analysing the framing cues that can help the researchers distinguish the type
of crisis that MH370 fits into. Based on the result, MH370 interestingly belongs to all three
crisis clusters (i.e. victim, accidental, and preventable).
The lowest count for type of crisis involving MH370 is in the victim cluster, specifically
the Rumour type by two counts (i.e There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed
at Nanming). Therefore, MAS did not emphasise that it is in a highly victimised crisis
during the first day of the crisis. MH370 is also analysed as an accidental crisis. Herein,
MH370 is framed as a Technical-error accident (i.e Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight
MH370 has lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control) due to the phrase “lost contact”.
This technical-error could consequently indicate what MH370 should have been if the flight
has not lost contact with the air traffic control (i.e MH370 was expected to land in Beijing
at 6.30am the same day). Accidental crisis also highlights the organisation’s concerns on
human lives, hence usually involves emergency plans (i.e We are working with authorities
who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft). Under the same
accidental cluster, there is only one count for Challenges type indicating that MAS has
received stakeholders’ claims about the lack of information given by MAS (i.e We
understand/ everyone's concern/ on MH370 pax & crew).
As a preventable crisis, the statements repeatedly mention that the organisation itself is
causing the incident (i.e …that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370) by taking note
of the word, “we”. However, by placing the word “we” (Human-error accident) rather than
“the flight has lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control” (technical-error accident) as
mentioned in the accidental cluster has made the framing inconsistent in explaining the
cause and nature of the crisis. The most prominent frame in determining the crisis type of
MH370 is the preventable crisis cluster by 44 counts, in which Organisational Misdeed
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without Injuries and Organisational Misdeed with Injuries analysed concurrently; therefore
possess equal number of counts. The researchers interpret that the word/s or sentence/s that
mentions the passengers and crews affected in the flight (i.e The flight was carrying a total
number of 239 passengers and crew; 1. China – 152 plus 1 infant; 2. Malaysia - 38) in
which stakeholders are put at risk either physically and/or psychologically by the
organisation. It is challenging to determine as to whether or not there were any physical
injuries involved within that timeframe, despite the organisation’s repeated mentions of its
regret towards the stakeholders (i.e Our thoughts/ and prayers/ are with all affected
passengers/ and crew/ and their family members). On the other hand, the statements
highlighting the effort in finding MH370 (i.e We are working with authorities/ who have
activated their Search and Rescue team/ to locate the aircraft), thus indicate that the
organisation has put these stakeholders at risk in terms of psychological and emotional
uncertainty. Nevertheless, in the aspect of Organisational Misdeed without Injuries, it can
be interpreted as such due to the lack of information or evidence that indicates that there
were injuries occurring within that timeframe, hence a pretense to stakeholders in the
organisation not being able to provide the actual cause of the crisis in the statement. In
other words, the framing of the statements were overlapping and vague in describing the
crisis type.
Therefore, the researchers find a loophole in the crisis type category of SCCT. Based on
the crisis type framed in the statements, there is no accurate indication as to the physical
human injuries of the stakeholders on board in MH370, although the organisation has listed
down the detailed information of the affected passengers and crew. Because there is no
accurate description in describing a crisis that is ‘uncertain’ in terms of actual physical
human injuries, perhaps another crisis type that describes events that are as such can be
added to the theory.
4.2 CRS Applied and Suitability with Crisis Types
The lowest count of CRS applied by MAS in regards to MH370 is the deny strategy,
specifically Scapegoat strategy (i.e There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed
at Nanming; We are working to verify/ the authenticity of the report and other.). Deny
strategies seek to establish a crisis frame by attempting to remove any linkage between the
organisation and the crisis [1]. This is to point that if MAS is not involved in a crisis, it will
not suffer any damage from the event. Therefore, based on the Rumour and Challenge crisis
types that are framed in the statement, this CRS applied is deemed suitable.
Result show that MAS utilises a large number of primary CRS, specifically the diminish
strategy (Justification) for 55 times. Diminish crisis responses attempt to assure MAS
stakeholders that MH370 crisis is not as bad as it seems or that MAS is not responsible for
the crisis occurrence [1]. In the aspect of Excuse response strategy, MAS hints its inability
to control the event by using the phrase “lost contact” (i.e Malaysia Airlines confirms/ that
flight MH370 had lost contact/ with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today).
Furthermore, these strategies help lessen the connection between the MAS and the crisis
and help MAS stakeholders see the crisis in a less negative light. In the media statements,
MAS generally uses Justification to show its credibility and minimise negative impressions
of the organisation. Credible evidence have been detected in the Justification strategy (i.e
Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft; The flight was piloted by
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah,/ a Malaysian aged 53./ He has a total flying hours of
18,365hours./ He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981). On the grounds that MH370 being an
accidental crisis and that MAS has never had such a crisis before, the diminish strategy
applied is deemed suitable, as explained in Table 3, item no. 4.
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Rebuild strategies help alter perceptions of an organisation during a crisis [1] by
offering real or symbolic forms of aid, that is Compensation (i.e The airline will provide
regular updates on the situation) to victims and asking their forgiveness, that is a form of
Apology(i.e We deeply regret/ that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370). These
strategies attempt to take the focus off the crisis by taking positive action. Rebuild crisis
response strategies should be used for crises with strong attributions of crisis responsibility
(preventable crises) [1] regardless of crisis history or prior relationship reputation. In this
study, although suitable in terms of technicality, the low count for rebuild strategies does
not suit the high counts of preventable crisis type framing.
A secondary type of response, Bolstering is also used by only three counts in the media
statements analysed, namely victimage in which MAS emphasises on triggering phrases
that can make stakeholders sympathise with MAS by showing empathy towards the
stakeholders at the same time (i.e We understand/ everyone's concern/ on MH370 pax &
crew./ We're accelerating/ every effort/ with all relevant authorities/ to locate the aircraft).
True enough, this strategy does apply suitably with the Rumour and Challenge crisis types
that MH370 is framed as mentioned earlier, and that it does supplement the primary
responses in the media statements.
In the aspect of overall suitability of CRS according to the crisis type, findings indicate
that the highest count for CRS applied (diminish strategies) is not suitable with the highest
count of crisis type that is framed in the media statements (preventable cluster). If the CRS
weighs more on primary CRS, particularly on diminish response therefore MH370 should
be associated more with victim or accidental cluster [1]. The media statements have framed
MH370 as a preventable cluster, and therefore should apply higher count for rebuild
strategies, which comprises only a total of 15 counts compared to 58 counts for diminish
strategies.
5 Conclusion and Directions
At a glance, result shows that MH370 is a crisis that comprises of all three crisis
clusters, mainly preventable in nature. Based on the frames portrayed in the seven
statements, the researchers identify attributes that make up the frame of all three crisis
clusters. Nevertheless, analysis of the crisis types denotes that there is a loophole in
describing a crisis that isuncertain in terms of the cause of crisis. Given that it is a
preliminary study in which the statements are content analysed according to textual lines
(word/s and sentence/s) as separate frames, the cause of the crisis is yet to be determined as
a major frame. As far as the researches’ observation based on the findings, one can assume
that as a major frame, the type of crisis for MH370 is considered ‘uncertain’. This is due to
the repetition of the phrase ‘lost contact’ as the main indicator in determining the type of
crisis. SCCT has yet able to cover other possibilities of crisis types. In this case, the
researchers propose two directions for future studies: 1) analysis of major message framing
in MH370 CRS to determine its ultimate type of crisis based on an extended timeline of
media statements; and 2) expand and examine another crisis type that is similar to MH370.
Also, this study finds that MAS utilises the diminish strategy most prominently as the
CRS, mainly in terms of justification. As far as the suitability is concerned, the researchers
see it as a complex relationship, in which the guidelines overlaps and lack in describing the
suitability of each crisis type concerning the case of MH370. Results show that when
MH370 is analysed based on its respective crisis type as a whole, every CRS applied is
deemed suitable. However, when the crisis is analysed based on the count of attributes, the
CRS applied is found to be not suitable. For instance, although MH370 was framed more
as a preventable crisis, the CRS applied however is more inclined towards accidental or
victim crisis.
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As far as the researchers’ knowledge, past research regarding SCCT does not study the
timeframe aspect as part of their consideration in applying the right CRS to the
stakeholders. Taking into account the timeframe aspect will aid a depth to the current
guidelines of CRS. Apart from the timeline, the messages and attributes framed in CRS
could also further explore the overall tone and effectiveness of how the crisis is represented
by the organisation. Since SCCT is rooted from Attribution Theory [1] that suggests
stakeholders tend to search for the causes of events that are negative and unexpected [14,
15, 3], stakeholders are also likely to react emotionally towards the event. Coming from
that, this study can be expanded by analysing the message frames of the statements by
looking at the statements’ rational or emotional components (i.e information vs
compassion). This can consequently bring light to the effects of CRS towards stakeholders’
rational or emotional reactions. It is also proposed that the effects of CRS are studied by
looking at the stakeholders’ perspectives. This can be done by analysing comments by
stakeholders in each of the statements disseminated by MAS, perhaps by examining the
CRS effectiveness through the three objectives of CRS [1]: (1) shaping attributions to the
crisis, (2) changing perceptions of the organisation in crisis, and (3) reducing the negative
effect generated by the crisis, as indicators of effectiveness.
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... Coombs (2014) states that, to speak with a single voice, be quick and try to have the initial responses within the first hour are essential to sustain control over the integrity and authenticity of information to avert a blunder that might harm the organization's reputation. This research is significant because it investigates the crisis communication handled by Malaysia Airlines in many different aspects; delivery of information, handling of victim's families, crisis response strategies and the chosen communication channels, thus this study can help achieve some of the gaps that exist in literature (Ashari, Ahmad & Samani, 2017;Adebayo, 2017). Besides, by referring to the SCCT, this study stays grounded to the crisis communication management and offers possible suggestions on how to apply the theory into a real-life crisis setting. ...
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For a long time I have had the gnawing desire to convey the broad motivational sig nificance of the attributional conception that I have espoused and to present fully the argument that this framework has earned a rightful place alongside other leading theories of motivation. Furthermore, recent investigations have yielded insights into the attributional determinants of affect, thus providing the impetus to embark upon a detailed discussion of emotion and to elucidate the relation between emotion and motivation from an attributional perspective. The presentation of a unified theory of motivation and emotion is the goal of this book. My more specific aims in the chapters to follow are to: 1) Outline the basic princi ples that I believe characterize an adequate theory of motivation; 2) Convey what I perceive to be the conceptual contributions of the perspective advocated by my col leagues and me; 3) Summarize the empirical relations, reach some definitive con clusions, and point out the more equivocal empirical associations based on hypotheses derived from our particular attribution theory; and 4) Clarify questions that have been raised about this conception and provide new material for still further scrutiny. In so doing, the building blocks (if any) laid down by the attributional con ception will be readily identified and unknown juries of present and future peers can then better determine the value of this scientific product."
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Suggests that a variety of sources of information are used to reach causal inferences in achievement-related contexts. The primary perceived causes of success and failure are ability and effort, but they also include a small number of salient factors such as home environment and the teacher. These causes can be grouped within 3 primary dimensions of causality: stability, locus, and control. There are also an undetermined number of subordinate causal dimensions that may include intentionality and globality. These primary dimensions are linked to expectancy changes, esteem-related affects, and interpersonal judgments, respectively. In addition, there are secondary linkages between the causal dimensions and psychological effects: Stability relates to depression-type affects, and control is associated with particular feeling states and behaviors. The dimension–consequence linkages influence motivated behaviors such as persistence and choice. The role of anxiety in this attributional theory of motivation and emotion is discussed in terms of anxiety as a causal antecedent; anxiety and perceived causality; and anxiety, expectancy, and affect. (71 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Social Motivation, Justice, and the Moral Emotions proposes an attribution theory of interpersonal or social motivation that distinguishes between the role of thinking and feeling in determining action. The place of this theory within the larger fields of motivation and attributional analyses is explored. It features new thoughts concerning social motivation on such topics as help giving, aggression, achievement evaluation, compliance to commit a transgression, as well as new contributions to the understanding of social justice. Included also is material on moral emotions, with discussions of admiration, contempt, envy, gratitude, and other affects not considered in Professor Weiner's prior work. The text also contains previously unexamined topics regarding social inferences of arrogance and modesty. Divided into five chapters, this book: * considers the logical development and structure of a proposed theory of social motivation and justice; * reviews meta-analytic tests of the theory within the contexts of help giving and aggression and examines issues related to cultural and individual differences; * focuses on moral emotions including an analysis of admiration, envy, gratitude, jealousy, scorn, and others; * discusses conditions where reward decreases motivation while punishment augments strivings; and * provides applications that are beneficial in the classroom, in therapy, and in training programs.This book appeals to practicing and research psychologists and advanced students in social, educational, personality, political/legal, health, and clinical psychology. It will also serve as a supplement in courses on motivational psychology, emotion and motivation, altruism and/or pro-social behavior, aggression, social judgment, and morality. Also included is the raw material for 13 experiments relating to core predictions of the proposed attribution theory. © 2006 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
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