The Sound of Silence: Corporate crisis communication and its effects on consumer attitudes and behavior.
"No comment" is a typical response for a company in a crisis situation. But while executives see "no comment" as a safe and middle-of-the-road statement, the public hears a company trying to deny guilt and shirk responsibility. Read article (.pdf)
For a brief overview of this paper, read Kellogg Insight: The Sounds of Silence Consumers cue on corporations' crisis communications
Perception, Attitudes, & Behavior
A company's reputation exists in the perceptions of not only its customers, investors, and suppliers, but also advocacy groups and regulators. Anticipating the reputational impact of business decisions requires understanding how these perceptions are formed, how they change, and their effects on attitudes and behavior. This section provides recent examples of our research into understanding the factors that affect perception.
Using Text as Data
The media plays an essential role in shaping corporate reputations, and experimental evidence supports the impact of media coverage on customer behavior. The qualitative nature of text, however, limits the study of these processes. To transform "text" into "data" we need transparent and scalable methods, and in this section you will find some of our work that uses tools from computer science to extract meaning from text.
Firms & Activists
Effective reputation management is anticipatory and strategic. This is especially the case when a reputational crisis arises from a targeted campaign by interested third parties, such as advocacy groups. The goal? Forcing a company to change its practices in line with that party's social and political objectives. The strategic interactions between firms and activists are complex and require the use of mathematical models, some are which are presented in this section.