Foundations for Crisis Communication
DOI link for Foundations for Crisis Communication
Foundations for Crisis Communication book
This chapter discusses ethical issues as they apply to crisis communication. Ethics is a factor in crisis communication for practical and moral reasons. The practical reasons are likely self-evident. Ethical corporate behavior can preclude some crises from surfacing. And ethical behavior during a crisis may reduce the damage to an organization's legitimacy. Cultural theorists argue that routine communications can seed a culture that breeds crisis conditions. Experts in crisis communication and people such as Cynthia Cooper who have been through the tribulations that accompany corporate misdeeds argue that instrumental rationality at the expense of ethical corporate values can breed crises. Unethical communication behavior can dramatically affect consumers, organizations, nations, and even the careers of the unethical speakers themselves. Tension exists between endorsing an ethical framework for crisis communication and simultaneously advocating strategic ambiguity. The organization can attempt to simulate crisis situations and have the team practice working out a communication plan applying the company's principles.