How can an organization lessen people's anger, blame, and negative behaviors in a crisis?: building the anger management model based on organizational crisis response strategies and news frames
The main purpose of this study is to examine how to reduce people's anger, blame, and negative behavioral intentions in a crisis. By focusing on levels of responsibility and a morality news frame, this study attempted to (1) examine the effects of the two factors on blame and anger, (2) identify the role of anger mediating blame and negative behavioral intentions, and (3) test the anger management model. The total of 230 college students participated in this experiment. The experimental design was a 2 (individual vs. organizational responsibility) x 2 (immorality vs. non-immorality frame) between-subject factorial design. Each of four groups was exposed to different types of news scenarios regarding a laptop battery recall crisis caused by human-error. The main effects of the two factors on blame and anger indicated that: (1) participants who read a the individual responsibility exhibited higher levels of blame and anger than did participants who read the organizational responsibility, and (2) participants who were exposed to an immorality frame exhibited higher levels of blame and anger than did participants who did not, (3) significant interaction effects between the two on blame were found when participants were exposed to the immorality frame; no matter what a strategy the company uses, participants showed higher levels of blame in both the individual and the organizational responsibility, (4) the more people blamed the company, the angrier people got toward the company, (5) if people were more likely to be mad at the company, they were less likely to purchase the company's products, and (6) more likely to tell other people about the company negatively. Mediation analyses found that anger mediated (7) blame and negative purchase intention, and (8) blame and negative word-of-mouth communication intention. (9) The anger management model was revised. This study gives practitioners practical implications regarding effective crisis response strategies, the importance of media frame, and anger management in a crisis. Despite limitations regarding generalizability, this study contributes knowledge in the field of crisis communication to (1) better understand the people's emotion in a crisis, and (2) develop specific ways of managing their anger.