Class 6: Organizational Crisis Communication and Social Media

Provided by Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Guiding question: What opportunities and challenges emerge from the use of social media for organizational crisis communication efforts? 


Slides: PDF / PPT

Core readings

Adkins, Gabriel (2010). Organizational networks in disaster response: An examination of the US Government network’s efforts in Hurricane Katrina. In: Coombs, W. T. & Holladay, S.J.  (Eds). The Handbook of Crisis Communication, Wiley, 93-114. via Google-Scholar

Etter, M., Ravasi, D., & Colleoni, E. (2019). Social media and the formation of organizational reputation. Academy of Management Review, 44(1), 28-52. PDF

Contemporary news article

Thompson, B. (2020). Zero Trust Information. Strachery Blog, March 11.

Post-lecture assignment

Pick a social media channel of a public organization on the local, regional, national or international level and critically evaluate its communication approach relating to the Covid19 pandemic in the light of the insights you gained from the lecture and the provided literature. Can you identify a certain strategy, and what could explain this strategy? (max 400 words)

Background readings

Coombs, W. T. & Holladay, S.J. (Eds). The Handbook of Crisis Communication, Wiley. PDF

Knight, E., & Tsoukas, H. 2019. When fiction trumps truth: What ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ mean for management studies. Organization Studies, 40(2), 183-197. PDF

Olsson, E. K. (2014). Crisis communication in public organisations: Dimensions of crisis communication revisited. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 22(2), 113-125. PDF

Rasmussen, Joel & Ihlen, Øyvind (2017). Risk, crisis, and social media. A systematic review of seven years’ research. Nordicom Review, 38(2), 1-17. PDF