The effects of (non)-native language choice and (mis)matching response strategy on reputation perceptions and behavioral intentions during an organizational crisis in Romania.
This thesis tests the foreign language effect (FLE) in the context of crisis communication, as well as Coombs’s (2007) Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT). The impact of the crisis message language and that of response strategy are tested against reputation perceptions and behavioral intentions (purchase intention and negative word-of-mouth intention) in an accidental crisis and it is measured for 144 Romanian consumers participating in a 2 (language choice: native, non-native) x 2 (response strategy: matching, mismatching) online between-subject experimental design. The results show that a foreign language context did not influence the extent to which the participants regarded the response messages as emotional, nor did it affect their reputation perceptions and behavioral intentions towards the company. This result provides practitioners with evidence that FLE, despite seemingly important for crisis communication, might be irrelevant for this context. Likewise, unexpectedly, the type of response strategy employed also did not influence crisis communication outcomes in an accidental crisis. These findings stress the need for more empirical data into the workings of crisis communication internationally.
Faculteit der Letteren