To minimize or mobilize? The trade-offs associated with the crisis communication process

Michael D. Pfarrer, Jonathan Bundy, Alan Muller, Anthony R. Wheeler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Drawing from communication and crisis management research, we theorize that a crisis generates an evaluative social process in which an organization and its stakeholders deliberate the details of the crisis. We argue that the nature of this process makes it difficult for the organization to minimize its losses while also mobilizing stakeholder support, in contrast to the prescriptions of traditional scholarship. We advance research by exposing this trade-off and by explicating the complexities associated with the crisis communication process. We also consider contingent factors that influence this trade-off, including stakeholders' attributions of a crisis and trust in the organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCrisis Communication
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783110554236
ISBN (Print)9783110552287
StatePublished - Aug 24 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative narritives
  • Communication theory
  • Contentious narratives
  • Crisis management theory
  • Crisis process
  • Dilemma
  • Minimizing narratives
  • Mobilizing narratives
  • Trade-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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