A Pragmatic Study of Strategies for Crisis Communication in the Announcements Made by Chinese Listed Pharmaceutical Enterprises

Ziyi Lan, Zhanghong Xu


Drug safety issues have grown increasingly common in China and have been much concerned by the public, having exerted a huge impact on the development and survival of related pharmaceutical enterprises. Consequently, the involved corporations have to respond properly to the crisis with a view to not only resume the corporations’ operation but also rebuild the public’s confidence in the pharmaceutical industry. Although scholars have conducted abundant research on corporate apologies, announcements, a quasi-apology or a substitute for apologies, as a common way to respond to crises in China, have not gained due attention from academia. Therefore, the paper intends to analyze components of Chinese pharmaceutical enterprises’ announcements and pragmatic strategies employed herein for better elucidating the formation of announcements and highlighting the role of announcements in managing crises. Based on Boy’s (2011) seven apology components and Xu’s (2021) pragmatic strategy set, qualitative research is carried out. It is found that, unlike conventional apologies, six components are identified in the announcements and corresponding pragmatic strategies conducive to managing crises are explored: (1) revelation: explanation (blunt statement); (2) responsiveness: timeliness (attitudinal meaning devices); (3) responsibility: internal attribution and external attribution (grounders); (4) remorse: guilt (IFID); (5) reform: change (attitudinal meaning devices, hedges and vagueness) and (6) impact on operations: minor impact, huge impact and undetermined impact (blunt statement, hedges and vagueness). The findings would not only shed light on research on corporate crisis communication, but also provide the practitioners with some insights into how to issue the announcements.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijecs.v6i1.5782


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International Journal of English and Cultural Studies 

ISSN  (2575-811X)  E-ISSN  (2575-8101)

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