Crisis Communication: Conceptualizing the Efficacy of Information Source Credibility on Crisis Message Acceptability and Reputation Sustainability

Egede Dominion Dominic, Mastura Mahamed, Zulhamri Abdullah, Norliana Binti Hashim, Inyama Victor Uwadiegwu


Recent studies have shown that social media users' perception of message acceptance and compliance during a crisis depends on its source credibility, and this has been relatively underexplored in the crisis communication context. The credibility of social media/information sources influences the users' attitudes and information quality, public engagement, and information believability during a crisis. In response to crisis communication, scholars revealed that despite the wide use of SCCT by crisis communication researchers, the theory still has limitations in evaluating factors that could potentially affect an organizational reputation. Response source credibility is a factor that influences crisis response strategies and sustains reputation. During emergencies, unreliable and untrustworthy sources of information and media coverage of content perceived as threatening can elicit aversive emotions, such as distress, depression, and mental damage, and further generate more crises. This study proposes a conceptual model for the efficacy of source credibility on message (crisis response) acceptability and reputation sustainability. To monitor the streams of research conducted on source credibility, the authors used the Scopus database to examine the numbers of research on source credibility in the domain of crisis communication and subject areas. The results revealed that the perceived information source credibility during a crisis influences message acceptance and mediates the relationships between crisis response strategies and reputation. The paper will help the crisis management team appreciate the value of source credibility and save reputation during a crisis.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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