JMM Special Issue Call for Papers: Deadline for submissions 3 October 2022

Advancing theory on marketing responses to mitigate the negative consequences of brand crises

Guest Editors: Paolo Antonetti, Neoma Business School, France; Ilaria Baghi, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy; Carmen Valor, Universidad Pontificia Comillas: Madrid, Spain.

Beset from a slew of negative publicity, from allegations of sexual harassment, reported cases of discrimination and mistreatment of workers, Uber Technologies Inc. faced a significant loss of market share in 2018. The crisis led to a change of CEO and the decision to create the position of Global Chief Marketing Officer (Vranica, 2018). The move further coincided with a 500$ million campaign to improve brand perceptions and repair the damage caused by the brand’s negative track-record (Siddiqui, 2019). While such moves do not appear to have proven successful (Lee, 2020), Uber’s example illustrates the centrality of brand crises for marketing.

Brand crises are sudden and disruptive events that have a significant negative impact on a brand’s reputation and its market performance (Bundy et al., 2017; Dutta & Pullig, 2011; Klein & Dawar, 2004). Crises are often, although not necessarily, linked to the perception that the brand has appeared irresponsible and has showed a lack of care and concern for relevant communities or for the environment (Antonetti & Maklan 2016; Gillespie & Dietz, 2009; Pfarrer et al., 2008). Marketing and management research has devoted considerable attention to brand crises and crisis management, working to understand how and why crises occur (Coombs & Holladay, 2002) and which are the most significant outcomes, including negative effects on brand reputation, trust, and legitimacy (Coombs, 2007; Gillespie & Dietz, 2009; Pfarrer et al., 2008), brand image and credibility (Ahluwalia et al., 2000; Dawar & Pillutla, 2000), purchase intentions (Roehm & Brady, 2007; Klein & Dawar, 2004), and word of mouth (Grappi et al., 2013, Romani et al., 2013).

This trend coincides with a recognition that, beyond the satisfaction of customers’ needs and the creation of customer value, a key aim of marketing is also the attenuation of the consequences of negative incidents that involve the organisation directly or indirectly. Developing effective strategies able to attenuate negative responses from stakeholders is therefore a critical responsibility of the marketing department. Consequently, a growing stream of research focuses on how companies can manage crises and the response strategies that can reduce the harm and mitigate the negative outcomes of a brand crisis (Bundy & Pfarrer, 2015; Kahn et al. 2013, Dutta & Pullig, 2011). Despite growing interest on these mitigation processes (Benoit, 1995; Coombs, 2007; Lamin and Zaheer, 2012; Zavyalova et al., 2012), much work is still to be done to understand the effects of different response strategies on both primary and secondary stakeholders and the relevant mechanisms at work (Bundy et al., 2017; Noack et al., 2019).

While marketing and management journals in the last ten years have published Special Issues on brand crisis and stakeholders’ reactions to brand misconduct (e.g. Journal of Business Ethics, 2016, Special issue on Understanding and preventing fraudulent behavior; Journal of Product and Brand Management, 2016, Special Issue on Brand Hate; Journal of Business Research, 2020, Special Issue on Corporate Hypocrisy) no special issue to date has focused specifically on the response strategies most likely to reduce the damage caused by brand crises, both the damage to the relationship with stakeholders and damage to the victims of brand crises. This special issue aims to redress this current imbalance and offers a forum for the presentation, discussion and elaboration of rigorous and effective strategies to respond to brand crises. Interdisciplinary empirical, conceptual and theoretical contributions are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Studying the appropriateness and effectiveness of different communication strategies that might be used to mitigate negative stakeholder responses;
  • Considering how stakeholders perceive the different mitigation interventions and their willingness to respond positively (or negatively) to such interventions;
  • Assessing the sociocultural process whereby different mitigation strategies gain legitimacy in different contextual settings and/or how the legitimacy of different mitigation strategies is negotiated among social actors;
  • Ethicality of crisis responses under different circumstances and in consideration of the role of different actors involved;
  • The development of novel crisis mitigation strategies that have not been considered yet in the literature;
  • The comparison between different strategies in terms of their relative costs and benefits for the organisation and/or their relative performance from different perspectives;
  • Studies on the network of institutional actors, beyond the organisation, that produce and/or supervise mitigation efforts (e.g., NGOs, charities, governments) and on their relative role and importance in brand crises mitigation; including studies whose foci of inquiry go beyond dyads (e.g. brand-consumers or brand-investors) and broaden the view to examine chain of effects in a broader network (e.g. brand-NGOs-consumers-investors)
  • Cross-cultural perspectives and the need for adaptation in the development and/or implementation of different crisis response strategies;
  • Studying how crisis response strategies can be deployed on social media and the best strategies and/or the pitfalls to consider in a digital environment;
  • Examination of the managerial process whereby a particular mitigation strategy is chosen over others and the subsequent effects that such choice may have on marketing processes such as brand management and/or customer relationship management.

Submission Requirements:
Authors should submit manuscripts of between 8,000–10,000 words (excluding tables, references, captions, footnotes and endnotes). All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for the Journal of Marketing Management. These are available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjmm20/current

Manuscripts should be submitted online using the Journal of Marketing Management ScholarOne Manuscripts site (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rjmm). New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Authors should prepare and upload two versions of their manuscript. One should be a complete text, while in the second all document information identifying the author should be removed from the files to allow them to be sent anonymously to referees. When uploading files authors will then be able to define the non-anonymous version as “Complete paper with author details”, and the anonymous version as “Main document minus author information”. To submit your manuscript to the Special Issue choose “Special Issue Article” from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue’ and select the Special Issue Title of Negative consequences of brand crises in the text field provided.

Informal queries regarding guest editors’ expectations or the suitability of specific research topics should be directed to the Special Issue Editors:

• Professor Paolo Antonetti (paolo.antonetti@neoma-bs.fr)
• Dr. Ilaria Baghi (ibaghi@unimore.it)
• Dr. Carmen Valor (cvalor@comillas.edu)

The closing date for submissions is 3 October 2022.

Technical queries about submissions can be referred to the Editorial Office: rjmmeditorial@westburn.co.uk

References

Ahluwalia, R., Burnkrant, R. E., & Unnava, H. R. (2000). Consumer response to negative publicity: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of Marketing Research37(2), 203-214. https://doi.org/10.1509%2Fjmkr.37.2.203.18734
Antonetti, P., & Maklan, S. (2016). An extended model of moral outrage at corporate social irresponsibility. Journal of Business Ethics135(3), 429-444. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2487-y
Benoit, W. L. (1995). Sears’ repair of its auto service image: Image restoration discourse in the corporate sector. Communication Studies46(1-2), 89-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510979509368441
Bundy, J., & Pfarrer, M. D. (2015). A burden of responsibility: The role of social approval at the onset of a crisis. Academy of Management Review40(3), 345-369. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2013.0027
Bundy, J., Pfarrer, M. D., Short, C. E., & Coombs, W. T. (2017). Crises and crisis management: Integration, interpretation, and research development. Journal of Management43(6), 1661-1692. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0149206316680030
Coombs, W. T. (2007). Attribution theory as a guide for post-crisis communication research. Public Relations Review33(2), 135-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.016
Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J. (2002). Helping crisis managers protect reputational assets: Initial tests of the situational crisis communication theory. Management Communication Quarterly16(2), 165-186. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F089331802237233
Dawar, N., & Pillutla, M. M. (2000). Impact of product-harm crises on brand equity: The moderating role of consumer expectations. Journal of Marketing Research37(2), 215-226. https://doi.org/10.1509%2Fjmkr.37.2.215.18729
Dutta, S., & Pullig, C. (2011). Effectiveness of corporate responses to brand crises: The role of crisis type and response strategies. Journal of Business Research64(12), 1281-1287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.01.013
Gillespie, N., & Dietz, G. (2009). Trust repair after an organization-level failure. Academy of Management Review34(1), 127-145. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2009.35713319
Grappi, S., Romani, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2013). Consumer response to corporate irresponsible behavior: Moral emotions and virtues. Journal of Business Research66(10), 1814-1821. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.002
Kahn, W. A., Barton, M. A., & Fellows, S. (2013). Organizational crises and the disturbance of relational systems. Academy of Management Review38(3), 377-396. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2011.0363
Klein, J., & Dawar, N. (2004). Corporate social responsibility and consumers’ attributions and brand evaluations in a product–harm crisis. International Journal of Research in Marketing21(3), 203-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2003.12.003
Lamin, A., & Zaheer, S. (2012). Wall Street vs. Main Street: Firm strategies for defending legitimacy and their impact on different stakeholders. Organization Science23(1), 47-66. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0631
Lee, M. (2020). What next for Uber? Inside the fight for its future. Financial Times. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/1bf57b48-0af5-4386-af4c-c2005a4dc3e6
Noack, D., Miller, D. R., & Smith, D. (2019). Let me make it up to you: Understanding the mitigative ability of corporate social responsibility following product recalls. Journal of Business Ethics, 157(2), 431-446. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3639-7
Pfarrer, M. D., Decelles, K. A., Smith, K. G., & Taylor, M. S. (2008). After the fall: Reintegrating the corrupt organization. Academy of Management Review33(3), 730-749. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2008.32465757
Roehm, M. L., & Brady, M. K. (2007). Consumer responses to performance failures by high-equity brands. Journal of Consumer Research34(4), 537-545. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1086/520075
Romani, S., Grappi, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2013). Explaining consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility: The role of gratitude and altruistic values. Journal of Business Ethics114(2), 193-206.  https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1007/s10551-012-1337-z
Siddiqui, F. (2019). Internal data shows Uber’s reputation hasn’t changed much since #DeleteUber The Washington Post, Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/29/even-after-ubers-ipo-long-shadow-deleteuber-still-looms/
Vranica, S. (2018). Uber Hires Its First Global Marketing Chief. The Wall Street Journal. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-hires-its-first-global-marketing-chief-1536595201
Zavyalova, A., Pfarrer, M. D., Reger, R. K., & Shapiro, D. L. (2012). Managing the message: The effects of firm actions and industry spillovers on media coverage following wrongdoing. Academy of Management Journal55(5), 1079-1101.  https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2010.0608

 

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