Oil and Gas Employees' Expectations for Crisis Response Messages: An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study


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A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER of ARTS in COMMUNICATION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The purpose of this study was to create and validate a measure of employee expectations for crisis communication in the oil and gas industry. Crisis communication researchers largely focus on reputation saving strategies while explaining that organizations also need to first attend to stakeholder basic needs. These needs are considered base crisis response strategies and, according to researchers, should always be implemented before reputation saving strategies. Yet, little research has focused on whether the messages stakeholders expect their organization to communicate during a crisis are consistent with the recommendations being made regarding base crisis response strategies. In the present study, employees from the oil and gas industry participated in two phases of research. During the first phase, 14 individuals participated in a questionnaire. The results suggest employees have the following expectations: to provide information about the crisis, to consider employee needs, to provide business continuity, to provide quick information dissemination, to provide compensation information, to send messages through multiple communication channels, and to explain future crisis prevention. The second phase involved a survey of 100 participants. The results validate one of the eight expectations. The instrument's validity was also tested through the use of three other scales. Organizational climate and identity had a strong relationship to employee expectations while job satisfaction and employee expectations had a weaker relationship. Results from the current study provide usable data which benefit crisis communication researchers and organizational crisis managers.
Communication & Media
College of Liberal Arts