The role of relationships in crisis communication: The impact of agency-client relationships and perception of crisis strategies on crisis-related task conflict, performance, and satisfaction Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Ha, Jin Hong
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effect of the public relations agency-client relationship on crisis communication effectiveness. To do so, 18 hypotheses were developed, based on the links among the status of relationships, agreement perception of crisis communication strategies, crisis-related task conflict, performance, and satisfaction. The sample of this study is Korean public relations practitioners working at public relations agencies or client organizations. An online survey was conducted for data collection, and Structural Equation Modeling statistics (i.e., Amos) was employed for data analyses. First, the results of this study revealed that two relationship variables (trusting and mutual relationships) had statistically significant effects on all three endogenous variables (perceived task conflict, performance, and satisfaction) as an expected direction, except for the effect of trusting relationship on perceived task conflict. Agreement perception positively affected perceived task conflict, which is inconsistent with the direction of the hypothesis. This research found no direct effects of perceived task conflict on perceived task performance and satisfaction. Second, With regard to indirect effects, two indirect effects of trusting relationship and mutual relationship on perceived task satisfaction through perceived task performance were statistically significant. However, trusting and mutual relationships' indirect effects on perceived task satisfaction through perceived task conflict were not statistically significant. This suggests that perceived task performance has a more significant mediating role between the agency-client relationship and perceived task satisfaction than does perceived task conflict. Third, according to the results of EFA and CFA, two factors (trust and control mutuality) were extracted for the relationship construct, and a single factor was yielded for the agreement perception construct. This means that Korean public relations practitioners are not likely to differentiate the concept of commitment from trust and control mutuality. Also, Korean practitioners do not seem to separate crisis strategies into three stages; rather, they perceive the strategies for a single crisis stage. This study contributed to the literature of relationships in public relations not only by exploring the effect of inter-organizational relationships but also by applying the relationship to crisis communication. Furthermore, this study expanded the roles of relationships in crisis communication by revealing the results that the agency-client relationship can play a role as an antecedent factor that influences crisis communication effectiveness in terms of task conflict, performance, and satisfaction.
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  • In Copyright
  • Boynton, Lois A.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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