Organizational Crisis Communication Translated in the Networked Society

Title: Organizational Crisis Communication Translated in the Networked Society
Authors: McIntosh, Heather
Date: 2018-05-15
Abstract: Between approximately September 1, 2012 and February 1, 2014, the popular Canadian fashion retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. faced an organizational crisis due to quality management problems. Beginning with manufacturing complications, the quality issues expressed themselves through various crisis symptoms (e.g., financial issues, legal issues, and senior leadership turmoil). The organization enacted crisis communication strategies to mitigate reputational risk and to inform the public and its stakeholders about the crisis. The news media also reported on the crisis extensively, which contributed to the public and stakeholders’ perceptions of the company and crisis. This dissertation draws on theories of narrative, translation, communication and media, and crisis communication to develop a theoretical foundation to guide the goals of this study. It is based on theories that conceptualize textual journalism as a process of both intralingual and interdiscursive translation that results in new narratives for the purpose of news media content creation. A qualitative content analysis informed by principles of critical discourse analysis is conducted to examine the narration of the crisis as depicted in the company’s textual communication about the crisis (e.g., press releases, annual reports), and the depiction of the crisis as narrated in textual media reports about the organization’s crisis. The two information streams are first analyzed individually to extract the main themes and sub-themes presented. Based on these analyses, a comparison of the two different information streams and their respective crisis narratives is conducted. The project investigates the ways in which the media translated information about the crisis to create their own narratives of the crisis. The findings of this dissertation show the process through which translation occurs, namely the linguistic and discursive variance between these two information streams. An analysis of the patterns in the linguistic and discursive variance between these two information streams indicates how the different social contexts in which each information stream is embedded may have impacted how the translation/journalism process occurs.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -