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To repair image and rebuild trust: An analysis of Oxfam international’s image repair efforts
Swedish Defence University.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Within the field of crisis communication, organizations within the corporate sphere have been highly subjected to research while organizations in the international aid sector remain underexplored. This study aims to explain how well Oxfam’s crisis communication is working in the aftermath of a crisis. The specific objectives for this study are two-fold; it is both focusing on explaining the communication strategies being used by the organization as well as how the audience reacted to them. To this end, the research questions are as follows; which image repair strategies did Oxfam employ in their communicative messages? And, how did the audience react to the communication strategies employed by the organization? The research questions were answered through a qualitative content analysis in conjunction with a thematic analysis. The content analysis demonstrated the strategies employed by Oxfam in their communicative messages utilizing Benoit’s image repair theory as a theoretical starting point. Whereas, the thematic analysis grouped Twitter comments into emerging themes to understand the implications and reactions those strategies elicited.

The results show that Oxfam attempted to repair image through all of the five image repair strategies but not all subcategories. While the strategies of reducing offensiveness and corrective action produced positive results in this regard the other seemed to have little or no discernible effect on the audience reactions. Based on the results, this thesis concludes that Oxfam’s communicative efforts came too late and their overall credibility was therefore dismissed.

When investigating the theory of image repair in an aid sector context, the findings also discuss a new potential strategy, expression of transparency, which is related to the strategy of corrective action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 40
Keywords [en]
crisis management, crisis communication, image repair theory, Oxfam, transparency
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8581OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8581DiVA, id: diva2:1322868
Subject / course
Political Science with focus on crisis management and security
Educational program
Master's programme in Politics and War
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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