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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Restoring Image After Crisis: Toyota 2009-2010 Recall Case

A crisis threatens an organization’s goals, values, and success. It happens unexpectedly and forces organizations to respond quickly. A crisis also taints an organization’s image and weakens their customers or stakeholders’ trust. Crisis communication helps organizations prevent or recover from a crisis. It helps balance the demands a crisis places on an organization. These demands include regaining stakeholder’s trust, social legitimacy, and restoring the organization’s tainted image. Image restoration strategies are crisis communication tools that help an organization redeem their positive image. This case study examines Toyota’s 2009-2010 car recall crisis. The researcher analyzes Toyota’s crisis communication through the lens of image restoration strategies. The analysis found that Toyota used the image restoration strategies of mortification, corrective action, and evasion of responsibility during their crisis. The researcher argues that Toyota should not have evaded responsibility and should have implemented mortification faster. Toyota should have also acknowledged the media as one of its stakeholders. The researcher concludes that organizations should see crisis as an opportunity to not only fix its failing parts but to renew its organization as a whole.

Presenter: Roseann Pluretti (SUNY Brockport) -- rplur1@brockport.edu
Topic: Communication - Panel
Location: 125 Hartwell
Time: 9 am (Session I)