Issues management and organizational accounts: An analysis of corporate responses to accusations of unethical business practices [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 8 (7):507 - 520 (1989)
Abstract
When external groups accuse a business organization of unethical practices, managers of the accused organization usually offer a communicative response to attempt to protect their organization's public image. Even though many researchers readily concur that analysis of these communicative responses is important to our understanding of business and society conflict, few investigations have focused on developing a theoretical framework for analyzing these communicative strategies used by managers. In addition, research in this area has suffered from a lack of empirical investigation. In this paper we address both of these weaknesses in the existing literature. First, we explicate Impression Management Theory as an appropriate framework for studying organizational communicative responses, paying particular attention to the concept of accounts. Second, we critique previous investigations of organizational accounts and discuss the major contributions of our study. Third, we propose a coding system and content analyze the accounts offered by managers from 21 organizations that were recently the targets of consumer boycotts. Finally, we report the results of our empirical investigation and discuss ethical issues related to organizational accounts.
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