Proactive crisis management and ethical discourse: Dow chemical's issues management bulletins 1979-1990 [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 16 (8):843-853 (1997)
Abstract
This study employed a Discourse Ethicality survey instrument to analyze the legitimacy and ethicality of one of Dow Chemical's externally focused, rhetorical, crisis management strategies. A stratified random sample of the issues management bulletin The Point Is . . ., published over a ten year time period, was evaluated. The bulletins were divided into three time periods corresponding to significant events in Dow's history over the ten year period. Statistical and thematic analysis determined that perceived legitimacy and ethicality increased in the bulletins over time. The results showed that at the height of external criticism from the media and public interest groups in the early 80's, Dow's response was characterized as antagonistic and focused on technological arguments. By the late 1980's, the bulletins range of issues had broadened considerably, were perceived as less antagonistic in tone, and focused more on issues and projects that may be described as socially conscious.
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