Application of two under-researched typologies in crisis communication: Ethics of justice vs. care and public relations vs. legal strategies

Weiting Tao, Sora Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This study investigates organizations' crisis responses by adopting two extant, under-researched typologies-public relations vs. legal strategies and ethics of justice vs. care approaches. Through content-analyzing organizational responses to three well-known crises, the study observes that the public relations strategy is used more often than the legal strategy. It also finds that when the examined organizations respond to their crises, they tend not to emphasize ethical approaches, though when they do it is more often the ethics of justice approach than that of the ethics of care. Therefore, this study urges organizations to reflect on whether their crisis communication and management decisions lack sufficient emphasis on ethical approaches, especially on the interpersonal and situational aspects of involved publics in crises. If such deficiency exits, it would be problematic because these interpersonal and situational aspects, when addressed strategically, can help an organization to rebuild post-crisis reputation and maintain positive relationships with its publics in the long run.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPublic Relations Review
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 5 2016



  • Crisis communication
  • Ethics of care
  • Ethics of justice
  • Legal strategy
  • Public relations strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

Cite this