Using the informational processing paradigm to design commercial rumour response strategies on the World Wide Web

Gwyneth Veronica James Howell

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    559 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Rumours can lead to unpredictable events: the manner in which an organisation responds to a commercial rumour can alter its reputation, and can affect its profitability as well as, ultimately, its survival. Commercial rumours are now a prominent feature of the business environment. They can emerge from organisational change, pending workforce layoffs, mergers, and changes to management, in addition, commercial rumours can lower morale and undermine productivity. There are several well-known examples of commercial rumours that have been, or continue to be, circulated. Commercial rumours are typically either about a conspiracy or contamination issue. Conspiracy rumours usually target those organisational practices or policies which are identified as undesirable by the stakeholders. This form of rumour is often precipitated by situations where people do not have all the information about a situation, for example the rumour about Proctor & Gamble being run by the Moonies. Snapple, the soft drink company, was rumoured in 1992 to be supporting the Ku Klux Klan in closing abortion clinics. Contamination rumours are wide-ranging and typically have revulsion theme, such as McDonald’s "worms in the burger", Pop Rock’s candies which exploded in the stomach, and poison in Herron’s paracetamol . . . Marketers suggest that web sites Commerical Rumour Responses on the Web represent the future of marketing communications on the Internet. The key implication of this study for organisations is when faced with a negative rumour, specific and selected Web pages can be used manage company’s stakeholders recall the rumour and organisational stakeholders can be persuaded by the company’s rumour response strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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