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Crisis Communication on Twitter during a Global Crisis of Volkswagen - The Case of "Dieselgate"

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Title:Crisis Communication on Twitter during a Global Crisis of Volkswagen - The Case of "Dieselgate"
Authors:Stieglitz, Stefan
Mirbabaie, Milad
Potthoff, Tobias
Keywords:Social Media and e-Business Transformation
Twitter, Corporate Crisis, Social Media, Volkswagen
Date Issued:03 Jan 2018
Abstract:In this study, we investigate the communication behaviour in Twitter during the rise of a corporate crisis. In September 2015, the emission scandal of Volkswagen (also known as "Dieselgate") became public. We collected Twitter data and analysed approximately 400,000 tweets regarding the Volkswagen crisis. We take different perspectives on the data, by 1) separating the overall communication in peak and quiet phases, 2) analysing the sentiment in each phase, 3) looking at specific tweet contents, and 4) using statistical analyses to determine the significance of differences. Furthermore, we mapped the publishing behaviour of official Volkswagen accounts to the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). The findings suggest that Volkswagen followed a strategy that is not covered by SCCT, i.e. keeping silent. Volkswagen’s tweets were not able to reduce the emotionality and sentiment of the ongoing Twitter discussion. Instead, even during quiet phases, the communication remained rather negative.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Social Media and e-Business Transformation

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