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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Marketing Management

For a Special Issue on
Advancing theory on marketing responses to mitigate the negative consequences of brand crises

Manuscript deadline
03 October 2022

Cover image - Journal of Marketing Management

Special Issue Editor(s)

Paolo Antonetti, Neoma Business School, France
[email protected]

Ilaria Baghi, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy
[email protected]

Carmen Valor, Universidad Pontificia Comillas: Madrid, Spain
[email protected]

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Advancing theory on marketing responses to mitigate the negative consequences of brand crises

Beset from a slew of negative publicity, from allegations of sexual harassment, reported cases of discrimination and mistreatment of workers, Uber Technologies Inc. faced a significant loss of market share in 2018. The crisis led to a change of CEO and the decision to create the position of Global Chief Marketing Officer (Vranica, 2018). The move further coincided with a 500$ million campaign to improve brand perceptions and repair the damage caused by the brand’s negative track-record (Siddiqui, 2019). While such moves do not appear to have proven successful (Lee, 2020), Uber’s example illustrate the centrality of brand crises for marketing.

Brand crises are sudden and disruptive events that have a significant negative impact on a brand’s reputation and its market performance (Bundy et al., 2017; Dutta & Pullig, 2011; Klein & Dawar, 2004). Crises are often, although not necessarily, linked to the perception that the brand has appeared irresponsible and has showed a lack of care and concern for relevant communities or for the environment (Antonetti & Maklan 2016; Gillespie & Dietz, 2009; Pfarrer et al., 2008). Marketing and management research has devoted considerable attention to brand crises and crisis management, working to understand how and why crises occur (Coombs & Holladay, 2002) and which are the most significant outcomes, including negative effects on brand reputation, trust, and legitimacy (Coombs, 2007; Gillespie & Dietz, 2009; Pfarrer et al., 2008), brand image and credibility (Ahluwalia et al., 2000; Dawar & Pillutla, 2000), purchase intentions (Roehm & Brady, 2007; Klein & Dawar, 2004), and word of mouth (Grappi et al., 2013, Romani et al., 2013).

This trend coincides with a recognition that, beyond the satisfaction of customers’ needs and the creation of customer value, a key aim of marketing is also the attenuation of the consequences of negative incidents that involve the organisation directly or indirectly. Developing effective strategies able to attenuate negative responses from stakeholders is therefore a critical responsibility of the marketing department. Consequently, a growing stream of research focuses on how companies can manage crises and the response strategies that can reduce the harm and mitigate the negative outcomes of a brand crisis (Bundy & Pfarrer, 2015; Kahn et al. 2013, Dutta & Pullig, 2011). Despite growing interest on these mitigation processes (Benoit, 1995; Coombs, 2007; Lamin & Zaheer, 2012; Zavyalova et al., 2012), much work is still to be done to understand the effects of different response strategies on both primary and secondary stakeholders and the relevant mechanisms at work (Bundy et al., 2017; Noack et al., 2019).

While marketing and management journals in the last ten years have published Special Issues on brand crisis and stakeholders’ reactions to brand misconduct (e.g. Journal of Business Ethics, 2016, Special issue on Understanding and preventing fraudulent behaviour; Journal of Product and Brand Management, 2016, Special Issue on Brand Hate; Journal of Business Research, 2020, Special Issue on Corporate Hypocrisy) no special issue to date has focused specifically on the response strategies most likely to reduce the damage caused by brand crises, both the damage to the relationship with stakeholders and damage to the victims of brand crises. This special issue aims to redress this current imbalance and offers a forum for the presentation, discussion and elaboration of rigorous and effective strategies to respond to brand crises. Interdisciplinary empirical, conceptual and theoretical contributions are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Studying the appropriateness and effectiveness of different communication strategies that might be used to mitigate negative stakeholder responses;
  • Considering how stakeholders perceive the different mitigation interventions and their willingness to respond positively (or negatively) to such interventions;
  • Assessing the sociocultural process whereby different mitigation strategies gain legitimacy in different contextual settings and/or how the legitimacy of different mitigation strategies is negotiated among social actors;
  • Ethicality of crisis responses under different circumstances and in consideration of the role of different actors involved;
  • The development of novel crisis mitigation strategies that have not been considered yet in the literature;
  • The comparison between different strategies in terms of their relative costs and benefits for the organisation and/or their relative performance from different perspectives;
  • Studies on the network of institutional actors, beyond the organisation, that produce and/or supervise mitigation efforts (e.g., NGOs, charities, governments) and on their relative role and importance in brand crises mitigation; including studies whose foci of inquiry go beyond dyads (e.g. brand-consumers or brand-investors) and broaden the view to examine chain of effects in a broader network (e.g. brand-NGOs-consumers-investors)
  • Cross-cultural perspectives and the need for adaptation in the development and/or implementation of different crisis response strategies;
    Studying how crisis response strategies can be deployed on social media and the best strategies and/or the pitfalls to consider in a digital environment;
  • Examination of the managerial process whereby a particular mitigation strategy is chosen over others and the subsequent effects that such choice may have on marketing processes such as brand management and/or customer relationship management.

The full Call for Papers including references can be found at the JMM blog site: https://www.jmmnews.com/consequences-of-brand-crises/

Submission Instructions

Authors should submit manuscripts of between 8,000–10,000 words (excluding tables, references, captions, footnotes and endnotes). All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for the Journal of Marketing Management. Manuscripts should be submitted online using the Journal of Marketing Management ScholarOne Manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Authors should prepare and upload two versions of their manuscript. One should be a complete text, while in the second all document information identifying the author should be removed from the files to allow them to be sent anonymously to referees. When uploading files authors will then be able to define the non-anonymous version as “Complete paper with author details”, and the anonymous version as “Main document minus author information”. To submit your manuscript to the Special Issue choose “Special Issue Article” from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue’ and select the Special Issue Title of Negative consequences of brand crises in the text field provided.

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