The purpose of this study is to identify activists, their communicative behaviors, and the effects of these behaviors on crisis communication in the new media landscape. Adopting a new theoretical framework based on problem-solving characteristics, openness, activeness, and time or history, in the situational theory of problem solving, the current study demonstrates that activists in a crisis situation are more likely to actively engage in information acquisition, selection, and transmission than other publics. In addition, this study finds that activists in a crisis could affect an organization negatively in terms of strong attribution of crisis responsibility to the organization, negative reputation, and less supportive behavioral intentions. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Digitalized Activists and Crisis Communication
Conceptualizing Activists in Three Problem-Solving Characteristics
Limitations and Future Research