Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Dr. Michael J. Palenchar

Committee Members

Dr. Moonhee Cho, Dr. Sifan Xu


Applying the expectancy violation theory (EVT) to the crisis communication context, this research explores to what extent stakeholders and stakeseekers’ perceive violations in an international crisis context. Specifically, this study investigated to what extent organizations stakeholders and stakeseekers’ perceive cultural and expectancy violations in an international crisis. Through a case study that analyzed tweets, web blogs, and The New York Times articles, this study identified that the cultural violation theme has two components, including (1) perceived responsibility and harshness of the violation and (2) damage done by the company’s transgression. Whereas expectancy violation theme included (1) frequent use of verbal tactics and (2) highlighting the situation with irony. The results reveal that stakeholders and stakeseekers’ perceptions were affected significantly by the organizations’ violation of culture and expectations. Additionally, the findings suggest that stakeholders and stakeseekers are uncomfortable toward any negative violation conveyed by organizations, (especially if it is related to culture), which may be disappointing, and therefore generate more negative responses to the organization. This study offers a new perspective on EVT by examining how stakeholders and stakeseekers perceive cultural and expectancy violations during an international crisis. It also delves into a new area of research on crisis communication and public relations.

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