The strategic Samaritan: How effectiveness and proximity affect corporate responses to external crises

Jennifer Jordan*, Daniel A. Diermeier, Adam D. Galinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research examines how two dimensions of moral intensity involved in a corporation's external crisis response-magnitude of effectiveness and interpersonal proximity-influence observer perceptions of and behavioral intentions toward the corporation. Across three studies, effectiveness decreased negative perceptions and increased pro-organizational intentions via ethical judgment of the response. Moreover, the two dimensions interacted such that a response high in proximity but low in effectiveness led to more negative perceptions and to less pro-organizational intentions. This interaction was particularly pronounced if the corporation portrayed itself as communal-oriented. The interaction was mediated by individuals' ethical judgment, which was a function of the corporation's perceived benevolent concern. We termed the interaction the Strategic Samaritan, for it was when the corporation tried to appear like a Good Samaritan, displaying proximity with victims but not accompanying it with effective help, that it was seen as acting with less benevolent concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-648
Number of pages28
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2012

Keywords

  • corporate intentions
  • corporate social responsibility
  • crisis management
  • disaster relief
  • moral intensity
  • ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING
  • SITUATION INTERACTIONIST MODEL
  • MORAL INTENSITY
  • EXPECTANCY VIOLATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • PROFESSIONALS
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • NONPROFITS

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