Evaluating the stance of CEO in corporate apology discourse using appraisal framework

Michelle Wang, Sing Bik Cindy Ngai

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


Purpose of research and research gap: When corporations were hit by major crises, well-crafted and effectively communicated apologies by CEOs could function positively to repair and rebuild a damaged corporate image. Nevertheless, limited research has examined CEOs’ stance negotiations manifested in the apology discourse from an interpersonal semantics approach. This study probed into the use of crisis response strategies in corporate apology discourse and analyzed leader’s interpersonal stance negotiation through the lens of appraisal framework.
Theoretical approach: This study drew on appraisal framework, analyzed discursive construction of preferred crisis response strategies in corporate apology discourse.
Methodology: This study employed a two-stage mix method approach where quantitative content analysis was employed to investigate the dominant crisis response strategies in stage one while stage two examined how these strategies were discursively constructed in corporate apology discourse.
Key findings: Findings suggested that Attitude resources and its subcategory of Appreciation resources were employed in all crisis response strategies identified. Furthermore, negative Affect resources were found to be salient in the construction of Mortification strategy, in contrast to the predominant use of positive Appreciation resources in Corrective Action.
Practical implications: The findings provide practical values to crisis managers, public relation professionals and pedagogical implication to teachers of business communication/ public relations writing course on how to craft effective corporate apologies.
Originality and innovation: This study offers a new perspective on studies of corporate apologies discourse and sheds light on the strategic employment of evaluative appraisal resources to negotiate CEOs’ stance via corporate apology discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Event70th Annual ICA Conference - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 21 May 202024 May 2020


Conference70th Annual ICA Conference
Abbreviated titleICA 2020
CityGold Coast
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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