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Negotiating trust during a corporate crisis

Presented at the ICAME 34 conference, Santiago de Compostela, 22-26 May 2013

Matteo Fuoli

on 19 July 2016

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Transcript of Negotiating trust during a corporate crisis

“The test of corporate responsibility is whether a company follows up its words with actions.

we have.”
“BP's task right now is to show we can be trusted”
Qualitative analysis
The plan sets out what you can expect from us, and what you will be able to measure, over the next three years.
- First and foremost,
you will see
a continuing, relentless focus on safety and risk management.
You will see
the company play to its strengths - exploration; managing deepwater activity; giant fields; gas supply chains; our world-class downstream business; and our capabilities in developing technology and building relationships.
You will see
a company that is simpler and more focused as a result of a major divestment programme.
You will see
a company that is organized effectively and applies its standards consistently.
You will see
more visibility from us on our individual businesses.
Qualitative analysis
Dear fellow shareholder

events of 2010 will forever be written in the memory of this company and the people who work here. The explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig
everyone within BP , and we feel
great sadness
that 11 people died. We are
deeply sorry
for the
felt by their families and friends. We know nothing can restore the loss of those men.

The accident on 20 April 2010 turned into an unprecedented oil spill with deep consequences for jobs, businesses, communities, the environment and our industry. From this grew a corporate crisis that threatened the very existence of the company. And it all started in a part of the world that's
very close to my heart
grew up in Mississippi, and spent summers with my family swimming and fishing in the Gulf.
know those beaches and waters well. When
heard about the accident
could immediately picture how it might affect the people who live and work along that coast.
Qualitative analysis
Artstein and Poesio (2008); Read and Carroll (2010); Wiebe et al. (2005)
Inter-coder agreement
Quantitative + qualitative methods
Corpus-assisted discourse analysis
“I want to make it absolutely clear that we are
seeking a return to business as usual.”
sound underlying performance
across our business continues to give us a
solid foundation
, and speaks volumes for the
inner strengths
of BP and our people.”
“The explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig
everyone within BP , and we feel
great sadness
that 11 people died.”
Corpus details
“I have heard people ask "Does BP `get it'?" Residents of the Gulf, our employees and investors, governments, industry partners and people around the world all want to know whether we understand that a return to business-as-usual is
an option. We may
have communicated it enough at times, but yes, we get it. Our fundamental purpose is to create value for shareholders, but we also see ourselves as part of society,
apart from it.”
Qualitative analysis
AGR results
What discourse strategies did BP’s CEO adopt in his letters to (re-)negotiate
Research question
A corpus-assisted discourse analysis of BP's letters to shareholders after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Negotiating trust during a corporate crisis
Matteo Fuoli, Lund University
Quantitative analysis
Bob Dudley, CEO, BP’s 2010 ‘Letter to shareholders’
Affect unitization task
Evaluation unitization task
Distribution of annotated features
Trustworthiness attributes
Mayer et al. (1995, p. 712)
mosaic plot
Baker et al. (2008), Partington et al. (2004), Stubbs (1996)
Bartalesi Lenzi et al. (2012)
Thank you
Full transcript