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News Of Corporate Failure: Evaluating The Relationship Between Individual Assessments And Market Investments, Ann Williams Dec 2012

News Of Corporate Failure: Evaluating The Relationship Between Individual Assessments And Market Investments, Ann Williams

Ann E Williams

Individuals’ comprehension of communication is shaped by the use of metaphor. This study illustrates how the use of metaphor in business and economic news coverage shapes individuals’ responsibility attributions in ways that can ultimately influence consumers’ investment decisions. In a randomized experimental design, participants were invited to read news articles that described the bankruptcy of a business. The treatment text narrated the bankruptcy using metaphor, while the control text narrated the same event without the use of metaphor. After exposure to the communication text narrated with metaphor, responsibility attributions and subsequent investment decisions were significantly altered. The findings suggest that ...


Who's To Blame When A Business Fails? How Journalistic Death Metaphors Influence Responsibility Attributions, Ann Williams Dec 2010

Who's To Blame When A Business Fails? How Journalistic Death Metaphors Influence Responsibility Attributions, Ann Williams

Ann E Williams

This study unites a textual analysis and an experimental audience study to document the use of death metaphor in business news and to assess the impact that death metaphor has on audiences' attributions of responsibility for corporate failure. The findings show that death metaphors are frequently used in financial press coverage and that the use of death metaphor influences audience members' responsibility attributions by intensifying overall levels of blame, while simultaneously deflecting blame away from the executives responsible for managing the firm and diffusing it to other factors, including the state of the economy, the government, and individual consumers.