Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Speech Communication

First Advisor

Myria Watkins Allen


The purpose of this study was to investigate impression management strategies used by an organization in crisis and to develop a typology of impression management strategies used by an organization. The focus of the study was Marine Shale Processors (MSP), an environmental company located in Amelia, Louisiana, which recycles hazardous and non-hazardous materials into a non-toxic aggregate. Impression management strategies used by MSP in statements to stakeholders were examined using multiple methods. Also, the study examined whether or not different strategies were utilized with different stakeholders, whether or not management and non-management relied on the same strategies with stakeholders, and whether or not the strategies tended to be proactive or reactive. Data were gathered over a 16-month period from interviews; newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; brochures; Congressional/Legislative hearing transcriptions; handouts from special events; press releases, correspondence, and transcriptions of meetings attended by the researcher. Data were analyzed using log-linear analysis and the chi-square test. Results suggested that ingratiation was the primary impression management strategy used by MSP with an emphasis on self-enhancing communication. Different impression management strategies were used with different stakeholders. Management and non-management relied on different impression management strategies. While both groups relied on ingratiation as a primary strategy, management used condemnation of the condemner as its leading strategy while non-management used justification. The majority of MSP responses were reactive, yet ingratiation emerged as more proactive than the other impression management strategies. The study developed five additional categories for an impression management typology and included the ingratiation strategies of role model and social responsibility, condemnation of the condemner, negative events misrepresented, and condemnation of the organization.