Organizations involved in safety-critical operations often deal with operational tensions, especially when involved in safety-critical incidents that is likely to violate safety. In this paper, we set out to understand how the disclosures of safety-critical incidents take place in the face of reputational tension. Based on the case of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), we draw on image repair theory and information manipulation theory and adopt discourse analysis as a method of analyzing safety-critical incident press releases and reports from the NNPC. We found NNPC deploying image repair as part of incident disclosures to deflect attention, evade blame and avoid issuing apologies. This is supported by the violation of the conversational maxims. The paper provides a theoretical model for discursively assessing the practices of incident information disclosure by an organization in the face of reputational tension, and further assesses the risk communication implications of such practices.
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- Organisational communication
- safety critical incidents
- image repair
- reputational concern
- risk and safety communication;
- risk and safety communication
- safety-critical incidents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management