Contingency Theory: Two Approaches

I did my reading! Yes!

The contingency theory: sounds complicated, but really it’s not that bad. It deals with two extremes.

Pure advocacy vs. pure accomodation used to deal with critical moments. Two completely opposite approaches.

Pure advocacy and pure accomodation are defensive angles.

With pure advocacy, the goal is to stick up for yourself. Deny the accusations, repair the image, and stick with the same story. For example, a woman allegedly found a french fry in her Wendy’s frosty a few years back. According to the pure advocacy approach, Wendy’s would say that the woman put it in there herself (which she later admitted to) and advocate for their company. She becomes the bad guy, and Wendy’s is the victim being attacked. The story doesn’t change, and the thought that Wendy’s could be responsible never crosses their mind. They are ‘purely advocating’.

With the pure accommodation angle, the goal is to admit the wrong, and to do whatever is necessary to fix the situation. Using the same Wendy’s example, the PR representatives would have immediately made a public apology, made a settlement with the woman, and probably fixed some safety hazard in the stores to make a gesture that the problem was being addressed. The pure accommodation process is about admitting, restituting, and creating a hopefully new and better image after having addressed the old problem.

I found this very interesting! There is no middle ground. In PR, it has to be one or the other- admit total fault or deny deny deny! I don’t know that this is necessarily the best way in day-to-day relationships, but a company is constantly being watched and judged. The competition is always trying to out-do each other so large efforts have to be made to keep the PR reputation intact. Do I agree with it? Not for my personal life, but for a large company, it seems to work.

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About lilhanlin

I like to think of this blog as a beautiful connection between my life, personal convictions, and daily whims to whoever takes a moment to pause and read- even if it's only to myself re-reading it a few months later. Too many things keep expression trapped inside of us, and it's such a necessary element of life - to self-express and to see emotion released in its rawest, most authentic form. Writing allows us to do that - to take the time to articulate exactly what we feel or what we don't quite understand but must speak out.
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