Corporate scandalization process

Unpacking the corporate scandal

Authored by: W. Timothy Coombs , Sherry J. Holladay

The routledge companion to media and scandal

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815387596
eBook ISBN: 9781351173001
Adobe ISBN:


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The news media are attracted to corporate scandals because they are unusual and draw audience interest. Consider these headlines as examples: “Dog Deaths, Flushed Hamsters and Booted Peacocks: All the Airline Pet Scandals of 2018” (Dog, 2018) and “The 10 Biggest Business Scandals of 2017” (Shen, 2017). Business researchers typically refer to financial improprieties as scandals (Markham, 2015). While there is interest in corporate scandals, the area is rather vague and ill-defined. Moreover, there is less written about this topic than the many others to be found in this volume. The purpose of this chapter is to clarify the conceptualization of corporate scandal and to emphasize the corporate scandalization process.

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