Master of Arts (MA)
Public Relations (Communication)
Date of Defense
First Committee Member
Cornelia T. Splichal
Second Committee Member
Michelle I. Seelig
Third Committee Member
Thomas M. Steinfatt
Image has become a commodity, an essential asset to both individuals and organizations. When image is threatened, we are compelled to do repair work to help us save face. In the 1990s, William Benoit developed an encompassing theory of image restoration, guiding us through the different options available to organizations and individuals involved in a crisis. However, the study of image restoration has traditionally remained highly ethnocentric, focused on Western culture and assuming that individuals and organizations respond to crises in similar ways, regardless of the particular aspects of the culture to which they belong. This study applies Hofstede's model of cultural differences to Benoit's theory of image restoration. Specifically, it analyzes the examples of two politicians involved in sexual scandals: John Edwards, from the United States, and Dominique Strauss-Khan, from France. It concludes that cultural context is extremely important in the study of image restoration, and that cultural and media variables play an important role in the effectiveness of image repair strategies.
Image restoration; cultural differences; media variables; cross-cultural analysis; crisis; scandal
Artime, Isabel, "The Role of Culture in Image Restoration: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Strategies Used by John Edwards and Dominique Strauss-Khan" (2013). Open Access Theses. 450.