Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication


Williams, Sean D

Committee Member

Taylor , Summer S

Committee Member

Holmevik , Jan V


The current economic crisis has adversely affected companies and organizations throughout our nation and around the globe. One of the industries hit hardest by the unprecedented downturn was the banking industry. During these critical times, these companies have a responsibility to communicate information to stakeholders about the economy's impact on financial results, operations, and future plans. The following research study describes how four major companies within the banking industry communicated with external stakeholder groups about the economic crisis. Specifically, I analyzed how these companies communicated with external stakeholder groups and whether their communications revealed instances of strategic ambiguity. Using Kathy Charmaz' (2006) grounded theory model to expand upon Eric M. Eisenberg's (1984) theoretical definition of strategic ambiguity, I determined that banks relied heavily upon strategic ambiguity as a communication strategy to help them make sense of the economic crisis.

Included in

Communication Commons