Analyzing effectiveness of image repair theory through social media responses : a case study of Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders.

May 2023
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The following study provides an analysis of user generated responses on social media reflecting a timeline of scandals that occurred in the last two years involving the Washington Commanders and their owner, Dan Snyder. The organization has experienced crises regarding workplace sexual harassment allegations, electronic mail containing verbal abuse, and mismanagement. Using the framework of William Benoit’s Image Repair Theory (IRT), this study seeks to measure the effectiveness of the Commanders response to investigations of their franchise amid a two year long organizational crisis through reactions to a statement reported on Twitter. Through a thematic analysis and analyzing the statement through Benoit’s five image repair strategies of 626 tweet reactions, the study concluded that the Commanders’ statement was ineffective in reducing offensiveness of their organization’s investigation and instead dealt more damage towards the organization’s image, as four themes regarding the Commanders’ image, reputation capital, and team ownership were concluded as significant, negative factors.