Crisis contagion, or how a crisis spreads from one company to another, has received very little attention from researchers. This is surprising as the negative consequences of crisis contagion can be significant when customers make assumptions of guilt by association. This article focuses on this important issue and describes four risk factors-country of origin, industry, organizational type, and positioning strategy-that increase the likelihood of crisis contagion. Valuable guidance is also provided on whether a company should issue a denial or remain silent if it faces the risk of crisis contagion.

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Business Horizons
Department of History

Laufer, D. (Daniel), & Wang, Y. (2017). Guilty by association: The risk of crisis contagion. Business Horizons. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2017.09.005