When Cousins Feud: Advancing Threat Appraisal and Contingency Theory in Situations That Question the Essential Identity of Activist Organizations

Jeesun Kim, Glen T. Cameron


This article reports on an experiment that applied the concepts of avowed and ascribed identities to situations where similar activist organizations clash. By using the threat appraisal model and contingency theory, this study advances theories and practices of strategic conflict management by analyzing the effects of an attack on a group’s essential identity due to hypocritical behavior. This work seeks to revise and extend theories concerning the distinction between internal and external threat and the linear perspective in stance predictions on the contingency continuum.


activist organization, contingency theory, conflict management, threat appraisal, identity crisis, avowed identity, ascribed identity, crisis communication, public relations

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