A company that faces a crisis can reestablish trust with stakeholders by announcing an independent investigation by a third party. Announcing an independent investigation, without knowing its outcome, significantly restored attitudes toward the company while an internal investigation was ineffective. Liberals responded most positively to a company that invited an independent investigation by a consumer advocacy group (Study 1). Experimentally activating liberal values using an implicit priming procedure likewise enhanced credibility transfer from a consumer advocacy group's investigation to a company in crisis (Study 2).
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, May 2014, vol. 44, n°5, pp.392-397