Posted by: arushton46 | December 2, 2019

A Crisis In Our Backyard

This fall, an organization known as Mercy Corps (MC) was exposed after horrific allegations of co-founder Ellsworth Culver. This occurred as a result of the late co-founder‘s alleged sexual abuse of his daughter and the corporations attempts to silence the issue when it was first brought to light in 1992. Despite multiple attempts to voice the abuse, she was overlooked until this year. Following her public statements and the demands of employees, CEO Neal Keny-Guyer resigned.

As a result, Mercy Corps issued this statement:    

The Mercy Corps Board today heard global Mercy Corps employees’ demands for accountability and responsibility after it was revealed this week that the daughter of co-founder Ellsworth Culver brought details of sexual abuse perpetrated by him to the attention of Mercy Corps in the early 1990s and again in 2018. (Mercy Corps, 2019, para. 2)

With the resignation of principal figures and an investigation into the internal framework, will it be enough to save the image of Mercy Corps? Contingency theory argues the communication between the organization and its public can be managed strategically (Wilcox & Cameron, 2006). The way MC communicates with the public surrounding this issue will play a pivotal role in if the company will stay alive.


Holtzhausen, D. R., & Roberts, G. F. (2009). An investigation into the role of image repair theory in strategic conflict management. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(2), 165-186.

Co-Chair, B. (2019, October 10). Mercy Corps Chief Executive Officer Resigns. Retrieved from

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