Beyond Narnia: The Necessity of C.S. Lewis' First and Second Things in Applied Communication Research

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Abstract:

In his essay on first and second things, Christian writer C.S. Lewis articulates that an inherent order of the universe exists regarding goals and pursuits. Lewis states that first goals, or superior ones, must be pursued before second goals lest both goals be lost. We advocate for the implementation of Lewis' framework in applied communication research, as the pursuit of some goals must be paramount for ethical communication to exist. Specifically in organizational crisis communication, goals such as consumer safety must be prioritized over secondary goals of monetary gain or reputational maintenance. Separate crises faced by Schwan's and Merck are contrasted as models and anti-models for acknowledging the priority of first and second things in applied communication research.

Keywords: Consumer Safety; Crisis; Ethics; Religion

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00909882.2011.608695

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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