Compose a reflective essay on plagiarism.
A 2015 accident at Alton Towers left five passengers with life-changing injuries when a full-carriage collided with a stationary empty test-carriage on the £16million Smiler ride (The Telegraph, 2017). The well-publicised collision resulted in a 4-hour rescue ordeal whereby several passengers were left with horrendous psychological and physical injuries (The Guardian, 2016a). Sixteen people in total were injured, including two passengers who needed leg amputations following a catalogue of errors (BBC, 2016a). An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the accident was largely attributable to human error, criticising senior management for inadequate internal governance (The Guardian, 2016a). Operator Merlin Entertainments admitted to breaching the Health and Safety Act, and have since taken organisational steps to improving park safety (The Guardian, 2016a; The Telegraph, 2017). This essay will thus analyse the impact of the recent accident at Alton Towers on brand reputation and organisational performance, evaluating the effects of the incident on Alton Towers’ pursuit of a competitive advantage. PR Scandal Corporate visibility has become increasingly prominent, as a result of the power of social media tools; which have generated widespread consumer interest in topical news (Brammer & Pavelin, 2006). Subsequently, owing to the progressive e-media boom, news is frequently reported and disseminated instantly; generating significant attention (Lee & Ma, 2012). Particularly in the case of online PR, negative consumer sentiment can be directly correlated with diminished customer perception and consequent negative brand reputation (Harris & De Chernatony, 2001). The growing phenomenon of sentiment analysis further indicates that consumers have a stronger propensity to ingest negative brand messages as opposed to positive corporate messages, particularly in cases of PR crises (Pang & Lee, 2008). Furthermore, research proposes the penalties of reputation reside in the behaviour that consumers demonstrate towards firms whereby advocacy, commitment and cooperation are critical outcomes of a positive reputation, benefitting brand equity goals (Eberl & Schwaiger, 2005). Consequently, as organisations are exposed to corporate visibility, it is paramount to transparently maintain brand strategy objectives i.e. ‘creating a high-growth, high-return, family entertainment company, based on strong brands… naturally balanced against the impact of external factors’ (Merlin Entertainments, 2018, n.p.). For Alton Towers, the Smiler incident has tangibly cultivated widespread negative fallout within press, leading to consistently declining visitor numbers to the theme park; impacting organisational performance (The Guardian, 2016b). Battersby (2016, p.207) also indicated that despite apparent financial loss which was estimated at £47million in 2016, subsequent reputational loss following the Alton Towers scandal is more problematic, demonstrated by forecasted profit losses over the next few years. In practice, Alton Towers’ reputational issues are partly attributable to the organisation’s response to the incident, whereby the HSE found the operator had at least four opportunities to prevent the accident beforehand (The Guardian, 2016a). Furthermore, research indicated that Alton Towers further recorded thirty accidents over a three-year period by 2015, indicating consistently poor-organisational practices which are likely to progressively deteriorate perceived brand equity via disregarding customer safety (Birmingham Mail, 2015). Alton Towers’ consequent PR approach has since executed corporate transparency to attempt to repair trust by admitting liability and enhancing internal-safety measures (The Times, 2016). However, given that>GET ANSWER