Forrest Scene

Student research on corporate image restoration to be presented at annual forum

Washburn University student Andrew Nemmers, of Carbondale, will present a research poster, "The Toyota Gas Pedal Crisis: A Content Analysis of Image Restoration Strategies," at The Washburn Apeiron: A Forum of Student Research, Scholarship and Creativity on Friday, April 18.

Nemmers is a senior and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in communication, with a concentration in corporate communication. He is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for undergraduates in communication.

In the research abstract, he noted: "A content analysis of the image restoration strategies used following the massive recall by Toyota Motor Company beginning in 2009, on what the media termed as "sticky gas pedals" The recall halted production and sent Toyota Motor Company scrambling to recall and fix defective vehicles. To illustrate the strategies used by Toyota, their own press release website was examined for any mention of the gas pedal recall and then categorized based on Benoit's image restoration theory. Based on the research, Toyota Motor Company utilized good intentions, bolstering, attack the accuser, minimization, compensation and mortification strategies in an attempt to restore the organization's image."

This presentation will fulfill a portion of the Washburn Transformational Experience opportunity, for which Nemmers must demonstrate excellence in scholarly and creative activity, community service, leadership or international education. The WTE was established to provide baccalaureate students with the opportunity to make a difference to others or society through enhanced learning designed to complement traditional college studies.

Apeiron allows students from all disciplines to present their work in an environment that closely resembles the professional conferences and performance venues of their chosen area of study.  Seventy-one students are participating in the forum and entries include poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibitions and performances. To learn more, please visit   


Dena Anson, university relations, 785.670.1711