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An organization faces a crisis of malevolence when opponents or miscreant individuals use criminal means or other extreme tactics for the purpose of expressing hostility or anger toward, or seeking gain from, a company, country, or economic system, perhaps with the aim of destabilizing or destroying it. Sample crisis include product tampering, kidnapping, malicious rumors, terrorism, cybercrime and espionage. Crises occur when management takes actions it knows will harm or place stakeholders at risk for harm without adequate precautions.

Crises of skewed management values are caused when managers favor short-term economic gain and neglect broader social values and stakeholders other than investors. This state of lopsided values is rooted in the classical business creed that focuses on the interests of stockholders and tends to disregard the interests of its other stakeholders such as customers, employees, and the community. It has 3 stages [ clarification needed ] -precrisis -acute -chronic and -conflict resolution.

Crisis of deception occur when management conceals or misrepresents information about itself and its products in its dealing with consumers and others. Some crises are caused not only by skewed values and deception but deliberate amorality and illegality. Crises occur when an employee or former employee commits violence against other employees on organizational grounds.

False information about an organization or its products creates crises hurting the organization's reputation. Sample is linking the organization to radical groups or stories that their products are contaminated. Alan Hilburg, a pioneer in crisis management, defines organizational crises as categorized as either acute crises or chronic crises. Hilburg also created the concept of the Crisis Arc.

Erika Hayes James, an organizational psychologist at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business, identifies two primary types of organizational crisis. Sudden crises are circumstances that occur without warning and beyond an institution's control. Consequently, sudden crises are most often situations for which the institution and its leadership are not blamed.

Smoldering crises differ from sudden crises in that they begin as minor internal issues that, due to manager's negligence, develop to crisis status.

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These are situations when leaders are blamed for the crisis and its subsequent effect on the institution in question. James categorises five phases of crisis that require specific crisis leadership competencies. James's case study on crisis in the financial services sector, for example, explores why crisis events erode public trust in leadership. James's research demonstrates how leadership competencies of integrity, positive intent, capability, mutual respect, and transparency impact the trust-building process.

Signal detection is the stage in a crisis in which leaders should, but do not always, sense early warning signals red flags that suggest the possibility of a crisis. The detection stages of a crisis include:. It is during this stage that crisis handlers begin preparing for or averting the crisis that had been foreshadowed in the signal detection stage. He's recognized the greatest organizational challenge is 'speaking truth to power' to predict truly worst-case scenarios.

Organizations such as the Red Cross 's primary mission is to prepare for and prevent the escalation of crisis events. Walmart has been described as an emergency-relief standard bearer [ citation needed ] after having witnessed the incredibly speedy and well-coordinated effort to get supplies to the Gulf Coast of the United States in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. Usually the most vivid stage, the goal of crisis containment and damage control is to limit the reputational, financial, safety, and other threats to firm survival.

Crisis handlers work diligently during this stage to bring the crisis to an end as quickly as possible to limit the negative publicity to the organization, and move into the business recovery phase. When crisis hits, organizations must be able to carry on with their business in the midst of the crisis while simultaneously planning for how they will recover from the damage the crisis caused.

Crisis handlers not only engage in continuity planning determining the people, financial, and technology resources needed to keep the organization running , but will also actively pursue organizational resilience. In the wake of a crisis, organizational decision makers adopt a learning orientation and use prior experience to develop new routines and behaviors that ultimately change the way the organization operates. The best leaders recognize this and are purposeful and skillful in finding the learning opportunities inherent in every crisis situation.

The effort taken by an organization to communicate with the public and stakeholders when an unexpected event occurs that could have a negative impact on the organization's reputation. This can also refer to the efforts to inform employees or the public of a potential hazard which could have a catastrophic impact. There are 3 essential steps that an organization can take to prepare for and withstand a communications crisis: 1 Define your philosophy; 2 Assess your vulnerabilities; 3 Develop a protocol.

Crisis management strategy CMS [15] is corporate development strategy designed primarily to prevent crisis for follow-up company advancement. Thus, CMS is synthesis of strategic management. It includes projection of the future based on ongoing monitoring of business internal and external environment, as well as selection and implementation of crisis prevention strategy and operating management. This is including current status control based on ongoing monitoring of the internal and external environment, as well as crisis-coping strategy selection and implementation. Successfully managing a crisis requires an understanding of how to handle a crisis — beginning with before they occur.

Alan Hilburg speaks about a crisis arc. The arc consists of crisis avoidance, crisis mitigation and crisis recovery. Gonzalez-Herrero and Pratt found the different phases of Crisis Management. No corporation looks forward to facing a situation that causes a significant disruption to their business, especially one that stimulates extensive media coverage. Public scrutiny can result in a negative financial, political, legal and government impact. Crisis management planning deals with providing the best response to a crisis.

Preparing contingency plans in advance, as part of a crisis-management plan, is the first step to ensuring an organization is appropriately prepared for a crisis. Crisis-management teams can rehearse a crisis plan by developing a simulated scenario to use as a drill. The plan should clearly stipulate that the only people to speak to publicly about the crisis are the designated persons, such as the company spokesperson or crisis team members.

Ideally it should be one spokesperson who can be available on call at any time. Cooperation with media is crucial in crisis situation, assure that all questions are answered on time and information on what was done to resolve the situation is provided. The first hours after a crisis breaks are the most crucial, so working with speed and efficiency is important, and the plan should indicate how quickly each function should be performed.

When preparing to offer a statement externally as well as internally, information should be accurate and transparent. Providing incorrect or manipulated information has a tendency to backfire and will greatly exacerbate the situation. The contingency plan should contain information and guidance that will help decision makers to consider not only the short-term consequences, but the long-term effects of every decision. When a crisis will undoubtedly cause a significant disruption to an organization, a business continuity plan can help minimize the disruption.

First, one must identify the critical functions and processes that are necessary to keep the organization running. Practical Business Continuity Management. Testing these contingency plans by rehearsing the required actions in a simulation will allow those involved to become more acutely aware of the possibility of a crisis. As a result, and in the event of an actual crisis, the team members will act more quickly and effectively. A note of caution when planning training scenarios, all too often simulations can lack ingenuity, an appropriate level of realism and as a consequence potentially lose their training value.

This part can be improved by employing external exercise designers who are not part of the organisational culture and are able to test an organizations response to crisis, in order to bring about a crisis of confidence for those who manage vital systems. Following a simulation exercise, a thorough and systematic debriefing must be conducted as a key component of any crisis simulation.

The purpose of this is to create a link and draw lessons from the reality of the simulated representation and the reality of the real world. The whole process relating to business continuity planning should be periodically reviewed to identify any number of changes that may invalidate the current plan. Providing information to an organization in a time of crisis is critical to effective crisis management. Structural-functional systems theory addresses the intricacies of information networks and levels of command making up organizational communication.

The structural-functional theory identifies information flow in organizations as "networks" made up of members ". Information in organizations flow in patterns called networks. Another theory that can be applied to the sharing of information is Diffusion of Innovation Theory. Developed by Everett Rogers , the theory describes how innovation is disseminated and communicated through certain channels over a period of time.

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Diffusion of innovation in communication occurs when an individual communicates a new idea to one or several others. At its most elementary form, the process involves: 1 an innovation, 2 an individual or other unit of adoption that has knowledge of or experience with using the innovation, 3 another individual or other unit that does not yet have knowledge of the innovation, and 4 a communication channel connecting the two units.

A communication channel is the means by which messages get from one individual to another. There has been debate about the role of apologies in crisis management, and some argue that apology opens an organization up for possible legal consequences. The sympathy response expresses concern for victims while compensation offers victims something to offset the suffering. James identifies five leadership competencies which facilitate organizational restructuring during and after a crisis. Crisis leadership research concludes that leadership action in crisis reflects the competency of an organization, because the test of crisis demonstrates how well the institution's leadership structure serves the organization's goals and withstands crisis.

James postulates that organizational crisis can result from discrimination lawsuits. In a recent study of managers in a Fortune company, race was found to be a predictor of promotion opportunity or lack thereof. Social media has accelerated the speed that information about a crisis can spread.

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The viral effect of social networks such as Twitter means that stakeholders can break news faster than traditional media - making managing a crisis harder. A strategy employed at the Clinton White House — , to any breaking [28]. Organisations should have a planned approach to releasing information to the media in the event of a crisis.

Since there is always a degree of unpredictability during a crisis, it is best that all CMT members understand how to deal with the media and be prepared to do so, should they be thrust into such a situation. Pampers denied the allegation and stated that only two complaints had been received for every one million diapers sold. Pampers acted quickly and decisively to an emerging crisis, before competitors and critics alike could fuel the fire further.

In the fall of , a murderer added 65 milligrams of cyanide to some Tylenol capsules on store shelves, killing seven people, including three in one family. The affable CEO, James Burke, appeared in television ads and at news conferences informing consumers of the company's actions. Tamper-resistant packaging was rapidly introduced, and Tylenol sales swiftly bounced back to near pre-crisis levels. When another bottle of tainted Tylenol was discovered in a store, it took only a matter of minutes for the manufacturer to issue a nationwide warning that people should not use the medication in its capsule form.

When Odwalla 's apple juice was thought to be the cause of an outbreak of E. In October , an outbreak of E. Forty-nine cases were reported, including the death of a small child. Within 24 hours, Odwalla conferred with the FDA and Washington state health officials; established a schedule of daily press briefings; sent out press releases which announced the recall; expressed remorse, concern and apology, and took responsibility for anyone harmed by their products; detailed symptoms of E.

Odwalla then developed - through the help of consultants - effective thermal processes that would not harm the products' flavors when production resumed. All of these steps were communicated through close relations with the media and through full-page newspaper ads. Mattel Inc. The company "did everything it could to get its message out, earning high marks from consumers and retailers. Though upset by the situation, they were appreciative of the company's response.

At Mattel, just after the 7 a. They told each to check their e-mail for a news release outlining the recalls, invited them to a teleconference call with executives and scheduled TV appearances or phone conversations with Mattel's chief executive. By the week's end, Mattel had responded to more than media inquiries in the U. The Pepsi Corporation faced a crisis in which started with claims of syringes being found in cans of diet Pepsi.

Pepsi urged stores not to remove the product from shelves while it had the cans and the situation investigated. This led to an arrest, which Pepsi made public and then followed with their first video news release, showing the production process to demonstrate that such tampering was impossible within their factories. A second video news release displayed the man arrested. A third video showed surveillance from a convenience store where a woman was caught inserting a syringe into a can. This made public communications effective throughout the crisis.

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After the crisis had been resolved, the corporation ran a series of special campaigns designed to thank the public for standing by the corporation, along with coupons for further compensation. This case served as a design for how to handle other crisis situations. The Bhopal disaster in which poor communication before, during, and after the crisis cost thousands of lives, illustrates the importance of incorporating cross-cultural communication in crisis management plans.

According to American University's Trade Environmental Database Case Studies , local residents were not sure how to react to warnings of potential threats from the Union Carbide plant. Operating manuals printed only in English is an extreme example of mismanagement but indicative of systemic barriers to information diffusion. According to Union Carbide's own chronology of the incident , a day after the crisis Union Carbide's upper management arrived in India but was unable to assist in the relief efforts because they were placed under house arrest by the Indian government.

Symbolic intervention can be counter productive; a crisis management strategy can help upper management make more calculated decisions in how they should respond to disaster scenarios. The Bhopal incident illustrates the difficulty in consistently applying management standards to multi-national operations and the blame shifting that often results from the lack of a clear management plan.

Crisis management - Wikipedia

These tires were mostly used on the Ford Explorer, the world's top-selling sport utility vehicle SUV. The two companies committed three major blunders early on, say crisis experts. First, they blamed consumers for not inflating their tires properly. Then they blamed each other for faulty tires and faulty vehicle design. Then they said very little about what they were doing to solve a problem that had caused more than deaths—until they got called to Washington to testify before Congress. The Exxon Valdez spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the waters off Valdez, killing thousands of fish, fowl, and sea otters.

Hundreds of miles of coastline were polluted and salmon spawning runs disrupted; numerous fishermen, especially Native Americans, lost their livelihoods. Exxon, by contrast, did not react quickly in terms of dealing with the media and the public; the CEO, Lawrence Rawl , did not become an active part of the public relations effort and actually shunned public involvement; the company had neither a communication plan nor a communication team in place to handle the event—in fact, the company did not appoint a public relations manager to its management team until , 4 years after the incident; Exxon established its media center in Valdez, a location too small and too remote to handle the onslaught of media attention; and the company acted defensively in its response to its publics, even laying blame, at times, on other groups such as the Coast Guard.


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These responses also happened within days of the incident. One of the foremost recognized studies conducted on the impact of a catastrophe on the stock value of an organization was completed by Dr Rory Knight and Dr Deborah Pretty , Templeton College, University of Oxford - commissioned by the Sedgewick Group. This study undertook a detailed analysis of the stock price post impact of organizations that had experienced catastrophes. The study identified organizations that recovered and even exceeded pre-catastrophe stock price, Recoverers , and those that did not recover on stock price, Non-recoverers.

So the net impact on shareholder value by this stage was actually positive. One of the key conclusions of this study is that "Effective management of the consequences of catastrophes would appear to be a more significant factor than whether catastrophe insurance hedges the economic impact of the catastrophe". While there are technical elements to this report it is highly recommended to those who wish to engage their senior management in the value of crisis management. Hilburg proffers that every crisis is an opportunity to showcase an institution's character, its commitment to its brand promise and its institutional values.

To address such shareholder impact, management must move from a mindset that manages crisis to one that generates crisis leadership. James contends that most executives focus on communications and public relations as a reactive strategy. While the company's reputation with shareholders, financial well-being, and survival are all at stake, potential damage to reputation can result from the actual management of the crisis issue. Corporate America is not the only community that is vulnerable to the perils of a crisis. Whether a school shooting, a public health crisis or a terrorist attack that leaves the public seeking comfort in the calm, steady leadership of an elected official, no sector of society is immune to crisis.

In response to that reality, crisis management policies, strategies and practices have been developed and adapted across multiple disciplines. In the wake of the Columbine High School Massacre , the September 11 attacks in , and shootings on college campuses including the Virginia Tech massacre , educational institutions at all levels are now focused on crisis management.

In response the Resource Center has organized a comprehensive set of resources to aid schools is the development of crisis management plans. Crisis-management plans cover a wide variety of incidents including bomb threats, child abuse, natural disasters, suicide, drug abuse and gang activities — just to list a few. Historically, government at all levels—local, state, and national—has played a large role in crisis management.

Indeed, many political philosophers have considered this to be one of the primary roles of government. Emergency services , such as fire and police departments at the local level, and the United States National Guard at the federal level, often play integral roles in crisis situations. To help coordinate communication during the response phase of a crisis, the U. This plan is intended to integrate public and private response by providing a common language and outlining a chain-of-command when multiple parties are mobilized.

Use of this web site signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions. Personal Sign In. For IEEE to continue sending you helpful information on our products and services, please consent to our updated Privacy Policy. Email Address. Sign In. Access provided by: anon Sign Out. Information and communications technology for crisis management: Defining an agenda for scientific research Abstract: Information and communication technology ICT for post-disaster management of critical infrastructures functions best when its design follows from a solid understanding of the sociotechnical systems that it is meant to support.

Yet as is evident from past and more current research, there are significant gaps in scientific understanding concerning how ICT should be designed, used and evaluated in this settings.


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