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Crisis management

crisis may well be an opportunity to test company's capabilities, but it is an opportunity that most companies would prefer to do without. Some businesses never recover from disasters involving loss of life, such as these:

PanAm and the Lockerbie bomb: terrorist attack;

Townsend Thoresen and its capsized ferry off Zeebrugge, Belgium;

Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster: plant explosion.

Presumably, n amount of crisis management r damage limitation would have saved these organizations.

There entire industries that live under permanent cloud of crisis. For example, accidents and incidents around the world, small and large, have discredited the nuclear power industry and given it permanently negative image. People perceive it as secretive and defensive. Its long-term future is uncertain.

In Britain, the beef industry has been severely damaged by the 'mad cow' crisis. This has also had repercussions for some state institutions. In future food crises, people will be less willing to believe the reassurances of the Ministry of Agriculture. The UK government has set up Food Standards Agency to try and regain credibility in this r, but the crisis has only served to undermine confidence in the overall competence of the state.

Food and drink is very sensitive issue. The mineral water and soft drinks companies that distribute contaminated products because of mistakes in their bottling plants know this all too well.

Even in disasters where there is loss of life, the results n be dire, because they r situations that everyone n understand and relate to.

The new cruise ship that breaks down n its maiden voyage, r the liner that leaves n cruise with workmen still n board because refurbishment is not finished, with passengers filming the chaos n their video cameras, scenes then shown n television, r public relations nightmares.

ll the examples so far relate to the effect of crises n companies' external audiences: customers and potential customers. But businesses r also increasingly being judged n how well they treat their internal audience: their staff in crisis situations. Companies may offer ml assistance programmes to help them through difficult situations r traumatic incidents. For example, bank staff may be offered counseling after bank robbr. This is part of the wider picture of how companies treat their people in general. reputation for caring in this r n reduce staff turnover and enhance company's overall image in society as whole. This makes commercial sense too: high staff turnover is costly, and n image as caring employer may have positive effect n sales.

Read on

Michael Bland: Couicatig Out of Crisis, ill, 1998

Harvard Busiess Review Crisis Maageet, Harvard Business School Press, 2000

Robert Heath: Crisis Maageet for Executives, Prentice Hall, 1998

Mike Seymour, Simon r: Effective Crisis Maageet, Continuum, 1999


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1520

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