Crisis Management.

Essay by ManugillUniversity, Master'sC+, June 2003

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What is or can be described as a "Crisis"?

Crisis. The very word that signifies an action or occurrence which denotes a breakdown of a system or a calamity in general. According to the English Dictionary, crisis has been defined as:

cri·sis (kr s s)

n. pl. cri·ses (-s z)


a.A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point.

b.An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.

2.A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.

3.An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person's life.

4.A point in a story or drama when a conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved.

The word itself is very general and covers a very large area. It could mean simple physical harm to an individual or the breaking down of an entire nation due to an unforseen situation.

However, in this essay the focus would be on industrial crises and how crises effects organisations with particular references to the problems related with managing disasters and the importance of early warning systems.

Industrial and Organisational Crises:

The list of potential crises that might affect a business is virtually limitless. Here's a sample:

product defect and recalls; consumer boycotts; hazardous substance release; natural disaster; political instability; employee theft/fraud; transportation disasters; strikes and labour unrest; industrial accidents; government investigations; criminal charges against the company, management or even an employee; executive succession; shareholder disputes; media attacks by competitors, special interest groups, and others; sexual harassment lawsuits; hostile takeover attempts;

Industrial crises are defined by Shrivastava et al (1988) as, 'organisationally-based disasters which cause extensive damage and social disruption, involve multiple stakeholders, and unfold through complex technological, organisational and social processes'.