Running Head: ANALYSIS, REFLECTION AND EVALUATION
Organizational Communication Analysis Part V:
Analysis, Reflection and Evaluation
Analysis, Reflection and Evaluation
Researching and exploring the many communication avenues throughout this process, there have been many discoveries. There is no business immune from experiencing a crisis or challenging event. It can happen at any given time without warning which can devastate any organization not prepared. A new approach to crisis management is emerging which progresses beyond a purely reactive response and creates fresh opportunities for improved organizational development. There will be discussion on the traditional event approach ...view middle of the document...
In order to properly understand the emerging shape of crisis management it is essential to appreciate the longer term evolution of the discipline. It is also important to recognize that in the present discussion the term crisis is used to refer primarily to organizational crises, where particular organizations or groups of organizations are specifically impacted. This discussion is not intended to focus on societal crises, including natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires or even climate change, where individual organizations may be affected but only as part of broader community or national impact.
Functional activities are critically important for successful organizational crisis response and recovery and the event approach retains widespread support. “A crisis is a sudden and unexpected event that threatens to disrupt an organization’s operations and poses both a financial and reputations threat” (Coombs, 2007, p. 164) or “A crisis is an unplanned (but not necessarily unexpected) event that calls for real time high level strategic decisions in circumstances where making the wrong decisions, or not responding quickly or proactively enough, could seriously harm the organization” (Davies, 2005, p. 69).
From the perspective of organizational development, this traditional event approach typically positions crisis management structurally alongside operational or technical functions such as security or emergency response, often with public affairs tactically in support, mainly for media or community relations. More recent developments have seen a distinct tendency for crisis management to evolve beyond this operationalized response, and it is this reshaping of crisis management which has led to the need for new organizational design. At the heart of this evolution is a growing awareness that proactive managers can and should take steps to avoid a crisis happening in the first place. More recent developments have seen a distinct tendency for crisis management to evolve beyond this operationalized response, and it is this reshaping of crisis management which has led to the need for new organizational design.
The crisis experts Pauchant and Mitroff captured this new approach when they coined the neat distinction crash management versus crisis management. “Crisis management is not the same as crash management, what to do when everything falls apart. Obviously this is important, but it is only one part of total crisis management effort. Here we focus not only on crash management, what to do in the heat of a crisis, but also on why crises happen in the first place and what can be done to prevent them” (Pauchant & Mitroff, 1992, p. 11).
There is an obvious complementarity between the event approach and the process approach to crisis management and the evolution of the two approaches and their relative merits has been analyzed in detail. The challenge in the present context is how to represent the new process approach in a way...